For over 3 decades, Collectors Kingdom in Huntington Station on Long Island, NY was a haven for fanboys and fangirls of comics, collectibles, and related items. The store boasted miles of current and back issue comics, as well as tons of memorabilia, statues and toys. Collectors Kingdom was the premiere store for anyone interested in comicbooks, horror, sci-fi and fantasy. The store was noted throughout Long Island for both its merchandise as well as its friendly, family-like atmosphere. “In a day and age where virtual worlds have overrun our daily lives, Collectors Kingdom provided not only a vast selection of iconic comics, statues, toys and hobby supplies,” A spokesperson said. “It was a fellowship; a place to gather and talk about comics, movies, pop culture and their extensive collections.”
However, on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at about 3:30 a.m. tragedy struck. The fire burned through several stores in the strip mall in Huntington Station where Collectors Kingdom was located. The life of this family-friendly establishment was lost in that devastating fire; breaking the hearts of its customers, employees and the community. However, not to be deterred from their chosen form of entertainment, the owners have determined to rebuild. Hence, from the ashes, the owners are currently striving to recreate this comic utopia — bigger and better than ever.
According to its customers, what made Collectors Kingdom special was that it was more than simply a retail store; it was akin to a second home for both its customers as well as its employees. On any summer day, you could find bikes of the neighborhood children scattered on the sidewalk while they shopped for trading cards, comics, toys and the occasional candy bar. As the store grew and customers had families of their own, their respective collections also grew and they brought their children to start new collections. Collectors Kingdom prided itself in being a retreat from the ever-increasing technological world, providing a place for Magic: The Gathering and other role-playing gamers, avid comic and toy collectors, as well as pop culture enthusiasts of all stripes. Every Wednesday became a meeting place for its regular customers, because it wasn’t just about comics, it was about community.
Now the store needs need help to rebuild. You simply can’t imagine the needs of a full-service comic book and collectible store. Yes, the merchandise was lost, however everything from shelving, storage supplies, display cases, even a cash register, are all needs for the store to get back up and running. Every donation helps, especially as there was, unfortunately, no fire insurance protecting the store. The owners are currently running an IndyGoGo crowd-sourcing promotion in order to help subsidize the rebuilding of Collectors Kingdom. Interested persons can help by either contribution to the IndyGoGo campaign or by donating merchandise.
In the meantime, the search for a permanent location to rebuild is ongoing, so if you’re thinking of donating merchandise to help replace the 30+ years of history, they will be accepted, with gratitude. If the store’s campaign get fully funded, the owners will throw a Re-Opening Launch Party, and donations of merchandise would be accepted at that time. In the meantime, the owners are asking that fans, former patrons, and sympathetic collectors help by sharing this link with friends, family, and loved ones. Also, the owners are asking comic book writers and artists, if they would consider donating some of their autographed to the cause.
This project will be funded on March 9, 2015.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.