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Foxprowl

December 2, 2018 - 2:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, news, Christmas.

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Six-year-old Taylor Moorehead tells Santa and Mrs. Claus that she wants a remote car for Christmas during a visit to Foxprowl on Ellicott Street in Batavia yesterday.

A few superheroes also dropped in at the store, as well.

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August 5, 2018 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, business, batavia, news.

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The collectibles store Foxprowl is back at its original location, 440 Ellicott St., Batavia, after a couple of years of trying a location at Main and Jackson and pop-up stores and online sales.

After a barbershop that had moved into the location closed, owners Bill and Joy Hume saw it as an opportunity to get back to their roots.

"It’s a familiar spot," Bill Hume said. "I like the building and the location and I like the landlord so it was kind of obvious. It worked out good. It just happened to become available and I jumped on it. My gut instinct told me, go back home."

Added bonus, his stock of T-shirts with the 440 Ellicott St. address on them is back in style.

Yesterday, the Chamber of Commerce was on hand for a ribbon cutting with help from Batman's Penguin, Wolverine, Spider-Man & Velma from Scooby-Doo, all from WNY Superheroes and Cosplayers.

The grand-reopening yesterday also included appearances by Brenden Gillard, artist, voice actor, costume designer, and author. Anthony Zicari, comic writer and editor, was also on hand.

Bill Hume said he will bring in more celebrity guests and he's also looking to bring back Foxprowl Con, perhaps in the coming year, with some new ideas.

December 9, 2017 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, business, news.

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Bill Hume popped up in Falleti Ice Arena today with a "pop up store" for Foxprowl.

It's the second time he's set up a retail location in Falleti and he said later this month he will do what he's calling a "flash store" inside Record Revival on East Main Street.

Earlier this year, Hume shut down his permanent retail store at Jackson and Main, Batavia, but sees the trend for "pop up stores," which are common in metropolitan areas, as something he would like to see catch on Batavia.

August 19, 2017 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, business.

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It was Foxprowl Night at the Batavia Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium last night. Foxprowl co-Owner Bill Hume threw out the first pitch.

Above, Wade Webster as Deadpool and Brenden Gillard as Starlord.

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Joy Hume with ET and Alexa Myers, director of marketing for Dolce Panepinto, which also had a booth set up at the game.

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June 8, 2017 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, downtown, batavia, business, news.

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Saying it's a reality of business these days, Foxprowl Collectibles announced on Facebook that it is closing its downtown store, though the business will continue as an online-only business.

"This is by no means the business ending," Bill Hume said in the statement. "It is simply changing and adapting with the current state of retail (over 50 percent of U.S. retail sales now occur online)."

Hume, who operated the business with his wife, Joy, started Foxprowl as an online-only business and opened a store on Ellicott Street in 2010. They moved the store to Main and Jackson streets less than a year ago, in September 2016.

Foxprowl won the Chamber's "Entrepreneurial Business of the Year" award for 2016.

The store also operates an annual local comic and collectibles convention, Foxprowl Con. Hume said the convention will be on hiatus this year because of the business transition but will return in 2018.

The physical store location closing is effective July 1.

Photo: File photo of Joy and Bill Hume.

April 15, 2017 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, downtown, business.

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The Easter Bunny paid a visit to Foxprowl today. Owner Bill Hume sent in these pictures.

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March 3, 2017 - 8:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Chamber Awards, batavia, business, news, Foxprowl.

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You know you’ve wandered into a unique store when you see the nearly life-size Freddy Krueger standing, how else but menacingly, just inside the side entrance of the store at 97 Main St. in Batavia. On top of a nearby display case is another clue, the rubbery head of a one-of-a-kind beast with a gaping maw and toothy jowls. 

This is Foxprowl Collectables, of course, a place for sci-fi and pop culture collectors and the young at heart in the heart of the city, and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Entrepreneurial Business of the Year. Owners Bill and Joy Hume will join other honorees Saturday night at the annual awards ceremony at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road.

Deborah Green, a friend of theirs who lives in East Pembroke, nominated the business. She says the Humes are community-oriented and their business brings in people from throughout Western New York to Batavia.

The Humes' enterprise is chock full of action figures, comic books -- 40,000 of them (wrapped in plastic, priced, alphabetized and in chronological order), toy collectibles and more, a place for tots and Boomers alike to look for many of their favorite characters and remember back in the day...

As a young man, Bill, a Batavia native, played in bands, did construction work and delivered furniture and appliances. Although he had collected toys all his life, he had no particular interest in business before starting Foxprowl as an ebay enterprise back in 1999. He had a lightbulb moment about the potential for making a living around his hobby and started buying toys in "lots" or quantities, then selling off excess while building his reserves. 

"Most people know more about their hobbies than they know about their jobs," Bill said. "So if your hobby is your job, you have more of a passion, more of a drive, and you're going to work 12-, 13-hour days because you enjoy it."

The first storefront opened in 2010 on Ellicott Street and then they relocated and opened Sept. 1 last year in the building at Jackson and Main streets.

"It's a new ballgame," Bill said of the new space. "It's a different demographic. (On Ellicott) it was more of a destination. Here there's more foot traffic, quadruple what it was. I'm looking forward to our first summer here, that's for sure."

Bill and Joy both say they are honored to be part of Batavia's business community and thankful for the recognition by the chamber for their hard work.

Joy said "drive, desire, diligence, setting goals, growth, planning the work and working the plan" are the keys to their success to date. And she gives a lot of credit to their employees and supporters.

"We have a great team that has grown with us and works right along with us and we are blessed with an abundance of family and friends who support us in so many ways," Joy said.

These include Tim Schiefer, Wayne Stahler, Marc Tillery and Bill Doetterl.

Stahler for the past two and a half years has run the online side of the business, handling Internet orders, shipping, tracking sales, complying with merchant rules for Amazon, eBay and their own e-commerce site on Big Commerce. His duties include working with a variety of distributors worldwide to get proper authorization to ship certain licensed goods. They only starting selling on Amazon last year and already Stahler said it is quickly reaching par with in-store sales.

Keeping the store itself organized and neat for finicky collectors and grandmothers seeking a special birthday gift for little Tommy is no small feat either.

"I try to keep it pretty shoppable," Bill said.

Glass cases house mint-condition items; on the walls and on countertops Star Wars is kept with Star Wars, likewise for G.I. Joe, KISS, Transformers, etc. There is a big bin for action figures.

"Kids love digging through there, rummaging, digging for the buried treasure buried at the bottom," Bill said.

He has some backstock, too.

In a small closet about 25 Millenium Falcon spaceships from Star Wars are stacked, variously equipped with their dozens of parts. Of those, he said he could maybe put together two whole spaceships with all the parts, in which case one would sell for $150-$160. The rarest bit is the Jedi Training Ball, which hangs down like a boxing bag. That alone sells for more than $20.

"Every mom vacuumed that up and so it's the part that's most often missing," Bill said.

Care to look through an old Atari magazine from the '70s? Ever seen uncut sheets of Three Stooges trading cards? Remember the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine? They are all there! Some people drive four hours just to get the special Japanese-made Godzilla figurines sold there, each exquisitely detailed and not cheap either.

But buying inventory and deciding well in advance of, say, a movie's release, how much of its corresponding merchandise to stock, can be tricky. Consumers are fickle and their memories are short. Despite all his acumen, Bill said it's still "a crapshoot."

A proven adjunct to the business is Foxprowl-Con, which brings together stars, a variety of clubs, artists, fandom and vendors on the weekend before Thanskgiving. It debuted at a local hotel in 2015 after 11 months of painstaking planning.

The first year there were 18 celebrities, dozens of vendors, dealers, crafters, artists, book sellers, and clubs like the Ghostbusters Club with its 20-foot inflatible marshmallow, plus interactive games, contests, experts panels -- like makeup artists and costumers, plenty of family fun all day long.

Putting the convention together was challenging but people loved it. Bill learned on the fly about third-party ticket sales, per diem payments, security, travel planning, promotions, advertising, and on and on. And he said he learned that it was important to treat every customer as royally as each star.

"Everybody is important," he said.

Joy said she thinks Foxprowl is one of Genesee County's coolest places; Foxprowl-Con is a labor of love. Both are places where families and fans can "geek out" and enjoy their favorite characters and artists and have a good time.

The Humes plan to keep having fun doing what they love.

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November 7, 2016 - 8:40am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Foxprowl-Con, Foxprowl, batavia, business, news.

Genesee County’s own Comic-Con style event is making its return to Batavia on Friday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 20th. The 2nd annual Foxprowl-Con is where the world of comics, movies, television shows come together for a wonderful celebration of fun. The event will be taking place at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road in Batavia.

Foxprowl-Con is produced by Foxprowl Collectibles, 97 Main St. in Batavia. The store is a major destination for fans of vintage and new toys, figurines, ceramics and collectibles.

Foxprowl owner and event producer Bill Hume said, “Foxprowl-Con is a great place where parents and children can connect over sharing their love for comic books, television shows and certain movies. There are a lot of interactive activities for people to enjoy.”

He added, “A lot of people enjoy meeting the celebrities and attending the celebrity panels, where they do Q&As and tell behind the scene stories. People love browsing the large vendors room, browsing thousands of comics, toys, crafts and costumes. There are over 60 free panel discussions, cosplay contests, live music, games and more included in your admission. There’s something for everyone.”

The celebrity appearances are a big draw of Foxprowl-Con. Attendees can meet the special guests free of charge, with there being a fee for autographs. Special celebrities include: Ari Lehman, who was “Jason” in the first “Friday the 13th” movie. Lydia Criss, photographer and ex-wife of KISS drummer Peter Criss. Steve Geiger, Marvel Comics artist, Rashaad Santiago, Season 6 winner of the TV show “FaceOff.” Hanna Hall from “Forrest Gump” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween.” Mark Dodson, voice actor from “Star Wars.” Kurt Lehner, character designer and animation artist for Disney.

The event times and admission are as follows: Friday, Nov. 18th – 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19th -- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 20th -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for the days are: Friday $10, Saturday $20 and Sunday $15. Children 12 and under free with paid adult.

For up-to-date info, visit www.FoxprowlCon.com.

Visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com to learn more...

October 10, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Foxprowl, news, Announcements, batavia.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl in Batavia, will talk about popular culture collectables beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main S., Batavia.
 
These aren't your grandfather's collectables. Hume will give an overview of collectables, which got their start in comic books and movies like Super Man, Bat Man, the X Men, Godzilla, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. You'll learn what's trending and what's not and what you wish your mom had not thrown out years ago. Hume will bring along plenty of his favorite items to show off.
 
This free presentation is open to the public. We do serve refreshments!
 
Reservations would be helpful, but not required. Phone 343-4727.
 
To see weird and wonderful collectables and more, visit Foxprowl at 97 Main St. in Batavia.
September 1, 2016 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, downtown, batavia, business.

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It's a lot of work moving thousands of collectible toys along with 40,000 comic books, but that's what Bill Hume, along with his wife, Joy, staff member Wayne Stahler along with helpers and friends have been doing for the past few days.

Hume opened Foxprowl at its new location at Main and Jackson, downtown Batavia today, even though not everything is unboxed or on the shelves yet.

We've covered Foxprowl from its opening on Ellicott Street over the years and watched the business grow. The store expanded, added inventory and Hume hosted a convention in Batavia last year (it will return this year; details to be announced).

Several other small businesses have come and gone in Batavia in that time, but Hume has persisted and succeeded. He said lasting and growing has had a lot to do with his passion for the business, his passion for collectibles and his willingness and enjoyment to work the long hours necessary.

May 22, 2016 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, professional wrestling, batavia, business.

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James "Jim" Fullington, better known by his professional wrestling ring name, "The Sandman," hams it up with Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl on Ellicott Street, Batavia, during a visit to the store, where he met with fans yesterday.

November 22, 2015 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl-Con, Foxprowl, batavia.

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The first Foxprowl-Con at the Clarion Hotel was packed with energy and some interesting characters Saturday.

The event continues today. For more information, visit foxprowlcon.com.

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November 20, 2015 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, Foxprowl-Con, conventions, Clarion, batavia, business.

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The Clarion Hotel in Batavia will be filled this weekend with superheroes, space aliens, monsters and robots, all gathering to partake in Foxprowl-Con, the first local comic and collectables convention.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street, is the lead organizer of the event, which he said could draw from 2,000 to 4,000 guests from all over the region.

The convention will feature more than 100 vendors and several celebrities from the world of comics and sci-fi/horror entertainment, including Mark Dodson, from Star Wars and Gremlins, Kevin Duhaney and Jeff Parazzo, from Power Rangers, Adam Minarovich from the Walking Dead, Steve Cardenas, from Power Rangers, and Tyler Green and Rashaad Santiago, from FaceOff, among others.

These photos are from this afternoon while vendors were setting up. The convention opens this evening and continues Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit foxprowl-con.com.

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August 24, 2010 - 8:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street, Foxprowl.

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Bill Hume is living his dream.

What started with a Star Wars and KISS memorability collection when he was a child, has blossomed into his own retail store on Ellicott Street.

The 39-year-old entrepreneur started selling pop culture collectibles on Ebay in 1998, eventually had a 20x20 stall at Antique World in Clarence and now has 1,000-square-foot store at 440 Ellicott St.

foxprowl02.jpg"It's been progressively building and culminated in a store back in my home town," said Hume. "This was the ultimate dream, though I didn't know it would ever be feasible."

Hume benefited from a flexible landlord and the ability to buy all of his store fixtures cheaply.

The store, named Foxprowl, opened just over a week ago.

He said customers from Buffalo, who bought collectibles from him in Clarance, have already started showing up at his new location to browse his expanded inventory.

foxprowl04.jpgThe story contains a wide variety of pop culture items, from figurines for Star Wars, KISS (of course), Star Trek, Spider Man, Superman and Austin Powers to toys and games tied to many of the most popular movies and TV shows of the past 30 years.

"I guess I was born at the right time," Hume said. "I just got sucked up into the whole pop culture thing in the late '70s"

He acknowledges that his kind of specialty retail store can find it hard to survive. But he's hoping with his ability to keep his expenses low, expansive resources for obtaining new inventory, and a loyal following from his previous years in business, he can make a go of it at his new location.

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