A vintage toy store is coming to Utica

Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys opened in Utica on Nov. 12 and sells toys and games from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, including items from the movie “Gremlins.”

Owners Dee and John Davis started buying and selling vintage toys online, but now that they have a physical store, they can also sell more modern toys.

Photo provided by Dee Davis

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UTICA – A new vintage toy store has recently taken up residence in Utica with all kinds of toys reminiscent of childhood in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Dee Davis and her husband, John Davis, opened Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys on Van Dyke in Utica on November 12. The toy store is located in the old novelty shop building just north of Hall Road. The building had been under construction since August 2020 due to the pandemic and surprise complications from the renovation.

Vintage Toys by Sarge & Red specializes in toys and games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe, He-Man, Magic the Gathering, My Little Pony, Simpsons, Barbie, Transformers, catchers and Muscle Men. Owners report that they travel the world to find toys in basements, attics and collections.

Now that they have a physical store, they also sell modern and new toys.

The store’s grand opening took place on November 29, just in time for Christmas. The company is located at 45157 Van Dyke Ave. in Utica, a building that the owners said had been vacant since the 1990s before rehabilitating it.

The back half of the building is believed to date back to the early 1900s, while the front half has been around since the 1960s. The site has been a residence, dentist’s office, daycare and novelty shop. At the novelty shop, you could buy fake vomit, stink bombs, Halloween costumes and racy cards.

John Davis grew up in Utica, where he attended Flickinger Elementary School, Eppler High School, and Utica High School. After graduating he joined the Marines and started a chapter of his life outside of Washington, D.C. There he met Dee and they started a family.

Their interest in selling vintage toys began as a way to raise money for adoption. They started with a few items on eBay in 2013. Sarge & Red’s started with a generous donation of Magic the Gathering cards from good friends. The owners said in a press release that the memories and nostalgia they derive from buying and selling vintage toys became something they wanted to share with others.

For more information about the store, visit www.facebook.com/sargeandreds.

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