The top 5 vinyl and designer toy stores in Toronto
The top vinyl and designer toy stores in Toronto stock the kind of toys you just sort of stare at in wonder, but aren't exactly suitable for playing house with - unless you're weird like that. Which is totally cool too. With Pharrell's personal toy collection coming to Toronto's Design Exchange for the This Is Not A Toy exhibit, some collectors may be hoping their hobby doesn't go too mainstream - but for newcomers to the scene looking to build their collections, here's a look at some of the top stores in Toronto to find designer toys and other collectibles.
A mecca for local and visiting vinyl collectors and fans, Magic Pony has been hopping around Queen West at various locations for the past decade. The shop is one of the only places to find Suckadelic Gay Empire figures like Licorice Leslie ($38.00). The boutique also specializes in delicate jewelry pieces, bags and homewares from labels like Cold Picnic, Toronto's WeKillYou and Julie Moon. You'll also find artwork from Toronto's Team Macho, and many other up-and-coming local and international designers.
Mindzai by Chris Tsang, runs out of Homebase, the graffiti supply shop run by local street art celeb, Jay Skam. Not only do they stock hard to find toys like skele-soldiers by Project Squadt, ($110) and blind boxes by Dudebox ($10) from the UK, they also specialize in Medicom Toy Japan's signature Bearbrick series, and are one of the only brick and mortar spaces where you'll be able to score the Robocop Bearbrick 400% (28 cm tall, $140), Gshock 30th anniversary 1000% (70 cm tall, $600).
The veteran comic book and toy shop that's been around since the 80s has a healthy stock of Asian vinyl but also specializes in comic book and gaming action figures with oddities like A 7" BooBerry Funko Blox mascots ($19.99), Mega Man Bass and Treble D-Arts figure ($49.99) or licensed Alien chopsticks ($12.99).
This Leslieville shop offers up shelf space to up-and-coming designers looking to road-test their newest vinyl casts. They also stock rarities and various exclusives including rare metallic versions of Superman, Aquaman, and The Flash ($20) from Funko Pop!'s DC Universe Heroes Collection, as well as Kid Robot x Futurama's Hedonist Bot ($65). Check out their gallery space for work from local talent from March to December.
Temple Of Toys
Taking up real estate in the front section of the Comic Book Lounge and Guerilla Printing, Temple of Toys is a vintage toy collector's wet dream. Partly run by artist Shane Kirshenblatt and wife Sari, this is the place for recovering your 80s childhood fantasies. Score rare, new-in-the-box, mint condition He-Man toys like Skeletor's morphing Modulok ($125, un-punched box even!), original Go-Bots play sets ($85 and up) , Thundercats play sets, The Real Ghost Busters action figures ($20 - $40), Star Wars, GI Joe, and other rarities from the 70s to the 90s.
What's your favourite Toronto shop to stock up on vinyl and designer toys?
Writing by Jesse Ship