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Xpanded Universe Grand Opening
May 4, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm| Free
Grand Opening of Downtown Art Gallery/Toy Shop
Specializing in Designer Toys, Collectables & Local Art
Xpanded Universe will have its grand opening on Monday, May 4th from 6pm to 10pm at 197 E. Toole Ave, Unit 3. While the festivities won’t begin until later in the day, the regular store hours will continue, opening at 12pm. People attending the event could expect live art, music, free giveaways, costuming groups, and food trucks.
Xpanded Universe is located in the Toole Avenue Arts District. It is a place where local artists could showcase and sell their art. It is also a toy shop unique to the area in the sense that one cannot find these toys in a typical department store like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, or Target. Many of the toys carried in the shop are designer toys, which are custom made and limited in quantity. Once they are sold out, no more will be made. The designer toys are also geared toward adults and many times regarded as a work of art in itself. While Xpanded Universe carries toys made by other creators, they also have their own product line: Xpanded Universe Toys (XUT). In addition to designer toys, Xpanded Universe carries a variety of collectables for a wide range interests such as sci-fi, comic books, and pop culture.
Mike Olivares, owner of Xpanded Universe, explains, “ I’ve always been a fan of downtown Tucson and the art community and having a shop downtown gives not only myself but local artists another venue to showcase their work in Tucson.” In addition to being a shop owner, Olivares is also the founder and director of the Tucson Comic Con and TAPE!, which are both art centric conventions: one focusing on comic books and pop culture, while the other focuses on local creators and a broader range of art mediums within the community. Both events are held annually at the Tucson Convention Center.
Xpanded Universe hopes to host future do it yourself classes on toy making and sculpting, local art showings, and other events for the community.