In 1984—a time long, long ago, when G.I. Joe and Care Bears were cool—Toys n’ Joys opened its doors to Honolulu’s young hearts. Fast forward to the era of technology, and its best-selling items are Sony, Xbox and Nintendo video games. Its anime (Japanese animation) collection is so big that its online store ships hundreds of items every week to places as distant as Italy, the U.K. and Australia.
“Hawaii has the inside track of what’s going to come out because we are so close to Japan,” owner Alex Le says, citing Pokemon as an example. Young males aren’t the store’s only patrons, either. Says Le, “Grandmas come in for Korean soap opera DVDs—it’s huge.”