People of Georgian: ‘Freaky Wizard’ takes love of toy collecting outside the box
August 07, 2020

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Two people stand inside a toy store and smile at the camera.

Freaky Wizard ‘like living in heaven’

Joem started buying stuff online and reselling it at the toy shows, especially LEGO. He kind of got sucked into it; he got probably more obsessed than me. He started buying, buying and buying.

He’s from the Philippines, so when he grew up he didn’t have toys. This is all new to him. It’s kind of exciting and cool. Now he’s the owner of a toy store and a coffee shop. It’s like living in heaven.

When we moved to Barrie, we got a good deal on a huge space for Freaky Wizard Emporium, so it’s a toy store plus a coffee shop and board game place where people can hang out and play.

It looks amazing inside. We always do these very elaborate Halloween parties at home, so when you go in it feels like you’re in Dracula’s castle or something. We thought, “Let’s put all those skills to work.”

I don’t really have an end goal in mind other than a happy life and hopefully make other people happy along the way. Look for where the river takes you, go that way, and usually things get better.

Jamie Doran, Georgian’s Executive Director of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He oversees the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and Research and Innovation department.

Co-owner of Freaky Wizard Emporium, a café-toy store in Barrie.

People of Georgian: Meet Jamie Doran

I was one of those 15-year-old boys who bought toys and never opened them, but I kept them for years and years and years.

I always had Star Wars toys and action figures, but there was this one toy that I always wanted and still want, even as an adult. It’s the Shogun Godzilla action figure. It’s big, shoots its fists, and breathes fire. If you get one of those in a box now it’s a minimum of $1,000. I haven’t got one yet but it’s on the list.

My huge collection of Star Wars stuff was in storage and eventually my mother said, “Get this out of the house,” and I had to deal with it. We lived in a small little condo with hardly any storage space, so the entire loft was full of Star Wars stuff.

I said to my partner Joem, “Why don’t we sign up for a toy show and start selling all this stuff off?” So that’s what we did. We started selling it all off and Joem was amazed by how much money we made.

Two people sit at a table and smile at the camera.

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