Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center

As They Say: “Home of Strange Things”
Middletown

January 2, 2009

wild-bills.jpgI’m writing this quick post because if I don’t, someone will surely say, “Hey man, if you’re blogging about Connecticut’s more unique retail stores, you better do Wild Bill’s!” So here you are.

The first wacky thing about this store is that it was open on January 2nd this year – that’s when I visited with Damian. January 2, 2009 was a Friday and every single thing in the world was closed. Except for Wild Bill’s. Good ol’ Wild Bill.

Anyone who has ever driven down Route 3 (Newfield St) in Middletown has surely noticed the place. It’s the insane fun-house looking mess just past all the car dealerships. Heck, before you even go inside you can check out the world’s largest Jack-In-The-Box and the World’s largest bobble-head. Good ol’ Wild Bill.

wild-1.jpg[Aside: I happen to be several episodes into the incredibly awesome television series “Deadwood” right now… which features a decidedly different Wild Bill for the first few shows. Anyway…]

Wild Bill’s is essentially a giant garage sale for fanboys and ComiCon devotees. Oh sure, there’s a part of me that like that stuff, but it’s a very small part. The folks who run the store seem to be aging hippies who clearly love what they do and sell – and who clearly have no desire at all to cobble together a decent website. Awful.

For a rather large store containing everything from old comedy records to black light posters to hippie stuff for your VW van, it’s pretty well organized and clean. They seem to specialize in “Wacky Wobblers” which are very similar to bobbleheads. I’ve been in places like this before that are just a huge mess. I know there is a huge market for this stuff around the world, and it’s cool to see a store specializing in something that is almost exclusively web business now.

wild_bill_copy.jpg
Wild Bill himself (from their website)

I was intrigued by some of the original Star Wars stuff, but Damian wasn’t. Our time at Wild Bill’s was pretty fleeting, but there you have it. Readers of this blog may find it hard to believe, but I have absolutely no interest in collecting tangible things. When I was profiled a couple months ago for a magazine article, the journalist was perplexed by that fact.

In the end, we were there and it was wacky and I wish Wild Bill and the gang much success. I can hardly goof on the store or what they are trying to do – after all, one man’s CTMQ is another man’s Wild Bill’s.

C’est la vie.

Check out the outside of the store

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