Monday, March 28, 2011

And now for something completely stupid

Nice to be back on this blog. The other one takes ages to load and it really hard to manage. So here we are again. Sorry if it means you have to change your settings again, but please do.

So on Saturday we went into the West End to see the play Warhorse with my mother-in-law. Have you been? I was dreading it, being as keen on theatre-going as I am on dog shit, but to my surprise it was a sensation. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and I don't cry at anything. I was welling up from the start. It's about horses and war, so you can guess how heart-wrenching it was. I was drained.

And there we were in the middle of Covent Garden, browsing shops, having drinks in bars, completely unaware of the UK Uncut trustafarians having a sit-in in Fortnum & Mason and the equally posh Black Bloc (you know there'll be loads of Nicks and Tobys sticking it to the man, but hiding behind a balaclava. Well done) smashing up the HSBC on Cambridge Circus. We could see it unfolding on Sky News but it may as well have been in Mumbai.

Our evening in a peaceful French restaurant in Monmouth Street was similarly undisturbed. Only on the way home did our taxi sweep by the fires of Trafalgar Square, though it all looked rather peaceful at the time. Poor London, bloodied and bruised, burnt and scorched and defaced. Can't they pick on another city and let us all get on with out lives. Legitimate protesters I applaud, splinter groups of bored students have a fun day out chucking crash barriers at Santander I do not. They're ruining it for everyone. Don't say I told you so when marches are banned from Central London.

Anyhoo, my real point is that while having a few moments to kill we went into Forbidden Planet. I've never set foot in this geek paradise before. Of course it's wall-to-wall superhero and sci-fi figurines at varying prices, as well as a whole wall of behind glass sculptures of minor characters from Star Wars or Watchmen with price tags into three figures. I mean, who buys these gewgaws?

Everything is now has a range of merchandise attached of course, and it's no surprise to see everything from Lost to Superman in there, but I baulked when I came across the Monty Python range. Yes, that's right, the Monty Python range.

It included a fluffy dead parrot for you to amuse your friends with, a disembodied foot on a keychain and Life Of Brian action figures. I didn't realise such stuff existed. Nothing is sacred. I couldn't go any further, I was too bemused. Anything even vaguely cultish now gets this treatment.

What next? A range of Howards' Way items. A miniature seaworthy Barracuda? A Ken Masters action figure with various medallions or a build your own Polly and Gerald mansion?

Actually, there's a thought...


Mondo said...

Monmouth Street's lovely - compared to nutty buzz of Neal St next door. Although I remember when both were dusty ol' book and what-not shops..

Forbidden Planet's become the HMV of comic shops (I was there this morning funnily enough). Back in the 80s, when it was in Denmark Street, you could pick up vintage bits for pennies - issues that are worth fortunes now..

Gosh near the British Museum is great and more design based with none of the 'merch' and tackery...

Although my faves are Orbital, Leicester Square and Comicana just near Smith James & Sons umbrella shop.

You must visit Orbital, which has a mini gallery (displaying original Look-in cover art on my last trip) a record and collectibles section and signed original art panels from old UK titles: TV 21, TV Comic, Look-in etc...

Five-Centres said...

I didn't know about Orbital, so thanks for that Mondo. Also, it's high time I visited The Vintage Magazine Company in Soho again. Not been in since 1982.