Here be dragons

If you think about it, Montecasino1 is basically Erebor2 so it was bound to attract a dragon at some point. If you’re thinking “…huh?”, it’s a flashy casino in a well off area, so basically a vacuum cleaner for your money. Money is technically gold, so therefore this analogy works. The Hobbits themselves don’t really fit into it, though, so just forget about them for now.

On Wednesday, NAG was invited to the grand opening of the new Dark Carnival shop in Montecasino. It was a fun evening with free drinks and snacks, and lots of must-have merch.

This red tape barrier proved difficult to overcome for our adventuring party. Other groups of would-be heroes were also all just standing around eating, drinking, and talking. Nobody was discussing or plotting how to get past this magical red barrier. Eventually someone cut it with a scissors, a feat so amazing in its simplicity we all just applauded. It was an incredible experience just to be witness to such a thing.

Welcoming you into the store (besides Darth Vader and R2D2) is a fantastic dragon perched on the side of the building. Based on an original designed by the late Kobus Deysel, this sculpture took five months to create by the very talented Juan Du Preez. Notice how its claws are tearing right into the wall. It breathes smoke, has glowing eyes, and makes, like, you know, dragon noises.

The dragon still needs a name, and I was told there’s going to be some competition or something to figure that out. I suggested Murray, but I got shot down hard. Like a knee. With an arrow. You get the reference.

But come on, it totally looks like a Murray!

Inside the store you’ll find anything and everything, from plush Minecraft creepers to Doctor Who things, and they’ve even got freshly squeezed vials of Yoda sweat3. Also mugs, Star Trek and Star Wars collectibles, Harry Potter souvenirs, tees, hoodies, toys, Rick and Morty novelties, and so on.

The guy with the beard is dragon sculptor Juan Du Preez, the lady on the left is Candice Edwards, the brains of the operation. The two other cool cats – no idea to be honest. They just stood there smiling, and it was too awkward to ask by then.

The Dark Carnival store is the perfect addition to an already excellent entertainment complex. So next time you’re in there for the weekend, a meal, a show, to watch movie or just escape loadshedding, pop into this fantasy world and see what they have on offer. They promise a fresh rotation of stock so hopefully each time you visit there’ll be something new and exciting.

(Thanks to @TechGirl for the video!)

  1. Fourways, Johannesburg.
  2. The Lonely Mountain from The Hobbit – you fools!
  3. This is a lie.
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