When it comes to shopping for fan merch, my guess is that most people’s go-to place to look would be our best friend, Google. We all assume that most nerdy gifts can only exist on the net, as they are so obscure that most high-street shops would surely not sell such items.
But my most recent blogger outing proved that theory wrong.
That's a black cab on the right, not a spaceship. Just FYI.
Sat on the bustling Shaftesbury Avenue is the geek shopping heaven, Forbidden Planet. When I first told one of my good friends about my hobbies, she was insisting that I needed to see this place, as it suited everything that my blog was about.
And boy was she right.
I spent the first half of my trip having a mooch around the megastore itself, which took a while as there was so much to see! Of course, being the biggest store of its kind in the world, there would be.
Any merchandise that you can think of, I guarantee that Forbidden Planet stocks. Clothing, memorabilia, models, toys, keyrings… I could list for hours. From all TV shows, videogames and films. I had to hold back the fangirl squeals when I came across several sections that made me want to max out my overdraft.
Such as this one. One double sided aisle just for Harry Potter. I can die happy.
Downstairs is where Forbidden Planet’s roots are. The books and comics section. And boy, was I overwhelmed down there. From classic comics, to Anime and Manga, to TV specialist guides and other rare fandom novels, it was a geeky bookworms’ dream. Some of the books were a sight to behold. For example, there was a shelf dedicated to comics that replicated the original artist’s ones, and they were the size of my torso. Be-a-u-tiful.
(If your wondering why I don't have a pic of that, my arms were too short and stumpy to hold the phone and book at the same time. Stop giggling. Stop it.)
I sat down with the manager Lou who gave me an insider’s view as to how the store had grown over time. From a small grungy store that only closet comic-book fans visited, the glossy flagship store now attracts customers from around the world. Not to mention several a-list celebrities that I’m not sure I’m even allowed to mention.
But rest assured they’re famous. Very, very famous.
Where do you even start?!
Not only that, but socially this industry has seen a massive change. After talking with all the very friendly co-workers, they all agreed that nerd culture is no longer something that people are teased for. This is the age of superheroes, of comic-book inspired TV series, and very importantly, the age of geek girls.
Lou stressed how happy it made her to see young girls coming in to the store, taking an interest in comics and games. With the success of Wonder Woman, and the new female Doctor coming on our screens soon, it’s easy to see why more girls are getting into the nerd scene.
Some of the big titles this month. Plus it looked like an artsy shot.
With MCM Comicon London just around the corner (DON’T PANIC, I will be attending) Forbidden Planet are preparing new merchandise for October. And I can be the first to reveal exclusively that this includes a new range of Supernatural t-shirts, originally designed in house by the store’s team.
They’ve got some cracking quotes from the show for inspiration. And I would know, being one of those rabid Castiel fans that frequents AO3 and Tumblr.
I'm not ashamed.
Rare collectables and other niche products were in abundance at this store. The whole shelf dedicated to these was a lovely sight to behold!
In addition, the company will have their own stand at the event, complete with more brand new items and offers for you to snaffle. There are also constant signings at the store (a chance to meet a celebrity!) which you can find on their website, here. Also, keep an eye out for special events and deals next year, as Forbidden Planet will be turning forty! (Don't worry, it isn't sensitive about it's age, I can tell you).
So in summary, if you love geeky antics in London, then you mustmustMUST go to Forbidden Planet. It is a renowned store across the circuit, with everything that you could possibly need. And even if you aren't London based, they have shops all across the country, and a great online store to take a gander at.
Although a warning, you probably won’t be able to leave without buying something...
I know I didn't! (Also I'm keeping up with my edgy pic theme now. Well, as edgy as one can be with an Eeevee hat on their noggin')