If you are a comics collector living in Toronto and have never been to "The Snail", you have been living under a rock!
The Toronto Silver Snail store (there is also one in Ottawa) is located at 367 Queen St. W (between Spadina and John St.), on the south side. The store is fairly large with 2 floors of great merchandise. How long the store has been around is beyond me. I do remember that they used to have a store at Yonge and Eglinton, where my mother would take me when I was a young lad and in my infancy of collecting comics. I miss that store as it was smaller but still a great shopping experience.
Well, with 2 floors you should expect a good variety of "stuff" to buy. The first floor is pretty much dedicated to comics. The 2nd floor is mostly action figures and collectibles. I do collect some action figures so the 2nd floor does add some value to my visits. A couple of years ago I was able to pick up the 2nd set of LOST figures at a fairly good discount.
The 1st floor is actually 2 sections. The front section has the cash register and some toys and other fun things. There is a hall that leads into the back half of the store; in that hall there are some display cases with higher end collectibles including some Kidrobot items.
The back half houses the comics. There are plenty of back issue bins to browse through and a good selection of current issues. Everything is easily accessible.
The store is nice and clean. Something you would expect from a big player in the comic scene.
Service is both good and bad. On past visits to the store, I have encountered staff that really couldn't care about you except the money in your pocket, while others went out of their way to ask me for help.
I really can't comment on the pricing, as it has been awhile since I was in the store. My guess is they are in line with most stores out there.
I should mention that Silver Snail does have a booth at some ComicCons. They had a fairly large presence at the Hobbystar ComicCon last April, but I found they were selling more toys and action figures than comics. I did buy a couple of Kidrobot Dunny's from them, so they did serve a purpose at the show.
Like I said, Silver Snail is a Toronto Icon. I guess if you are a first time collector, it is a good first stop to experience the comic scene, but the store does have a "big company" kind of feel. I will go back to the store for nostalgic reasons, but once a year is enough for me.