On the Road Heading to Austin!
Road Trip to Austin for Jason’s Birthday!
In celebration of Jason’s birthday, we spent Labor Day weekend in Austin visiting friends and exploring. We spend time in Austin every year for Austin City Limits Music Festival, but don’t get to see much else outside of Zilker park and the hotel. Our goal was to see as many Comic Books & Toy Shops as possible!
Day 1 – North Austin
As there was a football game this weekend, our hotel was actually up north in Round Rock (around the corner from the legendary Round Rock Donuts!) and we spent Saturday in north Austin in an attempt to avoid of traffic.
Stop 1: Tenth Planet Comics & Games
We started our adventure in Tenth Planet Comics & Games (no relation to one of our favorite Houston spots Third Planet). This is more of a table top game shop – complete with drinks and snacks that you can snag (you can even open a tab if you plan to spend more time there). They have a pretty good selection of current comic titles in addition to gaming gear as well.
Comics at Tenth Planet Comics & Games!
Stop 2: Wonko’s Toys & Games
Our second stop was just a few miles away at Wonko’s Toys & Games. This shop has a sizable selection of board games & table top game swag… but I was most impressed with the toy selection. I especially loved the rare finds like Star Trek: The Next Generation figures from Germany. I’m not sure how much the inventory changes, but I loved browsing the shelves to see all of my favorite franchises represented: Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Star Trek, and a surprising amount of Nightmare Before Christmas collectible toys.
Wonko’s Toys & Games
Stop 3: Capstone Comics
Capstone Comics was one of my favorite stops on our tour. The shop isn’t huge, but it is packed with lots of back issues, books, toys, and other goodies.
The staff was very nice and I was able to snag my favorite find of the day – 100 postcards of vintage DC comic covers.
I’m looking forward to figuring out a cool way to display them in our study.
Day 2: Austin Proper
Stop 4: Austin Books & Comics
I had high expectations for Austin Books & Comics before even walking in. It has lots of great reviews on Yelp, and was at the top of every list of shops I found online. And @AustinBooks did not disappoint. We spent almost two hours here inspecting aisle after aisle of books, comics, toys, statues, and of course back issues. We even made a trip back into the archives after we discovered that all back issues were half off for Labor Day. Really fantastic shop.
Stop 5: Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy
My heart was immediately warmed when we walked into Dragon’s Lair and were greeted by a furry feline. This store seemed like one of the larger ones in terms of square footage – of which about half is taken up by tabletop games. The group in house on Sunday was playing in elaborate 3D scenes that were very cool. Lots of metal figures and paint supplies as well.
The other half of the store was filled with books and comics, with shelves dedicated to certain franchises that seemed a bit random to me: including 3 full shelves of Doctor Who gear. This place also has a unique family friendly vibe – there was a sizable area of kids books and a room in the back filled with kids as young as single digit ages.
Cat Greeting at Dragon’s Lair Austin
Stop 6: Toy Joy
Toy Joy is a treasure chest of unique toys and gifts that I love sifting through. This may not fall into the same category with comic shops, but full of nerdy things from Batman to Hello Kitty. It also includes a cafe with coffee, lemonade, and ice cream (they even have vegan flavors). Very Austin, very cool.
Stop 7: Austin Books & Comics Sidekick Store
Our final stop of the weekend was the Austin Books & Comics Sidekick store – a smaller shop around the corner from the main store that houses additional back issues and multiples that don’t quite fit in the main store – at discounted prices. Selection is limited (which is to be expected), but it is definitely worth checking out.
Bonus! Game Over Video Games
While not on our initial list, our hotel was close to Game Over Video Games – a video game store with one of the largest collections of older/vintage video games and consoles that I have ever seen. This place has old school NES, Super NES, Game Gear, Dreamcast, and everything in between. And we just happened to wander by while on our way to Starbucks. Very cool.
In Conclusion: There are Lots of Cool Things to See in Austin!
While we got in a lot of great stops, there are even more shops that we missed this time around in Austin. The trip was a blast, and inspired me to look a little closer at my own neighborhood. Every shop has its own unique vibe and story. It makes me wonder – what shops in close by places like the The Woodlands or Katy have we not seen?
I’m looking forward to more nerdy adventures, and sharing our findings along the way!