Jayden Frost, a Singer for '80s Pop Band When In Rome, Runs a Vintage Toy Shop in DFW
Under a circular blue awning in Lewisville lies a fairly unmarked store with generic white letters reading, "DFW Vintage Toys."
Stephanie Halovanic Frost with '70s Godzilla, featured on the Travel Channel's show "Toy Hunter"
The change of worlds stepping inside is jarring -- it's like walking back 30 years and into your childhood. The mastermind behind DFW Vintage Toys, Jayden Frost, is serious about the '80s. Previously, he was the vocalist of '80s band When In Rome (he was their sole touring vocalist, though, somewhat confusingly, he didn't write huge single "The Promise," which made an appearance in Napoleon Dynamite). '80s nostalgia runs through his veins.
His shop, which is only a few weeks old, is not just a toy store for young kids and birthday requests; this is a heaven and a haven for vintage action figure, comic book and toy connoisseurs. DFW Vintage Toys is a hub for passionate toy collectors.
A grown man walks through the doors and looks around. "Can I move in?" he asks.
Frost opened DFW Vintage Toys less than two months ago. He says it's Dallas' only vintage toy storefront. And while music is still his primary passion -- he has a solo project now -- he always had the idea for a vintage toy store in the back of his mind.
"I always knew I wanted to open a store like this," Frost says. "I just thought it would be later on in life, around retirement."
Stephanie Halovanic '80s collectible action figures Skelator and He-Man
But here he is in Lewisville, just a few years after selling out large venues across the country with When In Rome. His ticket into the band came through his friendship with Michael Floreale, original When In Rome band member and co-writer of "The Promise." Floreale, a British native, moved to Dallas when the band initially broke up. In 2005, Frost released his first solo effort Blue. His old friend Floreale produced the album and played on it.
In 2005, an agent in California contacted Floreale wanting to put When In Rome back together for a few shows. The two original vocalists from the band were in England and weren't interested in reforming the band. After hearing Floreale and Frost's work on Blue, the agent asked Frost if he would join the group as lead vocalist for a few shows.
A few shows turned into a 37 show tour around the country.
"It was the coolest thing in the world," Frost says. "I had always told people I was born 10 years too late. Then I got to be an '80s pop star in my thirties!"
Frost toured with other '80s pop stars such as DEVO, A Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Gibson during his time with When In Rome. Frost had a particularly close relationship with the lead singer of A Flock of Seagulls, Mike Score.
"Mike was like a father to me in the music business," Frost says. "I respect him more than anyone else."
When In Rome separated in 2006, but Frost continued his music career, DJing at clubs in Dallas. For the last year, he has been a part of of an '80s new wave duo tribute band called Retro Pop Academy. He was performing 40 songs a night at clubs and bars every weekend, but had to stop roughly a month ago after losing his voice due to possible nodules on his throat. And that gave him the time to open DFW Vintage Toys, which may yet prove his most successful venture.