A Nerdy Guide to Vancouver Island’s Best Shops for Pop Culture, Tourists and More!

Vancouver Island Pop Culture SceneThis nerdy guide to shopping on Vancouver Island is a work in progress which lists places visitors to Vancouver Island can check out for any particular popular culture craving. This index is by no means complete, as there’s most likely a few not as well-known. To note, this list does not include businesses like Gamestop (formerly known as EB Games). We are encouraging those coming to this fair city to buy locally.

If there’s an operation not listed, please either comment or send us an email so we can update. This document is broken into separate ‘pages’ / sections. Please note the page number count tucked in the bottom to read.


Cherry Bomb Toys /
National Toy Museum of Canada

Cherry Bomb Toys Tops the List in this Nerdy Shoppers Guide to Vancouver Island
Formerly at 1410 Broad Street; New location grand opening in May 2023

Toys (Barbie, Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe & Many More!), LEGO, Vinyl Records, Used Videos

719 Yates Street
Hours: 10am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 385-8697

This operation specializes in carrying a diverse range of product for everyone of all ages. From products for young girls, like Barbie, to collectible products (like original packaging G.I. Joe), if you name it, that item might be hiding here! Not only is it the only place to find a few arcade games (cabinets and pinball) but also it’s the home to an always growing toy museum! If you look carefully, you can find also props used from locally or television series filmed nearby, namely Stargate SG-1 and perhaps there’s Wolverine’s claw marks too.

Curious Comics

Curious Comics StorefrontComic Supplies, Comics, FUNKO Pop!, Graphic Novels,
Illustration Books, Models, T-shirts, Toys

631 Johnson Street (Victoria-location)
Hours: 9:30am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 384-1656

844 Goldstream Avenue (Langford location)
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Phone: (250) 592-1656

3200 Unit 6 Island Highway (Nanaimo BC location)
Hours: 10am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 756-2157

With three locations to serve most of Vancouver Island, Curious Comics makes up the heart of Nerd Row in Victoria, BC. Stepping in here is a paradise of goodies. From CGC certified comics to Walking Dead merchandise, a lot of collectible franchise properties can be found here. Yes, they also sell a limited selection of board and role-playing games.

Games Workshop

Dice, Miniatures & Associated Branded Supplies, Wargaming

622 Yates Street
Hours: 11am to 6pm (Closed Mon, Tues)
Phone: (250) 388-3696

Technically a big box operation, this business deserves a special place as having been part of the local nerd scene for a long time. Games like Blood Bowl and Lord of the Rings shows how well this company rules them all. Their prices, say what you will, has to pay for the licensing they have to pony up to maintain their high quality of miniature building and craftsmanship.

Legends Comics

Comics (current & silver age), Graphic Novels, Illustration Books

633 Johnson Street
Hours: 12pm to 6pm
Phone: (250) 388-3696

Coming into this bookstore to find that gift for the comic book enthusiast is a must. The diversity is huge, and the selection is a mix of rustic to modern. The love for the medium can be seen everywhere. Books are organized by publisher and artist! For the true collector, co-owner Gareth does have a side operation to preview the truly vintage material. An appointment is required. He also runs workshops for up and coming artists of all ages (mostly youth).

Quazar’s Arcade

Vintage Arcade games, Pinball Games

1215 Government Street (Trounce Alley; stairs down)
Hours: Noon to 8pm
Phone: (778) 433-7411

Remember the days of visiting an arcade center to play the latest in cabinet style arcade games or play pinball? They are not gone with this operation replacing a former art studio, once a tattoo shop and the storefront to Absolute Underground Magazine. They just moved to better digs or just do not need the space anymore. Found here is one of a handful of cabinets featuring a rare game: Fix-It-Felix from the Wreck it Ralph movie! Other games include Atari’s Centipede and even the latest Terminator: Salvation shoot ’em up. In the pinball front are AC/DC Pro, Medieval Madness and Attack from Mars!

This place plans on offering game tournaments and special events. Announcements will be made through their newsletter.

Yellowjacket Comics

Magic the Gathering, Card Supplies, Comics

688 Broughton St
Hours: 10am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 480-0049

This place is better known as one of two places to buy your Magic the Gathering cards, old and new, and all the supplies related to it. Walking by this place may seem scary to some since it’s card central than comics, but they still have space to sport the mainstream titles than to carry a wide range. Plus, it is the place downtown to sit down to play a game or two of MtG. They host daily evening events.

Board with Friends Cafe

705 Johnson St

Hours:  Sunday 11am – 12 am
Mon-Fri: 4–11pm
Sat, Sun: 11 am – 12 am
Phone: (778) 745-3036

This cafe is new to the scene and is locally owned and operated. They specialize in board games and good food! When their competition looks packed, a simple hop and skip is required to check out this operation! Plus, they have a stay and play package starting at $5!


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