Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.
Collector's Paradise Comics & Gallery stuffs itself wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with more time-travel and evil-origin subplots than all the shops of the Megaverse combined. All comics comfortably coexist amongst shelves, including major publishers like Marvel and independents like Image, with every Top Cow, Dark Horse, and Archie in between. Indulge your tastes with the wildly popular (Batman Lovers six-comic collection, $30), the lovingly obscure (one of 500 copies of the graphic novelization of Kevin's Smith's unproduced Green Hornet film, $10), and the possibly functional (Lantern Corps colored ring set, $10), among much, much more. In all, the store encompasses 2,400 square feet of comics and graphic novels, action figures, posters, and much more. It is one of the oldest and largest comic-centric stores in the San Fernando Valley. Collector's Paradise also plays host to numerous in-store events, signings, and exhibitions.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Formed from the October 2004 alliance between Helihobby and HobbyHouse, ehobbyhouse's fleet of radio-wired model helicopters and RC boats and cars, as well as its bountiful stock of tools and parts, fill gaps of spare time with high-flying fun. Electric and gas airplanes stand ready for flight clearance, and an armory of electric, gas, and spring-loaded guns awaits target practice. The 3,500-square-foot shop also houses a comprehensive catalog of replacement parts, helping mend motors blown after a race or refill confetti cannons shot off after postrace celebrations.
Natural light from a generous picture window floods Color Me Mine’s studio as visiting artists start the six-step process of painting custom, keepsake ceramic pieces. After paying a studio fee ($10 for adults, $6 for children younger than 12), full-sized and miniature humans alike peruse shelves of unpainted bisque pottery ($15+), evaluating the grip of a sturdy mug or the number of firecrackers a serving platter could hold. Drawing inspiration from a design center with stencils, sponges, and more than 22,000 images, pottery painters devise a custom design and select vivid colors of paint.