Finding a hero in Red Bandana

By Tom Maglio
Posted 8/4/23

There’s never been a better time to be a geek. With the biggest Dover Comic Con we’ve ever had (source: I was there! Judging the Cosplay Contest! It was awesome!) now in our rear view, …

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Finding a hero in Red Bandana


There’s never been a better time to be a geek. With the biggest Dover Comic Con we’ve ever had (source: I was there! Judging the Cosplay Contest! It was awesome!) now in our rear view, it’s clear that fandom still reigns supreme. There’s an ocean of content, and thousands of hungry fans, wallets open, ready to drink it up.

But the departing Dover Comic Con also highlights another truth: for the other 364 days of the year, you need a place to geek out, and hobby stores are the place to go. There is a deep, bountiful well in this fandom world, and its name is the Red Bandana in Milford.

My first time through its doors was during my first time in Milford, right after my interview for this very job. Having just had a great meeting with then-publisher Darel La Prade and now-publisher Konrad LaPrade, mostly revolving around a shared love of small-town pride, I decided to treat myself to a curious storefront that had caught my eye on my way into town.

I wasn’t expecting to find a fan store in this bustling, but small downtown, and imagine my surprise upon discovering the Red Bandana. As an avid collector of all things plastic (my own collection straddles the line between ‘impressive’ and ‘grounds for divorce’), I was shocked by the amount of vintage toys both in-and out-of-box, plus old games and memorabilia. Pokémon merch, Power Rangers, and Sega games all clamored for my attention on the well-packed shelves, a feast for the eyes.

I began pouring over the horde, feeling as though I’d stumbled on a secret goldmine. The closest competition for such a well-stocked vintage toy store might be Yesterday’s Fun all the way in Bethany Beach, and but Red Bandana had prices and finds that could not be matched by any I can think of now.

I finally settled on an in-box Batman Animated Series figure that I remembered having as a kid, and I was over the moon about it (it’s still sitting in my office, actually.) My enthusiasm spilled over in my conversation with store owners Katie and Brandon, who were both funny and helpful, and matched my fervor easily. Little did I know I’d be sharing a stage with Katie years later at Dover Comic Con, and they both remain treats to talk to every time I see them (congratulations on your new baby, you two!).

In my most recent foray to the store, I was happy to see they have expanded to include a respectable comic book section, which makes them a stellar outlet for yet another pillar of geekdom. This time, I was pleased to take home a very reasonably priced large Pokémon tin for my collection (it’s Bulbasaur, for those wondering). The new space and the years did nothing to take away from the packed, display-of-riches vibe the Bandana had first impressed me with.

Anyone living within driving distance of Milford with nostalgia for pop-culture past and comics present would do well to make the journey to the Red Bandana. It’s the sort of shop you want to check in on every few months as more stock gets rolled in, and what they have is always in flux. Trading cards, toys, comics, games and just waves of “I remember THIS!” are waiting for you behind those doors.

Find Red Bandana 3 N. Walnut Street, Milford, Del., or call (302) 362-5743. They’re taking some well-deserved parental leave currently, but will reopen Aug. 9.

Bay to the Beach: Byways is a regular column in which we explore interesting places and projects on the Delmarva Peninsula. Videos and more photos at

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