Best Place to Relive Your Childhood Phoenix 2013 - Arizona Collectors Marketplace
Children of the '80s are guaranteed to dig the Arizona Collectors Marketplace. Ditto for anyone who grew up playing with Stretch Armstrong, the Six Million Dollar Man, or the original 12-inch G.I. Joe dolls. That's because toys, games, comic books, and other remnants of the era occupy practically every inch of this 7,000-square-foot bazaar of brightly colored plastic. Childhood memories of watching cartoons show like Thundercats and M.A.S.K. while playing with the respective action figures are certain to surface once you step inside.
More than 15 vendors operate tiny bodegas and closet-size stalls throughout the marketplace, some specifically focused on a particular fandom or franchise. To wit: Grey Rogers' shop G.I. Joe vs. Transformers contains stuff from Hasbro's two biggest product lines, while Game Over Games offers stacks of cartridges for classic consoles (ranging from the Atari 2600 and NES to the Nintendo 64) as well as vintage versions of the systems. Other shops have a bit of everything, like Phoenix Comics and Toys' impressive selection of bagged and boarded back issues, a surfeit of Marvel Universe figures, and even original stills from Star Trek: The Animated Series.
There's also a bit of a museum feel to the marketplace, as multiple floor-to-ceiling glass cases contain such relics as Dukes of Hazzard lunchboxes, Evel Knievel race cars, or Shogun Warriors imported from Japan. Everything's for sale, including the items on the extra tables setup for the twice-weekly swap meet on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings by other local dealers and geeks hawking their wares. Just don't exhaust all of your allowance, okay?