Another season is upon us. Where will you be getting your Game of Thrones fix this summer in Split? TCN pays a visit to Here Be Dragons, a souvenir shop with a difference.
Souvenir shops on holidays.
They generally cheapen a destination.
Mass-produced Chinese tat, sold for a decent margin, and picked up by eager tourists as a memory of the summer holiday that was.
I have been watching souvenir shops here in Croatia, but have never seen one which really offered anything different, or whose philosophy was to focus on authenticity and quality, rather than the quick buck.
And then, one day, I saw it.
My first experience of Here Be Dragons, the ultimate geek shop, was up in Zagreb, as they starred at Advent in Zagreb with their Enchanted Village at Fuliranje, which included the arrival of an original Game of Thrones Iron Throne.
And they let ANYONE sit on it for free, even burnt out fat British bloggers. But it was in Split that I realised why Here Be Dragons was above the rest. Not only did they have ALL the cool official licenced merchandising (and the widest selection) of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Harry Potter and many, many more, but here was a standard of user experience which was light years ahead of the competition. In Diocletian’s Palace, why both with stands offering postcards and plastic crap, when you can build a hidden stone door, which Diocletian himself would have been proud of?
Never having watched a minute of Game of Thrones, I will not embarrass myself by trying to explain the range of merchandise on offer inside the Here Be Dragons shop. I don’t need to – the feedback I have had from friends, colleagues and the numerous 5-star reviews on the Here Be Dragons page tells me all I need to know.
As a non-fan, I can’t pass comment on the shows themselves, but walking around the store looking at the high-quality OFFICIAL merchandise only, I can only imagine what this must be like for GoT fans visiting authentic GoT filming locations such as Diocletian’s Palace, Klis and Zrnovnica, then ending up at a fan store that does the show and the tour justice.
As the opening of the sister Here Be Dragons shop in central Zagreb recently showed – more than 1000 fans came to check out a totally new shopping experience for the Croatian capital – there is an appetite for a high-quality product, tastefully done.
Summer is coming, and you don’t have to wait for winter for this exceptional Game of Thrones (and other) geek shopping experience. Follow Here Be Dragons on Facebook.