Save points: A guide to Melbourne’s nerdier side of life
Melbourne is an amazing place for people who are interested in the nerdier things in life.
Comic book collectors, anime enthusiasts, sci-fi geeks and other pockets of nerd culture aren’t short of things to do and see to celebrate their favourite fandom but for first timers in Melbourne, just where can you go to or what can you do to get your fix?
Nerdy stores to visit in Melbourne
You won’t have to travel so far and wide to get your fill of nerdiness. Melbourne’s CBD is packed with stores to drop by for a cheeky browse and a potential purchase.
Located on Elizabeth St, this basement store is nerd paradise and has a large number of customers coming in and out everyday. Minotaur services all fandoms — their wide range of manga, anime, comic books, board games, sci-fi novels and collectables makes this store the best place to visit first if you truly want to surround yourself in nerd culture.
Merchandise from TV shows such as Doctor Who, Star Trek and The Simpsons can be found here along with the latest comic books from Marvel, DC and beyond are also sold at Minotaur and so much more!
With 20 years of experience fostering pop culture in Melbourne, Minotaur’s staff is also very knowledgeable about what’s in stock and what’s happening in pop culture so if you can’t find something you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask. Then again, their products are all classified and clearly labelled across shelves so finding something for you might not be so difficult too.
Address: Basement, 121 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 9:00am – 6:00pm | Fri: 9:00am – 8:00pm | Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm | Sun: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Fans of Japan’s nerdy culture will want to check out what’s in stock over at Critical Hit. Located near Minotaur, this store specialises in authentic collectables imported from Japan.
Nendoroid figurines of your favourite anime titles and games, Banpresto figurines of characters from Dragonball Z and One Piece or G.E.M figures for childhood anime like Digimon and Pokemon can all be found here. Video games, soundtracks, shirts, card games and more can also be found here (their wall of Pop Vinyl figurines is very impressive!) but the Japanese imports are what you’re likely going to spend time staying in the store for.
The staff at Critical Hit are so friendly and helpful too!
Address: 377 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Opening hours: Mon – Wed: 10.00am – 6.00pm | Thurs: 10.00am – 7.00PM | Friday: 10.00am – 8.00pm | Sat: 10.00am – 6.00pm | Sun: 11.00am – 5.00pm
All Star Comics Melbourne
The first thing you’ll notice from All Star Comics is that its space is HUGE. A bigger space than you might expect for a comic book shop, this very tidy two-floor store houses all the latest and classic comic books you could want to find.
Owned by avid comic book readers, this store’s comprehensive range of comics, graphic novels, trade paperbacks and vintage collectables are all offered at affordable prices. Unsure of what to read? Ask their staff who are more than willing to assist you to find new books that will help you undertake new adventures and explore new worlds.
What’s more, the All Star Comics was awarded an Eisner – the comic book world’s equivalent of an Oscar – in 2014 for its customer service, the quality of its space and the sense of community it builds. How often can you say you get to visit an Eisner-approved store on the regular? This is one place comic book geeks won’t want to miss out on.
Address: 53 Queen St, Melbourne
Opening hours: Mon: 10.00am – 6.00pm | Tues: 12.00pm – 6.00pm | Wed – Fri: 10.00am – 7.00pm | Sat – Sun: 11.00am – 5.00pm
Hobbyists and model makers need not look further than to Metro Hobbies to get their hands on a new model to build.
Whether you’re after a new RC car, a Lego set, some war-time models or a Gundam figurine to construct, Metro Hobbies has you covered. Kits, accessories, RC vehicles and paints from well-known brands such as Bandai, Tamiya, Artesania, Auscision, Traxxas and more are all found here at Metro Hobbies.
The shop is located upstairs and conveniently located on Swanston St.
Address: 21 Swanston St, Melbourne
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 9.00am – 5:30pm | Fri: 9.00am – 7.00pm | Sat: 9.00am – 5.00pm | Sun: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Conventions and pop culture events
Shops, of course, aren’t the only places where you can surround yourself with nerd culture. Melbourne is home to some of the best conventions in Australia, one of which is exclusive to this city! Go to these conventions, meet new people, make friends and have a great time!
PAX Australia is the place to be if you’re all about games. Whether you’re into console gaming, PC gaming, indie gaming, handheld gaming or card and board games, PAX Australia caters to any and all fans of games in all its forms.
It is here where convention visitors can get exclusive access to new and upcoming games yet to be released, discover new games from emerging independent games developers, indulge in PC accessories and paraphernalia and be surrounded by the lights, sounds and general excitement of gaming.
This year’s PAX Australia will take place once again at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and will run for three days from October 27 – 29. More information on PAX Australia can be found at its official website.
Madman Anime Festival
For all the anime and cosplay fans out there, Madman Anime Festival is definitely the place you want to be.
It’s here where you can meet all kinds of special guests. This year the festival welcomes one of anime’s most influential figures, the legendary Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo), professional voice over artist Bryce Papenbrook (Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan) and Taiwanese professional cosplayer Ely.
Moreover, you’ll be able to browse through a smorgasbord of anime retailers where you can buy new cosplay items, anime collectables and wares and check out the fanmade art work and designs by the more creative members of the anime community too!
This year’s festival will return to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and will run from November 4 to 5, the weekend after PAX Australia! For more information on the Madman Anime Festival, check out its official website.
So if you’re a nerdy guy or gal with an interest in all of the above, hit up those stores and start making new friends at these conventions! Embrace all that Melbourne has to offer in nerd culture! If there’s a store or convention you’d like to recommend, sound off in the comments below!
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.