Gods & Monsters in Orlando, FL is owned and run by a husband and wife team, Todd and Anna, who are committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where all can be comfortable. Part comic shop, part game store, part art gallery, and the host of a secret vault, there is sometime for everyone here. It is also a place where you can buy and sell used nerd cultures items, such as action figures and art.
When I first walked into G&M in 2016, the atmosphere was friendly and open. The shop is roughly laid out in thirds, comics up front, games and collectors items in the middle and clothes and art gallery in the back. While the shop’s footprint is small, one can spend hours in there looking at all they have to offer.
One of the things that makes G&M extra special is Vault 5421, a bar and escape room in the back.
Unfortunately, 2020 has changed how we shop and my family hasn’t been able to visit in quite some time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t stepping up to meet the needs of the community! The owners have been working hard to complete special orders by phone, curbside pickup and shipping to those who can’t make it in. This commitment will be highlighted in November 2020 with the launch of their Shopify store, making it even easier to support this fantastic shop!
I have had the opportunity to speak with the owners and help them share their labor of love with you! Check out our full interview with Gods & Monsters below:
How did you get your start as a Friendly Local Game Store?
Both the wife and I come to the table, collectively, with about 40 years of Genre retail experience. We’ve been running stores of one type or another, Video, Toys, Gaming, for other people since the early 90s and in that time, you learn a lot about what to do, and moreover, what NOT to do, when you’re running a business of your own. A few years back, we found ourselves both out of long-time positions at other shops and figured we weren’t getting any younger. Why not take a stab at doing our own thing? Like the comic book team-ups of old, we set off to make the greatest store either of us had ever seen and we hope that’s what Gods & Monsters is becoming.
What would you say most sets you apart from other Game and Comic shops?
I’d say it’s the Experience of the Place as a whole. Obviously, we try to carry a pretty wide array of products, The Gaming, The Toys, The Statues, but anybody can do that. We’re constantly adding and upgrading stock to reflect the newest and hottest trends, while trading for personal collections to provide a bit of nostalgia to collectors with the older stuff. It’s all about balance, display, and above all, Interactivity. We all know and love this stuff, so it makes it easier for us to strike up conversation, fill you in on a particular piece, maybe turn you on to a series you should be reading. It’s very hands-on. Plus (PLUS!!) We feature the only full service, post Apocalyptic-themed Bar/Escape Room in the world, Vault 5421, on-site for when you get thirsty and just GOTTA have a Nuka Cola.
Which steps were taken to cultivate such an open and welcoming atmosphere at G&M?
We wouldn’t even have considered a project that wasn’t fully inclusive. It just wouldn’t make sense to us to be anything but Wholly inclusive with our offerings and our Attitudes. People are People, A Geek is a Geek and our crew is well aware of this. We’re all in this together and we’re very clear from the interview stage what’s expected of our Staff. We pride ourselves in being a Safe space for every fan of every Fandom.
What can customers expect from your upcoming online shop?
Our main backend project since COVID hit has been righting our course toward Online sales, something we had yet to really capitalize on and we always felt would be a huge opportunity for us to grow. We’ve spent the last few months preparing, what we hope will be, a new way for us to get our brand out there and give folks who DON’T have a Gods & Monsters near them a chance to browse our ever-changing Inventory. The launch will feature a modest amount of our current stock with more added literally every day after that. We’re really Excited about it.
Is there anything else you’d like people in the Tabletop RPG community to know?
I guess ‘Thank You!!’
We wouldn’t be anything without our fans and those who’ve believed in us over the past few years and we’d be remiss not to thank them every chance we get. The ones who take the time to write a positive review or bring their friend to show us off, bring in their collections or trust us with their comic subscriptions. It’s all Gravy. You chose us and Keep on Choosing us and that makes it all worth it. It’s Humbling to see the effect something you’ve built has on people and their families and their collecting. Five Years straight as ‘Best in Orlando’ wouldn’t’ve been possible without our voraciously loyal fans, So, ‘Thank You.’
Learn more about Gods & Monsters by visiting: https://www.godmonsters.com
GODS & MONSTERS
5421 INTERNATIONAL DRIVE, ORLANDO, FL, 32819
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