Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Store for Pop Culture

I'm going to go off-topic a little this post (though hopefully in a way you'll still find entertaining). My friend Dean Wesley Smith has just opened a new store out here on the Oregon coast (in Lincoln City, to be specific) devoted to pop culture collectibles. We're talking all manner of nostalgia goodness here, but primarily toys, comics, marbles, and jewelry. It's shaping up to be a pretty amazing store, and you should definitely check it out if you're ever anywhere near Lincoln City. (Pop Culture Collectibles, Streetcar Village, 6334 S. Hwy. 101, Lincoln City, OR)

The store is located on the far south end of Lincoln City in Streetcar Village. Streetcar Village is an institution on the coast, a fun collection of antique stores and an auction house, unmistakable because of the antique streetcar grafted onto the front of one of the buildings.

The interior of the store is something of an accomplishment in itself. The storefront had been unoccupied for a long, long time. It had suffered extensive fire damage back in some dim bit of history, and the wooden floor had settled for that you could have used it for a skateboard park. Well, to be honest, that floor is still kind of a fun-house, but it's better than it used to be, and the interior has entirely new wiring, lighting, floor, ceilings, door, and interior walls, courtesy of Dean. And when I say that, I don't mean that he hired a contractor. He was his own contractor, and did a substantial percentage of the work himself. It was a back-breaking marathon of construction.

I got to watch.
These pictures were taken several weeks ago, when the store was still early in stocking. The front section of the store is primarily toys, games, and jewelery (including a large selection of vintage watches and some bead art). Up here you'll find everything from collectible teddy bears to Transformers. You'll might even find a few GI Joes if you look around.
This is another look back towards the front of the store. The tarp is the corner covering a last bit of construction that was still being cleaned up.
This is looking toward the rear section of the store. This will eventually house tens of thousands of comics, a huge selection of Hot Wheels, vintage marbles (Dean is something of an expert on antique marbles, and he has some amazing stuff). The alcove in the back is the office and eBay area. Dean is an eBay power-seller under the name "Pokerhat."
Here are the Hot Wheels shelves. These have since been completely filled with some gazillion cars. There's also a good selection of mint-in-package Hot Wheels and other die-cast available. The cases in the foreground will be filled with marbles going all the way back to the Civil War, and you can see a selection of fast-food character glasses as well.
This is the early stages of getting the comics out. This is a huge job. Dean has an incredible inventory of comics, and his section is going to be filled to the brim, and still won't hold but a fraction of them. The racks on the wall will display some of the rarer and more expensive items.

More of the comic section. The bins on top and the file drawers underneath will all be completely filled with comics. The ramp connecting the front and rear sections makes a good place to test out Hot Wheels cars.
More of the toy section. This is a lot more crowded since this picture was taken.
Okay, disclaimer here. Dean's an old-friend, I have some stuff in here on consignment, and there's also a section of my wife Chris' bead-art in a case up front, but heck, I'd think this place was cool even if I was a disinterested stranger. Plan your entire vacation around it. Yeah.

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