Today I had reached my limit. I was tired of sitting at home weekend after weekend and decided it was time to put all of this Covid nonsense behind me a trek out. Though one place was the agenda, two quickly became the journey. However, due to the size of this post, I'm going to have to break them up into two separate articles.
Eternia Dreams in Taneytown is a store I'd learned about from George over at G.I. Jigsaw, and since then had always said I would eventually get there. However, that day kept getting further and further away from a reality, to the point it felt like it wasn't going to happen at all. Fortunately, that was rectified today.
At a glance, Eternia Dreams is a small little shop located in the heart of a tiny town, which if you blinked you'd miss it - Both the shop and town. From the outside, it looks like there couldn't possibly be much going on to the place.
This would equally be your impression if you opened the door and took a quick scan of the place. With just a peek, Eternia Dreams could seem to not have much going on for itself. However, if you were to bail, you'd not only miss out on the amazing things sitting right in the front showroom, but an entire back side to the shop which houses more action figures than I dare say Toys R' Us had on a good day in the late 90's.
Though Eternia Dreams staff will tell you that the store focuses mainly on Masters of the Universe, in the front area of the shop you'll find a whole lot of G.I. Joe, with only a few select pieces from the MOTU line. Despite this lack of He-Man related product from your first steps in, quality is definitely at its peak. I saw not one, but two Eternia playsets (one complete in the box and one loose), as well as, several other key playsets.
Though the Joe figures felt limited to someone like me, three were certainly a lot of vehicles to choose from. Mind you, I'm not saying the figure section was bad by any means. It's just difficult for me to find ones I would particularly want based on what I already have. That's certainly no fault of the stores.
I was interested in picking up the 1982 / 1983 G.I. Joe Carry Case which was sitting on top of this shelf, but was immediately turned off by the price tag the store adhered to the sticker artwork of the case. Mind you, it wasn't the price they were asking that made me turn my nose up, but the sticker itself. I imagined all the damage that would inevitably occur trying to remove it. Definitely not the smartest place to put a price tag. Someone in this particular field should know better.
I also wanted that vintage Joe base on the far left of the shelf above and the tactical battle platform on the right, but had to remind myself that I was distancing myself from "large" toys, due to limited space.
Here's a look at those Eternia Playsets I mentioned early. Beautiful.
I made note of the Pop section the store had. As someone who used to be inundated with thousands of these, it was stomach churning to see them all. It was like reliving a nightmare. So glad to be Funko Pop free.
Walking out of the Funko Pop Section gives you your first look at the back room. Perspective wise, the walls hide quite a bit of the goodness stored back there.
Numerous isles with shelf upon shelf are filled to the brim with vintage toys, all neatly organized by their respective series. You really have to see it to believe it, so take a look.
The vintage video game section was much smaller than I thought it would be, and rather disappointing at that. Still, this didn't stop me from looking through and finding a few NES games.
The figures which aren't on their original cards get bagged individually in Eternia Dreams tagged baggies. The problem here is that each one has a single hole punched in it for hanging on a peg. Meaning if you want the one in the back, you're taking the whole peg down to get to it. Bad design!
Their Star Wars section has quite a lot of figures in it. Unfortunately, the original vintage line is limited, and relatively incomplete (in terms of accessories).
I'm sorry to say it, but if I were ever to consider buying a 1995 and beyond Star Wars figure, I wouldn't pay more than a dollar for any of them.
I was intrigued by the Marvel / DC isle, and made it a point to look through these items a bit to see if there was anything here I wanted. There was not. I would have loved to have found a quick change Batman from the Batman Returns line, or anything from Kenner's The Dark Knight series. They had none of these.
For a place called Eternia Dreams, it's interesting that they store most of the He-Man related items in the back. You'd think these would be front and center as the store's showpieces. If I'm being honest, I also expected to be blown away by their selection of MOTU stuff. I wasn't. The vintage stuff was mostly incomplete and the remainder was carded "new" stuff, such as, Matty Collector product and the latest Retro line.
Sorry, but this is NOT He-Man.
On a whim, I almost bought, but ended up not, one of these two Sam and Twitch two packs. Back when I collected Spawn figures, these were my favorites. It's sad to see how severely prices have dropped for this line, in general.After rummaging around a bit, I told the person working there that I had seen on their website that they also sold comics and asked where these were. I was told that these unfortunately were not available right now, but would be soon as they were in the process of buying and installing shelving for them. Downer.
With that, I told them I was done, checked out, paid and hit the road.
Overall Eternia Dreams was okay. Definitely more 90's toy oriented than 80's. However, the selection was still pretty good. Probably my biggest disappointment with everything was that most of the toys in baggies were incomplete. That just doesn't do it for me as a toy collector. If I'm going to spend the money, I'm going to do it right and get a complete figure.
I also felt the staff really wasn't all that engaging. The person working there was friendly. Answered all my questions. However, they never interacted with me on their own volition. Everything was initiated by me. I suppose that's not a deal breaker. However, part of going to a vintage toy store is to interact with people who share the same hobby and passion as you. To talk about the toys, listen to the stories and in general feel welcome as not only a place to shop, but spend time. I didn't really get that welcoming feeling at Eternia Dreams. It felt like I was at a retail store.
To me, coming here was good for getting out of the house. However, on the same hand, I don't feel like I necessarily bought anything that I wanted or needed right away. I think the biggest take away for me was that, in all honesty, I'd rather just shop on ebay and save myself the time of not driving long distances to potentially find something I want. I'd rather just log in, find what I want at the price I'm willing to pay, and call it a day.
With that said, I'm not saying Eternia Dreams was a bad shop. Far from it. I'm sure a lot of collectors would find a lot of things here that they are interested in. Prices were fair and options were vast. Again, I just wish it was more of an interactive experience with the staff as opposed to just being left to wander through isles. Product is important, but first and foremost, a store like this has to have passion and heart. I didn't find any of that here.
But I did find this stuff...
Storm Shadow (V3) got on my radar thanks to G.I. Jo Classified's Arctic Mission Storm Shadow. Otherwise, I probably never would have added him to my want list.
General Flagg (V2), was actually not the version of this figure I wanted (I wanted V1), but I decided I would grab him while I saw him. He's a relatively annoying figure to find with his hat. This was the only complete version of the four figures I found at Eternia Dreams, all V2.
My NES collection has slowed down considerably since I initially started. There are several games I would still like to track down to complete my brother and I's childhood collection. This bundle contains three of those, Ice Hockey, Excitebike and Ghosts 'N Goblins.
Gunsmoke and Dragon Warrior II were picked up because they're super fun games to play - Even though I never owned them as a kid.
And with that, I wrap up my trip to Eternia Dreams.
Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.