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Nintendo's Second Retail Store Opens Today In Tel Aviv

Starting today, Nintendo New York won't be the company's only official retail store.

According to Nintendo Life, a brand-new Nintendo shop is opening its doors today in Tel Aviv, Israel. And yes, that's a big deal! Nintendo's been pretty slow to expand its retail footprint in terms of launching new shops, content to let retail partners handle the bulk of the workload. But the company's grand opening of Nintendo Tel Aviv signals that Nintendo might finally be looking to leverage its staggering number of intellectual properties and sell more merchandise. And anyone who's participated in the Amiibo craze will tell you, there is definitely some money to be made there.

Nintendo's first store, Nintendo New York, first launched as a Pokemon-themed shop back in 2001 before rebranding twice, eventually landing on its current name. And the immense amount of Nintendo memorabilia you can find there is unmatched, with everything from console accessories to apparel to stuffed toys. It's a must-visit spot if you're a fan of video games and you find yourself in the Big Apple, but up to this point, the rest of the world has been missing something similar. Now Nintendo Tel Aviv offers those in Israel — and those in nearby European and African countries — a way to get in on the fun.

They may even have a costumed Mario walking around like the one above, who — for the record — looks like a toy that's come to life in a horror movie.

By the time you read this, Nintendo fans in Tel Aviv will have already filed into the new store to peruse the aisles and see what kinds of t-shirts and figurines they might want to take home with them. It's a reminder that games stretch well beyond our own borders, and that our shared love of them can reach across languages. It's also a sign that Nintendo is finally ready to be the cultural icon the company has always been. Apple Stores are now numerous, and are as much experiences in their own right as retail locations. Nintendo's official retail stores figure to do the same. Maybe we'll get more of them soon.