A new alternative toy store has opened its doors in Burton, despite the economic crisis.

Fans of anime, manga, action figures and collectibles can now look forward to enjoying a wider range of choices at their fingertips after the opening of a new Midco Freak Treat, in the Octagon Shopping Centre, on Saturday (21st January).

It is the second branch of Midco Toys, an award-winning independent toy store and one of the town’s well-loved places.

It stands opposite its parent store, Midco Toymaster.

In the middle of an economic crisis, owner, Dave Middleton, is relieved the gamble on opening his new store is paying off.

Speaking to toy website Toy World, the owner, Dave Middleton, said, “I really didn’t know if anyone would care this morning at 7 am when I arrived at the Octagon centre. it was pitch black, snow on the ground, and an all-around dismal January day,

“After retailing toys for 21 years, this was a risk, something different. The social media beforehand was positive, but would people turn up?,” he added.

“Oh boy did people turn up, as soon as the shutter doors opened people flocked in and it didn’t give up all day. Expectations were blown out of the water. In my opinion, Burton has needed something like this for years. Appears a lot of people have been thinking the same thing.”

The outlet spans 900 square feet and is designed with an all-black scheme to appeal to older children, adults and anyone who loves all things alternative.

“…it’s something that people have wanted, it’s something different”

Emily green, shop assistant

The store focuses on collectibles, which are growing in popularity in the toy industry. This has been especially the case since the pandemic leading to a need for the company to constantly stock-up on products to meet demand.

Customers can enjoy a wide variety of funky collectibles, from mini anime dolls to Stranger Things merchandise. 

“It’s something that people have wanted, it’s something different,” said Emily Green, the shop assistant at Midco.

“We’ve had a lot of people walk by and have a look, and then they gasp because they’re like what is this? Then they’ll walk around for like 20 minutes and take it all in,

“It’s like a nice safe haven for everyone to chill out and have a look at common interests,” she added.

These carefully curated products range from horror film classics and marvel items to BTS merchandise, manga books, Pokémon games and loads of anime figurines.

The shelves are also filled with shirts dedicated to rock music, metal and anime, as well as loungebags and baseball caps.

The first thing you see when you walk in is a wide collection of themed t-shirts catered to different tastes.
The shelves are filled with tons of manga books.
A diverse range of unique caps.

“…with stores like these popping up nowadays, it’s been a lot easier to form a community around these common interests,”

Josh elsby, 22, customer

Known as a ‘toy shop with attitude’, the new store has been a major success since its opening, with eager customers flocking in and out every few minutes.

“When I was in college a few years ago, this shop wasn’t here and Toymaster was much smaller but now, with stores like these popping up nowadays, it’s been a lot easier to form a community around these common interests,” said Josh Elsby, 22, an anime fan who had visited the store for the first time.

“It’s good to have a proper collectible store because, before this one, they’ve all been part either part of a regular toy shop or a DVD shop that slowly turned to sell collectibles like HMV,” said James Lee, 26, who is another collectibles fan.

“I’ve got a lot of collectibles that I’ve been collecting since a young age. I used to watch Doctor Who on VHS and I’d get all the characters for that year,” James added.

“But more than anything, it’s made finding Valentine’s Day gift very easy since she loves a lot of this stuff,” he said.

BTS fans can look forward to getting their favourite merchandise at the store.

It’s been a busy week for the Midco team not only because of its successful opening but also because the store has once again been shortlisted for the Independent Toy retailer of the year at the Toy Industry Awards.

Last year, it won the Toy Industry Award for Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (multi-store) award and again back in 2013.

Here’s Emily Green, the shop assistant, bringing you a tour around the shop.