Giant toy museum eyed for downtown Victoria

Investors sought for vintage arcade and giant toy museum at 1410 Broad St.

Long before you played Angry Birds on your smartphone or battled Xbox gamers online from your bedroom, you had to load your pockets with quarters and leave the musty comforts of your basement to play a video game.

Back in something we refer to as ‘the day’, gaming wasn’t a thing and the social world where we existed unfolded at a downtown arcade.

Downtown Victoria is a few attractions less these day with the B.C. Wax Museum and Undersea Gardens closing. But that’s something Candice and Biagio Woodward, owners of Cherry Bomb Toys, want to change.

The Woodwards want to build a vintage arcade and giant toy museum in their current location at 1410 Broad St.

The couple’s love of toys – which they have shared since their second date – inspired their vision to create a vintage arcade showcasing pinball and table top games. The attraction will include a themed-restaurant and a toy museum featuring displays, interactive exhibits and collections of action figures, trains and models.

“Arcades are making a huge resurgence,” said Biago Woodward. “Families are taking notice.”

The Woodwards opened their toy and collectibles store 10 years ago and also organize the Ultimate Toy and Hobby Fair, a bi-annual event for toy enthusiasts and comic collectors.

They tried the traditional methods to help fund their dream but are now turning to the new world of crowd-funding. They are asking for $5,750,000 on Indiegogo.

The goal amount is as giant as their future giant toy museum, but the couple has a reason. They want the museum to be by donation. “Lets keep the family fun affordable,” said Woodward.

The couple believes the attraction will bring more business to downtown, create jobs and preserve some game-playing nostalgia and history.

“It’s not just for Victoria, it’s for the world,” said Woodward.

To read more about the future attraction or to donate, go online to indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-build-a-vintage-arcade-and-toy-museum.