This is what I saw that day, the light of hope and the shop. I took this photo almost immediately.
I went forward to take a closer look at the shop to confirm that it is the shop that I will bring some "souvenirs" back.
The display is filled up with toys of different era from 1950s to maybe 1980s. Most of the toys looked they come from the 1960s to the 1970s.
I approached the owner and asked if I can looked at his Polfi which are displayed in the glass cabinate. The friendly old gentleman took the small box of Polfi with 7 cars in it and showed them to me. I delightfully tell the owner I am a toy car collector and we started chatting about toy cars. While we talked, he brought out more cars to show me. The box above contains Norev, Majorette, Tomica, Siku etc. I am quite excited when I saw the Tomica, there are just 4 or 5 of them in loose and play worn condition. Seems like I will have to make a pass on these Tomica and the shop owner told me that Tomica are very rare in Greece.
There are toy cars all around the shop. This case featured Lesney and Matchbox Superfast, boxed and loose. He showed me another box filled with Matchbox and Corgi. I was amazed that he has toys almost everywhere in the shop and the shop is not a small one like most antique shops I have seen. It looked like he took up 2 units as compared to other shops in his area. He told me that he had 7000 pieces of toys and some are at home. I was like "What!??".
I couldn't resist the charm of this toy and eventually bought it after some thought. It's my first vintage tin toy. This Datsun is battery operated but I couldn't bother to test if it still works. I will not play with it anyway and I don't really expect something from the 60s (or early 70s) to work. This is a Solpa made in Greece and a replica of Bandai which I understand. Datsun 1000 should be the ancestor of today's Nissan Sunny. Great looking car!
As he understand I have great interest in toy cars, he asked me to follow him. I asked, "Where to?". He told me just follow and I did so. I realised that there is another unit beside the shop. It's used as a store room, secret room or special room whatever you call it. He started removing all barrier and cardboard blocking the entrance. He switched on the lights in the rooms and invited me in.
I like that Green Mercedes patrol car because I appreciate the design of old Mercedes. There are also many boxes of diecast cars shown on the top of the photos. See the "Gama" and "Majorette" labels? Many more which I have the luxury of inspecting boxes by boxes.
Very nice Amercian cars but couldn't afford to collect these in terms of space in my room and lack of vitamin M.
More! What cars are these? Apologies, I like old American cars but I just couldn't name any of them.
A pair of plastic RC Mini Cooper made in Greece.
Mix lot of Playart and Faie. Faie are imitation Tomica using the same casting but using rubber tyres. I used to have the purple Nissan Bluebird which I was a kid.
Mix lot of Mira and Guisval. Picked 5 cars from this lot.
I become friends with Mr. Konstantinos after visiting his shop thrice within 5 days. We have exchanged numbers and I gave him my "Go! Go! Tomica" name card. I have asked Mr. Konstantinos on his shop name but he told me there isn't one. I have titled my posting as "16A Areos Antique Toys" because the unit is 16A and it is located in Areos Street. This is my 3rd visit to Greece and walked past this street but I didn't notice this shop exist. I told him that I will tell more collectors about his shop through my blog so that more people will visit him. I have a good news and a bad one for you.
The good news is, Mr. Konstantinos said that whoever came to his shop will get some discount if you informed him that you know his shop through Go! Go! Tomica.
Here is the bad news which I hope it is not true. Mr. Konstantinos will close his shop by August this year as it is time for him to retire. I was sad when I heard that because this might be my first and last visit to his shop. He told me to call him if I visit Greece again in future. I do hope I have this opportunity again. Best wishes and take care, Mr. Konstantinos.