Brooklyn’s secret old-school comic book store

Tucked beside the elevated subway tracks on McDonald Avenue in Gravesend is Pinocchio Discounts—just about the best name ever for a comic book and baseball card store that looks like a holdout from a totally different Brooklyn.

My guess is that the sign goes back to the 1970s; I almost expect the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter to be inside.

A Yelp review says the shop has been owned by the same couple for 30 years, but it must be older than 1988. Yelp and Google reviewers give the place a definite thumbs up.

[Thanks to Ephemeral reader D.S. for the top photo. Second photo: Yelp]

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16 Responses to “Brooklyn’s secret old-school comic book store”

  1. Brooklyn's secret old-school comic book store | News for New Yorkers Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate Brooklyn’s secret old-school comic book store […]

  2. Kevin P. Says:

    The sign has a different design in the store’s mid-1980s NYC tax photo:

  3. Brooklyn’s secret old-school comic book store | Real Estate Marketplace Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate Brooklyn’s secret old-school comic book store […]

  4. keenanpatrick424 Says:

    Any chance that there’s a photo of store ‘s interior?

  5. Joseph Ditta Says:

    The 1980s tax photo (taken circa 1983-1988) shows an earlier sign for the same business:;sort:identifier%2Cborough%2Cblock%2Clot;lc:RECORDSPHOTOUNITBRK~1~1&mi=8&trs=46

  6. Bob Says:

    According to “American Book Trade Directory 2003-2004” Pinocchio was established in 1979.

    According to “Directory of United States Importers” published by Journal of Commerce, 1978, the prior store tenant was
    an importer of novelties called Kenneth Byron Co.

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks for the confirmation of the year it was established; it had to be the 1970s. And thanks to Joseph and Kevin P. for the links to the tax photos.

  8. David H Lippman Says:

    Wow…sounds like a fun place.

  9. Says:

    That’s beautiful, if I ever manage to get to New York – a dream since childhood – this place is definitely on my list of places to visit!

  10. Tommy Retro Says:

    the store Pinocchio took over in 1979 was called The Magic & Fun Shop. The tax photo is circa 1980, the sign currently above the storefront has been there since atleast 1981 when they completely phased-out candy, cigarettes, and novelties to become a bonafide collectible store specifically specializing in comic-books & baseball cards. (I should know, I only went there every day after school!)

  11. Scott Says:

    I know this is a year old now, but I just randomly thought about this store and google brought me here. My grandmother lived right around the corner from this store and it was a weekly visit for me from about 1980 or so for a few years. The place was owned by an incredibly nice older couple (youth distorts age, but I’d put them in their 60s at the time). I believe they were Russian if memory serves correctly. The store itself was packed, cluttered and every bit as amazing as you’re imagining right now. Personalized service from the old couple who would regularly pull recommended books for their regular customers!

  12. Doc Samson Says:

    The best comic book shop in 1980s Brooklyn was a spot in Avenue H by Utica Avenue called “Outer Limits.” Does anyone reading remember it?

    • Chad Snyder Says:

      Wow I can’t believe I came across a reference to the Outer Limits. I very much remember that store, as I would visit it nearly every day after school. I can tell you why it closed: the owner, an incredibly nice Samoan guy named Pat, was shot multiple times by a crack addict who was trying to rob the store. He miraculously survived, but decided to not tempt fate anymore, and closed up the shop and moved back to his home town in Michigan, I believe. I think about him often and wonder if he knows how much kids loved his store back in the 80s.

      • mlblogsbkyankeeboy Says:

        I was a huge Outer Limits geek too. So sad to hear what eventually chased Pat away, but at least he made it out alive. I eventually discovered Forbidden Planet in Manhattan, but Outer Limits will always be *my* comic shop.

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