Self-described “huge comic books fan and toy collector” Jeff Moore launched the venture of his dreams in Rockford.
Moore opened a comics, toys and games shop dubbed Buy Moore at 6575 Belding Road, Suite E, in Rockford on May 4 — also known as “Star Wars Day” to science-fantasy fans who greet each other with the play on words “May the Fourth be with you” each year on that day.
A native of Kent City who also lived in Cedar Springs and has been a Rockford resident for the past 15 years, Moore said small outposts in West Michigan have one thing in common: comic book lovers have to travel 20 minutes to an hour to Grand Rapids, Muskegon or Kalamazoo to find the nearest comic book store.
He thought Rockford would be the perfect town in which to start his own venture.
“I thought, why not Rockford? Why not have a store that can attract (customers) from Rockford, Cedar Springs, Greenville, Belding, the Northview side of Grand Rapids and be able to get and provide products that people can play and not have to drive 20 or 30 minutes away?” Moore said.
The new store buys and sells comics, toys and games from the brands Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Transformers, Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, The Walking Dead, Funko Pop! and more.
It also buys and sells video games for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles.
Moore said his love for comics goes way back. His favorite superhero is Superman, and he also loves the Silver Surfer, Shazam! and Wolverine. He named his son Logan, after the latter character from Marvel’s X-Men.
The Buy Moore inventory so far consists of a few items from Moore’s personal collection, and also, he spent the past five or six months acquiring comics, figures and toys from collectors he knows, stores that have closed or sellers who found him through Facebook.
“I’ve heard, ‘I have all these comic books down in my basement; I just need to get rid of them,’” Moore said. “I also know kids grow up, so I’ll have parents contact me and say, ‘My kids don’t play with these anymore,’ would you be looking to buy them?”
The used items are balanced by a supply of new board games, card games, toys — even apparel.
Moore’s cousin, Jason Brandel, shares a love of the same types of hobbies as Moore — with the exception that he refers to himself as a “geek” instead of a “nerd.” He operates an online retail store called The Geek in the Hat that sells hats and T-shirts with geeky slogans and designs.
Brandel had been running his business for a while when he heard through a Facebook group in which they both participate about Moore’s plan to open a store. Brandel immediately wanted to be part of it, as he and his wife Katie Brandel already had been discussing how to get their apparel into brick-and-mortar stores.
“I was like, ‘Well, this is perfect because we know each other, so it would be an easy relationship to do that and see about making it work for both of us.’ So, I talked to him about it, and he was more than happy to have our product in there because that obviously gives him different types of stuff to sell.”
Moore said he also is working with George Hanson, owner of Epic Neon near Sand Lake, to possibly produce themed neon signs that could be sold in the store.
Ultimately, Moore would like to host regular gaming sessions out of the store, such as Magic: The Gathering sessions on a Sunday afternoon while the store is closed.
Buy Moore is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m-6 p.m. Saturday.
Those interested in learning more about the store can call (616) 951-R2D2 (7232) or email email@example.com.
Photo: Jeff Moore said he would ultimately like to host regular gaming sessions out of the store, such as Magic: The Gathering sessions on Sunday afternoons. By Michael Buck.
This article first appeared in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, a sister publication of GRMag.com.