Naperville resident Mark Manzo started collecting toys as a little boy shortly after the first Star Wars movie hit the big screen in the 70s.
Decades later, he’s renewed his hobby and has turned it into a business, moonshot toys. He peruses the internet and trade shows for reproductions of toys and action figures from the 50s through 80s and then resells them on his website.
“A lot of the originals that were out there were first of all, very hard to find, weren’t in the greatest condition, sometimes the toys or the boxes were damaged, and they were very expensive,” said Manzo. “Then I noticed they were making these replicas that came in basically original packaging, still made of tin, had all the original painting on them, built to scale, but they were way more affordable.”
The idea for moonshot toys came to Manzo after his wife, Bea, gave him a tin zeppelin for Christmas, just like the one in the movie “A Christmas Story.”
“Never thought it’d grow into anything. I thought it was something different to give as a gift and I thought it was pretty cool myself so I found one and decided to give it to him,” said Bea.
That got Manzo interested in collecting toys again. He recently created a one-stop-shop for other collectors to buy everything from GI Joes, to classic Barbies, to old bobble heads.
“When you hold one of these in your hand, you’re basically living a moment that doesn’t exist anymore for most people.,” said Manzo. “It’ll bring you back to that moment in the toy store where maybe you picked up an action figure and you say, oh god wish I could get this to Christmas.”
“It’s really creative and cool that he started it and I really like the toys that he has,” said his 8-year-old son, Luca.
Among Mark’s favorite toys, which he’s not selling right now, are the tin robots, which even Luca, enjoys. As for the name of his new business, it just about says it all.
“We’re the ones going around scouring the toy shows and EBay and getting it all together in one nice, easy place, at accessible pricing and our customers can still shoot for the moon for whatever they’re looking to get. So that’s where moonshot comes from.”
For more information, visit www.moonshottoys.com.
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