The Upside-Down is officially in Los Angeles. On Saturday, November 6 Netflix’s Stranger Things pop-up opened at the Americana at Brand. The pop-up features easter eggs (message, image, or hidden features) tons of merch, immersive experiences, show-inspired games, great photo opportunities for super fans, and an intriguing experience for those who aren’t familiar with the show.
The store is currently set to run through the holiday season though it may extend into 2022. Walk-ins are allowed, though it is recommended to make a free reservation online (which includes a surprise gift).
The massive shop really brings escape room-type elements into an immersive retail space that starts out in Joyce Boyer’s living room. I loved all the time and attention put into each area, every detail from the series was featured perfectly in the sets. The living room has a buttercup yellow rotary telephone as well as some of Will’s artwork.
The combination of lights and decor in the 80s inspired arcade area was beautiful and did a fantastic job of recreating the feel of the arcade in the film. In the middle of the room, boxes upon boxes of Pop Funko Figures for fans to stock up on, amongst a “Prize Wall” with even more merchandise. Merchandise in the arcade included nostalgic toys from the 80s-like Magic Eight Balls and retro action figures. The endless array of rooms included the Starcourt mall complete with more goods from Scoops Ahoy, the fictional ice cream shop.
The decor and attention to detail stood out to me the most. However, some of the merchandise didn’t feel very unique to the store and could probably be found on retail sites like Amazon. The most unique yet also weird item was the endless boxes of popular cereals from General Mills like Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cheerios. The cereal boxes were inspired by the show as part of a collaboration with General Mills.
My favorite part of the experience besides the spot-on decor of the rooms was the customizing station. I chose exclusive pieces to personalize with embroidery making the immersive experience that much better.
The immersive experience included tokens that awarded customers for correctly answering trivia questions which could earn you a treat and a puzzle experience that allows you to open up the rift from Season 3.
As I walked around the shop I also noticed some items that I thought were hinting about the upcoming season like Hopper’s Russian prison life and the mysterious Hellfire Club.
The experience was definitely worth my time especially considering the fact that it was free. Each room superbly captured the essence of the tv series and provided for a lengthy experience supported by kind staff. My only complaint lies in the type of merchandise going in. I did expect unique and interesting items but was met with generic merchandise that could easily be found online. Yet, the Upside-Down experience strangely didn’t disappoint.