A short time ago in a southwest town very close by…
Let me start with a tale you might not believe. If you look just below the Red River, far above the Rio Grande, and politely tickled by the Rio de los Brazos de Dios, you will see an oddity. Holocron Toy Store. That’s right, Holocron Toy Store located in dusty Fort Worth, Texas. Just a stone’s throw from the Union Pacific Davidson Yard Railroad Company and a hop, skip, and a jump from The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and its glorious IMAX Dome Theater Experience, which is where me and my family take in all the Star Wars films on the eves of their opening nights. That’s right, Holocron… Holocron Toy Store. Straight from StarWars.com, “Holocrons are ancient repositories of knowledge and wisdom that can only be accessed by those skilled in the Force. Jedi use them to record and preserve their teachings, creating a record for future generations seeking to understand the mysteries of the Force.” Maybe you see where I am going with this.
Holocron opened it's doors officially on Saturday, January 20th 2018. It’s located at 3613 West Vickery Blvd and it boasts 4,464 square feet of Nerf Herding, Moof Milking, Star Wars goodness. If you’re wondering what you can purchase at the store, the answer is everything. If you are wondering what’s the price range of the items, the answer is from $0.25 to $20,000. Look folks, there’s even ample parking and killer barbecue right across the street. Now let me tell you about my first experience with the store.
On January 17th 2018 my wife and I were driving down West Vickery Blvd. We were headed to the hospital district of Fort Worth, TX. We were 9 months pregnant. Full disclosure, I am a 43-year-old man with a pot belly and a robust salt and pepper beard. A proud, card carrying member of Generation X who was raised on the original Star Wars Trilogy. Let’s recall George Lucas in his own words from The Secret History of Star Wars, by M. Kaminski:
"There was a moment of creation, but it was like an idea, and the idea was I would like to make an action movie which is more like a Saturday matinee serial that I enjoyed as a kid, but imbue it with mythological psychological motifs, because we don’t have any of those today. It’s hard for people to realize – and I’m not supposed to say this, and I wasn’t supposed to say it then – but it’s a film for 12 year olds."
I am that 12-year-old. I always will be. As my wife and I were driving down West Vickery Blvd, literally a road in our neighborhood, I looked up and saw a huge vinyl sign that just said Holocron. I believe I said “what the f--- is that?” I explained that the word holocron is not confusing. It only means one thing. “What,” she asked. “Star Wars,” I replied. Her response was a tacit “great.” I asked her what she thought was in there and she said, “probably a bunch of middle aged men who look like you and talk like you.” Needless to say she was right. We went into the store and were blown away. It was a most impressive soft opening. They informed me that the grand opening was the following Saturday and I informed them that my 12 year old son and I would be there in costume. Now onto the article I was supposed to write and why I didn’t write it.
It’s now the last day of February, 2018. My son has been born. He is my fourth child, and yes… “May the fourth be with me.” I have been asked to write a piece on Holocron Toy Store, a sort of “what to do this weekend” piece. No problem. I am familiar with this kind of writing. I grab my pen and paper and I head to the location to ask some questions. It’s just five minutes from my office so I use that time wisely thinking of the mood of the piece, the questions I want to ask, and the points I want to convey. I even call my wife for a woman’s perspective on this kind of article. She said, “tell them what they sell and what the price range is.” I pulled up to the store, put my notepad under my arm, pen in my pocket, went back for my wallet, went back for my phone, locked the car for the third time, and then went in. Now here’s the piece I’m going to write.
Upon entering Holocron Toy Store I was immediately greeted by Rob Fisher, the store manager. I recognized him from my previous visits. He is always helpful when it comes to my son picking out his classic, unboxed action figures from their floor case. Occasionally my son will earn $20 and he loves buying classic Star Wars action figures. Upon my first visit to the store I purchased a large Darth Vader action figure collectors case from Empire Strikes Back. Yes, it was exactly like the one I had when I was 7 years old. It was a gift for my son. Since then he has been building a collection of classic figures. The classic floor case is his favorite part of the store. Inside the case are rows upon rows of the elder statesmen of Star Wars figures all in various stages of wear and tear and priced accordingly, from $5 to $20. I love watching my son manage his earned money. Lately he has a thing for droids. On one occasion he found a new in box General Grievous that was worth his whole caboodle of coins. Rob, and the rest of the staff take their time with each customer. It’s almost as if they realize they are offering an experience as well as selling a product. Ya think? I explained to Rob that I was there to write a small piece for an online publication of pop-culture goodness. He offered his availability for questions and asked me what I liked. I replied, “I love it all man. Still got that Black Series, Obi Wan Force Ghost for sale?” He proceeded to grab it for me. I then asked him if he has ever read The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski. He said no and I proceeded to explain to him that the audiobook is fantastic because the voice actor does all of the impressions in the book including Lucas himself, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill. Just to name a few. Fisher then initiated a conversation about The Rumph Star Wars Chewbacca Tankard, which is a double size, ceramic coffee mug made just for the caffeine habit of one George Lucas and thought to be the very first piece of Star Wars memorabilia, ever. We then discussed everything from the woman at K-Mart who invented the plastic string that holds two new shoes together to the $20,000 12 Back A, non-punched, non-tagged, Jawa action figure with the vinyl cape and the collector rating of 80. It has been said that Star Wars, A New Hope was the first film to become an event. Holocron is like that in a way. It’s not so much a place to shop, as it is a place to go. Like the film, it’s for the 12-year-old inside of us, the 12-year-old we actually are, and the 12-year-old we aspire to be.
Holocron is an unlikely hero in the most unlikely of locations. It is the only store of its kind in Tarrant County and only one of two Star Wars stores in North Texas. On any given day you will see families, adults and kids. You’ll see people, all shapes, colors, cultures and orientations. All sizes of wallets and purses. You’ll see various combinations of people in various stages of their day. In other words, heaven. You’ll enter the store because you want to, but you’ll leave because you have to.
It turns out that naming the store Holocron is fitting in that it preserves a knowledge and history of the Star Wars Universe that has brought so much joy to so many. It is such a breath of fresh air to walk around the store with my family and point out all the toys that mean so much to me. I can share my love for the original Millennium Falcon while my son points out something awesome from Star Wars Rebels. My daughters point out items that they have an interest in, anything from plush critters to Praetorian Guards. My wife picks out a Mr. Potato Head Stormtrooper for herself and a plush Porg for the baby. It is just so nice. For the record, my favorite item for sale is the lightsaber pencil. It comes in a few colors…
“Every time I walked away from something I wanted to forget, I told myself it was a cause that I believed in. A cause that was worth it. Without that, we’re lost.”
– Cassian Andor.
I believe in Holocron Toy Store. If Star Wars is your religion, than Holocron Toy Store is your temple.
3613 W. Vickery Blvd
Fort Worth, Texas 76107