PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’re looking for a holiday gift for the “nerdy” collector in your life, Emerald City Comics in Pinellas Park has everything from comic books, to board and tabletop games, to high-end replica statues.
Located technically at a Clearwater address at 4902 113th Ave. N., Emerald City Comics has something for anyone, on any budget, but their items of course must relate to comic books, television, movies and pop culture.
Neil Johnson is the owner of the store. He said during the pandemic, they were closed for five weeks, but every one of his workers remained employed. They were able to tool their website and online presence and everyone who wanted to work, could go in and get a full paycheck.
“We’ve been quite unique that all we sell is a luxury, but people want right now, luxuries and fantasies to get away from real life, so we’ve done very well this year. This has been a good year for us. We’re very blessed,” he said.
Johnson and his employees are gearing up for Black Friday and the following holiday season.
He said the most popular things they sell for the holidays are Hasbro toys including Star Wars and Marvel figures, as well as Funko! Pop figures.
Even with supply chain shortages, Johnson said his location is “a-okay” and good to go for the holidays.
“We are fully stocked, so I don’t think we’re going to be having any shortages for Christmas like they’re talking about,” he said. “When you’re ordering toys, you’re ordering them a year in advance, so we’ve ordered them so far in advance, they’re coming in and I think we’re going to be fine.”
There’s going to be a big sale at the comic book shop for Black Friday.
“Up to 30 percent off stuff, which is big in our industry,” Johnson said.
While Johnson acknowledges gift certificates don’t have a “personal touch,” it is often hard to shop for a collector, not knowing what they already have, so gift cards are available. If someone receives a duplicate gift, exchanges at the store are welcome.
Moving forward into 2022, Emerald City Comics is pursuing more expensive, higher-end things for collections, as they have always done.
Johnson and his employees said their most unique “toy” is a collectible Incredible Hulk statue which sells for almost $2,000, as well as a crowd-funded Hasbro toy of Jabba the Hutt’s (of “Star Wars”) sail barge, which is about six-feet long. They will also be selling a G.I. Joe figure from 1984, which will go for between $2,000-$3,000.
“I don’t want to scare people off. We also have items that are very inexpensive,” Johnson said. “We have a whole kids’ section for lower-end toys. But all toys have to still be related back to cartoons, movies, television, comics. That’s where we draw the line as to what we carry.”
Funko! Pop vinyl dolls run for around $12 for a standard figure and there are plenty of inexpensive comics and knick-nacks for stocking stuffers.
“We have items that are a dollar. We have items that are $40,000, so it’s just a wide range of stuff. It’s a great place to look around, you can come in, hang out, and just check out the stuff that we have,” Johnson said.
Emerald City Comics also does mail-order and curbside pickup orders, in addition to those looking to browse inside the physical store.