Ah, the smell of cardboard and plastic. I just got in 30 CGC titles FINALLY that I had dropped off at the Philly Wizard World. It’s a beautiful thing. So there’s my registry banner above, as well as my X-Men ranking. Plodding along, plodding along. As promised earlier this week, here’s one of the highlights of my recent travels.
When I was in Joplin, Missouri a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting Vintage Stock, which is by far one of if not the coolest stores. Ever. It’s big like a Home Depot and just chock full of Games, DVDs, old console systems, comic books, and toys. apparently, this is a pretty big southern chain but I’d never heard of it. It was heaven.
It was a hot Saturday morning and I had some time to kill before my friends’ wedding (yes, I did use the apostrophe correctly to indicate two friends and a possessive). I drove my rental Nissan to the Northpark Mall and tried to hide out from the 100 degree heat, as my hotel air conditioning was being taxed by the weather, the natural disaster’s effect on the power grid, and the general incompetence of Holiday Inn. I was about to turn tail after doing a full end-to-end mall run while searching for an iPod charger, when I saw a sign: Vintage Stock. I had time, so I figured it would be a stand alone used game store of some sort.
Boy am I retail ignorant when it comes to chains outside of the North East.
I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. Why don’t we have this out here in New Jersey? WHY GOD WHY? ANSWER ME!!!!
The back issues were pretty decent albeit stuffed with many 90s trash bin fodder. Behind the boxes was a display case with some great higher end back issues. I picked up a few X-Men from the Byrne era. All of them were marked down on sale, and in nice condition in mylar sleeves. Ah mylar…. stick your nose right in and smell…. snnnnnnffffffff…. ahhhhh
The toys were no joke. In addition to row after row of carded figures, both new and 1990s-2000s, they had display cases full of older transformers, busts, and old GIJoes. There was even a 1980s talking Mr. T doll. That is beyond awesome.
Coolest of all, I saw kids playing Magic and some other card games in store. I’m not a fan of Magic, I could never get into it, but I knew I was smiling. Keep in mind, this is Joplin, Missouri. Over one hundred people were killed and thousands lost their homes just a few months ago in a devastating and random act of God, but on a hot Saturday afternoon, friends could get together and just be normal kids. You can’t ask for more in a store than that; a place where all are welcome and shopping is a true joy.
I ended up buying about $100 worth of stuff, including an awesome Marvel wallet decorated with retro comic covers. Every time I open my wallet now, it reminds me of Vintage Stock, the great people I met in Joplin, and how lucky I truly am.
So please, check out Vintage Stock next time you’re in the midwest or deep south, follow them on Twitter, check out (and like) them on Facebook, and keep games and comics going strong. It means more than you know to millions of people.