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Middletown, Connecticut

Wild Bill's Nostalgia Store

A reliquary of pop culture marvels, including the world's largest (and most terrifying) Jack-in-the-Box. 

Wild Bill’s is apparently “not just a store, it’s a way of life.” It’s owned by a large bearded man (Bill) who has no relation to the famous sharpshooter but is becoming a folkloric legend in his own right.

A reliquary of pop culture marvels, most of which are available for purchase, Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Store contains everything from Soviet-era hockey jerseys and 50-year-old Playboy magazines to life-size Terminator statues.

Any outing to this mural-covered estate of curiosities takes at least an hour, due in part to the fact that calling Wild Bill’s a “store” sells the place incredibly short. The property also has a large haunted house, a wrought-iron mountain lion in the back, and is constructing something called a “pretzel dark ride.” 

But most importantly, Wild Bill’s Nostalgia is home to the world’s largest Jack-in-the-Box. Known for being that special toy to have scared the living crap out of children since the 14th century, someone at Wild Bill’s thought the best choice was clearly to make one as big as possible. Rest assured, one look at the thing’s sinister, grinning clown face popping out of its plaster silo is enough to send full-grown adults into the fetal position.

In light of this, we can do nothing less than offer our sincerest commendations to the masterminds at Wild Bill’s Nostalgia for having successfully scaled the terror of a toy to fit grownups, too.