Our inaugural “Cool Thing Of The Week” is an antique toy store I visited a few weeks ago in Canonsburg PA. Where The Toys Are has been a major destination for toy collectors visiting the Pittsburgh area for more than a decade, and it was a real treat to get to stop in for the first time in many years when I was up that way recently. The store is a goldmine, filled to bursting with cool vintage toys from the last one hundred years. Even somebody who doesn’t collect toys will go crazy in this place, spouting out “Oh, I used to have that!” every time they take a peek on another shelf.
Melanie, who doesn’t usually get excited by antiques, was letting out squeals of delight when she’d spot “Mystery Date” or some other long-lost toy from her childhood. The owner, Phil McEntee is a great guy who loves old toys and loves reuniting people with their beloved childhood treasures. Though my time was limited on this last visit, I was lucky enough to get to hang out long enough to help Phil appraise some vintage GI Joes. If you’re a GI Joe collector, and will be in the Pittsburgh area any time soon, you have to stop in and check out the huge cache of Joes that Phil just received. There are some real primo pieces there, including some of the finest Adventure Team-era guys I’ve ever seen.
Phil has way more than GI Joe in his store. There are display cases filled with Barbie, Star Wars, Gene Autry, Matchbox Cars, Johnny West, almost any toy you can recall. Just looking up at the very high shelves you can spot legendary board games, items like the Big Jim Rescue Rig, Easy Bake Ovens, and other cool things that will trigger a flood of memories.
The cavalcade of pop culture icons is astounding. You’ll find Howdy Doody puppets, Mickey Mouse watches, toys based on Popeye, Dick Tracy and Pogo, and a thousand television shows. No matter what your age, you’ll find something from your childhood here.
Where The Toys Areis located at 45 W. Pike Street in Canonsburg PA. If you can travel up there, check out their website. You can order what they have on the site, or call to see what new gems they’ve uncovered. If you decide to make a day trip up to Canonsburg, don’t forget to check out Sarris Candy and the statue of Perry Como!