The Retro Toy Quest Museum officially came into existence in the fall of 2018 and started as a series of high-quality images posted on social media. The Facebook and Instagram pages became very popular and eventually led to the creation of the Retro Toy Quest Museum. The Retro Toy Quest concept was initially conceptualized to become a traditional physical museum, and eventually became a virtual online experience along with a captivating web series.
With an eye-catching visual experience, detailed background articles, and detailed videos, The Retro Toy Quest Museum offers a unique experience unlike any other. Our goal is to provide high-quality, entertaining content to nostalgic seekers looking to take a trip back in time to visit the glory days of their childhood or simply learn more about the golden age of toys. Vintage toy collectors can also experience value from our database and image library with estimated real-time values and a complete accessory identification catalog.
Founder and Lead Curator
The Retro Toy Quest Museum is a concept created by founder and lead curator Wayne Scheiner. Although the virtual online museum did not begin construction until 2021, the idea has been in development for over 40 years! In the early-1980s, an adolescent Wayne Scheiner conceived documenting his childhood toys into a personal catalog with dramatic action scenes similar to the now-classic toy catalogs of the beloved decade. Although many of his original photos and archives no longer exist, below are a few examples of some of the original images he took in the early to mid-80s, back when the concept was in its infancy.
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 educationbecame 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.
In 2005 Retro Toy Quest founder Wayne Scheiner met his then-future wife, who eventually introduced him to her father. His future father-in-law Robert Gannon had been in the toy business nearly all of his professional career and was nearing retirement. Robert Gannon began his career in 1958 as a toy buyer for some of the most popular retailers through the ’60s and early ’70s. He worked for national retail giants like Woolworths and Walmart as a toy purchasing executive, and in 1978, Robert Gannon opened his first toy store in Atlanta, Georgia. Eventually, “Toys Unlimited” grew to add nine total locations by the end of 1988.
During his 40 years of experience in the toy business, Robert would travel to the North American International Toy Fair in New York City once a year to view the hottest new releases. As a toy buyer, he built strong relationships with many sales executives, including Mattel, Hasbro, and Kenner. Robert was very instrumental in offering behind-the-scenes insight and details to his son-inlaw on how the toy business functioned during what now is considered the golden years of toys.
The First Retro Toy Quest Video
Below is the video that started it all! A concept that was encouraged by Retro Toy Quest’s founder Wayne Scheiner’s children, and would eventually turn into the Retro Toy Quest Museum.
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The Retro Toy Quest Museum is an informational catalog developed to document and archive vintage toys for educational and historical preservation purposes. The Retro Toy Quest Museum is not affiliated with or endorsed by any toy company or franchise entity exhibited in this archive. The photographs contained on this, and any other site under the retrotoyquest.com domain, are the property of retrototquest.com and are protected by United States and International copyright laws. All photographs found on this websites or any affiliated sites or social media accounts, cannot be reused without explicit permission of the Retro Toy Quest Museum.