’90s-themed Time Blaster Toys store opens in Westland
Step through the door of Time Blaster Toys and visitors will instantly find themselves in another era.
A time when VHS tapes were the only way to watch movies at home. A time when the Internet was still just a dial-up connection. A time when the Super Soakers reigned supreme.
The boutique, located at 38403 Joy in Westland, opened earlier this summer and specializes in toys from decades ago. The little store is full of toys and other pop culture icons from the ’80s and’ 90s.
Imagined by Livonia residents Keith and Melanie Libra, Time Blaster Toys became the next logical step for the couple when their house filled with toys from their online retail business.
After filling their basement and other parts of their home, the couple decided it was time to open a retail store.
“We’ve been selling on eBay for seven or eight years now, only selling toys, accumulating more and more stuff,” Keith Libra said. “It’s just stuff that I’ve loved and collected since I was seven.”
Inside are toys that many millennials will recognize: Along with brands like World Wrestling Entertainment, Polly Pocket, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars, the store also hopes to serve as a gathering place. The back of the store contains a row of classic arcade games such as Rampage and NBA Jam that visitors are encouraged to play. For a more passive experience, relax in front of the store to watch a VHS movie on a TV console.
Even the bathroom sports a ’90s theme – the floor is decorated with dozens of Pokémon cards, some dating from the original base set. And their phone screams nostalgia: the main line of the store is a transparent retro wall phone.
The atmosphere is designed to keep people coming back not only as customers, but also as remembered guests.
Following:Schools add vital information to school ID cards for middle and high school students
Following:Garden City Hospitals brings emergency care to Westland at new health center
Following:After a fire destroys her family’s home in Livonia, a sophomore finds solace in Stevenson’s team pom
“With the toy stores following the dodo bird path and not existing, we thought we would make a place where people could come and hang out and not necessarily here to buy things,” Keith Libra said. .
The couple took over the space in May and spent several months redeveloping the space at the Joy-Hix Shopping Plaza on the border with Livonia before opening at the end of July. Part of these additions is to encourage visitors to leave their mark and share their memories via special markers that can be used to write safely on the walls.
“Any black wall is open for signature,” said Melanie Libra. “We’re trying to capture everyone who’s been through here.”
With most of their inventory spanning decades, Libras rely on buying items online to fill the store, as well as visitors stopping by with their own treasures to trade. Some remain in their original packaging, others are repackaged before being put on the shelves.
“One of the biggest advantages of the store is that we buy, sell and trade,” he said. “It’s cool.”
The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. More information, including an online list of many toys for sale, can be found at timeblastertoys.com.