toy store and collectable

Craig Lawrence has been the proud owner of Dark Matter, Toys and Collectables for the past five years located here in St. Thomas on Ross Street. 

Even if you are only mildly interested in vintage toys and collectables you will quickly lose track of time once you enter this very unique location that is guaranteed to send you on a time warp to your childhood. Everything from blank to blank can be found here.

If I were to ask you what your favourite childhood memory involves there is a very strong possibility we will begin and end on all related topics of toys, action figures and Saturday morning cartoons. Without having mentioned a specific cartoon, toy, book or action figure I guarantee you are going through your favourites list in your mind as you read this.   

For myself personally as a gen x-er visiting Dark Matter, Toys and Collectables brings me back to when I was barely six years old and enjoyed endless hours of my childhood playing with toys that are now considered vintage. When it came to toys my imagination was very piqued with my Barbie collection, My Little Ponies and my favourite female action figure, Shera Princess of Power. 

Always having been an avid reader, I could often be found engrossed in a book being amused by Dr. Seuss as a young girl, an Archie comic as a young teen or reading the entire hardcover collection of the Nancy Drew series handed down from my older sister. 

We unfortunately never owned a Nintendo, but my best friend next door did which we definitely took advantage of at every opportunity. Admittedly I must confess I was way more excited when my 2 younger sisters and I came across our brother and sisters long packed away Atari game. It offered the simplest of games, but stimulated our competitive spirits for hours at a time. 

For those of you that are looking to make some side cash on your childhood collectables, this is definitely feasible. However the condition of the item can really determine the price point so below are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Barbie Dolls – can get what’s known as “rubber rot” if not stored correctly. Keep them, and any toys made of rubber or plastic, in a temperature-controlled setting. With older Barbies, such as those from the 1960s, you’ll want to remove their earrings before what’s known as “green ear” sets in, where the metal jewelry causes discoloration to the doll skin around the ears.

Metal Toys – can be prone to rust so keeping them dry is especially important.  It is sometimes hard to know how much moisture they’ve already been exposed to. As children we played with our toys in the mud and left them outside in the rain.

Diecast Cars – can be kept like new in the cases made for storing them.

To clean toys, don’t use chemical solvents, just gentle soap and water will usually do the trick.

There are also a few lessons I learned as a child regarding how to properly with and care for my valued toys.

Restrict Lite Bright to Dry Land-Control of all Lite Bright pegs are lost to the plumbing system when you bring them into bath time play. 

Doll Hair is Not Like Human Hair-Ensure your hair cutting skills are to notch otherwise what was supposed to be a long bob will quickly become a pixie cut. 

Play Dough Dries Up-When you don’t put the cover back on it most definitely will dry up when you become distracted by your Lego’s instead. All is not lost with this one as you can re-hydrate it with water. 

Looking back now I can clearly tell I was not in any way deprived of toys. From a child’s perspective however I still relentlessly requested the newest Barbie doll with each visit to the mall. Early Birthday gift? Early Christmas gift? 

I am grateful to say that I had a well rounded childhood. Thanks to my parents for sending me outside Barbie and I received plenty of fresh air and tree climbing adventures. Whether I had a stick, a diecast car, or was making mud pies I had a well stimulated imagination. 

It is unique store locations like Craig’s that help us revisit these memories every time we walk through the door. Almost every childhood memorabilia one could be searching for, from Star Wars to Ninja Turtles, to N64 can be found at Dark Matter, Toys and Collectables.

Dark Matter Toys Social Media Links

127 Ross St,

St Thomas, ON N5R 3X9