Fandom fiends worldwide are the seeds from which ThinkGeek has sown its vast online empire. Few, if any, other entities would serve as a one-stop shop for Adventure Time plushies, Game of Thrones pint glasses and an authentic Ninth Doctor Sonic Screwdriver.
Well, now that the massively prolific GameStop brand has absorbed ThinkGeek into its nearly 7,000-store retail empire, nerds can take their collectible shopping IRL ("in real life").
In Orlando, at least.
ThinkGeek . . . because you won't find a "Starship Enterprise" pizza-cutter at Bed, Bath & Beyond — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
ThinkGeek’s very first brick-and-mortar store opened in fall 2015 at the Florida Mall to a flurry of fanfare. Central Florida gamers and geeks have been keeping the registers busy ever since, perusing and purchasing all kinds of collectibles that meander across the genres – comics and graphic novels, television, film and even gaming.
Although 3,000 square feet is barely enough to house all that wonderfully nerdy ThinkGeek merch, the store does due diligence in packing it in. Collectibles from Pop Vinyls to eerily accurate figures from hits such as Breaking Bad, Lord of the Rings and, of course, Star Wars fill the space.
The Bandai Star Wars figures – infamous villains reimagined in samurai style – are quite the tabletop works of art. Though your retro sensibility may draw you to something nostalgic: a Pac-Man ghost lamp, for example.
From "Attack on Titan" to "The Walking Dead" zombies, the store's Pop Vinyl offerings are extensive — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Serious collectibles can get pricey, of course – well up into the hundreds and even beyond – but collectors of just about any stripe are often investors, as well. Shoppers with shallower pockets need not fret, however; far less expensive geeky goodies are rife.
The store’s selection of T-shirts ranges from roughly $15 to $20 and includes dozens of popular realms. Cosplayers will enjoy perusing an inventory that includes such goodies as Merle’s knife hand (from The Walking Dead), while homebodies may be content to snuggle up in a cozy pair of Weeping Angel boxers or Batman flannel pajama pants.
Coupled Star Wars fans may look to invest in adorable rings that echo Leia and Han’s most famous exchange: one says, "I love you," and the other, "I know."
Pop culture as high art? Higher-end options are available for geeks looking to upgrade from mere posters — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
With the latest Star Wars film out and others on the way in the near future, it should be difficult to keep it all on the shelves, though ThinkGeek most certainly aims to try. A furry, white Wampa throw rug ($129) was being packaged at the register even as we dropped in for a visit.
All the better for cozying up to watch the trilogy by the fireplace in your Central Florida digs.