Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dimestore Flashback


Please bear with me, for this entry I'll be going a little, as they say in radio, "local". Growing up in 70's Ontario, most summer vacations were spent up north camping or in a rented cottage. Along the way, we'd usually stop in a small town which usually had a "Stedman's" department store. Stedman's was one of those stores that smelled like inflatable vinyl pool toys and had a toy department full of King Kong jigglers and rubber alligators. If you're in the US, liken it to a Ben Franklin. I used to be able to spend the $5 my grandmother gave me rather quickly.


Flash forward to now and the Wal-Mart culture has all but killed the smaller department store. On the way to a campground, my wife mentioned we'd forgotten our daughter's bathing suit, I sarcastically commented "We'll just get one at the Stedmans" and we laughed.


So it was a complete and total shock to turn a corner two hours into our drive and find this!

I can't imagine there are too many of these left. Needless to say we stopped, I half expected to find 70's toys in there but no such luck, we did pick up a few classic rack toy items still around.

The store was out of army men so we had to settle for Cowboys and Indians (which are still being made by Imperial )I also grabbed the George Hamilton Evel Knievel film for $3. It's nowhere near as cheeseas "Viva Knievel" but it's close.


There is no better an afternoon than watching Cowboys and Indians fight mutant bugs. There were many losses on both sides, next month it's Army
men Vs Dinosaurs....

4 comments:

Roger said...

I have a soft spot for those little bags full of unpainted multicolored plastic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rogerharkavy/sets/72157603645827927/

Dancin' Homer said...

I love the fact that not only did you buy the rack toys, but you opened them and played with them on the beach - but not until AFTER you had photographed them in-package!

You are a lovely, twisted individual. Keep rocking the toy ailse!

Lady Jaye said...

hehe, funny -- yesterday, my bf and I stopped at a Rossy store after going to Zellers (I was looking for a soap bar holder that wasn't too expensive/ugly... it was like searching for the holy grail, believe it or not). We wondered jokingly whether Rossy would have any leftover 80s toys and stuff, like old videogame puffy stickers (of the likes of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong). Alas, no such luck...

Love, love, love cheapo department stores. But, like you said, they're almost extinct now (here, we have Rossy and Hart, and that's about it. otherwise, it's either dollar stores like Dollarama or Wal-Mart and Zellers)...

Finn Gerbanger said...

That brings back some memories. In the 80's, my family used to vacation every summer at Lake Muskoka. Every single town in the area had a Stedman's. For whatever reason, the first thing my kid brother and I would do when we'd pull into downtown Bracebridge/Gravenhurst/Huntsville was run for the Stedman's. We treated that thing like it was the circus or something. I think it was just because my parents were far more likely to submit to our pleas of "Can we have this?" when we were on vacation than the rest of the year.

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