I realize that simply posting the ads I'm running in Teddy and the Yeti might come across as tedious. To this I have two replies: first, it's my blog. Second, I really do enjoy placing ads in the book, if nothing else than because they each mean something to me on a personal level. The "convention edition" (so special it warrants quotation marks) of issue #3, out NEXT WEEK! contains two new ads: the earlier mentioned convention listing and the above, promoting a new toy store that impresses me probably more than it should.
Pop Culture Connection, located in Greensburg, PA - a suburb of Pittsburgh - got my friend Larry talking from the first time he stumbled upon it, and when I was visiting in February - the same day I was signing Teddy and the Yeti #2 at New Dimension Comics, actually - he took me to check out the shop. I didn't have very high expectations but even if I had, the shop would have exceeded them by a wide margin. I expected it to be a poorly lit garage with jumbles of old broken-in-half He-Man figures (you know, like most old toy stores), but Pop Culture is really nothing like that. I realize that I've devoted more time and money to collecting comics than is probably healthy, but even so I don't think of myself as having a necessarily addictive personality. That being said, I could go into debt in this store just buying things I don't really care about - it's that cool. Walls filled with toys in great condition, from the 1940s to the late '90s.
We're talking old staples like GI Joe and Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats, TMNT and various super heroes, but also more obscure items like Snailiens. Do you remember Snailiens? I always assumed that I was the only one - I got most of these generic figures (and their enemies, the Lunarticks...really) back when I was 14 or so when a department store in town was having a going out of business sale. They've since been shipped off to their new home at the dump, which is a shame, because apparently they're one of the harder lines of toys to find and as such command a high price (not that I'd sell them...it'd be too emotionally stressful).
The owner of the store, a young guy named Jeremy, is really knowledgeable when it comes to toys and collectables in general, and it shows in how he's got the place set up. It's amazing how much crap was made and sold to kids - and it's equally amazing how nostalgic I got when I saw it all. Larry goes there to fill in his already burgeoning Dukes of Hazzard collection, and I go there to become poor. Actually, I've contained myself pretty well, but that's due to the fact that I live about 650 miles from the store. Still, I'm sure to make it back to Pop Culture Connection one day soon, and then...look out. I've got my eye on the talking Alf doll to give as a gag Christmas gift.
I don't mean to be a walking billboard or anything - really I don't - but I was just THAT impressed by the store. I was even taken back by the stuff I have no interest in anymore - Smurfs and Pee Wee's Playhouse and the like. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, you need to check this place out.
Here's a picture of something I took home with me: