Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[Brick & Mortar] American Eagles

American Eagles
Address: 12537 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Phone: (206) 440-8448

RPGs: good selection, mostly older games sold as new at MSRP
Indie RPGs: limited
Used RPGs: limited
Miniatures: excellent wargaming selection (Napoleonics, WWII, etc.)
Boardgames: good selection
Gaming space: limited to none
Comics: limited to none

Family Friendly: yes
Knowledgeable Staff: none I've met

Overall Rating: average (and that's only because they may have something out of print you are looking for)

American Eagles is located in the Lake City neighborhood of Seattle, on the west side of Lake City Way between NE 125th and NE 127th streets. There is a dance studio next door to the south and a sushi place on the other side. There is plenty of parking in the back if you can't find a spot on Lake City Way.

The shop is very large and has a large display window. The RPG section is to the left and towards the back of the store and the rest of the store is filled with models and miniatures, with the downstairs section a train store.

In the early '80s, American Eagles was the top store of three excellent game shops in the Seattle area. The other two, Triple Alliance in the Old Town neighborhood of Bellevue and the U.S.S. Enterprise in the Totem Lake neighborhood of Kirkland, are now long out of business. My friends and I, all living in Kirkland, would take the bus into Seattle to travel to Ballard (where American Eagles was at the time before they moved to Lake City in the mid '90s). It was a all-day pilgrimage. We had easy access to the U.S.S. Enterprise and Triple Alliance but the best of everything was at American Eagles.

I usually only go to American Eagles now once or twice a year. I have had good luck finding way-out-of-print RPG items there but they are sold at '80s and '90s MSRP, some of which are worth it but most available elsewhere at better prices. With the advent of ebay, a bunch of scavangers went through the shop and got every RPG that was worth something but you still may find stuff that isn't in the "hot" category.

The staff when I was a child were rude and uninformative, but that could be because a horde of teens descended on them in a frenzy every Saturday. However, as an adult, I've noticed that if you aren't buying models or trains, the service is EXTREMELY poor. Your mileage may vary, however.

Personally, they are my last, best local hope for finding an RPG or supplement. But usually, I'll search the internet.

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