HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Jim McMillen is a picker. For as long as he can remember he's been collecting everything and anything.
McMillen has antique marbles. Records. Die-cast vehicles. Beanie Babies. Hot Wheels. Pinball machines. Signs. Anything you can think of, he's probably had an interest in at some point.
"I've been collecting my whole life. I get a little money, then I'd go buy something to add to my collection," McMillen said.
Since retiring as the safety and transportation director at the Bowling Green R-1 School District, McMillen has wanted to thin out his collection. The result is downtown Hannibal's newest retail store, Blast From the Past at 613 Broadway.
"What you see in the store is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.
Blast From the Past specializes in vintage and antique collectibles and has an anticipated opening date of Aug. 1. McMillen has been moving items into the building and working on the layout for weeks. Sometimes, he said, he's working until 2 or 3 a.m. just to meet his upcoming deadline.
"Something neat in my store is a corner for playing records, whether you buy them or not," McMillen said.
He bought the "Play It Again" sign from the out-of-business Quincy store, and under the sign is the record player surrounded by records. Other signs and shelves with products hung on the walls enhance the retro feel of the business.
Sitting high up in the front and back of the store are higher-priced items not available for regular retail.
"For those, to keep things fair, I'll collect the names of local people interested in purchasing them and let them know when the items go for auction on eBay," McMillen said. "If they end up getting the item, they'll save a hundred dollars or more off of shipping because they can just pick it up here."
He also has Hannibal-specific items in his collection that he thinks residents will appreciate. Among them are a stove that says "Hannibal" on it and a machine that took the tokens for the Hannibal Trolley Co. many years ago.
"There's something here for everybody, both young and old," said McMillen's wife, Lisa. "If parents or grandparents come with children, I think they would have some cool conversations about the stuff they see in here."
McMillen, who said he was contacted by "American Pickers" from the History Channel about having Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz pick his collection but ended up turning it down, is ticking off the days until Aug. 1.
"I can't wait until I can sit back and enjoy running the store and talking to the people who come in," he said.