A PAIR of passionate businessmen are hoping to bring fun and games to Halstead town centre by opening a new retro toy and video game store.

Retro-formers will open on Saturday, October 21, at its home in Parsonage Street, Halstead.

The new start-up is the brainchild of Jonathan Farenden, 32, and Andrew Fenner, who have both been avid collectors of iconic toys and games for many years.

Mr Farenden, who lives in Clacton, said: “I used to collect Transformers when I was a kid and it has carried on since then.

“To me it is like any other interest, some people like to buy art, whereas I prefer to buy Transformers to put on a shelf.

“Andrew like more types of toys and is more of a collector. It is just a passion like any other.

“Technically I am not supposed to work because I have a serious back condition, but rather than sign on, many years ago I started my own market stall.

“We met when I was doing car boot sales and because we were both collectors we started to get to know each other.

“We would go to conventions together and became friends.” Mr Fenner has lived in Halstead for several years, and after spotting a gap in the market in the town, the duo decided to become business partners.

Retro-formers will sell items including Pokemon cards, Warhammer, Magic the Gathering cards, as well as new and used video and board games. Mr Farenden said: “We are hoping our trade-in system will help parents too. Kids can bring in old toys they do not use anymore and they can either sell them for cash, or trade them in for something like a computer game.

“If we can help parents save some of their wages then that is another good thing.”

“In the New Year we want to start up Pokemon card clubs and Warhammer workshops so kids have somewhere safe to go where they can learn about how to paint and play.”

The store will open with a special launch event including some special guests.

Mr Farenden said: “We did look at shops in High Street but it was too expensive for us, especially as a new start-up business.

“Independent shops and retailers are disappearing from the High Street at the moment but the way to save them is if people use them.

“Hopefully we will bring something new to the town people will like.”