Monkeys, Video Games, And Star Wars Toys: Inside ThinkGeek's Amazing World Headquarters


It’s great when a company doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s even better when that’s part of the business plan.

ThinkGeek is an uncommon internet retailer that serves a very niche market — geeks! Snarky t-shirts, video game memorabilia, a pizza cutter in the shape of the Starship Enterprise, and so much more.

Fun plays a central role in the workday — remember the Apple Store Playmobil set? That’s a ThinkGeek creation. What about the iCade, an arcade cabinet dock for your iPad? Another ThinkGeek success.

Their products are conceived and designed in an office space in Virginia before being sold around the country and the world. And they were kind enough to invite us for a visit.

We start in a nondescript industrial park in Fairfax, Virginia -- an unlikely place to find a geek Mecca.

Here we are -- the ThinkGeek world headquarters.

The staff keeps the lights low in the office. Shane tells us that the florescents hum obnoxiously and the staff prefers the mellow atmosphere.

We loved these Mario decals that made the office look like a video game.

Toys and gadgets line almost every cubicle wall.

Here's John Frazier (L) and Zack Trolier (R), videographers for the site.

Some of their products have unfortunately gotten cease and desist orders, but ThinkGeek keeps them on display. Here's a shirt that LucasFilm didn't approve of.

Harley Davidson put a stop to this Tron-themed shirt.

The adorable chestburster from the Alien movies, popping out of the wall to say hello.

Here's the large closet where they keep spare parts for designing new products.

Products get cannibalised and recycled to make the new ones all the time.

Leftover Stormtrooper gear.

The workshop, where products are built, tested, and perfected.

Here's the ThinkGeek photo studio, where they photograph their products in-house.

They have an impressive wardrobe for any models they include in the shoot. The models are almost always ThinkGeek staffers.

Here's ThinkGeek co-founder Jen Frazier and her dog Cisco, who is usually sitting in that empty chair.

Cisco is one of the two beloved dogs in the office. We'll meet the other one, Harley, in a moment.

He keeps a spotless office, and his Nintendo 64 is within easy reach.

Subtle jokes are hidden everywhere in the office.

Timmy the monkey is the company's mascot. Strangely, lots of fans make outfits for Timmy, so they go on display in the conference room.

Mythbuster Timmy outfits, an easy favourite.

The iCade is a ThinkGeek original that started as an April Fool's joke, but customers actually wanted to buy them. So now they offer iCades for sale.

Apple fans should recognise this Apple Store Playmobil set. It was a ThinkGeek prank, and while it's not for sale, it does exist.

Playmobil Steve Jobs.

A very flashy way to exit the conference room. (Note: we did not exit this way.)

Boba Fett hides out behind the video games.

There's even a casual book-sharing program. Before we could take a look, we heard a loud noise and a barking dog.

It was Michael Collins, site photographer, teasing Harley the pitbull with an Airsoft gun.

The second funroom. Shane tells us that this one is bigger, but the other one is more fun.

This piece of fanmail was made with a laser cutter!

This webcam broadcasts whatever's happening in the funroom live on the ThinkGeek site.

Retro geek gear -- here's the Virtual Boy, an all-too-forgotten Nintendo system.

ThinkGeek products get written up in a huge variety of magazines -- here's one on outdoor living.

Geek cross-stitch.

We met Mike Kochis, ThinkGeek's licensing manager. The man's been to Skywalker Ranch!

Captain Kirk defends Timmy and Tux.

Or last stop is co-founder Willie Vadnais's office. Does this dog look familiar? It's Cisco.

All knights wore 8-bit ties, right?

That's the tour! Our thanks to Shane and the rest of ThinkGeek for their time.

Want to tour another quirky office?

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at