Patrons get a blast from the past at Time Capsule Toys

story tease

By Samantha Phillips


Time Capsule Toys on North Market Street has been providing nostalgia and childhood flashbacks with its vintage toys for almost a year.

Walking into the store is a blast from the past for those growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, with hundreds of collectibles with familiar names such as Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe.

As an adult, collecting toys remains enjoyable because “its going back to a simpler time,” said Rick Fusselman, owner of Time Capsule Toys.

Fusselman said one of his fondest memories growing up in the mid-’80s was when his mother would take him to the mall once a week to buy a Masters of the Universe figure.

The store will be celebrating its one-year anniversary with a 15 percent off sale Nov. 20-24.

Many patrons are people who are buying and selling vintage toys from their youth. Plenty of curious kids and teenagers visit, too, probably attracted by the red life-size Power Ranger standing outside.

Fusselman noted there’s one young customer who knows everything about the Masters of the Universe toys, despite the fact the show aired in the 1980s.

The toys vary in prices, based on quality, rarity and age. Several factors, such as a toy being preserved in its original box, make the toy more valuable.

There are lots of affordable toys, but for avid toy collectors, there are collectibles that cost hundreds of dollars.

A tiny, first-generation Bumblebee figure from the Transformers series could cost $600, for example.

The business grew from what was a hobby for Fusselman 15 years ago when he started collecting horror toys. “It started taking over my house,” he said.

Knowing he would continue to buy more toys over the years, he began selling some of them at conventions to make space.

After selling at conventions and flea markets for awhile, Fusselman started selling toys online, until a store near the post office where he delivered the sold toys became vacant.

Regular customer David Dermer has collected Transformers figures all his life, and has several boxes that haven’t been opened for the almost two decades he’s owned them.

“It’s an investment,” he said.

He enjoys hunting for rare and vintage Transformers collectibles.

Asked if he would describe toy collecting as a hobby or an addiction, he replied, “Both.”

Fusselman collaborated with fellow toy vendors to start Toyhio, which features vintage and modern toys. The next show will be at the Metroplex Expo Center at 1620 Motor Inn Drive, Girard, on Feb. 9, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are 94 vendor tables set so far.