Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Puzzle Zoo

I completely forgot to mention this, but shortly before Zack was born Julie attended a baby shower in Santa Monica. While it's not too far from our house (a half hour drive or so), Jules was very pregnant and I didn't like the idea of her being out there alone. Since these shower affairs are usually chicks-only, it was a perfect opportunity to go to Puzzle Zoo, which we'd been drooling over since seeing the regular ads in AFNTR.

Well, in most ways it wasn't so great. It was smaller than I'd hoped, and a lot of space was dedicated to regular kid's toys that don't capture our nerdly interest. Any given acton fig category, say TMNT for example, had maybe two or three pegs on the racks -- where at Toy Vault they'd have 2 or 3 times that amount. There were no Justice League figs I hadn't had for a long time already. While the vintage toy prices were acceptable to high, the store is located in the Third Street Promenade, which has Quincy Market style price inflation going on. All the new Lego sets that you could find at any TRU were bumped up considerably.

BUT, I will say that they have a very good selection of Star Wars figures (pictured above). Probably about one-third to one-half of their total action figure display space was taken up by this long, tasty rack, satisfyingly organized into the various sub-eras/blister card colors. I didn't buy anything that day, but if I get a hankering for something StarWarzy, that would be a great place to look.

Just goes to show: we are really lucky to have Toy Vault at our disposal. I don't think I've ever encountered better.


JPX said...

Wow, you made it to the legendary Puzzle Zoo! Remember how we'd always see that ad and be insanely jealous that it was so far away? I'm disappointed to hear that it doesn't live up to expectations. On the other hand it makes me appreciate Toy Vault all the more. How in the world did we get so lucky to have Toy Vault in Rhode Island, in a dilapidated mall no less. Also, there's three of them! A chain of toy collectibles? Does this exist anyplace else?

Octopunk said...

It really boggles the mind. All the places we've seen come and go -- all over RI and MA, New York City, Florida, various spots in CA -- and the best toy spot is right near our home town, in three locations, and strangest of all, seems completely invincible (knock wood).

I don't think I really scoured SF properly, and I'm sure there's more to find in LA, but it's tough when you don't own a car.

JPX said...

The thing I love about Toy Vault, aside from the obvious, is that I never feel like I"m being gouged, like you do when you're in a place like Love Saves the Day.

I'm really digging the new look of J&J, dude, nice work! IT's so much more inviting and I laugh every time I see those old photos of us, how apropos.

JPX said...

What's also funny about the Puzzle Zoo post is that it's directly next to that old picture of you next to the same row of Star Wars figures that only cost $3+ at the time!