Nastars: Your Childhood In A Shop.

This is an instant trip down memory lane. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s this was one of the city’s main stops for that now forsaken, but for some decades beloved, format – VHS. When a video player/VCR was a relatively cutting edge piece of technology and even when it was not – towards the late 90’s, you’d find yourself staring at the labels on the enormous stacks of tapes, asking the helpful men behind the counter if they had the latest bit of Jim Carrey’s foolery or, better yet, a new series of Transformers. Note – At this point the Transformers weren’t a big budget, live(ish) action Hollywood blockbuster but a much lower budget patchily animated and utterly compelling cartoon.

Whatever your childhood taste in television based entertainment a visit to Nastars was often the highlight of a week. Picking up a bunch of videos on Friday as a treat and waking up at 6 am (why do kids do that?) the next day to devour them all at one sitting was one of 7 year-old life’s real joys. To make things that much better, back in the day (circa 1990), Nastars was also one of the city’s better bets for toys and video-games, so it not only lent you Transformers videos – but also sold you the action figures (what a crafty business model). Movies, cartoons, transformers, Ninja Turtles, Lego, games for your Gameboy – so basically a one stop shop for all the best of childhood.

Of course times change. At some point we shifted our VHS affections to Precious of Havelock Road and then of course VCDs (short-lived), laser disks (even shorter lived) and most significantly pirate DVD’s wiped out the video rental business. Other toy shops emerged but soon you didn’t want toys at all but something more gratifyingly violent and in a cd-case.

Life moved on, however like just about everything at the time-warp / mall that is Liberty Plaza Nastars remained much the same. It’s prominent display window, still featuring LEGO and Transformers, facing out onto Dharmapala Mawatha continues to elicit some serious nostalgia. So it was with rather a lot of glee that, when needing some electronic paraphernalia (a memory card for a camera) – I wandered into this repository of childhood memories the other day.

Electronic Paraphernalia has always been their mainline- cameras, blenders, electric razors, memory sticks, etc and while it was hard to to resist walking out of the store with a Transformer but, thanks to the still very helpful men behind the counter, I got what I wanted at a reasonable price. While it’s a blast from the past Nastars has actually kept pace with the present. Even the Transformers toys are from the latest blockbuster and there’s a ton of spanking-new PC/camera related gadgetry, plus stacks of Playstation 3 games. They even have what seems to be working online store, so it’s actually one of the more functional shops in the wonderful, but deeply dysfunctional Liberty Plaza mall.

If you’re looking for electronics, computer ad ons, random kitchen appliances plus, of course, Lego and Transformers this is still a good place to go.

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