Fans of ThinkGeek’s online store lined up early Friday at its Tacoma Mall retail brick and mortar store to celebrate its grand opening with prizes and giveaways. The store had a soft launch May 11.
“It is so rare for a website to go to brick and mortar,” said Steve Wilson, general manager for ThinkGeek Retail Stores. “This business is really emotional for folks, because if you think about it, ‘Star Wars,’ Batman and Superman have been around for years, and they mean a lot to folks. It’s an emotional connection with our customers.”
The company has stores sprinkled across the country but only one other on the West Coast (at Seattle’s Northgate Mall), with the goal of bringing the online pop culture store to life. The company started opening physical stores in 2015.
And it has some recommendations for when you visit in person:
▪ “Geeki tiki” goblets: Themed in different “Star Wars” characters. The biggest one is Jabba the Hutt with a Salacious Crumb shot glass. There’s also a “Guardians of the Galaxy” collection.
▪ “Game of Thrones” dragon claw wine goblet.
▪ A “Lucille bat” from “The Walking Dead.”
Tacoma’s ThinkGeek also can help you order items from its online site, for those days when you need a retro mechanical keyboard that clicks like a classic manual typewriter.
The store, across from the mall’s food court, started the day with a crowd of about 100 waiting for the 10 a.m. opening.
After the first 35 to 40 customers entered, the next person waiting in line held their place for next in the store with a lightsaber, which also was used to “cut” the ceremonial ribbon.
“Look at who lined up,” Wilson said. “They got up early, they took off work, they took off school, that means so much to us that they’d take the time to come spend the morning with us.
“They are the best customers in the world.”
To visit online: thinkgeek.com.