Originally published on Newsday.com (July 17, 2011)
David Trustey has been collecting toys on and off for most of his life. But his favorite toy, a small Megatron Transformer action figure, which transforms into a small handgun, comes from his childhood.
“It’s my favorite piece,” said Trustey, 34, of Franklin Square. “I actually remember setting it up when I was eight years old.”
Trustey was among dozens of collectors Sunday at the inaugural Long Island Toy Show at the Plainview Holiday Inn. Hundreds of people attended the event — some even dressed as Stormtroopers and Ghostbusters.
Trustey started the event because he felt there was a need for a toy show on Long Island. He remembers as a kid there were toy shows all the time which eventually died out and left only the larger ones like ICONN and New York Comic Con.
“It’s just cool stuff,” said Henry Szczepanski, a collector from Floral Park. “I’m very happy locating hard to find pieces and selling hard to find pieces.”
Szczepanski was selling a rare “Revenge of the Jedi” piece of memorabilia for $500 that he got from a Kenner employee before the movie name was changed to “Return of the Jedi.”
For Trustey, collecting comes from recapturing memories from his childhood.
“It started when I wanted to get the toys I use to play with as a kid back,” Trustey said. “I’d go find them and then it just kept going.”
The show featured collectors from all over Long Island as well as the 501st Legion, a charity organization where members dress up in custom-made Stormtrooper and other Star Wars costumes. At the toy show, for a small donation to The Pinwheel Project, people could shoot a trooper with a Nerf gun.
“I’ve been a Star Wars fan my entire life,” said Chris Feehan, of Mineola, or as he is better know, trooper TK-6744. “I have been doing this for four years and I am part of the Empire City Garrison.”
Trustey, who was selling his own collectibles at the show, hopes the show will continue and grow to be as big as some of the others.
“I’m very happy that the Ghostbusters and the Star Wars characters came, the kids are loving that,” Trustey said. “It seems like Long Island really missed its toy shows. We got a lot of wonderful people that seem to be having a great day.”