Nerd Culture

Polar Bear's Pop Culture Shop, a Tempe Geek Haven, Is Now Open

Tianne Pitz (left), James Hiralez (center), and Jason Mansfield of Polar Bear's Pop Culture Shop in Tempe.
Tianne Pitz (left), James Hiralez (center), and Jason Mansfield of Polar Bear's Pop Culture Shop in Tempe. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Tianne Pitz (left), James Hiralez (center), and Jason Mansfield of Polar Bear's Pop Culture Shop in Tempe. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Tianne Pitz (left), James Hiralez (center), and Jason Mansfield of Polar Bear's Pop Culture Shop in Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman


Valley geeks now have a new spot to score action figures, toys, and other collectibles.

In late February, a trio of local collectors – Jason Mansfield, James Hiralez, and Tianne Pitz – opened Polar Bear’s Pop Culture Shop, a 1,200-square-foot store at 2240 North Scottsdale Road, #102.

Mansfield told Phoenix New Times the shop grew out of selling toys and other items at local cons. “We've been doing stuff around town for a long time now and people kept asking us, ‘Do you have a shop?’” he says. “So we finally got something going.”

Plus, they were running out of space to stow their stuff. “Both of our houses were all the way full, so that's another reason behind it,” says Hiralez.


The store’s front room features several hundred action figures and toys of the new and vintage variety from various pop-culture franchises like Star Wars, WWE, Transformers, and Masters of the Universe.

A smaller back room offers horror-inspired toys, as well as a collection of records ranging from movie scores and soundtracks on vinyl to vintage “Read Along” books. Elsewhere you'll find cassettes and mixtapes created by local DJs and musicians, T-shirts, and the work of Valley artists.

“We’ve got something for everybody,” says Mansfield.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.