Finding ourselves in the homestretch, we enter the final week of The 2022 PopCult Gift Guide with a more general set of recommendations of cool retailers, both real-world and local to Charleston. I believe all of these folks offer gift certificates or e-Gift cards, so rather than do the shopping yourself, you can just take the coward’s way out. Or you can just go there and find something perfect for someone on your shopping list yourself, you know.
The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame
The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization devoted to celebrating and preserving the legacy of the contributions of West Virginians to the world of music. They aren’t strictly a retailer, but they do have cool stuff to sell.
You can help them in their mission by buying stuff from their webstore, where all proceeds go to the WVMHOF. They have lots of music, apparel and other gifts that could brighten up the life of the music lover on your gift list, and you could also buy a membership for someone, so they can feel the joy of supporting local music themselves.
The brainchild of Michael Lipton, the Hall of Fame sprung to life in 2005. They regularly induct new sets of West Virginia music stalwarts, and currently have a physical location in The Charleston Town Center(second floor) that also includes a shop that features CDs and more by state musicians.
Visit their website for the full story of their mission and history, plus information on how you can join and make donations. You can also shop their webstore for music, apparel and other gifts.
It’s a great way to support the local scene, support the WV Music Hall of Fame and make the local music lover on your gift list very happy.
Kin Ship Goods
They just moved two doors down from their original location, but you can also go online and shop at their store that’s filled with cool apparel, accessories, home goods and other neat stuff at Kin Ship Goods.
You can order and pay online through their secure webstore, and have your order shipped directly to you, or visit the store at its new locatin, 617 Tennessee Avenue, on Charleston’s West Side.
You’ve probably heard of Kin Ship Goods, a brand of apparel, accessories, and home goods designed by Dan Davis & Hillary Harrison. They are based in Charleston, returning to their roots after having started their business in Louisville.
Once you find that perfect gift, be it a mug, a shirt, a hoodie, a hat or someting else cool, Kin Ship Goods offers reasonable shipping options, or you can pick up your order at the store, or better yet, go into the store and check out their new digs and buy tons of stuff.
Oddbird Gift Emporium
Oddbird Gift Emporium offers a collection of quirky, fun gifts for the home, office, beauty, baby, garden and everywhere in between. Resurfacing as a brick and mortar retailer after the pandemic, you can visit them at their new location, 221 Hale St, Charleston.
Oddbird Gift Emporium has a good number of items made right here in the Mountain State. Oddbird also carries some fun clothing lines and has some cool gift cards and holiday ornaments.
Aside from the clothing and ornamets, Oddbird Gift Emporium is loaded with cool housewares, knicknacks, cooking items, custom-made soaps and candles and more. You’ll also find art prints, pottery, dinnerware, mugs and tons of other neat things. They even sell some specialty teas now.
Oddbird Gift Emporium is happy to return to the world of brick-and-mortar but you can still visit them online for snarky, hilarious and slightly offensive goods. You can shop at their webstore, or keep up with them on Facebook.
Plaid Stallions Shop
The nostalgia-merchants at Plaid Stallions.com (which is really Brian Heiler of MEGO Museum fame) have created a new toy magazine, Toy-Ventures, which I have recmmended in the past. It’s an absolute treat and if you visit their shop, you can buy all of the back issues, and in some cases, you’ll even get the early-bird bonus items that come with the mag.
Among the several issues you’ll find article on MEGO figures, The Lincoln International Monsters, The Outer Space Men, Rack Toys, toys based on Planet of the Apes, Space: 1999, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” The Munsters, Star Trek, KISS, Godzilla, Doctor Who, and tons of other cool toys from years past.
But that’s not all. You can also get signed copies of Brian’s two great books, Rack Toys and Knock Offs, and you’ll find the MEGO-sized action figure, Brick Mantooth. Coming soon (hopefully before Christmas) he’ll be adding the officially-licensed Tura Satana action figure, and the Polyester Pals mini-figures.
There’s hours of great reading material that’ll be perfect for the toy-lover on your shopping list, plus you can never go wrong with Brick Mantooth.
American Science & Surplus
American Science & Surplus has been around for decades and publishes one of the most entertaining catalogs on the face of the Earth. I’ve mentioned them here in PopCult before, and Mrs. PopCulteer and I have even made the pilgrimmage to their store in Chicago. They sell surplus items that include electronic components, gadgets, tools, toys, military pouches, cooking supplies, art supplies, pop culture oddities, educational materials and anything else they can get their hands on, cheap.
This is a great place to find gifts for the science enthusiast on your shopping list. They sell all kinds of motors and lights that can be used for home robotics. They also have military suplus gear that can be repurposed into all sorts of things. And where else can you find a three-foot-long test tube, listed in their catalog as “Test Tooooooooooobe?”
Your PopCulteer and his lovely wife made a pilgrammage to their store in Chicago a couple of years ago, and it was a life-changing experience. We don’t recommend that this year, since you’d have to quarantine for two weeks after arriving in the Windy City, but their website is the next-best thing, in terms of finding offbeat, unusual, extremely useful stuff that you didn’t know you needed.
The American Science & Surplus website is the first stop for gag gifts, or “different” ideas for the “different” people on your holiday shopping list. Seriously, they have tons of cool stuff. Just go look at their site.
Come back tomorrow for another installment of The 2022 PopCult Gift Guide as we suggest even more books!
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