Retro: Toy City in California

toy city
The view inside a Toy City store
Original image found at Plaid Stallions

Every once in a while, I go back into my thoughts of how life was growing up. More often than anything, my thoughts go to my toys I had, owned and played with. For the most part, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I remember very fondly the store I spent most of my time and money at: Toy City.

The store I remember going to was located in Westminster, CA, in the south west corner of Brookhurst St. and Westminster Blvd. There was a set of stores and Toy City was at the very end of the row. I remember buying all sorts of toys there like Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels and later when video games and electronics were all the rage, Mattel Electronics handheld games and Electronic Battleship were what I planned on getting.

I bought one of my first Slip n’ Slides there, along with Frisbees and Silly Putty and Slinkys [tangled up, I ended up buying a few over the years at under a buck each] were memorable toys.

Newspaper Ad

toy city ad
An ad for Toy City – 39 cent Matchbox cars
Original image found at Wild Toys

I used to scour the ads that Toy City placed in the local newspaper. They had copies of the ads hanging in each check stand. You would almost find something you wanted on sale most weeks.

Going back to Matchbox cars, I remember how they came in their own boxes. I still have some today [once I find what box I have them in, I will do another retro post about Matchbox cars] that I’ve saved over the years. I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to hang onto, given how much that’s been misplaced over the years.

I cherish these memories of going to the toy store because it was something I really looked forward to. I loved toys and still collect and play with some today. And it was one of the happiest times I remember about growing up. I so wish that I had pictures of the Toy City store I used to visit. It wasn’t very common of kids to get their photos taken in some random store. We didn’t carry cameras around with us. I had a paper notebook that I used to write down the toys I wanted. We called the store on the phone from home to ask if they had a certain toy. So the photos I found here were hard to locate online, but even still, brought back my many memories of my many visits to Toy City.

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