Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little Toy Shoppe of Horrors

It may not surprise you to know that I dislike the kitschy spelling of "shoppe."

It's almost never used on a store you'd actually want to visit. And it's always a place that goes out of its way to look "olde" fashioned, usually with blackletter type on the sign, and maybe some forced weathering around the edges.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this lit sign on one of those claw arcade games. You know, the ones with the little stuffed animals inside a glass cube?

Lit sign reading Toy Shoppe, A Game of Skill in sans serif type
If ever there was a visual oxymoron, this is it. Rather than harkening back to an earlier century, this sign reaches as far as the Tron era for its aesthetic.

But it gets even better. Instead of furry stuffed animals, the machine is loaded with the oddest assortment of characters: Superman, Batman, Robin (there was even an Aquaman hiding out in there).

Square-featured Superman doll face pressed up against the glaass, surrounded by other dolls
Break the glass, Superman! You can lead the escape! Nope. Huh.

But most of all, the Toy Shoppe is full of Minnesota's own Goldie Gopher:

A single orange and white gingham Scooby Doo surrounded by a sea of Goldie Gopher dolls
Be afraid, Scooby Doo. Be very afraid.

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