Rarely will we ever suggest that you should take a road trip for shopping, but today is unlike any day, and that’s exactly what we’re going to tell you to do. If you’re looking for a way to pass the time, might we suggest that you hop in the car and high tail it to Tucson, AZ? In this mid-size Arizona metropolis, you’ll find plenty of par-for-the-course shopping malls and other depressing signs of urban sprawl, but you’ll also find a place called Generation Cool. And, if you’re an ’80s or ’90s kids, this shop is a must-see, making your trip to Tucson well worth the hassle.
We aren’t just saying that, either. If you haven’t caught wind of Slobby’s World on Netflix, that show showcases exactly what you need to know about Generation Cool. It follows the owner, “Slobby” Robby Hall, as he outfits everyone from hip teens to nostalgic old adults (like us!) in retro gear. His staff is a mish-mash of weird, cooler-than-us nerds who also really love old junk from our childhoods, and they race around trying to find the best thrift shop wins to toss in the store or fill custom orders.
That sounds slightly boring now that we type it out, but it really isn’t. The truth is that Slobby Robby is the strangest, most charismatic owner on the planet, and his eye for spotting what will sell is incredible. From the purposefully bad Gucci T-shirt knockoffs that he loves and wears — straight from Canal Street in the 1990s — to “vintage” 1980s overalls, dude knows what he’s doing when he’s eyeballing a basket of Goodwill donations.
And while Slobby Robby excels at throwing together dapper outfits of high-waisted mom jeans and old street wear, where he really excels is knowing what his customer base is looking for. Generation Cool isn’t just loaded with interesting old vintage clothing finds; it’s also filled with unique clothing, toys, and collectibles carefully handpicked from old junk stashes across the country.
Looking for an original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure in pristine condition? Chances are this dude’s got ‘em. Or, are you dying to find some comfy Super Mario slippers from the original game release? Yeah, he’s probably got those too. He’s got everything you could possibly be looking for from those decades, and if he doesn’t? Well, he can probably find it — if we’re judging by the fact that he’s got an original boxed Michael Jackson “Michael’s Pets” Cool Bear on the store’s Instagram account, anyway. We didn’t even know those existed (and are slightly horrified that they did).
This store really is worth the drive to another state if you’re into nostalgia and reminiscing on two of the best decades to ever have existed. And who isn’t into that? Not us! We’re definitely into that — and all of the junk Slobby Robby has shoved in his video game-themed store. We just want to rummage! RUMMAGE!! We also really want some of the Supreme knockoffs he’s showcased on the show a time or two, but that’s neither here nor there.
So, who’s with us? Anybody up for a caravan to Tucson? We can probably get some waffle fries while we’re there, or some chain food that isn’t available in our area or whatever.
So, while Tucson may not be the most exciting place on the planet, Generation Cool is, and we highly suggest you check it out. Bring us back a souvenir while you’re at it. Something in a nice fake Gucci print would be nice, but we’re not picky. We’ll take any of the Ninja Turtles, the giant Batman figure, or six of those boom-boxes with tape players, please. Your call.
Angelica LeichtEditor, DGO Mag