This Week's Topic: Warner Bros. Studio Store
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Warner Bros. Studio Store was a chain of retail stores selling Looney Tunes and other merchandise based on Warner Bros. films, similar in style to The Disney Store. They first opened in 1991 and when Warner Bros. owner Time Warner merged with Turner Broadcasting (which owned Hanna-Barbera and the pre-1986 MGM library) in 1996, merchandise based on Turner properties were added to the product lines. In 2001 all Warner Bros. Studio Stores went out of business after just ten years but in 2006 the stores were reopened in China when Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered with PMW Retail.
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In the mid-90s I had a thing for Superman. Okay, I still do. But back then, it wasn't very easy to procure Man Of Steel merchandise. You couldn't find it in regular stores (believe me, I tried. Not until about 1997, when the animated series caught on.) And online shopping wasn't a thing yet. Internet merchants existed, but you usually just had to ask them to send you a paper catalog. So I was sad. I had a meager allowance and dangit, I wanted to spend it on Superman stuff!
One day, I learned about a thing called The WB Store, aka the Warner Bros. Studio Store. And I learned that there was one in a mall across town. I begged my mom to take me there, and she did. I remember walking into this giant room just full of... okay mostly Looney Tunes stuff, but oh, there were other things. There were Animaniacs. There was Batman. And there was Superman.:)
There was never a lot of Superman stuff. Usually there'd be three or four things each time I visited. And I would buy one or two of them. I managed to convince somebody to take me there at least two times a year for the next few years. After high school, I discovered how to get there via public transit (it only took an hour each way!) and would often bring a friend.
In the late 90's, the WB Store started selling Buffy merchandise, so I began branching out with my purchases. In 2001, they even started offering Harry Potter stuff. Strangely, that's the year the WB Stores all closed. I guess the company figured they could sell the same stuff online, but... it would never be the same for me.
Sometimes I still visit that mall (Washington Square, near Tigard, OR) and gaze longingly at the space the WB Store once occupied (I think it's a clothing store, now.) I remember the excitement I used to have at the mere thought of going there. Then the sheer bliss I felt stepping through the doors and into a world of things that I loved. The fun of choosing something cool, buying it, and bringing it home to add to my collection.
I miss you, WB Store.