Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Epic Visit to the Hallowed Grounds of ThinkGeek HQ

In addition to Star Wars, Star Trek, and binary, one thing that I love about being a geek is the geek culture itself. Gone are the days when we geeks had to hide behind monitors or book bindings. Today, we have a culture of our own, and we can proudly display it on our clothes, our cars, and our pizza cutters!

When I was young and new to the working world, my coworkers taught me many important facts, such as: accurate ICBMs (inter cubical ballistic missiles) are vital for cubical survival, office soccer is allowed if work is mostly done, and ThinkGeek.com is an essential resource for geek culture supplies.

A week ago, I saw a ThinkGeek tweet about a lightsaber training event being held at their HQ building for 50 local fans. It only took a few seconds to enter Dan and I into the drawing, and I got to spend the next few days in nervous agony wondering if we had won this coveted honor. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I received our email invitation. Finally, I was going to be able to cross another item from my bucket list and visit ThinkGeek HQ. Huzzah!!

Dan and I arrived at the *undisclosed* location right on time. It was really hot and humid outside, with temperatures in the low 100s, but we were undaunted by the weather. Some friendly ThinkGeek staff signed us in and placed us on the Flyboys team, handing us blue swatches of fabric and blue lightsabers (ie: spray-painted dowel rods. No laughing. They were badass).

Dan and I with lightsabers

We walked into the loading bay (employee lounge), read through the evening’s itinerary, and enjoyed a few minutes of A New Hope while waiting for things to begin.

The Itinerary

For us Flyboys, our evening began with a great tour of the facilities. We got to see all the important areas where the magic of ThinkGeek occurs, as well as spotting lots of important items from ThinkGeek legend.

Admiral Ackbar Fish

Sighting of a Flux Capacitor

Timmy Outfits

My own personal quest was to discover the Mutant Jello, of which I have been a transfixed follower for over a year. Seriously, any group of people who can make a cult following for something like a cratered piece of dried jello is awesome in my book.

Me with the Mutant Jello

After our wonderful tour, we moved to lightsaber training. At the training grounds, we met Bette and Paul, who walked us through the process of film-staged combat. How awesome is that?! When I first signed up, I thought lightsaber training would be something like a fencing class, but learning the ins and outs of stage combat was way cooler than just a fencing lesson! Dan and I practiced back and forth, inserting sound effects and dramatic acting. It was brilliant.

See the ThinkGeek image of us on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeekmonkeys/7490240692/

Sweaty and hungry from all of our efforts, we made our way from the training grounds to the Noms station. Aware that hungry padawans are angry padawans, ThinkGeek had prepared for the training by asking a Stix food truck to provide nourishment for the event. We were all quite happy with the delicious food, and we even got to watch some great scenes from Empire Strikes Back while we munched.

See the ThinkGeek image of us on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeekmonkeys/7490242622/

Our evening concluded with an epic battle in the training grounds, which was lit by the blue and green lightsabers of our trainers. As the sky faded to black, members of the ThinkGeek staff also gave out tons of raffle prizes to the lightsaber trainees. Dan was especially excited when his name got called for the inflatable Star Trek Captains chair. :)

Dan sitting in his new chair the next day

The evening of lightsaber training was a smashing success for ThinkGeek, and Dan and I enjoyed it immensely. We are definitely planning to keep our eyes open for future events (which were rumored to be in the works). If you are interested in learning about them yourself, be sure to like or follow ThinkGeek on Facebook and/or Twitter.

May the Force be with You!

Special thanks to ThinkGeek for letting us join them for this auspicious event and for the links to a few pictures that I was unable to get, due to being in a battle or stuffing my face. :)


  1. awesome recap! we were the folks fighting next to you guys (to your right...the ones that couldn't stop laughing). it was TONS o' fun. hoping to go back again!

  2. Glad you liked it! Dan and I were laughing just as much as you guys were. :)

  3. Hi! This is Bette. I just came across your blog. It was a lot of fun to read the recap of the evening. I particularly love the photo with the mutant jello! Paul and I are so glad you had a good time. Hopefully, we'll get to do this again... maybe when it's not quite so hot and humid.