Remembering...Winner toy and hobby

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Robot.MacGyver, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Robot.MacGyver

    Robot.MacGyver Improvisational Engineer

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    Greetings.

    I've been a fan of the Transformers ever since I discovered them back in the early eighties.
    The toys more than anything, but the history and lore are big for me as well.
    So here's a bit about me, and the origin of my appreciation of the transformers.

    My Aunt {adopted mother} used to bring me everywhere with her, every chance she got.
    I loved all the great stuff we used to do, all the things I learned, and all the fun we used to have together.
    She's been an inspiration for me to share those kinds of things with my own family now.
    We'd go to all sorts of historical sites, museums, encampments, antique shops, flea markets and occasionally toy stores.
    Never a fan of "Big Brand Name" stores when it came to finding interesting things, my Aunt would always look for some little nook, where the people were friendly and the stuff was cool.
    And she found a winner.
    Which is what this story is about.
    This little place called "WINNER" toy and hobby.
    It was inside of a satellite mall, part of, but separated from the larger of the two.
    The larger having all those "Big Brand Name" stores.
    This was the spot for little mom and pop shops and all those places no one would ever hear about if they weren't local.
    The owner of WINNER "whose real name escapes me, because he would insist that we call him "Mr. Winner", was straight from Japan, and spoke very good English.
    Mr. Winner was an awesome guy and was always demonstrating some cool toy on the counter.
    Usually a big honkin' robot.
    Sometimes, Mr. Winner would give me some freebie, a capsule toy, stickers or something small.
    Did I mention he was awesome?
    He had all the cool stuff that couldn't be found anywhere else.
    Before Transformers were "The Transformers" Mr. Winner had a vast array of Kronoform, Diaclone, Microman, Dorvack, Diakron, Zoids, Starriors, Dairugger, and lots more.
    There were model kits, Stickers, Capsule toys, penny cars, action figures, Japanese and Chinese toys and oddities of every kind and all the high quality knock offs from back in the eighties.

    Well the first time I was ever brought there by my Aunt, she asked Mr. Winner to show us something neat for me.
    I think he had a crush on her. lol.
    He handed her "Jet Robo" from the Diaclone line.
    We all know who he wound up being.
    He was my first Transforming toy, ever.
    I purchased many more since that day.
    Winner was a fun place to be back then.

    Sadly, the mall underwent a renovation in 1989 and Winner lost it's lease.
    The entire mall was closed in 2008, partly demolished and stuck in corporate limbo.
    The larger MAUL still thrives, but the satellite, is, to this very day, still in ruins. Literally.
    There's TREES growing out of the pavement for goodness sake.

    I did GOOGLE search for any mention of the place but no one seems to remember WINNER.
    It's been lost in time.
    Not today though.
    Mr. Winner, Some of us still miss you.


    Thanks for reading.

    Please post some of your own memories.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  2. kaos

    kaos the original thirteen

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    sweet story...its the little things that people do that later on down the road have a significant impact on ones life...a simple fact that corporarte AMERICA seems to forget...its so rare nowadays to even get subpar customer service...i will say this about the japanese culture...they are some of the nicest most honorable people ive ever met..ive never meet one that i didnt like..thanks for sharing..:thumbs2: 
     
  3. Robot.MacGyver

    Robot.MacGyver Improvisational Engineer

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    If anyone else has a favorite spot from years long past please record it here. It doesn't have to be all about collectables. Anything you have great memories of, like a hangout spot, an arcade, etc....
    Great places sometimes become lost to time. Perhaps a story posted here might inspire someone to bring a little mom and pop shop, family joy back into the world again.
     
  4. Shockwave9227

    Shockwave9227 I'm actually 16.

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    KB Toys. :( 
     
  5. EmperorDinobot

    EmperorDinobot I claim your sun!

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    My toys are all memory capsules. I remember everything because of them. Every little detail, the day in which it was bought, etc. This is why I insist buying toys on the wild. Toys bought online do not offer that experience.


    And whenever I have to sell a toy (usually it's a transformer that died in the war) I hate it.

    I'm looking at nuking 1/4th of my collection this year unless I can find space to put in all them wonderful dinobots.
     
  6. BigRC83

    BigRC83 I'm singing in the rain

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    What city was this shop located at?
     
  7. Robot.MacGyver

    Robot.MacGyver Improvisational Engineer

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  8. Henners

    Henners Sonicron

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    I have a lot of these memories. In the 90's in Parkland, WA nearby Pacific Lutheran University there was an anime store opened called Anime Cafe. It was ran by a guy named Rick, and his friends. They never made a profit - his friends all worked for free as volunteers. It was mostly a video rental place but with lots of gifts, posters, figres. etc. It was quite a hole in the wall, but was well known. He was one of the founders of Bakacon, renamed Sakuracon (now it's the largest anime convention in the pacific northwest). It closed down in 2003/2004, if I recall correctly the owner was in the army reserves...got deployed, and his wife died while he was overseas. He couldn't run the shop without being reminded of her I was told. Some of his friends opened the Tacoma Cosplay Cafe in 2006 and I helped out with that for awhile.

    Another story like that is Sweet Kitty in Kent, WA. Sweet Kitty's been talked about on Penny-Arcade and are well known in the convention circuit. When they started it was a little shop in the "Great Wall Shopping Mall", it was honestly a long narrow corridor. They had a LOT of Pokemon stuff in the late 90's, and that was my goto spot to get Japanese cards. My first pack of Japanese cards - I landed a holographic mew! Beyond lucky.

    There was also a Japanese CD called "Pokemon Song Best Collection" which had a ton of exclusive cards...the CD was well over $100 and I still have it. Obviously it doesn't go for that much now Pokémon Song Best Collection - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
     
  9. MetalicGrunt

    MetalicGrunt Rust Proof Commando

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    Child World and King's Castle land are where I got all my G1 TFs back in theday.
     

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