One of the best things about shopping in New York City is that you can get just about anything your heart desires. Out-of-the-box stores selling unusual, quirky and sometimes silly merchandise pepper city streets. These novelty shops in New York are not only great for picking up unique gifts, but they also offer the opportunity for discovery and surprise. Whether you’re looking for RuPaul’s Drag Race Mad Libs, luchadores salt & pepper shakers, a rare Superman comic, or a framed blue emperor swallowtail butterfly, these six NYC stores offer a shopping experience like no other.
Check out these amazing novelty shops in New York City.
Forbidden Planet NYC, 832 Broadway
We say this with the utmost affection, but Forbidden Planet NYC is every geek’s dream come true. As one of the oldest and most esteemed comics and collectibles retailers in the world, it is your one-stop-shop for graphic novels, science fiction, manga, anime, t-shirts, toys, figurines, games, movie memorabilia, and more. New to the scene? Not to worry. A friendly and enthusiastic staff will happily help find that “Batgirl” comic you’re looking for.
Exit 9 Gift Emporium, 51 Avenue A
Exit 9 Gift Emporium is a delightful mom-and-pop shop located in the East Village. With a thoughtfully curated selection of goods, it is a great place to hit when you don’t know what to get for a gift, but want something unique, offbeat, and sure to bring a smile. You’ll find everything here including cool stationery, children’s books, NYC-made products, animal lover apparel, jewelry, funky home décor, and kitchen gadgets.
Fuego 718, 249 Grand St
Self-described as “just a place full of color and happiness,” Fuego 718 is a dazzling treasure tucked away in Williamsburg. It carries a worldly selection of goods from Peru, Mexico, Haiti, Columbia, Italy, Nepal, Bangladesh, and more, all hand-picked by Spanish-born owner Alex Aldama. He will happily tell you about the origin and story behind everything in his shop, just ask! Treasures include Day of the Dead skulls and paper mâché figurines, décor accents such as beautiful mirrors, metal wall hangings, and decorative pillows, art and design books, and handmade jewelry.
Evolution, 687 Broadway
Walking into Evolution is like walking into a life-size cabinet of curiosities. Here, you’ll find natural history specimens and artifacts typically observed through a glass case in a museum. It’s the only place to shop for that friend who has a bit of a dark side. A rare and strange selection of goods includes animal skulls and skeletons, mounted insects and arachnids, taxidermy, Albertus Seba prints, and human anatomical models.
Random Accessories, 77 East 4th St
Tucked away in the East Village, Random Accessories has something for everyone. Since 1996, owner Lynn Freidus has made it a mission to stock the shelves of her store with an eclectic offering of goods at reasonable prices. A true rarity in New York City! Expect the unexpected like a talking Bob Ross bobblehead, unicorn and mermaid themed items, a narwhale corkscrew, and RBG action figure. Fun baby shower gifts include a Wu-Tang Clan onesie, dragon slayer bib, and mustache pacifier.
Kikkerland, 493 6th Ave
Established in 1992, Kikkerland is a design company that re-imagines objects we use every day to create products that inspire and inject joy and humor into life. Located in the West Village, the flagship store sells Kikkerland’s entire collection of original accessories. Form, function, and fun collide in the modern, open space. Gadgets you never thought you’d need but must have include a portable BBQ suitcase to a collapsible water bucket, to a solar power rainbow maker, photo mobile, and USB desk fan.
Do you have any favorite novelty shops in New York? Please tell us in the comments!