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

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

Photo provided by Dee Davis


Vintage toy shop comes to Utica

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 8, 2021

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

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

Photo provided by Dee Davis

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UTICA — A new vintage toy shop has made Utica its home recently with all sorts of toys reminiscent of childhoods in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

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

Sarge & Red’s Vintage Toys specializes in toys and games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Magic the Gathering, My Little Pony, Simpsons, Barbie, Transformers, wrestlers and Muscle Men. The owners report that they travel the world to find toys in basements, attics and collections.

Now that they have a brick-and-mortar shop, they also sell modern and new toys.

The ribbon-cutting for the store was held Nov. 29, just in time for Christmas. The business is located at 45157 Van Dyke Ave. in Utica, a building that the owners said had remained vacant since the 1990s before they rehabilitated it.

The back half of the building reportedly dates back to the early 1900s, while the front half has been standing since the 1960s. The site has been a residence, a dentist office, a day care and the novelty shop. At the novelty shop, one could buy fake puke, stink bombs, Halloween costumes and racy cards.

John Davis grew up in Utica, where he attended Flickinger Elementary School, Eppler Junior High School and Utica High School. After graduation, he joined the Marines and began a chapter of his life outside Washington, D.C. 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 on the store, visit www.facebook.com/sargeandreds.

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