If the biggest day of the year was the day the Sears Christmas catalog arrived, this list is for you.
Whether you like to buy, trade or sell, there’s a toy store for you in Las Vegas. Independent retailers run by fans and collectors have sprung up in place of the disappearing mega toy chains, giving added incentive to shop local on Small Business Saturday, November 26. Here’s where to find the best toys for everyone on your list.
TOYS FOR YOUR OFFICE GIFT EXCHANGE
KAPPA TOYS, Downtown Container Park, kappatoys.com
Toys that’ll have you saying, “I remember those!” Sea-Monkeys, switchblade combs, Slinkys—Kappa Toys is big on classic and novelty pieces that you haven’t played with in years. “We try to hit on every generation’s childhood at some level,” says owner Lizzy Newsome.
Rubik’s Speed Cube, $25.95. Challenge your friends. They can’t cheat by rearranging the stickers because the colors are now embedded in the plastic.
TOYS YOUR PARENTS NEVER BOUGHT YOU
VEGAS TOY SHACK, Neonopolis, facebook.com/lasvegastoyshack
The world’s most dangerous toys—no kidding. In addition to stocking its shelves with action figures, dolls, cars and play sets from every era (it has the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier!), Vegas Toy Shack carries a few relics that uppity adults once deemed unsafe for children. On that list is the 1951 Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab set, which comes with a Geiger counter and real uranium samples. It’s not for sale, but maybe they’ll let you look at it.
Jarts Lawn Darts set, $189–$289. Toss them in the air and see them spiral down toward their target, or your Uncle Greg.
TOYS TO KEEP YOUR PETS OFF THE FURNITURE
COLLECTOR’S PLAYGROUND, Galleria at Sunset, facebook.com/collectorsplayground
Glass cases full of action figures from the ’70s and ’80s, and a healthy stock of newer Marvel, DC, Star Wars, NECA and LEGO figures. Even more impressive are the custom and licensed statues and props (including a lifesize E.T.) near the front doors.
NECA Avengers: Age of Ultron ¼ scale Hulk, $300. 24 inches of fully articulated Hulk smash!
TOYS YOUR KIDS ARE ASKING FOR
THE TOY BOX, Downtown Summerlin, toyboxlasvegas.com
If it’s trending, it’s here. The Toy Box proves you don’t have to be vintage to be cool, and its shelves are overflowing with everything from the newest Pokémon products to LEGO sets and board games. If your child wants Shopkins or Five Nights at Freddy’s and you don’t know what that is, ask someone who works here.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty (styles and prices vary). We don’t want to know how they magnetize putty or make it glow in the dark—we just need some in our hands.
“LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH” TOYS
TORPEDO COMICS, 8775 S. Lindell Rd., torpedocomics.com
Toys you could sell to pay off your student loans. Superhero action figures crowd the racks, but behind the glass you can browse high-end Sideshow Collectibles and Gentle Giant statues, along with extremely hard-to-find collectibles, some of which date back more than a century. Torpedo owner (and System of a Down drummer) John Dolmayan is truly an obtainer of rare antiquities, because this stuff belongs in a museum.
Lifesize limited-edition bronze Yoda statue. One of 30 ever made. Not for sale.
ROGUE TOYS, 616 S. Las Vegas Blvd. South, roguetoys.com
The toys you’ve missed since your parents sold them at a garage sale. Rogue Toys’ three Valley locations carry all of the major toy franchises from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s—everything from Mego to Star Wars to Masters of the Universe. Look closer and you’ll also find action figures from short-lived and forgotten toy lines. Remember Sectaurs? Silverhawks? They’re all here, even the Legend of the Lone Ranger figures based on a movie you probably haven’t seen.
1980 The Empire Strikes Back Millennium Falcon, $220. Complete with battle alert sound!
HAPPY PANDA TOYS, The Arts Factory, happypandatoys.com
Collectibles you’ll want to give to friends for the holidays (or keep for yourself). Happy Panda specializes in limited-edition and licensed vinyl, plush and resin pieces created by in-demand artists such as Frank Kozik and Scott Tolleson. This is where you go to find new Kidrobot Dunny or Tokidoki blind box figures, and the walls are lined with more than 200 styles of Funko Pop! vinyls.
Kidrobot Yummy World Gingerbread Fred Limited Edition Holiday Plush, $30.We’re told these make great tree ornaments.