“GIjOE Dreams” can range from the fanciful to the farcical; and one of the most commonly reported of these toy-related visions comes in the form of a “wishful thinker” scenario, wherein the collector imagines a blissful dream of discovering that his (or her) favorite toys have returned to store shelves and are once again available for sale. (Sigh… Keep dreaming, bud!) (Fantasy photo composite: Mark Otnes)
Is THIS Toy Heaven?— Blink and you might miss it. The plain-looking exterior of the Lanard Toy Store located in Sugar Creek, Missouri, belies the myriad toy treasures that await within, especially during its almost mythical, annual “Lanard Warehouse Sale.” (Photo: Google Earth) Click to enlarge.
Have you ever dreamt about GIjOEs or other toys? You know the kind of dreams we’re talking about; wherein you’re walking down the aisle of a toy store and are delighted to discover all of its shelves jammed tight, floor-to-ceiling, with thousands of NEW action figures, vehicles and related equipment sets? Well, it turns out that such a collector fantasy has finally become—a REALITY.
We’re referring to a real-life toy sale held once a year inside the nondescript brick building of the Lanard Toy Store, located at 106 North Sterling Avenue in Sugar Creek, Missouri. Sugar Creek is a sleepy (yet magical) suburb of Kansas City, and until Christmas Eve, between the hours of 9AM and 6PM on weekdays and 12PM to 4PM on Saturdays and Sundays, the town’s tiny toy store will be jammed to its rafters with enough items to make every toy collector’s favorite fantasy come true. To learn more about this amazing event, we contacted Rob Buzan (of the famous Joeaday website found HERE) and he kindly wired us this exclusive intel:
GIjOE expert, Rob Buzan, of joeaday.com. (Photo: Rob Buzan)
“I found out about this annual sale years ago (early 2000s) via various GI Joe message boards. Lanard had been producing the CORPS! line of action figures since 1986. Their original releases copied the 80s GI Joe line in construction style, marketing concept (individual characters with specialties and code names) and scaled vehicles. Over the years, their line evolved to include adventure, police and rescue themes and also introduced 12-inch figures (called the Ultra CORPS!) with cloth outfits.
When the small GI Joes switched from an o-ring design to a simpler swivel joint construction, Lanard followed suit. This style has continued as the standard, until ball jointed legs were introduced in 2015. Most every year, the overseas HQ sends a shipping container to the local warehouse. The stock usually includes items that are overstocked, old-stock, international, or even damaged stock that can’t be sold in stores. I’ve even found packaged samples and quality control samples over the years. The international variants are some of the most interesting items. Hope this helps you out. If your readers need any more info, let me know.” —Rob Buzan, joeaday. com
A short drive to make your toy dreams come true— Sugar Creek and the Lanard Toy Store are only a quick (18 minute) drive from the heart of Kansas City, MO. (Graphic: Google Maps)
Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Rob Buzan for his timely and informative reportage and for the wonderful “on the scene” video he also provided regarding this event (see below). Rob was one of the first to break the news regarding this exciting sale and has been reporting on it annually since 2010! He continues to provide the entire GIjOE collecting community with all the latest and greatest intel (especially fans of the smaller scale figures) and if you haven’t discovered Rob’s excellent website, we highly recommend you pay it (and him) a visit (HERE). For now… Enjoy Rob’s video: