If you’re in the market for something retro, you will find that this country is full of thrift stores. At such stores, you’ll find a variety of vintage items which may date back through several decades. Notwithstanding the lack of fashion and style, most of the items at thrift stores, such as clothing, serve more of a practical purpose. But you may also find some items are better appreciated as being nostalgic.
If it’s nostalgia you’re looking for, there are near as many antique shops as there are thrift shops. Antique shops are one of the places you go to if you want to find items which better fit your need for nostalgia. Whether it’s that queen anne chair, or a pewter serving set, you’ll most likely find what you want to decorate in a specific time period by visiting an antique store. BUT… not everybody wants “dusty old antiques” sitting around their house. They may want something that is retro, nostalgic, AND has a functional purpose.
This is where stores like Retro Addicts come in. They have a collection of noticeably nostalgic, vintage, and antique goods, but a majority of them have an active purpose. For example, If you like the warm sound and aesthetic quality of a vintage 1970’s woodgrain stereo system, you won’t readily find them at thrift shops and antique stores. Retro Addicts specializes in vintage electronic gear spanning many decades. What’s more, the owners of Retro Addicts BELIEVE in the products they sell. This is not a store which is simply capitalizing on a growing “retro” trend. They are knowledgeable and take pride in their merchandise. Of course, you may find a vintage stereo system or retro toy at a thrift store (if you’re lucky), but will it work as it should?
It will if you bought it at Retro Addicts! So let’s take a virtual tour…
The store is basically split into two sections. The part you walk into at the front door showcases everyday goods, bric-a-brac, toys, games, and collectables. Preferring electronic devices myself, I perused the other part of the store first, accessible through an inside doorway. My first impressions were quite positive. It was almost like walking into a Radio Shack, Lafayette Electronics, or even a Wall-to-Wall Sound and Video store as far as the way those stores showcased product back in the day. An assortment of stereo receivers, tuners, tape decks, and turntables were shelved along the back wall, neatly displayed, and not crammed tight. Unlike thrift stores or flea markets, you won’t find a tape deck or something, shoved onto a shelf sideways, scraping face down on the shelf surface, with a hair dryer or picture frame laying on top of it.
Getting a closer look, you can appreciate the pride put into these items. Every one of them looked showroom new and pristine! Every item that comes into stock is reconditioned as needed to be a fully functioning presentable specimen for your home use. Tape decks will have faulty or dried belts replaced. You won’t find a broken or worn needle on a turntable. Receivers will perform all of the functions they were designed to do, whether it’s tuning down the dial for a radio station or switching between many components that may be attached to it.
For those looking to build a “period style” stereo system, you will find a suitable quantity and variety of items to choose from. I wish I had some extra spending money the last time I visited there. While looking at the variety of stereo system components, I was assembling in my mind what kind of stereo system I would put together for my gameroom. Would I go for the combination woodgrain/satin metal design of the 70’s, or lean more toward the trendy black anodized (even plastic) look of the 80’s. Shall I get a cassette deck or turntable? What the heck. I would probably get both. Maybe even an 8-Track!! Why hold back… it’s all there in the store!
During my visit, I also saw a variety of other electronic goods. It’s not ALL stereo component systems. I saw boomboxes, CB radios, vintage video game systems, portable tape recorders, video mixers, answering machines, rotary telephones, and more! Nothing seems to be excluded. There is quite a variety of “other” electronic items, but the items will share the same characteristics, they will be clean and functional!
Some of you hardcore collectors might already have the vintage gear you want, but it may not be operating as well as it should. Retro Addicts also services electronic gear. Say, for example, you have a Sherwood stereo from the late 1960’s, or Onkyo from the 1980’s, that’s not working properly. You can bring it to the Retro Addicts for repair. They will diagnose the problem for a small fee and offer a repair quote. If you’re one of those DIY kind of people, you may be able to pick up some basic “wear and tear” parts to fix your own stuff. I was able to pick up a couple of drive belts for the cassette mechanism of a boombox I own.
So, let’s say you already own a quality home stereo system, or you just bought a nice component stereo system from Retro Addicts, and it’s complete with a turntable. You might need some records to play on it. That’s where the other half of the store comes in. Here’s where you’ll find a collection of available media, such as records and tapes. In a sense, basically anything (not just music) that might be part of a “collection” would be found in this other half.
Not only are there records and tapes, but there are collector cards, plates, pins, jewelry, posters, lights, toys, board games, etc. Think of it as a concentration of all the good stuff (as in NOT clothes) that you may find at a run-of-the-mill thrift store, but in better quantities and variety. All of them clean and presentable, and unless otherwise noted, are complete. In other words, board games and toys will not be missing important components.
Once again, the quality of the items in this store is respectable. It conjures up the idea that it is a museum of retro goodness. But it’s more than that. The “museum pieces” are for sale and ready to be displayed and used in your own home, office, or gameroom. If you’re in the market for some collectable pop culture piece, or you have a hankering to “buy back your childhood”, you should check out this place first before going to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. You can trust that if you find the item you were looking for, it will operate as you expect it to.
If you find yourself in the York, PA area, stop in and give them a visit! Here are the details:
2290A Industrial Hwy
York, PA 17402
Don’t forget to visit their Facebook page: Retro Addicts – Facebook Page