The New Wave of Dickson, a throwback to video games, collectibles and sports

New Wave Hobbies owner Kenny Long has worked normal day jobs, in and out for nearly 10 years.

Long simultaneously sold collectibles online, typically sports cards and video games, in the early days of eBay and Craigslist.

“I’ve been through this stuff all my life,” Long said, looking around her Dickson store filled with various popular characters and sports stars.

So, four years ago, he looked at his two sources of income. Long realized he valued and “believed” more in the success of collectibles – and he made more money from those online sales.

Now, Long avoids making sales on the Internet. He wants to sell items face to face in New Wave Hobbies. He greets several customers one recent afternoon while flipping through Pokémon cards and making “dad jokes.” A staff member cleans a recently purchased Batman collectible with a Lysol wipe and brush.

“I know Dickson. I’ve been here my whole life,” Long said. “I understood that Dickson needed a card store. I love doing it. I love being around that stuff. Everything I sell, I love.

“This is my collection. This is how I collect,” he added.

The GI Joe USS Flagg, produced in the mid-1980s, at New Wave Hobbies in Dickson.

Grows, even during the pandemic

New Wave first built its business out of the back of a strip mall on Henslee Drive — “just so it wouldn’t be my house” — before moving up front.

“It was just luck,” Long said, adding that it started out “slow, very slow.”

Afterwards, Long took another shot at moving to the current location in November 2020 in Preston Thompson’s commercial space, next to Miss Amy’s Dance.

“That market has grown since the pandemic, for sure,” Long said of his business over the past year.

“We’re very, very stable, and people are bringing things in almost every day,” Long said.

He said the shop was busy with people buying, selling and sometimes just looking at the collection. One such sale was recently when GI Joe’s 7-foot-long USS Flagg aircraft carrier toy hit the shelves. The ship, produced in the mid-1980s and possibly the largest playset ever made, is still on display in the store.

“It’s really four stores in one, which is by design,” Long said.

These “four stores” are the most popular items: video games, collectibles, sports cards and Pokémon cards.

“We kept trying new things and changing things up,” Long said, noting that at one point the store had eight televisions on the wall for video games. He removed them to make room, including a known wall lined with GI Joe collectibles.

Long is especially proud of the store’s Pokémon card trading nights where they give out a deck of cards and allow kids to trade and show off their cards.

“It’s something that I’m very excited about. The interaction that you get instead of going to Walmart or going to Amazon…it’s getting lost more and more,” Long said.

Long said he always enjoys hearing the excitement of first-time shoppers and interacting with customers.

“I’ve been through this stuff all my life,” Long said. “I just knew (the store would work).”

New Wave Leisure

Where: 209G Henslee Dr. in Dickson

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10am-4pm

Phone: (615) 934-0741

Kenny Long, owner of New Wave Hobbies in Dickson, in his store full of collectibles, video games and more.

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