Growing up, I loved exploring the heavily branded shopping experiences of the Disney Store and the Warner Bros. Studio Store. These days, I can get a more tech-oriented version of the same basic concept at one of Apple or Microsoft’s many retail locations. But to get Nintendo’s version of that kind of retail wonderland, I have to go to the company’s one and only Nintendo World Store location, in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
For locals, Nintendo World is just another tourist trap. But for hundreds of tourists every day, the half-museum, half-arcade, half-expansive gift shop (yup, three halves) is a kind of mecca to pay homage to the company and its creations. The same appeal might not translate if Nintendo expanded the concept to every mall and shopping center in the country. That said, we think the depth and breadth of multi-generational Nintendo fandom could probably sustain more than a single location in one city.
For those who can’t make the trek to this singular store, we took this set of pictures during a recent reporting trip to capture the feeling of being there. Enjoy them as you wait for Nintendo to open up its own theme parks.