MILTON – Gary Hinkle will never forget the first movie he saw in theaters.
“I was 5 years old, 1993,” he recalls. “My mom took me to see my first movie in the theaters, ‘Jurassic Park’… I was hooked. I was always a kid dinosaur.
As he stood in front of a classic “Jurassic Park” toy exhibit, Hinkle spoke about his passion for film and the toys of his childhood.
Hinkle partners with Levi Yost to open Hinkle’s Toy Barn. The company will showcase vintage toys, from 1980 to 2000, and will be located in the former District Magistrate’s Space at the corner of Arch and Front streets in Milton.
Hinkle and Yost hope to open the business in mid-November, with a grand opening slated for December 3.
Hinkle’s Toy Barn will feature vintage toys such as GI Joe, Transformers, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Trek, He-Man, Marvel, Power Rangers, and wrestling figures.
Since “Jurassic Park” was the first movie he saw in theaters as a child, Hinkle has long been fascinated by the series and its toys. His extensive personal collection of “Jurassic Park” toys will not be sold in stores.
He noted that these toys will be passed on to his children.
“Here’s a fun fact,” Hinkle shared. “(‘Jurassic Park’) is a two and a half hour movie. There are only 17 minutes of dinosaurs.
“Steven Spielberg is a very good storyteller.”
Hinkle’s Toy Barn will buy, sell or trade old toys.
Hinkle explained the process of buying a vintage toy to someone.
For example, he said that a transformer is worth more if it comes with all the cannons and missiles it was originally sold with. If a toy is in its original box and unopened, the value increases.
Generally, he said the GI Joe and Transformers figures were in good condition.
“Other than paint defects, you can’t play a Transformer or a GI Joe,” Hinkle said.
He is able to repair some toys, such as GI Joe action figures, to their original condition.
“Each toy can be salvaged, as long as parts and parts are still available,” Hinkle said.
As well as having vintage toys available for purchase, the store will also carry what Hinkle described as retro toys.
These, he said, are toys made today to look like those that were available for purchase in the ’80s and’ 90s.
Hinkle and Yost started selling vintage toys online about a year ago. They will continue to sell online after opening their storefront.
“There is a big market for vintage toys,” Hinkle said.
He noted that many of those who buy the items have elaborate displays showcasing the items installed in their homes.
In addition to having toys available for purchase, Hinkle’s Toy Barn will include an arcade room, where individuals can pay a fee to play for an entire day.
Hinkle noted that he and Yost are happy to have found a storefront available at an intersection from which their business can operate.
“Milton hasn’t had a toy store for 50 years,” Hinkle said.
While there are a few stores in the area that sell a limited number of vintage toys, Hinkle said the closest vintage store he knows of is in Hanover.