MARIETTA - Tony Workman, 28, of Parkersburg, has always been into classic toys from the time he was little.
"I have always loved toys," said Workman. "My mother tells me that when I was little I always had an action figure in my hand no matter where I was or what I was doing."
Workman grew up liking G.I. Joe's, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Classic Plastics Toys has its own personal booth at Rinky Dink Flea Markets with merchandise displayed where ever there is space for it. The store specializes in classic collectibles like Transformers and G.I. Joes.
A store sign helping customers find where Classic Plastic Toy Store in Rinky Dink Flea Market is shown. Classic Plastics is in close proximity to the snack bar at the indoor/outdoor market.
"I really wasn't ready to give up my love of toys when I hit adulthood and be away from my hobby," said the young entrepreneur.
"I originally planned on opening up a pet store, because I loved animals as well, but after seeing how horrible some people can be to animals, I decided that if people were going to destroy something it would be toys and not living creatures," said Workman.
Workman's dream became reality when he opened Classic Plastics Toy Store at Rinky Dink Flea Market, 404 Fort Harmar Drive.
"Rink's has been a great venue for me to get started," said the shop owner. "I easily see anywhere between 250-350 people per weekend."
The flea market operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Classic Plastics adopting those hours regardless of the circumstances.
"If I cannot be at the store, I will make arrangements for someone to be present so that the store is open," said Workman.
The store began as a small cluster of tables, where Workman sold his wares and has moved through various "booths" in the market, and one brief relocation, since its creation five years ago.
Through those years, Workman has accumulated an impressive assemblage of classic toys ranging from Transformers to G.I. Joe to He-Man to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The stock is always changing and expanding through Workman's journeying to trade shows or other flea markets whenever he gets the chance.
Classic Plastics experienced a shutdown for about a year, while Workman recovered from store burnout.
During that time, Workman worked at R.E.M. taking care of a disabled patient until the day when he decided that this time the store was going to open back up for good.
Once the store opened back up, Workman strived to make sure his customers got what they wanted.
Ebay, Amazon and other collectibles stores all combine to form a vast network through which Workman can wheel and deal to fullfill the requests of his customers.
When asked what the best part of owning the shop is Workman emphatically said "the toys."
"The toys are what make my job enjoyable," said Workman. "I love playing with the new toys I buy and seeing what cool, new things people bring to me."
Not being particularly tech savvy, the owner prefers people to bring in their potential sells so that he can see and examine them first hand.
Workman encourages anyone to come up and experience the store anytime they are out at Rinks.
In addition to maintaining the store, Workman maintains a private collection that he is proud of, though the assemblage has not always been in his hands.
The collector briefly gave up his entire 400-500 piece collection to pay for his wife's engagement and wedding rings; however, his collection would end up back in his hand shortly after the marriage at a significantly higher purchase price.
The collection has continued to grow to this day and Workman has dedicated an entire climate-controlled room in his house to his hobby.
Among his most prized possessions are the complete toy lines of Captain Power (22 toys) and Beetlejuice (18 toys).
"I have as much fun collecting the toys as I do playing with and selling them," said Workman. "The beauty of my store is that I don't have to ruin my mint figures at home to play with them, because I have opened duplicates at the store."