A new toy and game shop called Awesome Town opened at 530 Street Street this week, carrying vintage toys that promise not to break the bank. Shop owner, Heather Book, started her business in a booth at the Southbound Flea Market in Lucasville, but recently took the next step in boosting her business and turning it into what she truly envisions.
“I started Awesome Town because there is no real outlet around here, other than eBay, that covers the things I’d like to buy at the prices I’d like to buy them,” Book said. “So, I took the ideas of stock and pricing and opened Awesome Town in that image.”
When it comes to stocking Awesome Town, Book enjoys dealing in collector’s merchandise. Kids get to walk through the doors of Awesome Town and see packaging and toys they have never seen before, while many adults get to experience the nostalgia of childhood as they can see and buy the toys they had as a kid. The shop is stocked with merchandise that is suitable for all ages, Book assures, with toys appropriate from newborns to collectors.
“I started collecting again not that long ago and the prices for this stuff are ridiculous, in my opinion,” Book explained. “The people in our local economy can’t always afford collector’s prices, and why shouldn’t kids be able to afford cool collector’s toys? I don’t normally put collector price on most things. My prices stay across the board on most of the merchandise; I want everyone to be able to afford it.”
Book says that pricing can be tricky, because eBay values and collector’s values are higher that what can be accepted in the local economy.
“With pricing, I take the general worldwide value into consideration and I get a median for that, but then I cut it down to a price where our local economy can afford.”
Local students will be offered discount cards on Book’s merchandise. These discounts aren’t only the Shawnee State discounts that so many local businesses carry, but also a discount to local k-12 students. Book says that if a student brings in a report card that reflects honor roll status, she will give them specific discount cards for that nine-week period.
Book pays attention to what is going on with cartoons and video games to know what is in and what will draw public interest. Many of the cartoons and games from her childhood are still relevant, which surprises Book, but she says there is still a lot for her to stay on top of.
“I want to see Awesome Town build. I really want to start the card tournaments that I had when I was a kid start again,” Book said. “It will cost $2 to enter the tournaments and winner will take all, which is something I will never change.”
On top of bringing card tournaments back, Book is also looking into featuring different releases, hosting meet and greets, having cosplay days, and bringing other attractions into her shop.
“I do get to watch cartoons, test out video games and game systems, and sorting through trading cards. I’ve got my dream job.”