When you think of a toy store, you probably envision row after row of board games or other colorful knick-knacks, such as battery-powered light-up guns, or plush dolls that giggle, sing or try their darndest to teach toddlers how to share. You might think of wonderstruck children, laughing gleefully like they do in Christmastime commercials, or maybe you think of epic toy-store-induced temper tantrums.
We bet you don’t think of an 80-year-old World War II vet, sitting cross-legged on the floor, meticulously preparing dozens of toy soldiers to square off in an imaginary battle.
But that’s exactly the kind of scenario likely to happen at Dallas Vintage Toys in Lakewood, says owner Shaun Neinast. Actually, it did happen.
“We get all kinds of stuff like that,” Neinast says.
Most of the toys in Dallas Vintage Toys are collectors’ items that range from the ’50s to today — everything from Star Trek and Star Wars to G.I. Joe, Marvel and Gremlins.
“I’ll buy pretty much anything a kid ever played with,” Neinast says.
Neinast was born and raised in Lakewood, and went to neighborhood schools, including graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School. He began collecting and trading vintage toys when he was 13. He later went to Northwood University in Cedar Hill and received two degrees, one in business management and one in business marketing.
After college, he worked for The Man for a while, but he still traded toys on the side. “I was making more money doing that,” he says, “so I knew what to do.”
Dallas Vintage Toys isn’t easy to find, seeing as it’s tucked away on the sixth floor of an old bank building at 6220 Gaston with its treasures hidden behind a securely locked door. So if you’d like to make a visit, call ahead for directions from Neinast or his team at 214.827.7060.
The best part is, the only kid you need to bring is your inner one.
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