Esch said for years that he has been what many now refer to as a “picker.”
“I’ve always liked to go to auctions or estate sales and see what kind of collectibles that I could find,” he said. “Over the years, my collection of things has grown, and it was to the point where I knew I needed to start getting rid of some stuff.”
Scavenger Hunt, his new Jasper-based business, was resulted from that growing collection.
“We’ve got a little bit of everything,” he said. “We have a lot of antique items, but it is mostly collectibles. Everything in this store is something that someone collects. We have a little bit of everything.”
Toys are a large part of the merchandise available in the store. Scavenger Hunt features Beanie Babies, Barbie dolls from almost every decade and even an original Howdy Doody. Esch said there are also many Dragon Ball Z figures, Transformers and Hot Wheels cars, but you won’t find his favorite all-time favorite toy for sale.
“We’ve got all kinds of toys, but I won’t sell anything from my marble collection,” Esch said. “I used to love playing marbles as a kid, and I lost my marbles, so I started buying marbles as an adult. I’ve got a huge marble collection now.”
Esch said he loves to see other people come into the store and find items that take them back to their childhood.
“One guy said coming in here was like going to his grandmother’s house,” Esch said. “He told me, ‘You’ve got everything that she used to have.’”
Some items in the store date back to the 1800s, Esch said.
“We’ve got one Bible from 1859,” he said.
One of Esch’s favorite items in the store he calls his “girlfriend.” It is a female mannequin from 1950s.
“She’s was actually made in the 1950s, and she’s even decked out in roller skates from that era,” he said.
Most items in Scavenger Hunt have a story behind them, and Esch said he knows a lot of the stories. Some pieces that he definitely knows the history behind are several championship belts that hang on one of the store’s walls.
“Those are belts that I won in my career,” he said. “People like to come in and talk about the belts and about my time as a fighter.”
Scavenger Hunt is located across from Jasper Mall near Alabama Gold and Jewelry. The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Esch said he spends most days at the store.
“I’m here working on putting out new merchandise almost every day,” he said. “If you come in one day, and then you come in a week later, we’ll have totally different stuff.”