I must confess the first question I asked myself when I heard about Order 66 Toys was How? How can a Star Wars specialty store survive in a place like McKinney Texas? I don't mean to suggest that McKinney is a one-horse town - far from it! But for all of its charms, McKinney isn't centrally located in relation to the rest of the urban sprawl that is the DFW Metrpoplex and most of the specialty stores devoted towards science-fiction and other nerdy interests tend to gravitate southward and westward.
Having seen Order 66 Toys' store-front, located just off the main square in dowtown McKinney, I can see why the store has done such a brisk business. They have the largest collection of Star Wars swag I've seen this side of George Lucas' rumpus room!
Order 66 Toys has been around for just about four years and recently expanded into a newer, larger store-font. The new location is a gorgeous piece of real-state with a well-decorated interior.
Models of various starships hang from the ceiling in the entrance. Murals depicting scenes from the movie are on nearly every wall. An alcove at the back displays framed movie posters, near the glass case where the autographed pictures are kept.
There's a working Star Wars arcade game in the back-center of the shop. There are even flat-screens which show scenes from the movies and cartoons. And action figures - tons upon tons of action figures, with a tableau of loose figures in combat set up in the shop windows!
Recently, Order 66 Toys recently held a fund-raising event for The Wounded Warrior Project. The 501st Legion were in attendance as were Clan Muraan of the Mandalorian Mercs.
Even Supergirl and R2D2 showed up!
Lhars Ebersold - who is part of the store's podcast (The Order 66 Insiders) - cosplayed Darth Talon. Anybody else feel a sudden urge to join The Dark Side?
Reportedly, this remote-controlled R2 unit had been recently constructed by a robotics enthusiast over the course of two weeks. It was his first attempt at building an R2 bot and it was, to quote Lord Vader himself, "most impressive."
There were a wide variety of characters in attendance for the cosplay contest. There were several Jedi, Sith and other assorted characters, inducing a rather disreputable looking Time Lord who somehow escaped being photographed. ;)
The winner of the cosplay contest was Scotty Bleck Zod, who won for his incredibly convincing cosplay of General Grievous... once he was actually able to get through the door and into the building. In all seriousness, this costume - while unwieldy to walk in - is a masterpiece of creativity and engineering.
If you're a Star Wars fan in Dallas or Fort Worth, it's well worth the drive to check out Order 66 Toys in person. And if you don't live in the area, they have a web store that is sure to have something you want. You may miss out on the amazing store-front but you won't miss out on the good deals and quality service.