Galaxy of Memories
In a Plastic Galaxy not so far away lies a replica of the Millennium Falcon, mini versions of Chewbacca, a life size R2D2 and business owner Seth Hastings.
Named after a Netflix documentary, the 40-year-old explained three and a half years ago he opened Plastic Galaxy Toy Store with his wife Michelle.“We specialize in the vintage items and we’re more into the collectibles,” he said. “We usually try to specialize in things you can’t find at Wal-Mart. Also it’s nostalgic, people can come here and find stuff from their childhood.”
Before opening the shop, Hastings worked in construction, as a music producer and played in various bands. Eventually he had the idea for the toy store. “My childhood kind of hit that sweet spot with Star Wars, He-Man and Transformers like a cascading effect starting with the movies which transitioned into buying the toys,” he said.
Now, with help from his wife Michelle, Hastings runs Plastic Galaxy. “A lot of people had this stuff growing up, so they remember playing with it and will have a story about it,” he said. “So really it’s just the items and the association with the customer and then the history behind the toys that I love.”
Similar to Hastings, many of the store’s customers have a deep appreciation for Star Wars, Transformers and similar franchises. Hastings feels it’s that passion which makes everyone excited to visit his shop. “Everybody that comes in here is always in a good mood and I think they enjoy it. It makes my job easier when they’re in a good mood” he said.
The community provides most of the toys and they range from newer items to pieces from the late 70s to early 80s. “The inventory changes so quickly because we buy stuff and sell it online. One day you’ll come in and the next day you’ll see something totally different and that’s cool because it keeps things fresh,” Hastings said.
This is also a challenge for Hastings because he must balance what he sells online and in the store in addition to his time. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Hastings hosts live sales on his Facebook page. He shows a select toy and the first person to comment gets to purchase it. It is similar to a live auction and people from all over the world participate.
“Nostalgic, fun and retro” are three words Hastings would use to describe his Plastic Galaxy which he wants to expand.“I hope to keep on growing like any business. You want to make sure you remain relevant and you’re doing all you can to stand out. You don’t want to get lost in the shuffle as just another store,” he said.
For more information on items and sales visit www.plasticgalaxy.net