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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Kryptonite: Comic Books & Collectables in Heliopolis
Shops in Cairo are slowly but surely diversifying further into more unique, quirky niches. With the continued surge of Western pop culture flooding the country, when searching for specific products, it's frustrating to find much of the merchandise only being sold online. Kryptonite - previously located on El Sobky Street - is a relatively new store that has opened in the bolstering shopping hub, City Stars, which caters exclusively to fans of comic books and other weird and wonderful collectables. Toxic Green is the colour scheme prevalent throughout the shop, and with the walls covered in a gigantic mural of superheroes and wall-to-floor shelving crammed with products, the motif is hard to miss.
Operated by dedicated fans, the shop carries a diverse range of products, from original comic book publications (175LE-300LE) to 12-16in statues (1,500LE-6,000LE); the latter are either bought 'stock' from suppliers or 'cast' from private sellers.
Shipping in issues from comic powerhouses, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and Image, there are shelves dedicated to Superman, Captain America, Hellboy, Conan the Barbarian, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, and even a few independent releases. Browsing is encouraged, and customers are invited pick up whatever they find interesting; however, there are some particularly precious products that are kept out of reach.
Customers can also look forward to a few select manga volumes from Naruto, Hellsing, Akira, Full Metal Alchemist and Death Note. Classic newspaper comics, such as Archie can now be bought in volume editions, as can online comic sensation, Penny Arcade. Graphic novels such as the popular 300, are also offered, alongside art books from the anime movie, Vampire Hunter D.
A display case stretched over an entire wall showcases figurines (130LE-190LE), trading figures (50LE-105LE), and busts (400LE-880LE). Characters on display include Batman, Sonic the Hedgehog, Wonder Woman, Majin Buu, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Iron Man, Spiderman, The Joker and Tony Montana. With the best-selling product being action figures (200LE-580LE), particularly Batman, the store has an immense variety on display that range from GI Joes to MAD designed characters.
Besides collectables, Kryptonite also carries novelty t-shirts (190LE) and posters (65LE-110LE) featuring every character thinkable. Customers that are unable to find a specific item are more than welcome to special order products through the store which are then usually delivered within the month - weapons are strictly prohibited.
Kryptonite is an original, one-of-a-kind store offering products that were, up until recently, only bookmarked for those lonely night browsing sessions. This in itself is a massive improvement; add into the mix an awesome sales team and funky décor, and Cairo has found itself a recipe that results in total addiction.