A couple’s plan to open a store for like-minded nostalgia geeks was fueled by “Pokemon Go.”
Chris Mullen and his family were playing the popular smartphone game in downtown Beaufort when they spotted an available space on Scott Street. Mullen and his wife, Melissa, had talked about opening a store for the past two years as an offshoot of their “geek box” subscription service.
They just needed the right space.
Flashback Gear opened Friday at 223 Scott St. near the Beaufort County Library and UPS Store. The store is full of apparel and gifts for fans of classic movies and TV shows, Harry Potter, superheroes and video games.
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“This is a reflection of me and my wife,” Chris Mullen said before the store opened Friday. “We love this stuff.”
Hogwarts house banners hang in the middle of the store, just beyond the center display loaded with Harry Potter goodies. There is a rack of “Seinfeld” shirts, Spiderman purses and plenty of T-shirts splashed with the likes of Rydell High, “The Goonies,” “Karate Kid” and “The Walking Dead.”
A display of wallets includes Game Boy, Superman and “The Walking Dead.”
The Mullens also run a printing business in Beaufort and are the curators of a service called Comic Pop, which delivers monthly boxes of goods to a dedicated group of subscribers.
Mullen said he didn’t want to operate a comic book store, though Flashback Gear does carry some comic books and signed prints snagged from New York Comic Con. The aim, perhaps, was a brighter version of Hot Topic.
Christmas lights hang in the windows along Scott Street, and there are clothes and gifts for women, babies and toddlers.
“We just want to be really family-friendly,” Mullen said.
To help get the word out, a series of radio spots are planned. And the store’s Facebook page has already generated some buzz.
Mullen is working with a local marketing company to create a custom Snapchat filter. A grand opening is planned to coincide with Main Street Beaufort’s Night on the Town holiday event Dec. 2.
The printing business will continue. And the gift subscriptions will go on, with about 100 customers currently signed up.
The boxes include a variety of items each month, some with themes like “The Walking Dead.” The service will continue to be called Comic Pop but will fold into the Flashback Gear business.
The store’s products are also available online. But Mullen plans to make some items — like rare Funko figures — available only in the store to draw serious collectors.