Without movies or video games, the prevalence of old-fashioned hobbies would go through the roof, driving the price of stamps way up and the breathtaking novelty of ships in bottles way down. Preserve the peculiarity of pint-size watercraft with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of video games, movies, music, and more at The Exchange on East 82nd Street.
For more than 30 years, The Exchange has traded in a variety of media, serving as a bazaar for games, movies, music, and entertainment accessories. The store's inventory of diversions changes regularly, but its stock of stereo stuffers might include CDs such as Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. ($11.99 new), and the cinefeast might include DVDs such as The Fighter ($21.99 new, $12 used). Video games such as Homefront and Crysis 2 ($59.99 new, $50 used) keep rambunctious thumbs from wrestling each other or attacking their peace-loving handmates. Used movies start at $1 and used video games start at $2.50, enabling shoppers to stock up on leisure fuel without taking out high-interest loans with their ruthless grandparents.
At The Exchange, a staff of media experts oversees a stock of new and used movies, video games, and CDs ranging from the latest releases to nostalgia-inducing classics. New music that spans artists and genres plays from multigenerational iPods and accessories. Game platforms such as Xbox 360 and PS3 rest side by side with older consoles including N64, Super Nintendo, regular Nintendo, Gameboy, and the first video-game system ever—a hollowed-out TV filled with finger puppets. The staff stacks their shelves to the ceiling with DVDs and Blu-ray discs as well as merchandise and memorabilia such as Homer Simpson dolls and action figures. The Exchange honors its name by trading goods with customers for store credit that can be applied to its myriad wares.