As if 2020 wasn't enough of a rollercoaster, my LCS was just electrocuted. COOL.
First off, they are going to HATE me for this. But I don't care, because they're family and sometimes families do things the others hate. They're the big brother and sister in the collecting world. They're two of the most genuine people I've ever met and they love what they do SO much. These two and their partner Frank Mozz of It's A Toy Store sacrificed everything to go out on their own and open a shop. A mecca. A museum. An oasis of paper and plastic. They were just REALLY getting going, then Covid hits and they were forced to shutter like many other businesses. Nearly 3 months of transitioning to ONLY online sales and receiving amazing news that they would be featured on an upcoming Amazon Prime Video series...
Even throughout all of this, Farpoint still somehow found the kindness in their hearts to donate comic packs to all 237 graduating seniors of their local high school...
They were able to barely keep up, but as anyone in the toy & comic industry knows, you sacrifice profit margins for loving what you do in that world...yes, they championed it and kept up..at least until the other day.
As if 2020 hasn't already been enough of a "WHAT THE FRICK" year, my favorite shop this side of the galaxy, Farpoint Toys & Collectibles in Mays Landing, NJ basically had their entire electrical system go up in smoke, and that's not a figure of speech. This place is my Cheers and it was legitimately shocked into oblivion the other day.
At 1:26pm on Wednesday, June 3rd I received a text that said "Yo. I just got toned out to Farpoint." from a good friend who's part of the local fire department. I have literally no idea what that meant being a civilian and all, but I knew it couldn't be good.
From @FarpointToys Instagram:
"Yesterday while working inside the store, we heard what we thought was a lighting strike. In a split second, everything went dark. We heard crackling and explosions and the back wall of the shop burst into flames. The building began to fill with smoke.
It was terrifying.
A destructive weather event called a derecho caused multiple electrical fires in and around the store, completely destroying our electrical system and causing widespread damage, the extent of which is not fully known at this time.
We've already had our backs against the ropes being closed for 2 months. We've stayed positive through the pandemic. Done what little bits we could for our community. Done as much as we could to try to keep our bills at bay. We couldn't have seen this coming."
My heart shatters for them. Not just for the electrical damage, but the untold amount of product that they cannot get back due to smoke damage. There is a large portion of their product that isn't for sale due to them transitioning to partially be a toy museum as well.
It's going to be a nearly total loss.
If there's something to be said, for the comic and toy community...we look out for our own.
As of writing this article, their GoFundMe Page to help offset the cost of repairs has already reached over halfway to their goal, and if I had it my way I'd give the entire amount myself if I could. So that's why I'm hoping anyone that reads this who has a favorite little hole in the wall will consider stepping forward to help them out. There's no one closer to me in this community than these people, and helping them is helping me in away. I am terrified for my brother and sister with this situation, as I hope their spirits aren't completely broken with everything they've been through lately. Coming from someone who is no stranger to chaos, I can't imagine how deep of a blow this was to their hopes of getting through this pandemic unscathed. They were looking down the road at sunny skies and Mother Nature kicked down their door. This isn't fair, and I truly hope in my heart of hearts that they keep going. They of ALL people I know deserve to Fly Their Flag on what they love. To Justin, Penelope, Frank- you are SO important to this area and our scene. I am here for you. The community is here for you. You are WARRIORS and you are LOVED more than you know. #Singlehandedly the best little shop in Atlantic County, if not the East Coast. My second home, and the first place I go for my comics & collectibles. "Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit Of Plastic"
If you can't donate to the GoFundMe, consider calling them up to buy A toy(said like Wayne Campbell "AH gun rack"), you can share this article. If you can't share this article, you can give their "Epic Commercial" a view on YouTube and leave a comment.
If you can't do any of those, like not even one part...then maybe you shouldn't be reading this or be on this site. Yes, that's a bold statement...but I don't care. We need to pick each other up when we are down, and these two just took one hell of a tumble.
Paul Brown is the Founder of Kulture Popped and owner of Spotlight Marketing Solutions, LLC- a South Jersey-based web design and marketing agency.