If you don't like clothes and 'gaudy designer label bullshit' - all credit goes to comedian and newspaper columnist Charlie Brooker for that one - shopping can probably be quite a daunting experience for some. However, for that very same group, if clothes turn into 'video-games' and 'gaudy designer label bullshit' turns into 'merchandise and pointless tat from that one series of anime that you bum, where your obsession is gradually turning into a fetish', then shopping suddenly, can turn into a very magical experience. And one stop that should be made when you're on your tour around your local city centrefor new comics, manga, and collectible merchandise, is Forbidden Planet.
I know first-hand myself, how good it is. I attend university in Leicester and so am near a very nice shopping centre where one of these gold mines is located. Within it lies every possible thing anyone could ever think of themselves as a self-confessed 'geek' about… well… not everything. A very large selection, would be more accurate.
Cute knick knacks fill the ground floor to the brim of bursting, where merchandise for well-established characters are sold - such as Hello Kitty, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Domo-kun, as well as productions by lesser well-known national artists and designers. Their pieces include collectable figurines, zip pulls and key chains that incorporate their range of characters, making them appeal and stand out.
An example of this would be Matt Jones' little robot character 'Lunartik' who lives on the moon and is sat in a cup of tea. There's not too much to him… accept for the fact that he comes in a range of different colours and he's cute as hell. The fact that you don't know which one you've got as well, as they're random, only makes it more exciting. I myself have a little red one sat on my computer, which often has people questioning what it actually is.
The first floor is home to shelves of comics and manga books. It's not a massive shop - the poor thing could hardly compete with it's more well-known, larger counterparts, such as Southampton and London - but, those arranging the layout of the shop definitely used the space they had to the best they could. There are around three shelves laid out across the length of the shop, where there's a lot on offer, but it's not uncomfortable to find what you're looking for, and you're not forever having to squeeze past people. The variety and amount on offer for such a small shop is astounding.
Merchandise, again, is prevalent here. Jack Skellington, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros. (and if you really care) Pokemon and Twilight fill the walls. However, if you're comfortable with spending a fucking bomb, I'd stay away from the very lovely tat that's on offer. It may be tat… but, it's very nice tat, which always tempts me.
The sales assistants are always incredibly efficient and friendly as well, where if you require assistance, they'll help you the best they can or will be honest, and direct you to a more suitable colleague, who can help you with your query. They'll even go as far as to order in certain mangas which are not on sale, but that you desperately want, where once it's in-shop, you'll get a phone call telling you when you'd like to pick it up. To top it all off, they even know what they're talking about… by talking to them, it's easy to see they've all been employed for their passion, concerning this kind of stuff. Oh and the fact that they can work a till.
It's great to see, as so many shops that specialise in a certain type of media, that requires a personal passion and some knowledge, employ fuck-wits, who only know so much as they've been told to know… a certain massive retailer of video games, that nearly became bankrupt recently, I'm looking at you…
Overall, this is definitely recommended, and the fact that these stores are in many major cities, demands you to search out these geeky goldmines. With huge variety, and hugely helpful shop assistants, this really is the best it gets for those that love shopping for this type of stuff… they even let me order in an Ace Attorney manga… I nearly wept with joy. Happy shopping Alt:Maggers!