Monday, June 14, 2010


So yeah, before moving to Los Angeles I spent a lot of time in shopping malls. Not for clothes or shoes or socializing, but for recon, for info, for toys and games. Phoenix malls were these strange pop culture buffets, and you were pretty much guaranteed to find some pretty cool stuff at some surprising locales. They closed those stores, so the malls have been increasingly not-worth-my-time as I visited. Now that I'm back, here are some complaints you won't want to read. (Go to the next post.)

Paradise Valley Mall
I lived across the street from here for over 2 years, at which point it was glorious. Hobby Bench, Kay-Bee Toys, and Suncoast Motion Picture Company made the place kick ass. All three are gone-- if you want toys now, you might find something in the board game store or GameStop. Maybe Sears. Nothing remains that's toy-specific. There is a new (to me) movie theater chain called "Picture Show" which, appropriately enough, opened where the old Harkins theater used to be near the food court.

I've heard this mall is dying since... geez, forever. It's still open but a lot of stuff is gone-- all the toy stores, the board game store, etc. It used to have 3 video game stores, now it doesn't. The remainging Point Of Interest is really the Suncoast, which may be the only one around in the state. I'll need to investigate. The mall has a lot of empty stores, which, I hope, means some wacky thing might open up as rents inevitably decline. Someone should open a cool record store or something you don't see every day. It's pretty silent when you get in it, though, and I've been twice since getting back. (Errands, lunch, you know the drill.)

Not much for toys. Nor music. There's a GameStop and a 2-story sporting goods store where tackle boxes are too expensive for toy storage purposes. It's been dull for a while, and remains dull today.

Have not yet dropped in Scottsdale Fashion Square, Fiesta, Desert Sky, Superstition Springs, or ChrisTown malls. I've been near ChrisTown mall but it's been predominantly sucky for pretty much as long as I've been able to drive there, particularly since the Kay-Bee (and 60% of the mall) was removed.

I'm in the midst of a shit toy run season. There's always something to research and go after, but as far as action figures go, it's pretty dull unless you're in to the big summer movies which, this season, are either a) over or b) skewing younger than my interests. (Not gonna care about Last Airbender stuff.) But that starts in August officially, and if Kmart does more of what they're reportedly doing, it might start a lot sooner.

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