Vintage toy store lands in Utica

Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys opened in Utica on November 12 and sells toys and games from the 70s, 80s and 90s, including items from the movie “Gremlins”.

Owners Dee and John Davis started buying and selling vintage toys online, but now that they have a physical store, they can sell more modern toys as well.

Photo provided by Dee Davis

UTICA – A new vintage toy store recently made its home in Utica with all kinds of childhood toys from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Dee Davis and her husband, John Davis, opened Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys on Van Dyke in Utica on November 12. The toy store is located in the old novelty store building just north of Hall Road. The building had been under construction since August 2020 due to the pandemic and surprise complications during the renovation.

Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys specializes in toys and games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe, He-Man, Magic the Gathering, My Little Pony, Simpsons, Barbie, Transformers, Wrestlers, and Muscle Men. Homeowners report that they scour the world for toys in basements, attics, and collections.

Now that they have a physical store, they also sell modern and new toys.

The store opened on November 29, just in time for Christmas. The company is located at 45157 Van Dyke Ave. in Utica, a building that the owners said had been vacant since the 1990s before rehabilitating it.

The back half of the building is said to date from the early 1900s, while the front half has stood since the 1960s. The site has been a residence, dentist’s office, daycare, and novelty store. At the novelty store, you could buy fake vomit, stink bombs, Halloween costumes and daring cards.

John Davis grew up in Utica, where he attended Flickinger Elementary School, Eppler Junior High School, and Utica High School. After graduating he joined the Marines and started a chapter of his life outside of Washington, DC There he met Dee and they started a family.

Their interest in selling vintage toys began as a way to raise funds for adoption. They started with a few items on eBay in 2013. Sarge & Red’s started with a generous donation of Magic the Gathering cards from good friends. The owners said in a press release that the memories and nostalgia they get from buying and selling vintage toys became something they wanted to share with others.

For more information about the store, visit www.facebook.com/sargeandreds.