Retailing Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Peek inside the world’s largest LEGO store


As anticipated, the world’s largest LEGO store opened this week in Shanghai, China, and it’s everything a brick fan (of any age) could hope for.

Located in Disneytown, just outside the new Shanghai Disneyland, the company’s first anchor store in Asia measures more than 10,700 square feet, and stretches across two floors. Within that space are large-scale models of Disney, Marvel and Pixar characters (it is Disneyland, after all), an enormous dragon, and the 12 Chinese zodiac signs.

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World’s first ‘Simpsons’ store opens in Beijing


A familiar-looking door opened Thursday in Beijing, China, on the first Simpsons brick-and-mortar store — but it certainly won’t be the last.

Customers enter the outlet at Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping center through a silhouette of Bart Simpson’s yellow hair, which gives way to retail space containing a customized art installation and more than 125 specially curated Simpsons products, ranging from a Duff Beer-themed muumuu to glittery Simpsons thermoses to a sequined Bart T-shirt. Most of the items are exclusive to the store.

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Thanks to legalized pot, Mile High Comics is selling its Denver HQ

mile high

Veteran retailer Chuck Rozanski stands to reap a hefty profit from the sale of Mile High Comics’ Denver headquarters, and he has Colorado’s booming legal marijuana economy to thank for it.

He announced this week in an email to customer that he’s putting the 22,000-square-foot warehouse at 2151 W. 56th Ave. on the market, where it’s listed for about $1.6 million, or nearly triple what he paid three decades ago. Why the high price?

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Spritely Bean comics cafe launches fundraiser following break-in


The Portland, Oregon, comics cafe The Spritely Bean was broken into last week, and whoever did it wreaked considerable damage to the store, smashing the glass door and vandalizing equipment.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the shop, which specializes in independent, creator-owned comics and locally sourced food and coffee, has already built a loyal following: The GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000 to replace the damaged and stolen property has almost hit its mark. The store was closed last Thursday and Friday but was able to reopen on Saturday.

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Aw Yeah Comics expands to New York

aw yeah comics-logo

Aw Yeah Comics, the store founded three years ago in Skokie, Illinois, by longtime collaborators Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar with Marc Hammond, has expanded to a third location, this one in Harrison, New York.

Hammond tells local newspaper the Daily Voice that the retailers had been looking for a small town not far from a major metropolitan area that was in need of a comics store. Located 22 miles northeast of Manhattan, Harrison has a population of about 27,400.

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Canada’s Silver Snail to close its Ottawa store

silver snail-ottawa

Citing a slumping Canadian dollar, venerable comics retailer Silver Snail will shutter its Ottawa store after more than 25 years in business. The flagship location in Toronto will remain open.

“With the economic downturn, this location was not receiving enough traffic to bolster the steadily flagging sales over the past few years, and we had to make the difficult decision to close its doors,” the retailer wrote Tuesday on its website. “We appreciate all of the hard work put in by the staff at our Ottawa location, and give thanks to the many loyal customers who have supported the Bank Street shop over the years.”

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Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager has a secret identity: comic book store owner

Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is currently the primary contender to frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the early field of candidates for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Campaign manager Jeff Weaver is at the head of Sanders’ efforts — and he’s also the owner and operator of a comic shop, as reported on earlier this week by Mother Jones.

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Dallas retailers reopened their store — after they got married


There were myriad questions raised Friday in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage-rights ruling, but we know the answer to at least one of them: the two Dallas retailers who closed their comic store so they could head to the courthouse were able to tie the knot.

Although they weren’t certain the justices would issue their ruling on Friday, Kenneth Denson and Gabriel Mendez, co-owners of Red Pegasus Comics & Games, decided to take a chance, and posted a sign on the door explaining to costumers that the store might open late, because, “we’re waiting at the courthouse to see if the Supreme Court is going to let us get married.” A photo of the sign quickly went viral.

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Car crashes into Florida comic store

famous faces and toys

Famous Faces & Funnies in West Melbourne, Florida, reopened today after a car crashed through the front of the comic store Wednesday afternoon.

According to local news reports and the store’s Facebook page, the 65-year-old driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after she mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brake, sending her car smashing through the front of the building. A customer suffered minor abrasions, and went to the emergency room as a precaution.

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Forbidden Planet debuts exclusive Ninja Turtles merchandise


Forbidden Planet has struck a deal with Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products to sell an exclusive line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise in its U.K. stores and online.

The products, which range from T-shirts to coffee mugs to greetings cards, were previewed over the weekend at MCM London Comic Con. The line will officially launch June 6 with a party at Forbidden Planet’s London Megastore.

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Comix Experience launches graphic novel club to offset wage hike

comix experience

With the minimum wage in San Francisco increasing over the next three years to $15 an hour, Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs anticipates his 24-year-old store will have to generate an additional $80,000 a year in sales to cover the expense.

Therefore, he’s turning to the community for help — not through Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but rather with a curated graphic novel club.

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This Pennsylvania store is selling a million comics for $1 each

million comics

If you’re looking lay your hands on a million-dollar comic, New Dimension Comics probably can’t help you. However, if you want to browse a million $1 comics, that’s the place to be on Saturday.

Todd McDevitt, owner of the Ellwood City, Pennsylvania store — the state’s largest — is holding a $1 sale so big, that it spills over from New Dimension’s Lawrence Avenue location to a neighboring storefront and a former VFW Post.

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TCAF pop-up shop becomes permanent fixture in Toronto library


The Toronto Reference Library has been the host venue for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) since 2009, and now visitors can sample some of what TCAF has to offer year-round with at the library’s own festival-affiliated comic shop.

Opening in December as a pop-up shop, the store became a permanent fixture in the library this week under the new name Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop, with a new logo designed by artist Chip Zdarsky.

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Store briefly removes ‘Tintin in America’ after racism complaint

tintin in americaA Chapters bookstore in Winnipeg temporarily removed Herge’s Tintin in America on Saturday following a complaint by a First Nations educator that the comic contains “racist images.” However, CBC News reports the book had been returned to shelves by Monday, after the chain determined its content doesn’t violate the company’s policy.

Serialized from September 1931 to October 1932, Tintin in America chronicles the adventures of the boy reporter and his dog Snowy as they investigate organized crime in Chicago and pursue mob boss Bobby Smiles West to “Redskin City,” becoming captives of an easily manipulated Blackfoot tribe in the process.

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St. Louis’ Star Clipper rises again with new location, owners

The former Star Clipper

The former Star Clipper

Star Clipper, the St. Louis comic store that closed last month after 27 years, will reopen in April with new owners and a new location.

Riverfront Times reports that Fantasy Books Inc. owners Steve Unverferth and Tony Favello had already bought Star Clipper’s fixtures for a new downtown location (a former art gallery and dojo), and even hired some of its stuff. And then on Feb. 21 they purchased the Star Clipper name.

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