We’re back with part 3 of our series looking at local Birmingham-based geeky shops still serving during the lockdown.
Welcome back! If you missed our second blog then check it out here. Read on for more geeky businesses in Birmingham still serving during the current lockdown.
A one-stop shop for comic, toys, board games and so much more.
Forbidden Planet, on Temple Row in Birmingham City Centre, is one of the most popular geek shops in the city.
Forbidden Planet is one of the world’s largest and best known geeky brands with stores in most major UK cities. It sells just about everything in science fiction, fantasy, and cult entertainment. They’re also one of the largest stockists of the latest comics and graphic novels. The Birmingham store has two floors – on the ground floor they have action figures, posters, merchandise and general geekery; while the downstairs is floor to ceiling comics, manga and graphic novels. Towards the back of the downstairs, they have board games, rule books and an impressive selection of sci-fi and fantasy literature.
What’s their status?
Forbidden Planet is open for online orders 24/7 for delivery only. Delivery is pretty fast, while they stipulate 4-7 working days I’ve had delivery quicker than that in the past. Their online stock is humongous so you can pretty much guarantee they have something to scratch your geeky itch during the lockdown. I would also check out their Youtube where they post a considerable amount of content weekly.
A staple hangout for Birmingham Geeks
Geek Retreat on The Priory Queensway in Birmingham City Centre is an all-rounder hotspot for Birmingham geeks.
Geek Retreat is another growing brand with sixteen shops across the UK with another eight on their way post-pandemic. They’re a shop, a café, an event space and a play space for gamers of every variety. In normal times Geek Retreat Birmingham is host to an abundance of geeky events and gaming tournaments as well as being a generally nice place to hang out with likeminded people, have a drink and get your geek on. Downstairs they have the shop, café and a general hangout area while upstairs are a fleet of tables you can book for games with your mates.
What’s their status?
While the social element of the business is obviously not a thing right now, Geek Retreat are still operating their store online for delivery or collection. Their main stock is trading card games but they also have some Warhammer 40k, Dungeons & Dragons, board games and gaming accessories likes tees, dice and plushies. From the looks of it some of the stuff is also on sale so well worth having a browse. On check out locals can choose collection if they prefer for a safe and socially distanced option.
Everything you need to get your trading card game fix… and then some!
Game HQ offers a hidden oasis for geeks in the city centre.
Game HQ sits in The Oasis, which in itself is an entirely unique aspect of Birmingham’s city centre retail. Located in the Square Shopping Centre, Game HQ’s main draw is its abundance of trading card games (TCGs). It stocks decks and boosters for the likes of Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering as well as more niche like Cardfight Vanguard and Weiss Schwarz. You can purchase individual cards, unsealed packs, collection boxes, decks and more. While TCGs are their bread and butter, Game HQ also has a treasure trove of miscellaneous geekery including manga, vintage video games, figures and plushies.
What’s more, Game HQ buy and trade cards, games and action figures. This is a great excuse for you to do some lockdown spring cleaning of your card decks or geeky collections, get a bit of money for them OR trade for more stuff!
What’s their status?
Game HQ is open online for delivery or collection. Shipping is free for orders over £30 or just £1.50 if under which isn’t bad at all. We would suggest checking out their Instagram to get an idea of their full stock because the website seems to only have limited information. They also recommend you contact them directly for purchases on social, email or phone. They’re open weekdays 10am – 530pm and Saturday 10am – 6pm.
Bonus shout out… The Oasis
The Oasis, which houses Game HQ, is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. It’s an alternative fashion-store-come-alternative-shopping experience. It’s brimming with over 20 independent retailers from vintage fashion, tattoo and piercing parlous, shoe stores, jewellery and much more. Like Game HQ, loads of these are still operating online and are well worth considering for some of your lockdown shopping.
And that is that for this blog and for the series! What do you think about our lists? Are there any of your favourites we missed? Why not drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
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