MAYS LANDING — Justin and Penelope Daniels were sitting at home trying to make the best of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic caused their business, Farpoint Toys & Collectibles, to close.
A bright spot in recent weeks was that they were contacted out of the blue to ask whether they would be interested in participating in a new docuseries about vintage toy stores called “A Toy Store Near You.”
“The fact that we were even on their radar was super exciting,” said Justin Daniels, 45, who added the company behind the show also made the Netflix documentary series “The Toys That Made Us.”
Farpoint specializes in new and vintage toys, comic books and pop-culture collectibles.
Because the invitation to be a part of the docuseries came after Gov. Phil Murphy announced the closing of all nonessential retail businesses, the Danielses and Paul Brown of Spotlight Marketing Solutions of Egg Harbor Township shot footage for the show themselves on iPhones, Justin Daniels said.
“They said, ‘Listen, we want to do this now because we want to try to share any profit that we make with the toy stores. We want this to be self-shot. You can tell your story about your favorite toys or your favorite thing in your store,” said Justin Daniels, who added not everything in the store is for sale. “We would love to be known as ‘the toy museum by the shore.’”
Farpoint is one of only two New Jersey stores to be showcased — the other is Paul’s Toy Room in Parlin, Middlesex County — and the only one selected to be a part of the series’ first season.
The 30-minute episode should start streaming on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Vimeo in the next few weeks, Justin Daniels said.
The Danielses, who are married, do sell some of their merchandise at farpointtoys.com, but the docuseries should give viewers a feel for what it is like to be inside the store, where people can encounter something that brings back fond memories, whether it is superhero comics, Pokemon, Barbie or “Star Trek” memorabilia.
“We sell people memories,” said Penelope Daniels, 40, who added she and her husband call themselves “nostalgineers.”
Farpoint will celebrate its 10th anniversary July 7, 2010. It was located inside Level Up Entertainment in the Hamilton Mall for the first seven years. The Danielses opened their own store on Harding Highway on July 8, 2017.
George Scully, 51, of Buena, has been doing a blog about oddities and diversions called Chicken Scratch since 2005.
He says the Danielses, whom he has known for nine years, have been able to a build a community with the people who stop by the store regularly. Visiting Farpoint is not like shopping at Walmart, he said.
“It’s like a time capsule. It’s a fascinating thing to revisit. It’s a unique pull to simpler times,” Scully said.