Toy Base 10 - A Toy Store For Kids Of All Ages
OKLAHOMA CITY —
What looks like a tiny toy store on 10th Street is anything but.
"As long as it's movie or toy related, we got it," said Steve Siemens, the owner.
Toy Base 10 is headquarters to thousands of new and used toys, and Mecca to toy collectors. There are toy-filled hallways and several rooms dedicated to specific cultures like Star Trek and G. I. Joe.
It's a passion Siemens realized 19 years ago.
"It's like being a bartender," he said. "A toy bartender you know."
Instead of drinks, Siemens is serving up childhood memories. Most of his customers are in their 30's and 40's, and many of them are collectors who refuse to be branded.
"You're out of it for so long because there's a stigma to toy collecting," said Chris Schwieger, a longtime customer. "Then you find a place like this with like-minded people - police officers, firefighters, ex-military - and you're like you know what it's not so bad anymore."
Robyn Moore is a first time customer.
"This place is really cool," she said. "It's very nostalgic and there's all kinds of stuff from when I was a kid."
Of course there are young customers, too. Four year old Deacon Beedon was completely overwhelmed while shopping for a birthday present. When asked about some of the cool toys on the shelves, he looked confused because there were so many to choose from.
But as you move from room to room, you begin to notice something is missing.
"There are no prices on anything except brand new stuff," Siemens said. "And I can't do anything about the brand new prices."
Instead Siemens wants his customers to research what the toy they want is worth on sites like eBay, then come in and make him an offer.
"I've always believed the customer needs to know what they're buying especially in collectibles," he said. "If you don't know, you don't need to buy it."
Beedon did his research and knew exactly what he was looking for.
"What I'm looking for is a Death Star that is not made out of Legos," he said while clutching a few Star Wars toys.
In the end, Beedon found some Cloud City cars more interesting than the Death Star. And when it was time to pay, Siemens treated the young boy just like his grown-up customers - with a lesson in haggling.
"Nobody teaches anybody to haggle anymore," Siemens said. "And I'm a firm believer in haggling because you can get discounts."