If you find yourself in Chicago (or nearby), here are a few suggestions:

Quake Collectibles
4628 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

Quake is, hands down, the best Chicago toy store (in my opinion). It has an eclectic mix of merchandise for die-hard weirdo toy collectors and normal human beings alike. David, the founder of Quake, is sort of like the Godfather of toy collecting in Chicago. Although, he doesn’t wear a pinky ring and won’t “whack” you for disrespecting the family. If you're into toy collecting, you should be at Quake now.

Quake West
17 W. Weathersfield Way
Schaumburg, Illinois 60193

Located in Schaumburg, IL, Quake West is the sister store of the Lincoln Square location, and it’s like a mirror image of the Chicago Quake location. It’s filled with tons of loose and carded toys from all eras, and everything is reasonably priced. Aaron is pretty widely known in the collecting world, and I’ve purchased tons of Star Wars and GI Joes from him.

Rad Vintage
1511 W Berwyn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

This Chicago toy store is very aptly named. With tons of vintage clothes and knickknacks, Rad Vintage has some amazing toys at reasonable prices, plus a huge collection of vintage trading cards (with everything from Pee Wee to He-Man to Garbage Pail Kids). And the owner’s dinosaur tattoo (from Dinosaurs Attack!) is worth the journey alone.

!Ka-Pow!! Collectibles
711 W Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657

Very similar to Quake, Ka-Pow has tons of loose and carded toys from the 60’s to the present. The owner, Romeo, knows his stuff about collecting toys and is a really nice guy. Plus, Ka-Pow is located right next door to the Abbott Hotel (one of Chicago’s best, sketchiest, rapiest hotels), in case you’re looking for some scabies to accompany your new Voltron figures. 

Bric-a-Brac Records
3156 W. Diversey
Chicago, IL 60647
Bric-a-Brac Records is actually more half record store and half anything-you-can-imagine store. The store carries an exceptional assortment of toys, trading cards, magazines, and more (or, as the manager Nick calls them, “accessible collectibles"). Their insane selection of horror movie merch gives them a special place in my slasher-loving heart.

Time Machine Collectibles and Resale
2022 W Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Time Machine carries everything from trading cards to collectors glasses to action figures to comics. And, their metal lunchbox collection is very impressive. Owned and operated by a very sweet husband and wife team, Time Machine is a definite Chicago stop for toy collecting. 

Chicago Comics
3244 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657

Despite being a comic book store, Chicago Comics has a great array of newer action figures. They also carry a huge amount of superhero memorabilia. So if you need to wake up with a Green Lantern alarm clock or drink your coffee out of a Punisher mug, Chicago Comics is your place.

Graham Crackers Comics
Multiple locations
Much like Chicago Comics, Graham Crackers carries a great selection of newer action figures. But, unlike a lot of comic book stores in the city, Graham Crackers has a decent assortment of vintage action figures. Best of all, they have multiple locations around the Chicagoland area.