Toyland News: Fleet Farm Toyland Opens, Part 2

   Despite chilly temperatures in the low 30s, more than a hundred determined shoppers turned up at the 7am opening of the Mills Fleet Farm store in Stevens Point, Wisc. And yes, I was one of them.

   When I pulled into the lot at 6:45 munching on a bagel from the grocery store nearby, there were a dozen or so cars besides mine. Halfway through the bagel another couple of dozen vehicles arrived. Then semi trucks began arriving in the massive parking lot (the store is located near I-39) and I knew some serious shopping was about to take place. I polished off the bagel, scooped up my camera and notebook, and joined the line.

   Just as the sun crept toward the horizon, the store managers opened the doors. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the building, but I did get a couple of shots while waiting outside with the crowd. They are posted below.

   So what did I find? I snagged the latest wave of 30th Anniversary Star Wars figures from Hasbro, giggled just a little at discovering the concept Darth Vader figure, then made my way to the farm toys.

   With the exception of some Norscot Caterpillar vehicles, Ertl was the only manufacturer of die-cast farm toys on the shelves. Last year’s offering did include toys from Scale Models, but this year, John Deere toys from Ertl dominated the scene. I noticed an increase in 1:32-scale toys, but the selection of 1:64-scale toys was smaller than last year, and the majority of the toys were, of course, 1:16-scale.

   They restock regularly throughout this season, so regular trips are now on my agenda. I found a nice Farmall A in 1:16-scale, and a John Deere Barge Wagon to match the IH one that I use as a candy dish at toy shows.

   What did you find at Fleet Farm today?