Guest post by Chris, from the stuffwelikecast.com.
I lived in a small town in Missouri for 33 years. I moved to Orlando a year ago with my lovely wife and have not missed living in the Midwest except of course my family and the ToyMan toy show, for which I have not yet found a local replacement.
The ToyMan toy show has been around for 21 years and I have attended 18 of those years. What a show! I have made friends, enemies, hit the jackpot, and have been taken to the cleaners. Sounds like a trip to Vegas, right? Well if you have been collecting toys for any amount of time, the two are very close in nature. You take a gamble at every table. Maybe they have just what you are looking for or they may have a table full of overpriced Hot Wheels.
One of my earliest memories of the toy show was in ‘92-‘93. Back then it was original Kenner or nothing when it came to Star Wars. My mom had taken me and we talked to a dealer who was willing to make us the deal of a lifetime- the complete 12-inch line of figures including hard to find IG-88 mint in box for $400. My young teenage mind was thinking about how to display them. My mom’s mind was spinning on how to pay for them. It was a great deal but we had to pass. Even though we passed on them it showed me the power of the show. You could find anything there; from the ‘30s to the present, all toys are well represented. I once bought Star Wars wallpaper (yes, they made Star Wars wallpaper) and I bought 3 rolls of it at one show.
Later in life like, all collectors have to do from time to time, I set up and sold at the show. Some of the dealers and I would joke that they had sold me the item they were buying back. I would walk away a few boxes lighter and a few hundred richer. Even the slow shows were fun because grown adults that collect toys are fun to hang out with.
I planned my most recent trip back home to coincide with a toy show. It was great to talk to friends I had made over the years and look at all the fun items. Having only a small carry-on bag helped curb my toy buying. I did manage to find a small LEGO set for $5.
I hope the show stays around for another 21 years. I sure want to take my kids to them, even if we have to get on a plane to do so.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @drquest and also check out his website at stuffwelikecast.com . If you visit a toy show in your neck of the woods, or make an amazing pop culture find, drop me an email and I’d love to put up a post like this one!