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Open for Business

By Janice Llanes Fabry

Named for the Goldilocks’ Three Bears, Three Gōms in Korean, has something for papa bear, mama bear, and the kids. The shop, at 15 Purchase Street, is just right for back-to-school essentials that are snazzier than what students typically find.

As owner Paul Kim noted, “The composition notebooks I carry have great designs. The Decomposition books are made with recycled paper and soy-based ink. Even the variety of pens are unique and interesting, like all the things in my store.”

Kim, whose flagship store is located in Larchmont, carries erasable pens, pens with pressure ink barrels that enable one to write upside down, pens that dry glossy, and 4-color pens with a variety of color cartridges to choose from. On hand are unbreakable mechanical pencils, staple-less staplers, correction tapes in rare widths, and themed clips and pencil cases. Kim’s repertoire also includes miniature stuffed animals/mascots to embellish school backpacks.

Like most of the merchandise, these Miffy bunnies, Rilakkuma bears, and Sumikko Gurashi plush lines are imported from Asia and are available in different sizes. They originated from Japanese animation and have captured the hearts of kids everywhere, much like the Hello Kitty character created by a Japanese artist in the 1970s. Also highly popular are Three Gōms’ figurines and collectibles.

“When I first opened the Larchmont store, I was surprised at the reaction,” admitted Kim. “I thought I’d have a hard time introducing the merchandise to the community, but the kids all knew what I had because they’ve seen the items on YouTube. Here in Rye, I’ve had the same reaction.”

Salesperson Helen Tornese agrees, “It’s so nice to see how happy and excited the kids get because they’re getting something they love. They even take selfies with the merchandise to post on Facebook.”

It was a toy collectible, a cartoon-style representation of a bear, that initially inspired Kim to set up shop. “As a Bearbrick collector, I discovered that there are hardly any stores on the east coast that carry them. In Asia, these items are so popular that they have to be pre-ordered and are gone by the time they hit the shelves,” he explained. “I decided to put all the collectibles, plush lines, toys, gift items, and stationery items that are so popular in Asia in one store.”

Many of the collectibles that Kim carries are limited editions that cost anywhere between $50 and $700. In addition to Bearbrick, he offers Kidrobot vinyl art toys, produced in limited numbers as well. They’re also available in Blind Boxes, small containers of tiny art toys and figurine collectibles, whose identities are discovered only upon buying and opening.

They certainly are a big hit with the young set, as are Three Gōms’ Gundam animated robot building sets and the challenging Hanayama metal brainteasers and puzzles. Rye Middle School seventh graders couldn’t get enough of them.


“I like the puzzles, because they make you think and they’re really fun,” said Matty Clarke.

“I really like the whole store,” added his buddy Max Greenspan. “It’s got great things for my room.”

As for papa bear and mama bear, Three Gōms carries pretty nifty gift items. A Tea Fisherman, for instance, holds one’s tea bag while it seeps. If wine is the beverage of choice, novelty wine markers in the shape of hedgehogs and pug dogs will hang over one’s glass. Other novelty artifacts include Foodie Gardens for growing tomato, basil, and peppers, as well as Eggling Crack and Grow that hatches a plant before one’s eyes.

The store also offers extra special balloon gift-wrapping at no charge. Three Gōms’ is open Monday through Saturday from 10-6.

 

Plush lines at Three Gōms’

Among the Vinyl collectibles

Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grade customers Matty Clarke and Max Greenspan

Plush lines at Three Gōms’

 

Among the Vinyl collectibles


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