I'm a science fiction and cartoon fan (odd combination, I know), and as a fan, I like to buy merchandise from my favourite TV shows. But while you can find Star Wars or Disney products practically anywhere these days, stuff for shows like Star Trek, The-X-Files, and The Flintstones are not very often found on your local high street. For that you need to go into Central London. Shaftesbury avenue to be exact.
The street is most well known as being the West End's theatre district. The Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud and Queen's theatres are all clustered together there, as are the Palace and Shaftesbury Theatre. Down the same street there is also a Cineworld Odeon and Curzon cinema. But Shaftesbury Avenue is also home to Forbidden Planet, the cult Entertainment Megastore.
Here you will find Dr. Who action figures, Star Trek figurines, and Avenger busts. They also cater for cartoon and video game fans as you will see with their Moomin stationary, Sonic plush toys, and Mario calendars.
I first discovered the shop several years ago, and was in awe of all the glorious goodies they had on offer. At the time I was collecting Star Trek: Voyager videos, and I had a wail of a time searching for the episodes missing from collection. Every time I went there I would find several videos I needed, all at 99p each. Typically, immediately after completing my collection, the series came out on DVD, but that's beside the point.
As you enter Forbidden Planet, there is a glass display case of their best looking action figures, then as you go round the corner, you will find a more affordable range, along with a number of boardgames. Further along, you'll find a display cabinet full of Harry Potter wands. Most places selling Harry Potter wands have a very limited range; you'll get the trios', Voldemort's and the Elder wand, but that's about it. At Forbidden Planet, however, they sell the minor characters' wands aswell, such as those belonging to Professors Flitwick, McGonagall, and Umbridge.
Downstairs is dedicated to books, books, and more books. Be it novel, companions, comics, or graphic novels, you could spend an entire afternoon exploring down there. Along with Marvel and Manga, it is also the place to top up on trading cards are accessories such as protective sleeves, as individual card protectors can be hard to come by at ordinary stationers.
After reading my Star Trek magazine about a new companion book that had just come out, I paid a visit to Forbidden Planet and found it at £2 off the original price. Since it has only been released recently, I thought this was pretty good deal - and even better when I got another £2 off with my Star Trek Fan Club Membership.
Forbidden Planet is definitely worth a trip to London for; there is also a smaller shop in Croydon, or you can shop online.