One of the first things visible entering the door, like an avatar of retro nostalgia, is a box of Pogs. These small cardboard circles haven’t been popular for more than 15 years— yet Flashbacks Collectibles includes them, as well as carrying tubes, in its stock.
Alex Dollesin is a former American River College student, major undeclared, who has opened a “retro collectibles” store on Watt Avenue, just about six miles from campus. Inside is an eclectic mix of what might as well be ancient artifacts of collecting and geekery. The store, like a hard to find chest of treasures, contains old comics, stacks of trading cards in the original packs from the ‘70s and ‘80s, pin-up posters lining the top four feet of the walls, movies, video games, action figures—even baseball caps and old issues of magazines like Maxim and Rolling Stone. Dollesin says that he worked at the Beaver Bookstore, but that Flashbacks is his first store of his own.
The Pogs are actually pretty popular with local kids, Dollesin says. Parents are giving their children old Pogs, and they come to the store after school to buy more in the form of randomized packs for $0.50. “They’re all walking around with pink tubes,” he said gesturing to a rack in front of the register with tubes of various sizes and designs that hold stacks of the small cardboard circles, “because they’re the biggest ones I have.”
Flashbacks Collectibles is tucked inside the Watt and Antelope shopping center. So far, it doesn’t have an actual sign, but it does have paper signs taped up in the windows, including a large sign saying “Retro Collectibles.” Dollesin says he’s working on getting a proper sign. The store has a small selection of comics, all $1. The most current merchandise is “Magic: the Gathering” cards and sleeves, deck boxes and playing mats for the game.
Dollesin owns the store, and is helped in running it by his brother Donovan Dollesin, who currently attends ARC. He doesn’t worry about what collectibles are worth, preferring to charge a flat rate for specific kinds of items, letting the collectors worry about value.