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Toys and collectibles come to Molalla area with new store opening Friday, Feb. 7

PMG PHOTO: SANDY STOREY - The new store, Sidekick2  Toys & Collectibles, is located at 217 N. Molalla Ave.

A nice confluence of events and a family passion is bringing something new to Molalla. Sidekick2 Toys & Collectibles will be open Friday, Feb. 7 at 217 N. Molalla Ave. and will offer all sorts of collectibles and toys – from Hot Wheels to Funko Pops to Star Wars merchandise to model kits. There will be plenty to keep the collector or curious interested at the new store.

At least that's the fervent hope of Laura Garifalakis, the owner of the store.

"We have a store in Puyallup, Washington, so this is our second location," she said. "We have so much inventory, and people were driving from Oregon up to our store. We thought we would see what a store down here might do."

As an extra, Garifalakis is also the property owner. Her son, Antonio, will run the day-to-day operations of the collectibles business. The 19-year-old will have the store open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As a college student, he will help shepherd the store's growth slowly.

PMG PHOTO: SANDY STOREY - The store will offer collectibles and toys from Hot Wheels and Funko Pops to Star Wars merchandise and model kits.

While Garifalakis has little interest in the toy and collectible world, her family has a rich history in it. Her brother and father had a story called Mike's Models 30 years ago, where they sold the same types of items. When her father passed away, they closed the store. But that wasn't the end of it.

"My brother and his best friend would travel to all these toy, antique and collectible shows in the western part of the country buying and selling stuff," she explained. "My brother's friend died, and he left my brother all his collectibles. The friend's nickname was 'Sidekick,' so the name of our stores is a way to honor his best friend. It turned into a profession from a hobby."

That's the expectation in Molalla, too. Open only a few days initially, the hope is that it grows into something her son can run full time as time moves ahead.

"My brother is a walking encyclopedia about what things are worth, how they could be worth more and all that," said Garifalakis. "My brother is going to teach my won the tricks of the trade. Hopefully, we can build it like we did in Puyallup. I'm not that interested in this stuff, but my brother and son are and I love it, just watching them be happy.

"We need to see if there's a market for a brick and mortar in Molalla or not," she added.

Sidekick2 Toys & Collectibles will officially open Friday, Feb. 7. The business does a lot of work online at The Molalla store phone is 503-759-5611.

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