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Who is the Gnarly Griffin?

Hello there! Ryan here from the Gnarly Griffin! 👋

First off, the team and I want to thank you for being here and choosing to share your passions with us :)

Now, if you're not sure what this "Gnarly Griffin" is all about, then read on. Fair warning: This will be a lengthy post!

The mission behind the Gnarly Griffin is to nurture and facilitate the growth, exposure and inclusiveness of "nerd" culture in a country that remains slightly abstract around this concept.

We admire the lengths to which people are willing to go to acquire what they deeply desire. The Gnarly Griffin just wants to make that acquisition process more accessible. We aim to do this by providing exposure to items and events that would otherwise either be completely inaccessible or incredibly costly. We want this to be done in a meaningful way that provides value to people so that we aren't just making a sale, but creating an experience.

The Gnarly Griffin hopes to create an area of entertainment which would help to facilitate and promote fandom culture. We want this area to feel authentic, passionate and cared for. That our customers feel like the Gnarly Griffin is their "home away from home." We want like-minded individuals to feel safe to express themselves and their interests freely; without judgement but, instead, with admiration. The Gnarly Griffin should cater to those looking for collectibles and merchandise, comic books, video games, board games, anime merchandise, manga and various other products related to pop culture media and entertainment.

For years, Juan and Ryan (co-owners) would yearn for some exclusive gaming collectible or event that is happening overseas (mostly U.S) and think to ourselves "we would pay real money to be able to attend/buy something like that." And from thought, we realised that companies here are ignoring a huge opportunity by not making these things more accessible to our country. It's beginning to change with things like the rAge gaming festival and now Comic Con Africa, and that’s why we believe that a bigger shift is coming. With the immense success of the MCU box office, the incredible growth and mainstream adoption of anime and manga, as well as the resurgence of table-top board experiences like Dungeons & Dragons, the popularity of this market is on the rise and now is the best time it has ever been to create the opportunity for like minded people to be able to celebrate and indulge in whatever franchise, genre, saga, chronicles or series that brings joy to them and others. The lengths to which people are willing to go to acquire what they deeply desire is incredibly interesting. And we just want to make that acquisition process more accessible.

The main purpose of the Gnarly Griffin is to bring the nerd/geek world to South Africa. I think the idea here is to really get in touch with what matters the most to the gamers, comic book enthusiasts and sci-fi/fantasy enjoyers out there. The amazing thing about an audience like this is how incredibly loyal they are to whatever it is they find themselves enjoying. We need to respect that and uphold a sort of trust that the 'fandom culture' is what we all have in common.

The Gnarly Griffin's ultimate goal is to have a physical store that can cater for our ambitions and goals, however, one has to start somewhere and so we have decided to launch an online store as our initial and primary source of market penetration. From this online store we want to build a loyal customer base, a strong market presence and build enough capital to launch a brick and mortar store. We dream of creating a space that would help to facilitate and promote fandom culture. We want this brand to feel authentic and passionate about the people that it is composed of.

It needs to feel like an experience, a home-away-from-home. Not just a store that you go to buy something and then leave, but a place you’d want to go and spend your Saturday afternoon in, with your friends, around a table, playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Thank you for taking the time to read our story. We hope the honesty and transparency resonates with you and shows you how much we care about what we're doing.

Take care now and have a gnarly day! 😎
Ryan, signing off!


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