Forbidden Planet, Southampton
I’m not going to make a big thing about what a nerd I am. I’d say that nowadays, being a nerd is pretty much a given. So much of popular culture can be grouped into the ‘nerd’ category that basically everyone qualifies as one. No longer are we afraid of the old stereotype of jocks beating us to a pulp and shoving us into a locker, instead we openly celebrate the geekiness that makes us who we are.
This is why I love Forbidden Planet. It is the culmination of everything that I love. Every TV show, every movie, every game, every comic. It’s in there. And it’s GREAT.
I don’t quite remember the first time that I ever went to Forbidden Planet in Southampton, but I do know that every single time I visit the town, it’s the place I’ll always pop into. All I can say is that from the first time I passed through those doors, very little has changed.
When you walk into Forbidden Planet, you’re greeted with a two-foot-tall replica of Gollum, which doesn’t sound unsettling – but far too many times have I gone to pay, forgotten it was there, then turned around and had a little fright.
The menace is, however, quickly forgotten as you are drawn towards the merchandise. I wish I could say I wasn’t a hoarder, but I am – and I am slowly amassing a collection of Funko Pop Dolls. The fact that Forbidden Planet is lined with hundreds of them does very, very little to quell my buying urges. Sadly, as I looked across the collection from The Walking Dead to Star Wars, I realised these were not the Funko Pops I was looking for. (Specifically Garnet and Amethyst from Steven Universe. If any of you want to buy me a present, don’t be shy.)
The upstairs of the shop is tiny compared to the catacombs below. The whole side wall of the place is filled up with graphic novels, all of which I would buy if I was not a Poor Student™. I had to resign myself to a couple of 3 for 2-manga volumes, but I did however find a book I hadn’t read before by my favourite horror artist Junji Ito, as well as the next in the series of the sparkly shojo crap that I own far too much of.
Perhaps the most wondrous thing, though, is the fact that there is a whole case jut for replicas from movies. And what really piques my interest is the Harry Potter wands. There’s no reason to get one. I wouldn’t use it. I want it so it can sit there and look pretty. One day, though, one day…
I picked up a Hufflepuff coaster – how could I resist when there is such a woefully small amount of merchandise for my Hogwarts house – and bought my things before I could spend any more. Coincidentally, my wallet is in the shape of a PlayStation 1, and I got it from – you guessed it – Forbidden Planet. Perhaps I do buy more than I realise…
To top it all off, a green lighter in front of the store – green like Slimer on the Ghostbusters energy drink that I bought, which left me twitching over its ridiculous caffeine content once I’d downed it.
In conclusion: If you ever get time to go to Forbidden Planet, do it, but you might want to get a friend to hold onto your wallet for you.