Growing up in the Baltimore / Washington metropolitan area, Wayne Scheiner, like many other young children in the 1980s, was captivated by the toys and cartoons of the late 70s and 80s. He would often create dioramas out of cardboard and other materials with elaborate displays of his action figures and toy lines. His mother was very supportive of his hobby, and one of his most cherished memories was going to Toys “R” Us with his mother. He recalls very clearly how his mother would consistently explain to him that toys from this time could be valuable collectibles one day and helped him understand how to take care of his childhood toys. She was also very persistent about passing the toys to his children one day as that seemed very important to her. She would never let him give away any of his toy collections and appeared to have the uncanny insight into which toys might have significant sought-after value in the future.
Wayne specifically recalled going to The Columbia Mall in Columbia, MD, one afternoon with his mother. To his surprise, she purchased the entire series of M.A.S.H. action figures in the mall toy store. His mother then explained that these were not to be opened or played with, and they would keep them in a safe place. Apparently, she claimed that she had read somewhere that the value of unopen action figures might be something to consider investing in. She would later purchase several Star Wars figures and encourage him not to open them as a future investment. As hard as that was, Wayne listened to his mother and never opened the small collection of action figures they agreed to keep in the original package. She seemed just as interested in caring for their humble action figure collection as Wayne did, especially Kenners Star Wars Return of the Jedi. One of the most stand-out moments of his mother and toy collecting was when she took him to Toys “R” Us one afternoon to finish off his Star Wars action figure collection, as she heard somewhere that the toy line was discounted on closeout, and about to be discontinued very soon. She told him that she believed Star Wars action figures may be in high demand one day. As usual, she was right.
In 1992, after high school graduation Wayne moved to Savannah, Georgia, to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. Waynes education became the foundation for graphic design, web development, and other creative skills and projects eventually leading to Retro Toy Quest. During this time, Wayne’s mother carefully packed up and stored all of Wayne’s childhood toys when his parents relocated to Columbus, Georgia, and shortly after Ponte Vedra, Florida.
Approximately 25 years later, Wayne’s young children expressed interest in getting a peek inside of the number of storage bins tucked away all those years. When he and his daughters began going through all of his childhood toys, a feeling of euphoria and joy overwhelmed him. Seeing the same pleasure on his children’s faces as he once experienced provided the inspiration he needed to pick up where he left off a few decades prior.
Sadly, Wayne’s mother passed away in February 2000; however, she left a long-standing impression on him and has become a significant inspiration for his love of toy collecting and the Retro Toy Quest Museum development. His work with the Retro Toy Quest Museum is therefore dedicated to her.