Obsession with collectible art toys has been a thing in the rest of the world forever. But a surge of interest among both collectors and a new generation of artists has resulted in a proliferation of unique, irreverent, witty figures in vinyl, resin, wood, plush and plastic. It's exciting, but if you're on a learning curve, where do you start? Glendale's 3-DRetro. The opposite of overwhelming, suited to insiders as well as first-timers, the hospitable, uber-knowledgeable staff is up for welcome tours or full nerd-outs. Owner Ben Goretsky is a hard-core collector whose website has supported the genre since 2003. In 2009 he started working directly with artists, producing exclusive editions with Craola, Brandi Milne, Gary Baseman and even Nick Cave. The inventory is expertly augmented with dozens of eccentric geniuses including Luke Chueh, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter and Tim Biskup. Plus a whole category just called Japanese. Ask Ben.
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