It's been 15 years since my last visit to New York City. I was in high school and had no free time as we were on one of those strict "school trip" schedules.
Fast forward to September 2022 when my husband and I planned an NYC trip with our friends. During planning dinners, we all chatted about what was important for us to want to see on a long weekend. Number one on my list was Nintendo New York! Keep reading below for my favorite things about this store.
WHERE EVERYONE COMES TO PLAY
Nintendo has had retail real estate in NYC for more than 20 years! The store first opened in 2001 as The Pokémon Center, was rebranded as Nintendo World in 2005 and, finally, became Nintendo New York in 2016.
Five amazing things about Nintendo New York
How can you make Nintendo stand out from other retailers selling their stuff? Bring the king of koopas himself into the building! Nintendo New York has quite a number of statues scattered throughout the store. They're colorful, they're big and they're popular.
The statues in this store make it a destination to visit - it's no longer just a store. The statues give you time to pause, take photos, marvel at the colors and design. They're really just beautiful.
Nintendo wasn't always known for video games. The company was founded all the way back in 1889 and produced playing cards!
In the middle of the store, there's a really nice display of Nintendo's history through its hardware. Everything is labeled with the year the item was released. It's quite the testament to a company that is so near and dear to many hearts.
NEW YORK EXCLUSIVE PIKACHU PLUSH
I have quite a plush Pikachu collection and am always searching for my next addition. Just like the Pokémon games, there are some location-exclusive Pikachu! You'll only find this Statue of Liberty one in stock at Nintendo New York. (It looks as though the online U.S. Pokémon Center sold them at one point but have never brought them back in stock.)
A PLACE TO PLAY
I have a few internet friends who live close to the store and, I have to say, I'm quite jealous of them! Nintendo New York offers midnight releases of highly anticipated games, photo ops with big costumed characters, a place to watch important Nintendo announcement videos and more.
The day we visited, there had been a Splatoon tournament earlier that morning in their second floor play area.
GENERAL STORE DESIGN
I adored everything about the Nintendo New York store. From the Pokéball door handles to the massive amiibo display to the warp pipe photo op, it's a Nintendo fan's dream.
The store is colorful, the characters are plastered everywhere. Even walking up the stairs to the second floor gives you beautiful things to look at along the way. Nintendo really knocked it out of the park for me with this store.
I have an upcoming trip to Japan and am hoping to get to the other two Nintendo stores (both located in Japan). I'll be sure to share photos after I'm back!