GRAY — The Tri-Cities Toy & Hobby Show is returning to the Appalachian Fairgrounds Saturday with nearly 200 tables full of actions figures, vintage toys, comic books and other pop culture collectibles.

For 17 years, local resident and former card shop owner Michael Stevens has been hosting the show for the region, bringing in dozens of loyal vendors while raising thousands of dollars for worthy nonprofit organizations.

This time around, in addition to the normal wares, Stevens is bringing in a few newcomers, including a lady with an assortment of Thirty-One gifts and a corn hole board dealer.

“It’s a good variety of dealers. Some will have three and four spots, but most will have one or two. I try to get a little bit of something for everybody.”


The one-day Toy and Hobby Show will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Farm and Home building (the large, main building on the grounds).

Admission is $5 per person with children ages 12 and under admitted free.

Stevens is asking attendees to wear a mask while in the building, temperatures will be taken at the door, and plenty of hand sanitizer will be available.

Just over 50 dealers are coming in for the event, offering about 200 tables full of merchandise, including thousands of comic books, a healthy assortment of boxed and loose action figures, vehicles and playsets, hundreds of Pop figures, vintage toys, vinyl records, posters, magazines and Pokemon cards.

Weather permitting, there might even be a couple of vendors set up outside the main building on Saturday.


Typically, proceeds from the show go to a local charity. This time around the proceeds are going two places.

“My dog has to have cataract surgery and some of the vendors found out and said I needed to do the show for the dog. The only places you can do it are at UT and Asheville and it’s going to be fairly expensive,” Stevens said. “Whatever we raise after that is going to go to the Washington County Animal Shelter.”

Earlier this year, the Toy and Hobby Show raised more than $6,000 for the Appalachian Fairgrounds Youth Scholarship program. The scholarships benefit students who plan to pursue degrees in agriculture and farming-related fields.

“It’s the best (show) we’ve had in a long time. Good turnout and we had a lot of help and volunteers,” Stevens said. “There’s so many charities that are in dire need in this area. It hurts my heart to see so many people in need.”

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For more information, visit Tri-Cities Toy and Hobby Show on Facebook or call (423) 538-0202.

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