I’ve popped into Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue countless times over the last several years, and have never seen it even remotely empty. It would have to be among the most successful adult stores in London, although its wares are for the most part G-rated.
Did I say “adult store”? That’s right, for the average age of browsers seems to be in the region of 35. Although Forbidden Planet specialises in model kits, comic books and action figures, child customers are definitely in the minority. Shoppers are also predominately male, and are just as likely to be wearing a business suit as a goth or punk outfit.
One of the store’s biggest draw cards is the constant parade of famous faces from the sci-fi and fantasy fiction world, such as Terry Pratchett, prolific author of books including Unseen Academicals and The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld, below.
For those not looking to spend, the store welcomes tourists and window-shoppers alike.
Luke Skywalker versus Rancor: “There will be no bargain” diorama, below.
Alan Lee, famous for his Lord of the Rings artworks, at a book signing for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin, which he illustrated.
Star Wars lovers are spoiled for choice, with items including mini-busts of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, below.
Artist John Howe, famous for his Lord of the Rings illustrations, at a signing for his Fantasy Art Workshop book.
Steampunk fans are well served, with a collection including the COD gun and stand, the Fairie Jess statue, and the fallout respiration helmet (all below).
Film props include a life size T-600 bust from Terminator: Salvation (below left) and a replica chestburster from James Cameron’s Aliens (below right).
Kevin Smith, director of Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, signs movie posters, below.
A life size Alien bust modelled from H. R. Giger’s creature design.
Go downstairs to find Forbidden Planet’s extensive selection of books, graphic novels, comics, manga, anime, DVD & audio, and more.
The True Blood collection includes Merlotte’s bar & Grill t-shirts, Charlaine Harris novels, comics, busts of Bill Compton and Eric Northman, and Tru Blood carbonated drinks.
Gerry Anderson, creator of Thunderbirds and Space: 999, at one of his many Forbidden Planet appearances, below.
Twilight fans can pick up their very own shirtless Jacob action figure (below right) or a Vampire Knits pattern book for that perfect, snuggly emo design.
For upcoming events and author signings at Forbidden Planet, click here.
Photos by Sven Klinge
(please credit photographer & website when using these photos)