Juan Salazar, owner of Super Happy Incredible Toys, has a passion for vintage toys that started with his father. The Heights toy store owner hopes his store can inspire young and old Houstonians.
What inspires you to run Super Happy Incredible Toys?
“When I was a kid, a lot of my best memories of being a kid were hanging out with my Dad. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my Dad would go to the movies every weekend. My Dad became my first best friend. When we’d go to the movies, it would always be like if I was good, he would get me a toy. Nothing big or nothing fancy, just a random action figure. My mom and dad passed away about eight, nine years now. A lot of my great memories of being a child were those moments with my Dad. So, I collect [toys], to reconnect with my father. I’ve noticed a lot of people that come into the store have stories like that. That’s what the store is to me. It’s a haven and a place where people can either reconnect or create new connections with their kids now.”
What toys are customers excited to find in the store?
“The most popular thing is Transformers. We have a big five now that everyone likes and that’s vintage Star Wars, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’re getting a lot of other things that people are asking for now. Pokemon, anime, and vintage Barbie. I’ve been working real hard to develop a girls section.”
If you could create a Houston toy, what would it be?
“It would be an Astroworld theme park, where you could buy each individual ride and it runs. You could buy Grease Lightning, Texas Cyclone, and put it all together, and maybe there’s action figures you can put in there. It’s almost like a train set, but everything is individual. If you didn’t want to build the whole theme park, and you just wanted Grease Lightning running on your desk, you could do that.``
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