Rare Ewok village (above Headquarters Command Center)
Nicole with some first-rate examples of collectible toys. The two Galaxy Rangers were never issued for sale in the United States.
Matt Leuck is one of the co-owners of Quake Collectibles in Evanston.
I explored Main Street today and serendipitously wandered into Quake Collectibles, a newly opened (August 1 was their first day!) store with an unusually fun inventory. The store is lined from floor to ceiling with toys, comics, cereal boxes — all in great condition, many of them never opened. The production dates of the inventory range from the 1970’s to more contemporary; prices of items range from $1.00 for comic books to several hundreds for the rarest finds.
The co-owner, Matt Leuck, feels like he is living his dream. He’s always been involved in collecting, selling, trading and learning about toys. For many years he sold on Ebay but became disenchanted with the process. He wanted a ‘bricks and mortar’ store where he could interact with his customers. His marketing instincts are spot on as the store was brimming with adults and children. Interestingly, it was mostly dads with the small ones, and both groups were equally excited with the toys on display.
Matt mingled with customers, answering questions and accepting congratulations. He knows his products well–almost every item in the store recalls a nostalgic memory. His personal sweet spot is product from the 80’s, but is knowledgeable about the toys from other decades, too.
Whether you need to shop for a kid or a kid at heart, are a serious collector or want to start a collection, you will have a great time at Quake Collectibles. Open Monday, Wednesday to Friday, 1 PM to 6 PM, Saturday 12 PM to 6 PM, Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM. Closed Tuesdays.
Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles was one of the first stores I explored in Evanston. I love this place–it is a treasure trove of memorabilia and interesting items. The charming and irrepressibly cheery owner, Bindy Bitterman, describes her store as one of the “last of the Mom and Pop antique stores” in the Evanston area.
Under Bitterman’s direction, Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles specializes in historical documents and ephemera about Chicago, with a special emphasis on both Chicago World’s Fairs (1893 and 1933), as well as vintage postcards, paper dolls, Valentines and blotters. (Ephemera is any object made to be useful for a brief period, such as tickets, invitations or pamphlets.) Well-regarded in her field, Bitterman is sought out by librarians, archivists and serious collectors who respect the breadth of her knowledge. Vintage posters and photographs, toys and other items pack this tiny store. Other goodies to pique your fancy include advertising and political memorabilia, costume jewelry, and historical documents. If you are looking for unusual or one-of-a-kind gifts, Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles is worth a visit.
Location: 705 Washington Street, Evanston 60202. A block away from the CTA Main Street (Purple) and Metra (UP/NL) Main Street stops.
Telephone: 847-869-9090. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Closed Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays.