Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa Bay collector opens store for 'toy geeks'

Since selling his software business, Scott Dias has been living the dream setting up a toy store for big boys.

The 34-year-old collector is molding a business from his passion for vinyl models of cheesy Japanese monsters, Saturday cartoon characters and gadget films like Star Wars and Tron.

"This will be heaven for toy geeks," he said.

We're not talking a $3.99 Godzilla mass-molded in China. This is a shop for fans who know a zig from a cammo Zag. The store will brim with hand-painted, hand-molded, limited-edition toy artist creations of the likes of Mothra and Mummy Boy that go for $50 to $300. Some featured works are from Tampa designers Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters.

Center ring is Brian Flynn, a toy artist who grew up in Lutz but parlayed his Super7 magazine on the subject into an underground toy store in San Francisco. Flynn is slated for a 7 p.m. Saturday appearance at the opening with his wife, graphic designer Dora Drimalas.

Dias signed a deal with Flynn to put the second Super7 store at an obscure retail spot between the Old Northeast Tavern and a laundromat at 720 2nd St. N in St. Petersburg.

"It's close to our home and the rent's low," explained Dias, who figures toy nerds, many of whom are linked by Internet sites or his presence on toy auction sites, will beat a path there.

But in a concession to wife/co-owner Lauren Eichinger, Dias added mass appeal items like $9 Domo Kun plush and $19 Ugly Dolls to Flynn's themed T-shirts and wallpaper sporting all the dead bad guys from Star Wars.

Getting ready to open included seven trips to Japan and the San Diego Comic-Con convention.

Dias, who holds an art history degree from Florida State and studied at Harvard University and later the London School of Economics, two years ago sold his interest in Millennial Business Solutions, which maintains touch-screen register systems at many local restaurants.

Getting organized included seven trips to Japan to line up suppliers and the San Diego Comic-Con convention.

Dias thinks he’s got time for Super7 to get off the ground.

“If Millennial keeps growing, I’ll have enough residuals from the sale to last six years,” he said.

Tampa Bay collector opens store for 'toy geeks' 08/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 12:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]