Proprietors Biagio and Candice Woodward of Cherry Bomb Toys have big plans for expanding their business and Victoria’s tourism industry. Not only do they want to create a proper toy museum and arcade, but also bring back some of the nostalgia that made this city great. That means honouring the operations from long ago like Tony’s Trick & Joke Shop and the Royal London Wax Museum.
“We’re basically tired of seeing Victoria businesses empty,” says Biagio, “One of the things we thought: how can we make things better? What can we do as a business to increase the number of people coming downtown to shop, if not to stop from going to the malls? How do we get people from all around the world to want to come here?”
The toy museum will take up the second floor of the shop. The idea is to put on display the toys that have proven themselves as markers of human history in why these products are not just something to raise children with. It’s not just about the vintage age of the product or how it looks. The items they plan to display will speak to a multitude of generations. But there’s more ideas in the works:
“What we want to do is to buy the building,” reveals Biagio, “We looked at the back and saw that we have the space to expand.”
Ideas include running an arcade filled with the classic games that anyone can play at 80’s prices. Twenty-five cents hardly buys anything these days and to plunk it in just to play Galaga or Star Wars — which they currently have in their shop — will no doubt bring back fond memories. This place will be talked about because, as both husband and wife see this project, locals can say that here’s a business who cares on bringing back everything that Victoria once had that was great. They are are doing their best to show the past can come back to the future.
Sure, there are other toy museums in select cities, but in what will distinguish the Cherry Bomb Museum from others are the long-term goals of also including an eatery.
There are fun activities that children can take part in and delicious doughnuts to eat if the last exposition was any indication. The goal is to have people come for the day to experience the fun instead of simply showing up for a few hours just to shop. With an arcade, museum and café all in one building, how can anyone leave?
“That’s the plan and that’s what we’re looking to do,” says Biagio. “And any help is welcome.”