July 28, 2021


The fine art of fashion

Uncle Aldo’s Attic in East Mesa Is a Classic Paradise


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In a nondescript strip shopping mall in east Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic advertises by itself with a significant banner that reads: Classic Data. Inside is a pop tradition wonderland giving not just a sizable volume of vinyl, but an spectacular variety of textbooks, board game titles, collectible figurines, and comic publications — inventory fueled by the proprietor’s passion for nostalgia.

“In California, there was a swap meet each weekend,” claims operator Desi Scarpone. “So, for 40 a long time, I’d go and decide on up information. It’s a illness. I have 50,000 information at property.”

Scarpone lived in Southern California, functioning in put up-manufacturing for DisneyToon Studio films these types of as Planes and Return to Neverland, until eventually he was laid off. He moved to Arizona 6 several years back.

“I didn’t have any revenue, and I did not want to function at Walmart,” he claims. “I’m a large collector, so I figured possibly persons would buy collectibles.”

At the time he noticed his vinyl product sales defeat out all other products, he opened his have file retailer. Uncle Aldo’s Attic, which has been all over for about a few a long time, is found at 6016 East McKellips Street.

Scarpone’s uncle, the eponymous Aldo, and his significant own collection of memorabilia was an inspiration.

“Something about this strange and magical junkyard of things he had usually trapped with me,” Scarpone says.

Record players and vintage stereo parts are located between the board games and comic books.Increase

Document players and vintage stereo areas are located between the board video games and comic guides.

Allison Cripe

Most of the records on the cabinets (which Scarpone designed by hand) are from Scarpone’s individual assortment. A compact percentage are from what shoppers have brought to him for consignment. The same goes for the vintage board online games. Scarpone once attended a swap meet up with in which he recognized a board match he’d owned as a kid, obtainable for only $1.

“From there, I couldn’t end shopping for the game titles I had as a kid,” he claimed.

Now, Scarpone is also an qualified on the matter. He wrote Board Games: CD, revealed in 1995, followed by Extra Board Video games, posted in 2000.

As a longtime seller of collectibles, he’s viewed traits come and go, and in 2020, he found a unexpected enhance in desire for enjoyment.

“This seems so horrible, but the pandemic has been actually great to me,” Scarpone says. “I’ve hardly ever finished better business.”

Analysis agrees. A examine from Felix Richter, data analyst at Statista, confirms that history album sales in the United States have grown for the 15th consecutive year primary up to 2020 vinyl LP unit gross sales hit 10 million in 2015 but in 2020, they grew to 27.5 million and are envisioned to mature.

“I believe the youngsters, they’ve seen that vinyl has greater fidelity than CDs,” explains Scarpone. “It just appears greater on vinyl, and they’re drawn to the tactile feeling of holding a thing.”

Any fans of Duck Hunt? The classic game is set up to play on this '80s television set near the front door.Extend

Any lovers of Duck Hunt? The common match is established up to play on this ’80s tv established in close proximity to the entrance door.

Allison Cripe

Robert Lovato, 18, is a single of Scarpone’s most recurrent prospects.

Lovato’s father owns the ’80s-themed Starfighters Arcade just down the avenue from Aldo’s, and he says he suspects he loves vintage tunes from escalating up in that retro-style atmosphere.

“I personally like vinyl records since they have a record to them,” Lovato states. “It’s incredibly intriguing to feel about the particular person who owned the file ahead of you.”

Lovato and his pals fashioned the punk/New Wave band Polybius four yrs ago. They engage in deal with music from bands like Pleasure Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Misfits at the arcade.

“A great deal of our handles are from the 1980s,” Lovato claims. “So, the documents I search for are substantially like the new music we enjoy.” Lovato even remembers the initial document he purchased at Aldo’s: Ocean Rain by Echo and the Bunnymen.

“I imagine people today associate that music with that decade as a greater time,” says Lovato on the improve in demand from customers for vinyl. “So, you can find escapism, but also persons appreciate accumulating issues, which is much easier these days.”

Scarpone claims he enjoys the extensive vary of clients and the capacity to offer you occasionally quirky and obscure goods.

“The other working day, a dude just ran in here and said, ‘Do you have Pavlov’s Doggy?’ And I claimed, ‘As a make a difference of simple fact, sure I do,’ and he was out in 45 seconds.”

But, do not count on reissues at his retailer. “A lot of the reissued stuff is not superior,” Scarpone suggests. “I only offer the originals. I want men and women to be happy. I want them to be content.”

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