Thursday, February 21, 2013

Where it all started

As a child I used to ride my pushbike to the local newsagent in Bundoora and blow my pocket money on comics, plastic models, view master reels and Matchbox Superfast cars (never Hot Wheels). I dont remember how much a Matchbox car cost, but I do remember paying 45 cents for a Sgt Rock comic. 

The newsagency had a separate room at the back which was just for toys and plastic models, and it was next to the Tattslotto counter. In the 1980's an arsonist set fire to the lotteries area, and then claimed he had a lotto ticket with all six numbers - and could the Tattslotto people please give him all the money. Forensic science disproved this, and the fellow ended up in Pentridge. Sadly, my local toy shop was gone! 

The business did survive though, and has moved about 50 metres to a newer building in the now named Bundoora Square Shopping Centre. The old shop is still there, it was renovated and subdivided. It is now a 'dollar shop' run by new Australians from the orient and is called the 'Yes Good Buy'. 
I also used to shop at Tim the Toyman at Northland. No photo of the store seems to exist online, but the photo above (from the State Library of Victoria online archives) has been taken from around the same part of the shopping centre in the late 1960's. It was my favourite toy shop and I last recall shopping there in the 1980's. When I was a very small boy, my Mum received a phone call from the police. I had managed to make my way from Bundoora to Northland, and could she come and collect me! Even as a toddler I was into road trips. 

Tim the Toyman may not exist as a storefront, but the business survives, as an importer and distributor of toys. 

These days I visit the local Toyworld in Fyshwick. They go to an effort to stock 1/43 and 1/18 diecast cars and I appreciate that. I also buy online, at swap meets and from supermarkets and places like Big W and Target. I also ALWAYS check out the dollar shops for obscure low end diecast. These stores have great names like 'Silly Willys' and 'Yes Good Buys'.  

And a shout out to Brad from Cobra Toys - who I have bought from several times always with great service. He is also a great source for SIKU. This post began as a response to a thread on the Matchbox Collectors Forum that Brad runs.

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