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Updated Nov 27, 2012 - 8:56 am

Retro toys bring back memories, bring in cash

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Christmas is going old school this year: retro toys are hot this holiday season.

At Auntie Em’s Miniatures/Smilin’ Jack’s Pedal Cars in Glendale, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joes and Toy Story figures, like Buzz Lightyear, are selling well. Store owner Letitia Ballengee said toys from the 1950s and ’60s are selling too because people want to buy back their childhood.

“We sell mostly cars and trucks,” she said. “Tonka sells real good because every little boy had a Tonka.”

Ballengee’s place is wall-to-wall toys: Star Wars, Star Trek, Hot Wheels. She said most of her customers are men.

“We had a woman come in one time looking for a pedal car for her husband and give it to him for Christmas and tell him to shut up,” she said. “She was tired of him telling her about the milkman that ran over his pedal car.”

Ballengee said some customers have been looking for a certain toy for years. They walk in and there it is on her shelves. That’s a good feeling, she said.

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