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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Game Realms A New Video Game Store Opens In Burbank

You'll see it as you pass Nickelodeon Animation. A brand-spanking new video game store. When you first enter, you'll stop and realize there's even more store to explore behind the counter. Game Realms is one of the largest game stores in the LA area, instead of the cramped nature of the Game Stop in the Burbank Mall you can move your legs and not worry about knocking over or running into the person behind you. It's a magnificent scale of gaming and puts to shame the style of the surrounding game stores. This is a store you'll want to host a tournament in. A store you"ll gladly walk through and pronounce, "I am gamer!"
The owners (L to R) William Delaney, Maggie Paynter and Lucas Paynter

When I visited this early April I met co-owners Maggie Paynter, Lucas Paynter (married) and William Delaney. All former employees of Game Dude and from talking to them all had some video game nerd cred.

"I want the store to be a community kind of space, not just simply, a place where you come and you buy or sell and then leave. I want a place where you spend some time and mingle, get to know people," Maggie said to me as we explored their courtyard.

She went through a flurry of different ideas of what might take place in the courtyard from a mini-concert from a video game cover band to craft shows to an artist alley. There was so much open space that could be used, it was hard to think of any other game store having that much room, and outside. Maggie then suggested the possibility of getting voice actors to come by as their location is in Burbank, cartoon capitol of the world. Whatever they decide on, there's plenty of room.

As we talked you could hear covers of video game soundtracks and remixes, suddenly I was hearing Mario's theme redone while searching threw old SNES titles.

"Fangamer and Shark Robot for the T-shirts," Maggie told me as we passed a kiosk filled with shirts only available online and the usual local cons. Now LA has a place you can buy them minus the shipping. There's only one other brand in LA that holds anything from Fangamer and that's Iam8bit out in Echo Park and Sunset, but they don't have any of the T-shirts. It wasn't only shirts for sale here, but jewelry based on different games.

I asked about a commitment to older games. Maggie replied, "Yeah, NES, Gensis, the Super Nintendo even obscure stuff." They CDI was laughingly mentioned. I asked if they'd have a buy-back program."If you have an old-school game you want to sell, will give you fair prices on that," co-owner William told me. So worry not on getting older games. When I looked through they had a very vast collection.

The owners even made a point to discuss condition about the games they sell for collectors. The only stickers will be a price sticker and bar-code sticker that won't be on any label and will be easy to remove. Maggie and Lucas are collectors themselves, so they know what you want in your game display case.

In back, you'll be able to rent used copies of games and play them. You can only rent games to be played in store, not to take home. They have more than enough HD TV's, consoles and space. It's almost glamorous. It'll be a haven for those wanting to host a big tournament. Just imagine a big open area to rain some pain on your friends.

*As of writing this, it's only free to try demos in the back, call before going to make sure about the game renting and if they have the title you want to try. There were also no seats yet as the store is still in its soft opening phase.

On top of renting a used game to play in the back they told me if you then purchased said game the rental fee would go into your purchase, thus saving you some cash.

With the amount of space I hope game companies take advantage and have some game launches again for the LA area, the last one was for Fallout 4, but for VIPs. This would be a place to have a game launch for fans, directly to fans.

In front, you'll see art books for your favorite games, another saver for shipping as well as way to check out the books before you buy them. You fill welcomed as you pass a Charles Lushear original NES controller table. Why have a regular coffee table when you can have one that looks like a game controller?

We at TTDILA look forward to the future events and merchandise and of course community that comes from Game Realms as it readies itself for it's grand opening in May. We look forward to seeing the shop grow into a gamer paradise in a getting busier by the second Burbank.

Game Realms Soft Opening Hours
*These hours are subject to change, check online
Mondays to Saturdays opening hours are from 11 am to 7 PM. Sundays hours will be 10 am to 6 PM.
137 N .Victory Blvd, Burbank , CA 91502. Phone: 818 841 1545

May 14-15
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