I speak, of course of the beloved, multicolored dinnerware line, produced right here in West Virginia, and obsessively collected by Mrs. PopCulteer, Mel Larch. That FiestaWare. That’s how I wound up in Canton, Ohio last summer right after the Marx Toy Show in Wheeling.
A new FiestaWare outlet store opened at the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, just North of Canton, and we decided to go there after the Marx show, since we were already fairly close to it.
We went there and Mel got some new pieces and while we were there, we checked out a few other fine shopping destinations. I was on the fence about going to one of them. I saw “Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom” on the Google Maps, and having been burned many times while looking at toy stores in new cities, I was prepared to be disappointed. In fact, I almost didn’t even go. We stopped on the way out of town because it was practically on the ramp to get back on I 77 South to come home.
Mel stayed in the car, and I went in expecting nothing more than plush, STEM toys and maybe some wooden trains or something.
I was not prepared for the sensory overload of a toy store, stocked with new stuff–not antiques, larger than any Toys R Us that I’d ever been in, and filled with almost any toy you can imagine. I was greeted by a five-foot motion-activated animatronic raptor, and it just got wilder from there.
Sir Troy is actually a longtime LEGO collector who had opened up a couple of shops in malls around the area, before deciding to go whole-hog and open a complete, full-service toy store in The Beldon Village shopping complex in Canton, right off of Insterstate 77. This location is a 30,000 square-foot behemoth of a toy store, reportedly the largest brick and mortar store devoted to new toys in the country, and it’s a worthy day trip for any toy collector, kid, or adult pretending to have a kid because they love toys so much.
The store is loaded with the newest Hot Wheels, Barbies, Marvel Action Figures, GI Joe, action figures of all kinds, plush animals, model kits, model railroads, boardgames, children’s books, Schleich figures, Playmobil, outdoor toys, educational toys, slot cars…I could go on, but the videos might give you a better idea. Oh, and they have what is likely the largest collection of LEGO sets for sale in the country. This location just opened in November, 2022, and it’s already become a bit of an underground legend among toy collectors. We had to go back last month with the PopCult cameras, arriving just before they decorated for the holidays. If something about the stores seems familiar, well, you’ll have to watch the videos to find out why.
Seriously, several of the “departments,” like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Breyer, Bruder, LEGO, Marvel Legends and more are bigger than entire other toy stores. There’s a candy and soda section (stocked by Grandpa Joe’s, from Pittsburgh) that’s probably twice the size of the average GameStop.
Above you see the “short” video, which runs nearly ten minutes. There was simply too much visual excitement to cram into a shorter clip. I should warn you that this is a very frenetic video and in places it looks like you’re watching The Blair Witch Project in fast motion. Below you’ll see the director’s cut, which is around twenty-five minutes, and includes a guided tour of the massive LEGO display that takes up one corner of the store (Thanks again, Jeff!).
Below that I have a photo essay, which is mostly made up of screen grabs from shots that I couldn’t fit into the videos. Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom is about a three-hour drive from Charleston, taking Insterstate 77 almost all the way there.