Sona “Sonny” Kunar behind the desk featuring some of the store’s 1.5 million hockey card collection at Sonny’s Collectibles. The specialty sports store opened on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 25 years ago. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Sonny’s Collectibles celebrates 25 years

Terrace specialty store has one of the largest collections of hockey cards in northwest B.C.

One family-owned Terrace business will be trading more hockey cards than heart-shaped notes on Valentine’s Day today.

That’s because Sonny’s Collectables is celebrating 25 years of business in sports memorabilia, collectibles, trading cards and other novelty items.

Owner Sona “Sonny” Kunar has everything from sports memorabilia and a signed Gretzky hockey jersey, to vintage Magic the Gathering cards, and a locally-crafted, mounted dragon head.

“It’s a big kids store, you come in and there are things to look at everywhere,” Kunar says.

Kunar first opened the family business in 1994 at the Skeena Mall, where it stayed for 16 years. The store has changed locations six times in its history, including a move to the property next to Subway before they secured their 3,000 sq. ft. location on Lakelse Ave. three years ago.

“Instead of renovating, we just move, and every time we focus on getting bigger and better,” he says.

He says the store has the largest collection of collectible hockey cards in the Northwest, next to Kamloops, with more than 1.5 million cards in stock, dating anywhere from 1910 to the present. Approximately 75 per cent of the store’s collection is comprised of hockey memorabilia.

They also host nationally recognized ‘Magic the Gathering’ tournaments, and weekly Pokemon and Yugioh trading card games.

Some of the notable items in Kunar’s collection include an Indianapolis Racers jersey signed by Wayne Gretzky when he was first signed to the World Hockey Association in 1978. There are also vintage hockey cards from 1910, and one of hockey legend Gordie Howe. That card alone is worth $3,000.

READ MORE: Connor McDavid rookie card sells for record price online

But in a world where collectible cards can be bought online through eBay and Amazon, why do people still walk into specialty collectible stores?

Kunar says many in larger cities have gone out of business specifically for this reason, but collectors in the North still want to physically see the items themselves so they know the quality of what they’re buying, rather than mistakenly falling for a fake look-a-like.

“The cities have really gotten caught up in that, and you’re killing your own specialty stores. We all like to support locally if we can, and we’re very lucky that Terrace is a huge supporting community.”

Trends lately have also geared towards the nostalgia of the 1980s, making retro collectibles a hot commodity. Throughout the years, Kunar has seen his customers transition from their first deck of cards, to hockey jerseys and eventually to framed displays to hang in their new homes.

In the future, Kunar says he hopes to diversify his collection to include a wider variety of sports to cater to a larger customer base. No plans to modernize — keeping it old school hasn’t steered them wrong yet, Kunar says.

READ MORE: Vote now for Terrace, B.C. business awards

“That moment when you see something you once had as a kid, those childhood memories, we want to give that to our customers,” he says.

Plans to celebrate will wait until when the weather warms up, but Kunar hopes to organize a customer appreciation event with other local businesses in the shopping centre to recognize the 25-year milestone.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Among the store’s extensive collection is a trio of hockey cards dating back to 1910. These cards were inserted into cigarette packs when companies started to get more innovative with their collectables. (Brittany Gervais photo)

A young Sonny Kunar at the cash register when the store opened its first location at the Skeena Mall in 1994. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Guinness Book of World Records’ towering tree swing taken down in Terrace

The Southside recreation fixture measured more than 64 feet

Coast Mountain College appoints a new president

The promotion came from within the school

Gitxsan man resigns from military after RCMP enforces pipeline order

Daryn Forsyth says he could no longer serve a Crown whose actions he disagrees with

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Most Read