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Lionel Playworld, 2768 Decker Boulevard: 1980s   16 comments

Posted at 9:47 pm in historic,stores

Lionel Playworld was, I believe, the first anchor tenant for the ill-fated strip-mall at the corner of Decker and Trenholm Extension (though I am not sure the extension was finished at the time it opened). The place keeps coming up in the comments to the Columbia Mall Toys-R-Us post, so I thought I would give it its own post.

My understanding is that the chain was owned by the same company that made the iconic 3-rail 0-27 guage model trains, and was a "big box" toy store, one of the first in the Columbia market. The place operated fairly quietly until the end when it earned a lot of bad will from the shopping public. I believe the way it unfolded was that the decision to close the store was made in the fall, but not announced. They operated through Christmas Eve, and then closed without warning, leaving anyone with a Christmas gift to return or exchange high and dry -- it got quite a bit of local media attention at the time.

After Lionel the strip went into heavy decline, and the building sat empty for a number of years until Winn-Dixie opened there (in the left part of the building) with great fanfare. After Winn-Dixie pulled out of South Carolina, the building sat idle for several years again, until The Comedy House relocated there from the Saint Andrews Road area (after a gap). From the signage, a bingo operation also now uses the location.

Written by ted on March 11th, 2009

16 Responses to 'Lionel Playworld, 2768 Decker Boulevard: 1980s'

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  1. I believe the 1st tenant in that building was Harris Teeter (late '70s?). after they pulled out of Columbia the 1st time they came back to the Two Notch@Polo location that later became Bruno's and Piggly Wiggly.

    scruffy

    15 Mar 09 at 6:53 pm

  2. Oh wow, i had totally forgotten about the Lionel Playword store here. I can remember getting GI Joe figures there when I was younger.

    Will

    16 Mar 09 at 11:43 pm

  3. Yeah I remember the The Harris Teeter being there. Probably closed around 83.

    Mr. Bill

    17 Mar 09 at 9:35 am

  4. I got my Nintendo at Lionel Playworld and yes, it got a LOT of bad media attention for its unannounced end of year closing.

    Sean

    24 Jun 09 at 10:09 am

  5. Speaking of Places that have closed or will be closing in this case. Have you heard that Columbia Mall/Place will be closing this year? I guess with no body really shopping there anymore and very few stores left, they have decided to close it. Sears will be closing also along with Old Navy. So what are they gonna do with the building I wonder? Also, remember when Columbia Mall was really good (sort of) upstairs was Leisure Time Hobby Store?...it was nice. And the pet store that used to be up stairs there also? Record Bar was there also along with Lowry Organs I think, Orange Julius also. Too bad it's all gone now. Poor old Dutch Square has had better days too.

    Del

    27 Jun 09 at 5:33 pm

  6. That would be pretty big news. Where did you hear that? I can't confirm it anywhere online.

    ted

    27 Jun 09 at 6:02 pm

  7. Oh wow! Lionel Playworld! I once almost got caught in some malfunctioning automatic doors there as a child - that was so vivid to me. I remember a boy in my school winning a free video game console and I kept hoping I'd win one there too.

    Michael

    25 Sep 09 at 11:48 am

  8. What, no listing for Leisure Time or Playland Toys? Both were in Columbia Mall. Playland was downstairs beside JC Penny. Leisure Time was in the same wing, but upstairs and a little closer to the center. There also was a toy store at Trenholm Plaza called Marty's Toy Town. I know all of these places were there in the early 80s, but I have no idea when the closed.

    Brian

    10 Aug 10 at 4:43 am

  9. Interesting! I have no memory of Marty's, and I usually notice stuff at Trenholm Plaza though it may have opened after I left town.

    ted

    10 Aug 10 at 11:40 am

  10. I'm pretty sure Marty's Toy Town was in that strip mall on Rosewood that was torn down for Publix.

    jamie

    10 Aug 10 at 12:39 pm

  11. If I'm not mistaken, Marty's was kind of in a corner, near a post office, but I'm pretty sure it was Trenholm. I don't know where Rosewood is.

    Brian

    10 Aug 10 at 7:38 pm

  12. I also recall an independent (not chain) toy store in Trenholm Plaza, and also remember it being near the corner of the L. Marty's sounds about right.

    59 Ford Wheelman

    10 Aug 10 at 8:20 pm

  13. Marty's Toy Town was originally in Rosewood Shopping Center, and then moved to Trenholm Plaza.

    Up until the the mid-eighties there was another local toy store on Colonial Dr. named C-Mart.

    David H

    11 Aug 10 at 3:58 pm

  14. C-Mart! I've been trying to remember that place for years!

    Dave

    11 Aug 10 at 7:33 pm

  15. ^^^ ...and you picked up this "ex" at Lionel Playworld? If you seriously want advice, most relationships don't end because of "misunderstandings". Most relationships end when one begins understanding the other PERFECTLY.

    OverMachoGrande

    24 Jul 11 at 3:02 pm

  16. Seriously, though... I was going to ask Ted how he managed to avoid spam so well! lol... I see that he does get some.

    OverMachoGrande

    24 Jul 11 at 3:04 pm

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