Can’t get enough of “Star Wars? These are the toys you are looking for, and you don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to get them.
The newly minted Holocron Toy Store, which carries everything from lightsabers to landspeeders to limited-edition figurines, is right here in Fort Worth. It is the first retail outlet in Tarrant County to carry nothing but items related to the “Star Wars” franchise.
As you walk into Holocron, which is named for a holographic data storage device in the film series, you’ll see an entire section devoted to younger fans. Little Leias and budding Boba Fetts can use their hard-earned galactic credits to purchase “Star Wars”-themed Hot Wheels, Micro Machines, Legos and other items, including new, kid-friendly action figures that are clearly meant to be taken out of the package and played with.
Prior to opening Holocron, general manager Rob Fisher and his business partner (the owner of the store, who prefers to remain anonymous) scouted out other collectibles shops in Dallas-Fort Worth and found a common shortcoming: They weren’t kid-friendly.
“At one toy store, we watched a mom, a dad and their two sons walk in, and within five minutes, the kids were pulling on the mom’s arms while dad looked around at everything,” Fisher said. “There wasn’t anything for them to do, nothing to tie them into the situation. We wanted to bring something for everybody across the board, whether you’re a beginning collector or an experienced collector. Or you’re just someone who likes ‘Star Wars.’”
Fisher discovered “Star Wars” when he was just 6 years old. His adoptive parents took him and his siblings to see “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 when it was new in theaters. Shortly thereafter, Fisher watched “A New Hope” on VHS, and an obsession was born. As soon as he was old enough, he began walking to a nearby store to spend his allowance on “Star Wars” action figures, vehicles and playsets.
“I played with them until they fell apart, or got blown up with an M-80,” he said. “I took them out into the front yard, into the flower beds and stuff, and set up scenes from the films with the different figures.”
In addition to catering to the kiddies, Holocron serves the discriminating adult collector, as evidenced by rare items graded by the Action Figure Authority, and by beautifully framed original posters lining the walls. The priciest poster is for “Revenge of the Jedi,” which was the original title of “Return of the Jedi.” Prior to the title change, “Revenge of the Jedi” posters were printed, and today they are worth thousands of dollars each.
From its inception in 1977, “Star Wars” was a merchandising machine. You’ll find plenty of evidence of that at Holocron. Action figures are the most ubiquitous items on display, including rows and rows of the original Kenner figures from 1978 (loose and complete), but you’ll also find flying discs, plush toys, trading cards, blueprints, records, record totes, figure carrying cases, and housewares. There’s even outdated technology in the form of “Star Wars” on 8mm film, an early home video format.
Most impressive, perhaps, are the large vintage toys in the original boxes, such as the Millennium Falcon spaceship, Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer and the Hoth Ice Planet adventure set. These items, carefully displayed in glass cases, were popular at Christmastime decades ago but are now very hard to find in the original packaging.
“I can’t tell you how many people have come into the store and said, ‘Man, I had that as a kid, and I had that as a kid’” Fisher said. “I blew his head off with a firecracker. I can’t believe you guys have this stuff. They’re reliving that moment, that excitement that they felt at that time in their life, and we can bring it back for them.”
In 2012, Disney bought the “Star Wars” property from George Lucas for $4 billion. The company rebooted the mainline film franchise in 2015 with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which takes place 30 years after “Return of the Jedi.”
You’ll find plenty of “The Force Awakens” toys at Holocron, as well as items based on the most recent film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is still in theaters.
“The Last Jedi” has been met with mixed reviews. Critics, casual fans and kids seem to love it, but many longtime devotees and hardcore collectors disagree with some of the movie’s suspect plot points, such as Leia using The Force to fly through space and the once-mighty Luke reduced to literally milking alien creatures for sustenance.
Regardless, Fisher believes the folks at Disney know exactly what they are doing.
“With ‘The Last Jedi,’ if you looked around in the theater, it was mainly all the kids that were sitting there clapping and getting all excited while the older hardcore fans picked it apart,” he said. “Disney is trying to set the stage for what you and I experienced back in 1977, ’80 and ’83 and lead a whole new generation of ‘Star Wars’ fans and create that same kind of excitement in those youngsters. For us, that’s what this store is really about.”
Holocron Toy Store
3613 W. Vickery Blvd.
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily