Date Of Visit: December, 28, 2016
Location: 1003 Newfield St, Middletown, CT
Hours:Open everyday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Parking: There are about a dozen or so parking spots right in front of the store, and, in a pinch, parking is available on the front left hand side of the store as well as on the grounds.
Handicapped Friendly: The outside area is. The aisles in the store are a bit too narrow for wheelchairs unfortunately.
Dog Friendly: The outside area probably is
Highlights: Memorabilia, outdoor attractions, clothing, toys, games and other items from the past available for purchase
Web Site: Wild Bill’s Nostalgia
While the flag signifying the entrance to Wild Bill’s Nostalgia may seem plain, the store and grounds is anything but.
“Relive memories and take lots of photographs”, “Wild” Bill Zeigler told us as we entered his unique shop. So, I did.
Even as you walk in the front door, you are bombarded with unusual items and nostalgia.
The shop is so unique and , at times bizarre, that I stopped at the register expecting to have to pay an entrance fee. But, despite it’s museum like feel, there is no fee to enter Wild Bill’s. You’ll still end up leaving with your pockets a little lighter, though, after you browse the items inside.
One of the first things that caught my eye and sent me walking down memory lane immediately were the trading cards (love love love the trading cards for the old t.v. shows) and “cigarette candies” in the glass case by the register. And who could forget the pins we all used to wear our denim jackets? C’mon I wasn’t the only one. Of course, what is a grown man doing buying trading cards and candy cigarettes, or the real ones for that matter? But, that is the theme of this store; relive your youth and be a kid again for a little while.
“Wild” Bill Zeigler has run his business for 34 years. Over the years, the shop has changed somewhat but he has always specialized in the unusual.
Speaking of the unusual and hard to find, items from the dust bin of yesterday overflow the shelves and aisles at Wild Bill’s. Whether it is a Terminator statue, vintage shirts and posters, G.I. Joe and Barbie figures or a weird horseshoe tree, you’re sure to find something you will like. I still am kicking myself for not buying that Luke Skywalker poster.
Wild Bill’s even has items hanging from, and on the ceiling. Not sure if some of those posters on the ceiling are for sale.
Another favorite part of the store for me was the selection of media, including old school video games. And, there is a voliumnous collection of vinyl.
There is even an “adult section.” Yes, I did check it out. Strictly for research purposes. Old beer cans, a few Playboys and other jokey gifts line the shelves. I did spot these really cool old cameras and police detectors there.
While shopping there, I couldn’t resist buying this cool KISS lunchbox and a Grease poster.
If you think that is all there is to Wild Bill’s, then you’re sadly mistaken. Even before you enter the store, attractions are visible. So, the shopping experience is only the beginning of your Wild Bill experience.
A variety of exhibits, artistic displays and even a few abandoned haunted houses, which made them seem even creepier, occupy the grounds of Wild Bill’s. Who knew Michael Jordan was a zombie basketball player! Rumor has it the amusemtnpark rea may be open during the warmer seasons at some point.
This orange and yellow “Rube Goldberg” looking contraption is actually a mailbox.
These cars are, keeping with the nostalgia theme, are Yugos.
Those aren’t the only cars on the grounds of Wild Bill’s. Love the hippie mobile.
Cars aren’t the only vehicles on display at Wild Bill’s. These boats are also on display. If you do try to get close to these boats, as I did, be warned, it is very muddy in this section. At least I hope it was mud. I think they use a special chemical or add something to the soil to make sure the boats stand up and so I sort of sunk into the soil a bit and tracked muddy soil around the grounds.
There is also an assortment of artistic renderings and statues.
There are also some sheds or other enclosed huts on the grounds. The first one looks kind of cozy.
It’s hard to say which is more fun; the inside or outside of Wild Bill’s. But, whichever your preference, Wild Bill’s is sure to grab your attention and take you down memory lane!
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