Cherry Bomb Toys & The National Toy Museum of Canada

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Post by the89thchris on Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:06 am

CHERRY BOMB TOYS & THE NATIONAL TOY MUSEUM OF CANADA

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I was on Vancouver Island for a few days for work so while I was in Victoria, so I had to check out Cherry Bomb Toys. This is a vintage toy store that is pretty well known to collectors in western Canada. I’d heard of it, but this was the first time I had the time to roll by. The entrance is a little understated compared to some of the comic shops on the street, but don’t let that fool you, once though the door it’s a surprisingly large place.

The first think you will notice is that these guys really know how to set up a showcase, so much so that they have a section of the store that is labeled "The National Toy Museum of Canada", featuring all kinds of remarkable pieces for those of us who are familiar with vintage toys outside of Kenner Star Wars, but I’ll get to that a bit later.

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The Star Wars section is right up front. They had a pretty strong selection of loose vintage, a couple stand out pieces were a Kenner Sandcrawler and a Wind-Up R2. They had a decent selection of figures, but half or more didn’t seem to have weapons. Right away I can tell that there is a major difference between Victoria/Vancouver and the Toronto area. This store and the nearest other toy store which carries a good amount of vintage (Toy Traders in Langley, BC) have no carded Kenner figures and little to no boxed vehicles or playsets. Their Southern Ontario equivalents have massive selections (which do move, but at a much slower rate) so that there is plenty to look at if you walk in the store. I’m not sure if this is down to supply or lack of interest out here.

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The staff told me that they have a few regular customers which come in and pick up all the good Vintage Star Wars as it arrives, so they don’t even really have section for carded figures and boxed vehicles/playsets. I'm sure they find a spot for the odd piece that comes in but it didn't justify any real estate.

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(Animation Cells from the Ewoks Cartoon)

Some of you may have seen a Canadian Vinyl cape Jawa up for sale over the past few months, this is the store that the original owner walked into and sold it. As I understand the story, he was a local guy who had it tacked up on a wall over a few decades and several different residences. The fellow behind the counter said he was there when it came in and he held it. I heard a rumor from a customer (perhaps one of our forum members here rofl ) as to the store’s original price on the item. If he is remembering correctly, it has shot up to a shocking degree.

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Moving father into the store you begin to notice specialized sections for various franchises. The GI Joe section was particularly impressive. I half expected to see a USS Flag on display, and they didn’t disappoint in that regard, but they also had a strong selection of carded Joes and loose vehicles, as well as a CRT TV playing some of the old cartoons. They really did a fantastic job with the displays in this section, it was like being able to shop in a museum. You could have a kid come through here and they could hardly even do any damage, everything was setup neatly and most of it was behind glass.

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At the back of the store there is a staircase leading up to the museum section, this was really fascinating. The cabinets up here featured beautiful examples of all kinds of vintage toys, many of which pre-date Star Wars. They had a great looking set of the MEGO Planet of the Apes figures. My favourite thing on this museum level had to be the extremely retro and awesome, “The Great Garloo”! For those of you who aren’t familiar with this beast, it’s a vintage radio-controlled monster which could wreak havoc on your other toys. So majestic. Star Wars was represented on this floor with some nice examples of loose Kenner “role play” blasters, and as you were rounding the floor and heading back down they had the mighty Shogun Godzilla, a personal favourite… but it’s not Kenner Star Wars so I don’t have room for one.

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(The Great Garloo, Marx Toys 1961)

If you’re ever in this area, check it out. Make a small donation to the museum and if you see something you need in your collection, the prices seem quite reasonable. I think you should always make the effort to support these stores, I've got a couple near me and I'd be very disappointed if they ever went away. Cherry Bomb Toys has a really charming atmosphere and it was a standout moment in my trip.

Also, a big fan made animated Fett was looming over the place, right beside Big Bird. That is special.  rockon

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MORE PHOTOS FROM THE MUSEUM

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MORE PHOTOS FROM THE STORE

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the89thchris
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Post by Cardnut on Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:48 am

Thank you for posting the fantastic pictures of your visit to Cherry Bomb Toys Chris! It always amazes me how many great toys have been preserved! As usual your pictures are excellent with great descriptions. Thanks for sharing! clapping popcorn
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Post by the89thchris on Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:52 am

Thanks man. I was doing a lot of walking that day so I just had the phone with me but I did some photoshop editing to balance out a few of them. rofl
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Post by arohk on Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:45 am

I love the place myself, one thing is what you see in the store is only a portion of what they have, the basement has a bunch of item's they still need to organize to sell. The couple who owns the store do a lot for both the collecting company and display community. They hold a very large toy show twice a year. A few years ago they did the first real ComicCon this city ever had, the one in Vancouver is huge from what I've heard but to go from to it from Victoria can be expensive. Thanks to B and his wife we now have one here and it's bringing in lot's of people. Victoria is not a very big city and you can walk the whole downtown core in a day, the Con like I said would be super small compared to most here in Canada but it's perfect for us here, I will add a link for those interested in seeing how it look's.

One thing I forgot to mention to Chris but for any future trips for anyone coming here you can do trading at cherry bomb toy's as well, and knowing there is new item's I will have to go and check them out, I've been wanting to get a wind up R2 Smile.

Link to Comiccon
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I will have to find the post I made on fb about the VC Jawa as I know I put the price and I believe photos as well of the one they sold.

And again it was great meeting you Chris next time I will try and get a day off Smile.
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Post by ChristianC on Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:45 am

Mannnnnnnnnnn that place looks awesome! Nothing like that here.

Love the look on your face in the reflection hahahahhahaahha!!!!!!
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Post by Commander Clint on Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:16 pm

Those are great pictures Chris. Thanks for showing off the store.
Glad that you could meet up with Larry for a chat. cheers
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Post by ourchickenshack on Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:55 pm

Awesome store / museum yay

I always love your photo tours of toy stores and conventions - awesome as always bowwing
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Post by the89thchris on Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:21 am

Thanks guys, glad you guys get some entertainment from it as I’d have been checking the store out anyway! rofl

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] They’ve got a cheaper windup R2 at Toy Traders, $150, half the price of the one at cherry bomb and about the same condition. rofl I’m gonna update the toy traders post sometime this week.
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Post by Nico on Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:17 pm

Excellent content as always Chris rockon
Thanks for posting mate cheers
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