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Cult superheroes and figures from film and television have not only been immortalised by the vibrating screens that control our lives and direct our brainwaves, recent technology relative to the history of the world, but also in the newsprint and gloss of modern comics. Ah, comics …
Some of you may remember when everything visual was represented by way of pixels into your faceholes and for entertainment people still had to read to construct an actual story, with the assistance of carefully crafted pictures. Excited at the premise of what was going to happen next, your imagination delved into a fantastical world that you yourself created as pages turned more swiftly. Those days may be somewhat done, but a niche market still exists and the resale value of collectible, still-sealed comics is simply astronomical. At Heroes of Games and Comics in Melrose Arch, this world comes alive and covers all the bases from comics to games, naturally, and from merchandise to collectible figurines. What they do so well is to marry the enduring love for immortal superheroes such as Batman and Superman with everything you could possibly dream of associated with the characters. They’ve even got Batman-styled leather jackets and Jake the Dog, of Adventure Time fame, hoodies.
Although it appears that this is a kids’ shop, it certainly isn’t. The majority of the items, apart from the wearable merchandise and bags, are collectible and even at retail level go for sizeable amounts. This world of games and comics is authentic and caters to the microcosm of society that varies from obsessed to fanatical. Naturally, they also take advantage of the resurgence of the Marvel and DC franchises and how they dominate box offices globally – and Star Wars, of course. You can even purchase your very own Darth Vader mask and become your very own infamous Sith Lord. Movies taking centre stage in the coming months are beginning to fill their shelves: Batman vs Superman,Deadpool and The Suicide Squad, as kids are of course attracted to the store filled to the brim with figurines. It’s all about catering to a niche market with a vested interest, but you still have to attract the new fans and invite them to fall in love as well. I’d advise parents to let them know to look but not touch, as you certainly wouldn’t want your kids breaking the majority of the collectibles lining the walls; much as you’d like to think it, most of the items are definitely not toys.
Heroes of Games and Comics at first struck me as being a little out of place in Melrose Arch among the high-end department stores and well-manicured clientele. Then I realised that they are all still people, and no matter your profession or your attitude you almost certainly still have a favourite childhood superhero that could pique your interest just enough to come inside, escape from the Jozi stress and exit with something memorable as a throwback to where it all began.