Do you have any toys from your childhood like Barbie, My Little Pony, Rainbow Bright, Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Shortcake or Polly Pocket that you’re ready to part ways with? Consider spreading the joy they once brought you by showcasing them in a local museum. The Galaxy Connection — the fun, endearing, nostalgic museum for all things 80s, 90s, superheroes and Star Wars — is diversifying its collection, and asking for the community’s help in doing so.
“We started noticing more little girls coming on the tours, and we had ladies in their 40’s that said they grew up watching Princess Leia and Wonder Woman, so we kind of saw that they like this stuff too,” Galaxy Connection co-owner Jon Clowers said. “It’s not just the guys in their mom’s basement that like this stuff, this is really for everybody.”
Considering both unopened and opened toys, worth typically ranges from $10-$100. However, as a nonprofit the museum takes donations in return for a tax credit. Also, if you are a local who has boxfuls of your childhood stored away, the museum will have someone come to you upon request to sift through your collection and see if there is anything fitting for their collection. For any questions, call the museum at 501-276-4432.
About The Galaxy Connection:
The museum is owned by Hot Springs natives Jon and Bridgett Clowers, and was opened in 2013. It was previously located at 626 Central Ave., but has recently moved up the street to 536 Ouachita Ave.
“We wanted to go with kind of what we called the new old stock, because it was something different than what you could find locally, like if you went to Walmart you can’t find this stuff, or even if you went to a flea market you may not find this much stuff in one location,” Jon Clowers told The Post in regards to the start of The Galaxy Connection.
From the moment you step foot in the museum you’re engulfed in nostalgia. You enter through the gift shop, but the true magic begins when you go to the next room, which is the game room. From Atari to Nintendo 64, there are video and board games that start your transportation back in time. Entering this room is a perk if you’ve purchased a museum ticket, but anyone can enter just the room in return for a financial donation to the nonprofit that runs the museum, which funds community outreach cosplay.
“We wanted kids to see what it was like kind of before the iPhones, so this is definitely a throwback of how it all began,” Clowers said.
The actual museum tour starts in the “80’s room.”
“This room is kind of a throwback to the 80s, with a mix of some 90s stuff too, but this is kind of what it would look like in people’s homes back then; the paneling, walls, polaroid cameras, the old rugs and couches,” he said.
The experience is complete with 8-track tapes playing hits from the 80s, and toys from the past like Teddy Ruxpin, Pound Puppies and rare trading cards. Once you’re in the appropriate headspace, you enter the next part of the museum that’s filled with action figures from He-Man to G.I. Joe to Superman collectables, as well as fandom-related art. There’s also a back room full of Star Wars collectables. After this, you enter into a room full of superhero cosplay suits, which is where the tour ends.
If you’re ever at a loss on how to spend an afternoon in Hot Springs, try out Galaxy Connection to either experience, or re-experience, one of the most rockin’ decades that had arguably the best toys.