Back on Tintin’s birthday I posted about a new store selling Tintin merchandise in Madrid. As it turns out I was able to visit the store that same day, but I haven’t gotten around to posting about it until now.
First of all, I apologize for what was a bit of false advertising on my part. The store is not really a “Tintin Shop” like the ones in Brussels or London. It’s not part of the “Boutique Tintin” chain. It is apparently officially licensed to sell Tintin stuff, but differs from those other stores on a number of points. For one thing, it is much smaller-(even the Tintin Shops aren’t that big, but this could have fit in my bedroom). What surprised me most (and what none of the newspaper articles I read mentioned) was that it does not sell Tintin items exclusively.
Small as it may be, the left side of the single room sells electronics, while the right side of the shop displays Tintin things. Honestly, there was a bit of a dichotomy between the expensive, classy merchandise and the tacky cell phone cases and computer parts. The store is run by a partnership of two friends (/family members?) who co-run the place. It didn’t help that the sudden burst of publicity had almost left the poor lady with nothing Tintin to sell, as fans had rushed in and bought everything they could grab. She still had a good amount of things on the shelves, but hardly a store full of them.
But after taking the time to go downtown and finding the store, I didn’t care about these “issues.” Besides, the Tintin merchandise there was was neatly arranged and ready for us to check it out. I came with a young friend of mine who is just discovering Tintin. It is fun to watch children begin to love Tintin, unaware of the “sophisticated” world of grown-ups that have turned him into their hobby.
The owner let me take some pictures of the clean part of the store, which was very nice, and both my friend and I bought some very tiny figurines, my friend’s of Tintin sitting with a bowl of butter tea from Tintin in Tibet. The owner told us a funny story about how she had traveled to Tibet and had gotten all excited that she would finally try butter tea, only to discover it was one of the most disgusting things she had ever drank.
I hope to come back again soon when they have more things in stock, but I also bought a cool “Explorers on the Moon” themed sticker book. That two part series is my favorite of all the books, so I have a thing for picking up merchandise from those stories. Though intended for children, I realized the book would make a great backdrop for some of my other figures, and for just four-fifty or something like that, the book was a steal.
By sheer coincidence, when I came downtown it was cheaper to park outside the city and take the metro downtown. And just streets away from where we parked is Tintin y Milu street, the only street I know of named after Tintin and Snowy (though I wouldn’t be surprised if Belgium has one somewhere). I had to stop and show it to my friend, who was excited about it.
It may be small, but I think the “Estrella Misteriosa” store downtown will turn out to be one of Madrid’s hidden treasures. I hope it stays in business through the tough financial times.