Sitting at the end of an antiques district in southern Denver, Fifty-Two 80’s is a tightly-packed womb of nostalgia, selling vintage items from a collection that looks like a museum for anyone who grew up in the heyday of Saturday morning cartoons.
Covering a span of about 15 years during the 80’s and 90’s, the entire shop is a museum of pop culture remembered in toys, clothes and memorabilia. Visitors (of a certain age) to the shop will likely find many of their old toys, familiar big-haired rockers thrashing on one TV while a few minutes of Ghostbusters II plays on another, and maybe some fashions they would have rather forgotten. There are boxes and boxes of trading cards for Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, New Kids on the Block, probably a few other varieties of kids. There are Smurfs, vintage Pepsi cans, Pac-Man, Care Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Atari, Hulk Hogan, Beetlejuice, and just about every other loudly colored cultural icon and nostalgic fad cluttering every inch of the store.
The store owners speculate that they have around 4,500 items in their collection including pinball machines, action figures, stuffed toys, shot glasses, cardboard cutouts, pins, posters, puzzles, board games, cassette tapes, video game cartridges, Halloween masks, and who knows what else. The inventory, which was initially put together in just a year and a half, is essentially a time-machine that transports shoppers back to a time when catching the new cartoons on an early weekend morning was the best part of the week. Especially if they had a bowl of Jurassic Park cereal, which is also for sale at Fifty-Two 80’s.
Know Before You Go
S. Broadway & Jewel (between Real Vintage and Azucar Bakery)