A new store in the heart of the Garland District offers a whopping dose of nostalgia and brings out the kid in most customers.
From the big train trestle with Lionel cars perched on top to the glass display case filled with Matchbox cars, Over the Moon Relics prompts fun memories for shoppers.
Owners Renee and Terry Taylor opened the store in October.
The couple are friends with Josh Scott, owner of the nearby Time Bomb Collectibles.
“He told us about this spot coming open,” Renee Taylor said. “He said we’d fit right in here.”
The Taylors said they’ve been warmly welcomed by fellow business owners.
“The Garland District feels like a small community,” Renee Taylor said.
While they’ve never owned a store before, they have sponsored the Inland Northwest Toy Show for several years. The show is held twice a year at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, with the next event coming in May.
When it came to naming their new venture, the Taylors shied away from “vintage” or “antiques.”
“That felt too limiting,” Renee Taylor said. “Relics imply history – something that brings back memories of your childhood. This is for the kid in all of us.”
Fitting, because the Taylors’ first love is toys.
“Specifically Matchbox cars,” she said.
When her husband brought home his first purchase in the late 1980s, he had no idea his wife would share his passion.
“I played with lots of cars as a kid,” she said.
Terry Taylor quickly became an expert in the collectible cars.
“You can say a number, and he will know the story,” Renee Taylor said.
The Taylors said the boxes are worth more than cars, nowadays. In fact, Terry Taylor has two tips for those who’d like their toys to someday become collectibles.
“Take the batteries out, and keep the boxes,” he said.
While most of the Matchbox cars they sell range from $15 to $30, Terry Taylor said, “A car that cost 59 cents originally is now worth $100 to $200.”
But it wasn’t the cars that prompted the store opening – it was records and radios.
Terry Taylor’s brother owns Blue Cat Vintage in Spokane Valley. A customer asked him to buy an estate, but he declined and offered it to Terry.
“We ended up with 40,000 records,” Terry Taylor said. “It turns out the people weren’t collectors – they were hoarders.”
Then he heard longtime local radio aficionado Jerry Fay was selling his collection.
“We bought $10,000 worth of radios,” he said.
Indeed, everywhere you look in the 650-square-foot store, you’ll see a radio, though it might not be apparent at first glance. While the large wooden console radio from the 1930s is unmistakable, what would appear to be a small wine barrel and a bottle of booze are also working radios.
Once familiar brands like Philco and Emerson draw attention.
“A lot of people say, ‘Oh! Here’s one just like Grandma’s!’” Terry Taylor said.
Novelty radios featuring Smurfs, Barbie or the Pillsbury Doughboy prove popular, and the Taylors said customers are delighted to find they still work.
As for the records, thumbing through the albums is a blast from the past for Gen Xers.
“We’ve got lots of ’70s and ’80s records. Those are hot in Spokane now,” Renee Taylor said.
But the buyers may surprise some.
“There’s a big millennial market for records,” she said.
Currently, the pair is expanding their collection of toys and decor for bigger boys.
“We’re bringing in more beer signs and man-cave stuff,” said Terry Taylor, pointing to a lighted Lowenbrau sign.
They also recently acquired a large collection of M&M collectibles, including a shower radio.
“This is unique stuff,” Terry Taylor said. “Here in the era of dying brick and mortar, we’re doing OK.”
His wife runs the store, but she said it doesn’t feel like a job.
“I like coming to work,” she said. “It feels like home.”