NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A little more than a year ago, Andrea Havens acted upon her dream of owning a toy store and opened IC Toys Nashville — a store full of every 70s and 80s kids’ childhood memories.
So, when she and her husband, Michael, checked the surveillance cameras early Sunday morning and saw a man rummaging through the store with a garbage bag and sledgehammer, Andrea said she went through a “range of emotions.”
“I was sad, I was upset,” she said. “You go through those range of emotions. It was upsetting.”
The Havens were asleep at home when, just after 1 a.m., they received a call from a neighboring business owner in the shopping center on Lebanon Pike who said someone had smashed in the front door of IC Toys Nashville.
Andrea said she and her husband got into their car and rushed over to the store. While on the way, they checked the cameras and spotted the man, who had broken two glass cabinets full of collectible items and toys.
The entire store is decked with vintage and modern Star Wars items, as well as comics and many other sealed, in-package toys from the 70s and 80s, including G.I. Joe and Ghostbusters toys.
“We’re not your average toy store where you can come in for your 5-year-old and get them a gift, unless they’re into Star Wars,” Andrea said. “We sell the toys that people my age remember from when they were a kid and they’re nostalgic about.”
After cleaning up the glass and debris left from the break-in, Andrea and her husband reopened the store on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, Andrea said she was still taking inventory of the items that were stolen, but there were some she knew were gone right away.
The items missing included multiple comics and signed memorabilia such as photographs, vintage Star Wars figures and action figures that were still in the box. One of the action figures missing was signed by Carrie Fisher, and other missing toys were signed by William Shatner.
In total, Andrea said the estimated loss as of Tuesday was anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. Still, Andrea said they were fortunate that many items in the store were left untouched.
“They’re 30 to 40 year old items so it’s not the easiest to replace, but we’ll get more stuff and we’ll get back to it,” Andrea said. “It’s unfortunate and everything, but we’re blessed to have the stuff that we have. We’re getting through it. We’re back open today and we’re moving on.”
The IC Toys Nashville location on Lebanon Pike has only been open since August, after Andrea and her husband decided to move to a larger building from their former spot in Berry Hill, which opened last September.
However, the couple is well-known in the community as Star Wars collectors— a hobby they both enjoyed long before Andrea suggested they open a toy store. Following the break-in, Andrea said they have seen an outpouring of support from that niche group and others.
“We throw the big Sci-Fi convention here in town and we have 27 Facebook groups about Star Wars and all that stuff, so we have a big backing behind us, which is nice,” Andrea said. “A lot of support.”
The Metro Nashville Police Department’s Hermitage precinct is investigating the incident and was continuing to look for the person responsible as of Tuesday.
In the meantime, Andrea said she and her husband are choosing to remain positive and look forward to filling the shelves with new memorabilia for customers to enjoy.
“We’re sad that it happened, and it was unfortunate, but we’re moving on,” Andrea said. “It’s not going to put a damper on our holidays, and we want everyone to have a happy holidays too.”
A music store was also burglarized with a sledgehammer on the same night and close to $20,000 worth of collectible instruments were taken. Metro police has not reported if the cases are connected.