Geek’s Guide to Toy And Comic Shopping In London 2024

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While the crown has changed hands, most of London still remains the same as we would expect. The biggest change now is the wider acceptance of anime and manga into the fold. Apart from that, Harry Potter fever has hit a tipping point, transforming(or devolving) into a tourist souvenir; that said, there are still plenty of cool sights to be found.

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Not quite as densely packed as other cities in Asia we’ve covered in the past, the geek shopping experience in London is pretty different yet still strangely familiar. There’s a good emphasis on the retail experience here that welcomes folks from all walks of life. If you’re looking to get into the hobby, London is by far one of the best experiences with non-stereotypical inclusions of geek culture.

Focusing on one of the more touristy spots in London, this geek guide is much shorter than our previous coverage, but it should give a good cross-section of what London’s mainstream geek scene has to offer. If you’re headed there for a holiday, Leicester Square is definitely one of the places to check out, serving as the basis for our guide.

LEGO Store Leicester Square

3 Swiss Ct, London W1D 6AP, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

The LEGO store at Leicester Square is still a great place to start the geek journey, and it has receieved a few upgrades over the years. Having started with the mosaic maker, the store has added a full section which includes a Minifigure Factory.

Depending on when you’re visiting the store, the Minifigure Factory has seasonal elements to keep things fresh. Unique store offerings have been expanded to include LEGO and London-themed luggage tags as one of the many items you can pick up for friends back home!

Gosh! Comics

1 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DR, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

No words can accurately describe the feeling of flipping through a fresh graphic novel or comic, but GOSH! Comics help anyone feed that need!

The store is a great retail experience for anyone looking to browse and pick up an indie comic book title. There’s plenty to browse here so it might take a bit more time; plus, it’s nice to see the shelves changing with the times, especially the renewed interest in X-Men.

Mega City Comics

18 Inverness St, London NW1 7HJ, UK

If you’re planning a visit to Camden Market, be sure to check out Mega City Comics. They have a decent collection of current and old comics, graphic novels, some T-shirts and a small collection of manga titles. Who knows, you might discover a gem or two if you’re lucky.

Orcs Nest

6 Earlham St, London WC2H 9RY, UK

Board gaming is bigger than ever before, and Orcs Nest continues to be well stocked with all the staples anyone needs to start their collection.

Prices still come at a premium, but the store has expanded its selection towards the tabletop RPG genre that is not Dungeons & Dragons. Given its central location, this is a store to check out, especially with how it captures the hobby’s growth in feeding social gaming for the Internet age.

Forbidden Planet

179 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JR, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

If there was a place in London that gave a pulse on the ever shifting landscape of geek and comic book pop culture, Forbidden Planet would be it. The store finds its strength in all forms of western content, even as consumer tastes have been steadily changing.

Heading into the lower floor, you’d be surprised at the number of shelves dedicated to anime and manga content, with even a segment for Japanese horror manga artist Junji Ito. Star Wars and Marvel continue to make a good run and it’s good to see Japanese influence in the wider geek space thriving in London.

The Noble Collection

Ground Floor, 26-28 Neal St, London WC2H 9QQ, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

When it comes to high-end licensed products, The Noble Collection is where it’s at. With Harry Potter-related products still dominating the space, the store has expanded even more into Warner Brothers’ related IPs as well. There are even more Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and DC comics products on the shelf angled to the more well-heeled clientele looking for display pieces to place in their homes.

While it’s the norm to visit this store and pick up gifts for friends back home, seeking out that final ornamental object to complete your home’s aesthetic is a common practice as well. The addition of The Last Airbender merch is surprising to see, but those who grew up with the series are well into their twenties and can now afford to treat themselves to something more upmarket.

Bubble Pop

60 Neal St, London WC2H 9PP, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

If Forbidden Planet represents all things Western, then Bubble Pop starts stronger from the Eastern geek lens with a cross-section of all things anime, Sanrio,and everything in between.

Once again, it’s hard to escape Harry Potter in London, but Bubble Pop balances it out with all things cute and squishable. This is a place that one should check out especially if Japanese IPs are your thing — it’s no Akihabara, of course, but offers a good case study of how such content are curated overseas.

Bonus: Dark Sphere Shepherd’s Bush

Unit 8 W12 Shopping Centre, London W12 8PP, UK

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

As the sole surviving Dark Sphere branch in London, this store has plenty of weight on its shoulders. It’s one of the biggest trading card game (TCG), board gaming, and tabletop gaming store we’ve seen in our travels with an active community.

Toy and Comic Shopping in London

It can be quite a journey to get to this location, but the presence of the nearby massive Westfield shopping mall makes it easier to pop by for a quick peek. Prices for Warhammer miniatures remain competitive here, but the highlighting of picking up a store-exclusive model is a strong strong reason to visit this locale during your travels!

[ Check out more Geek Shopping Guides here ]