It was somewhere in our fair city, and much time was spent by the younger version of Scoop perusing and accumulating Geek items that held my interest at the time. But I also know that is all I can recall of the old location. It’s address, how it looked, and what I got, have all been lost to the fog of memory. The current store is the one permanently etched very happily onto my body and soul. And it is the one virtually all Geeks know and love for all these years now. But as of next week, we will all have a new store to go to.
A new Silver Snail.
New memories will be forged at this location, with a new one floor layout and new awesome items to entice our Geeky senses with.
This is a foreground conclusion. Vivid recollections of the soon to be old Queen Street West place have already flooded my feelings of late. Scarily, like some Geek OCD mixed with a touch of Rain Man, I can name all sorts of toys and knick knacks that adorn my shelves thanks to The Snail.
One time somewhere in the late eighties, my brothers and I were prowling the upper floor looking at every toy available. Spying something exciting, I reached up and grabbed a small little box. It was a model kit for the Starship Yamato from the classic Japanese cartoon series StarBlazers. Everyone who knows the show is now mentally singing the theme song with much zest and gusto. As am I right now. As for the Yamato, the price has slipped my mind, but I was definitely short of funds by a small bit. My begging for money from my older brother Dave was pronounced and undignified, but I didn’t care. He loaned the money, with some terms attached, which to my eternal gratitude secured the Yamato. My younger brother was annoyed because that meant he could not get a G.I. Joe figure for himself, but I made it up to him somehow. I think.
At a Christmastime years before that event, my presence was now on the first floor carefully examining the DC Comics SuperPowers toys arranged on a spinner rack. Had it. Had it. Had it. Thought it was ugly. Stop. Gasp. They had a Shazam Captain Marvel figure. Heart racing like crazy and as usual short of much needed funds (I was young, what did you expect?) a clever plan was formed. Promptly hiding Shazam at the back of a bottom peg and completing a million prayers that he would remain hidden, I departed. Once home my father was informed of his role in my scheme that he was just finding out about now. Ocean’s 11 had nothing on this. My dad when he went downtown in the next few days, would go to The Snail, locate the spinner, find the right peg, and rescue Shazam from being bought by an inferior Geek. He was non-commital to my genius. Time passes. Christmas morning arrives and amidst the festivities a gift to me is opened. And it is Shazam! It had worked. I was amazing.
Traveling forward in the wayback machine, we now end up plunked down only two years ago. My wonderful Googliebear and I had entered the Snail while on the way to some event or other downtown (I will never admit it was the Grease Sing-A-Long in the movie theatre, so don’t ask me to). A current issue of a Mega-Crossover-That-Will-Change-Everything type of comic had eluded my grasp, and we promptly found it on the stands. Once in line-up, we realized this was the already polybagged rare variant cover with the necessary mark-up because of the demand. The Snail was the only place that had this particular issue, and variant or not, my completist OCD required this acquisition. But my Googliebear was right beside me, and would she allow my geeky extravagance? Thankfully, and showing her immense understanding, love, devotion, and wish for me to stop groveling and get off the floor, she agreed. And now that wonderful issue sits in the To Be Read pile located in my mancave for the past two years or so. Just don’t tell her, okay?
So many more memories bounce around about this location. The amazing John Romita Sr. doing a signing which coincided with my younger brother’s birthday (he liked the Droids comic). The Mike Zeck signing where someone wanted him to sign something he had nothing to do with. Being one of ten people meeting Grant Morrison at his event, long before he became famous. On the homefront, the times when excitement flourished because a Silver Snail Newsletter had arrived by owl, er, mail.
All memories getting ready for new ones to join them. The new improved Silver Snail will be all on the second floor at a storefront located on Yonge Street. I shall miss the old place and the adventures its walls bespoke of, but now we have new adventures awaiting. I just got to find a new place to hide Shazam!
P.S. The Silver Snail will be located at 329 Yonge Street as of August 18th, 2012. The phone number will remain the same, at 416-593-0889. Come on by and get your Geek on.
P.P.S. To view my Photo Essay of the old Queen Street West location, click here.