Hot Topic to Purchase ThinkGeek

Here’s where my “rebellious” years of high school meet my present geeky self.  Hot Topic is purchasing ThinkGeek.

I’ve gone from using Manic Panic to Manically Panicking over this acquisition.

Jeanne Marie Hoffman - purple
Dramatic re-enactment of my manic panic days.


According to the Verve:

ThinkGeek is pretty well known for its wide variety of kitschy, pop-culture focused offerings — the site’s banner features huge properties like Marvel, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more. But it also has historically offered a host of weird, offbeat products like USB-powered beverage coolers, laser-projected keyboards, and all manner of other oddities.

There’s likely a huge crossover between those shopping at Hot Topic and those buying nerdy goods from ThinkGeek, so the purchase makes a lot of sense…

I disagree with this.  Yes, both are “off-beat” cultures, but in different ways.  This is akin to saying a store that serves goths would also be good for hipsters since they are alternative scenes.

I’ve been happy to have ThinkGeek around.  I can usually find the perfect gift for a friend on it, and I have to keep my wallet locked up sometimes when just browsing.

Like this!  I don’t need this!  …I want this.

I lived near-ish to the ThinkGeek headquarters and they have had geek events, including a screening of the Princess Bride for all us locals.

But the offbeat products the Verve talks about–laser-projected keyboards, etc.–are very different from the offbeat products of Hot Topic.  I see ThinkGeek as things-people-like-to-tinker-with.  And while there is some crossover in terms of genre/themes, I see HotTopic as “trying to be edgy while also displaying an inspirational quote across the product in a script font”.

I could also be a bit harsh in this regard too.

What do you think of the acquisition?


Please note that sometimes my ThinkGeek links give me referral credit.  As always, I appreciate your support!

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. There are a lot of retailers which are surprisingly owned by the same company. Consolidating supply chains, and increasing purchasing power has probably a lot more to do with the purchase than having like items.

    Back in the 90’s when L Brands was known as Limited Brands, they owned Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Express, The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Too (now Justice), New York & Company (at that time Lerner New York), Galyon’s (now Dick’s Sporting Goods), Structure, Henri Bendel, and Lane Bryant. While they have spun off all but VS, BBW and Henri Bendel, they still do logistics for about half of the others.

    Another example, Ascena who owns Justice, Maurices, Dress Barn just announced last week they are buying Ann Taylor. I doubt that Ann Taylor is

  2. ahhh…my computer posted too soon!

    I was going to say that I doubt Ann Taylor is going to start selling Dress Barn like product any time soon. While they are both selling women’s clothing so they can ship to the same malls, it’s totally different audiences. And they still have kept the HQ’s for each brand in the original cities.

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