For Jerzy Wronski, his passion for collecting started at an early age.
He would collect old coins and stamps as a kid. When he was around 7 or 8 years old, he would sell the stamps to other students when he was in elementary school.
Years later, that hobby turned into owning his own store: Babylon Collectibles.
The new shop, located at 225 Deer Park Avenue in Babylon Village, opened on June 10, when Phase 2 of the state’s reopening process commenced.
Babylon Collectibles is a haven for comic book collectors, vinyl enthusiasts, and lovers of all things vintage.
The merchandise ranges from brand new and old-school comic book issues to action figures, a number of signed comic art, and posters. The store also sells an array of graphic novels, baseball cards, coins, custom-made jewelry, and more.
The store reflects Wronski’s love for collectibles, which is why the store is not an ordinary comic book shop.
It’s a place where collectors like Wronski can find the missing gem to any kind of collection.
“I never wanted just a comic book store,” Wronski said. “I liked collecting different stuff when I was a kid — stamps, coins, and things like that — and I just cherish all the vintage stuff.”
Wronski said before opening Babylon Collectibles, he used to sell antiques for a living. While he had his first store, he began adding more comic books and other collectibles to the inventory.
“Antiques, by itself, is a massive category,” he said. “So after a few years, I kind of stepped away from dealing with the antiques, and focused more on the collectibles, and it’s basically what I love to do.”
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The Lindenhurst resident said he not only chose Babylon as the location for his store because of it being close to his home, but because he has always felt Babylon Village was different from other towns on Long Island.
“I’ve actually had the chance to live here for a few years — my son graduated from Babylon High School — so it was kind of my dream that I would end up having this little shop in Babylon,” he said.
“I’ve always thought the feel of my shop would be the perfect match for the feel of the village.”
Wronski made his dream happen, but, the COVID-19 pandemic did halt the store’s original grand opening date back in March.
Now that the store is finally open, he said he is implementing the proper safety measures so customers feel comfortable inside. This includes wearing a mask, providing hand sanitizer and gloves, and cleaning the store daily.
“We never had a grand opening, so that is one thing we had to adapt to,” he said. “We are grateful that we are able to actually open, so we have to do it the safe way.”
Wronski said what separates his store from others on Long Island is the fact that it goes beyond comic books.
Babylon Collectibles is geared everyone, no matter age or gender, says Wronski.
“I think that the major thing is we are not being treated like a comic book store or a sports memorabilia and card store, we are just combining different styles,” he said. “We’ve gotten some feedback from people who have visited, and everybody loves it — they say it’s different from every other store they went to.”
Wronski said the store brings a sense of nostalgia to those who walk in.
“We have all those things that we loved when we were younger — like when we were teenagers or kids — and it’s like a flashback for many people,” he said. “They see the vinyl records, they see the old books they were buying from the newsstand, and the actions figures that are all different movie characters.”
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The Babylon Collectibles owner said he already has clients who are interested in visiting weekly. The store also has a few exclusive items for sale and there are more collectibles to come.
Comics, collectibles, and good music — to Wronski, that’s what makes Babylon Collectibles unique in its own way.
“I hope people are going to love having this store here and enjoy it as much as I do,” Wronski said.
Top: Jerzy Wronski, owner of Babylon Collectibles