Have you ever wished you could hang out in a magical toy store? Or maybe score some records from the surliest music store clerks of all time? We spend so much of our lives with characters from our favorite shows and movies, it’s only natural to want to take that relationship to the next level. To get you ready for Portlandia‘s new Femimart, check out a few fake stores we wish we could visit in real life. No coupon clipping necessary.
10. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
Sometimes movies don’t need to be perfect to create a perfect place. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium sits at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and yet we’ve never been able to shake the shop that Mr. Magorium runs in the movie. Anything can happen there. Want any toy in the world? Just write it in the ledger and it will appear. Turn a doorknob and rooms will magically transform. The store — one part Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and one part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse — is a living thing, willing to fulfill your wildest fantasies, or throw a massive tempter tantrum. Plus, the checkout girl looks remarkably like Natalie Portman.
9. Championship Vinyl
Championship Vinyl is in a Chicago neighborhood that attracts the bare minimum of window shoppers. It caters to young men looking for The Smiths singles and rare Frank Zappa albums. If you want crap like “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” you can cart your butt back out to the mall. Shop owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack) compares the records he sells, which he calls fetish properties, to porn. The employees here are true blue, dyed-in-the-wool music snobs just like in the good ol’ days when people actually left the house to buy music. This is a store where opinions are as good as facts and mix tapes are a reason to get out of bed in the morning. (Well, in the afternoon.)
8. The Magic Box
Life in Sunnydale isn’t the easiest. Demons and vampires are constantly trying to kill you, and all the cute boys are either attached or have decomposing, unattached limbs. But there is one place of refuge, and that’s The Magic Box. Whether you’re a layman looking for a love potion, or an experienced Wiccan looking for that hard-to-find spell, The Magic Box is a one-stop shop for all your occult needs. And if you have some free time between sales, feel free to crack wise with Xander, train with Giles or make out with Spike. Just be careful with the musical spells.
7. Mr. Hooper’s Store
What kid didn’t want to hang out with Big Bird and the gang at Mr. Hooper’s Store, Sesame Street’s premiere supplier of cookies and whatever it was that Mr. Snuffleupagus eats. Whatever you need, kindly old Mr. Hooper could supply it. Oh no. We just remembered the episode where Big Bird finds out Mr. Hooper died. Can’t talk…curling into fetal position and crying for mommy…
6. Bill’s Candy Shop
If you’re a kid, a kid at heart, or just have a horrible diet, there’s no place you’d rather while away the hours than inside Bill’s Candy Shop. Whether you’re in the mood for a piece of Fickelgruber’s hard candy, some Slugworth’s Sizzlers, or a Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar, there’s only one place to satiate your sweet tooth. No matter your craving, Bill has it, and he knows to save it just for you. See, Bill isn’t some new school candy slinger, who just sells his wares to anyone with a dime and a dream. Bill knows his customers by name, and has just the right bit of sugary goodness ready for them when they walk in the door. He isn’t afraid to just start tossing candy in the air, as he sings little ditties about “The Candy Man.” Come on behind the counter, kids. Help yourself. Come to think of it, Bill really needs to start charging or he’s going to go out of business.
5. The Leftorium
For the left-handed among us, there’s one store that’s always held a certain allure. The Leftorium is a business as simple as it is brilliant. Why not have a shop for left-handed folks? Give the rest of the world a taste of what it’s like to have everything backwards. Thanks to Ned Flanders, this is just the store for all your leftie shopping needs, whether its a left-handed ruler, poster or Statue of Liberty figurine. Just try and remember not to mention the Southpaw Superstore that opened up nearby.
4. Empire Records
While the snobbishness may be dialed down at Empire Records, at least compared to Championship Vinyl, the staff is no less a family. They stick together through thick and thin, especially when their store is on the verge of being sold to a conglomerate and turned into a bland franchise outpost. But that’s not what bumps this shop so high up on the list. And no, it’s not the morality plays the staff puts on to make sure none of them get hooked on drugs, as fun as those seem. What makes this shop stand out is simple. It’s filled with gorgeous, young people who seem very down to have sex and/or break into song and dance. Sure beats browsing iTunes in our underwear.
3.”Be Kind Rewind” VHS Rental
There was a time when an outing to the video store was a full evening. You’d peruse the aisles, digging through the new releases until finally settling on renting City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold for the 15th time. Sadly, those days have passed. But what if there was a shop where you could still riffle through your favorite titles? And what if all the movies were homemade remakes starring Jack Black and Mos Def that possessed the raw, unadulterated love of cinema that made you fall in love with the medium in the first place? Well, there is such a place in Be Kind Rewind, and all you have to do is remember the title before bringing the video back. Sounds like a fair deal to us.
2. The Chinatown Antique Shop From Gremlins
When you’ve searched high and low for a birthday gift for your son only to come up empty handed, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. That’s how Randall “Rand” Peltzer found himself digging through the ancient trinkets and cobwebs of a nameless Chinese antique store, and finding a Mogwai that he would pay any price for. Just imagine what other treats must lay behind the tattered curtains and hazy candlelight of this mysterious shop. As long as you bring cash (and the owner isn’t looking), you may walk out with something truly one of a kind. Just remember not to feed it after midnight.
1. TRAX Record Store
If we had a time machine, we’d forgo the whole killing Hitler thing and just go back to in time and hang out with Iona, Duckie and Andie at the record store in Pretty in Pink. Oh also our time machine can go to fictional eras.
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