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Best Place to Get New Old-School Toys 

Sparky's Trading Co.

Sparky's Trading Co. is serious about vintage. In addition to serving as a purveyor of throwback threads, the Haight store sells classic, re-created tin toys that hearken back to the pre-plastic, pre-World War II era of toy-making. Ironically, Sparky's pledge to the old-school manifests itself in a concentration on the futuristic, and its vast selection of tin toys -- one of the largest in the city -- is heavily focused on outer space and robotic themes from the '40s and '50s. In the storefront and in glass cases, red windup robots stand at attention. A row of 6-inch metal "space dogs," which create red sparks when wound up, sit in cardboard collectors packaging next to the robots. Some original tin toys, which are priced between $18 and $300, are also available at Sparky's, including a spinning Apollo flying saucer metal toy with rotating antennae.


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