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HobbyTown USA, is there a store near you?

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:47 PM

Greg
Joe, it is starting to surprise me where the HTUSA's are ....and aren't. Corpus Christi is a decent-sized place, I would have suspected you would have one closer.

Sheeeeyit! No friggin' way there's anything here like that. I mean there are a few modelers here but most of the folks that I've seen buy kits at HL are parents that have never built a model or those that have built a few that are buying their kids a kit but that's not the kind of audience that'll entertain visiting a full blown hobby shop. There was one a while back called Leisure Time Hobbies and it was a great store but it flopped within a year of me moving here back in 99. Total bummer to see that one go after 22 years of business.

                   

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:42 PM

Hi;

 Well,I guess that you could say local.My Hobby Town is in  San Antonio 45 miles away . We do have a H.L here in New Braunfels ,Not Bad,Typical H.L.     T.B.

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, May 16, 2019 3:20 PM

Fesan

I have one a town over from me. It is not the best place sometimes. My hobbytown near me is mainly rc cars, planes, and boats. Does not have a huge selection of paints (which 90% are enamel anyway). They follow me around the store also but the one employee i do not mind since he is an avid builder and more so wants to see/hear about what WIP you have. They mainly follow around since the younger kids around my area think its cool to steal from the store constantly so i do understand their suspicions of everyone. I did just find out that Mega Hobby is in my state just a hour or so drive away so plan to check them out also this weekend.

 

I can up you one what happened to me a couple years ago. The last remaining LHS was ran by an old man whom wasn’t too bad. Until that is his paranoid daughter started working there. Long story short, one cold winter day during my lunch hour, I was leaving. I had my hands in my pockets as I walked out the door. Told the old man Have a nice day on the way out. Then this daughter o& his said “Excuse me but can you empty your pockets?” 

She actually thought I was stealing. I felt insulted as I took my hands out of my pockets. She sheepishly apologized but I cut her off and told her that she just lost a loyal customer and I vowed never to return again. I predicted by years end it will close for good since they hardly gotten any business. I felt sorry for her father but she was being paranoid everytime I go to shop there. Sure enough, he ended up closing for good this past January.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, May 16, 2019 5:28 PM

Thanks for sharing your HobbyTown and LHS situation, TB. Yes

Sheep, as lousy as my memory is, I remember your story from a couple years back. That was a sad thing to read then, and it is now. One of those in a lifetime would be enough.

BTW, On re-reading my OP, it sort of sounds like my point was to gripe about being followed around the store. I really didn't mean it that way. I got to typing and got carried away, led myself off-topic as I do sometimes, and I apologize for that.

The intention of my post was to get a feel for how Hobbytowns are doing in general, and thanks to all of the helpful replies, now I know. It's localized, dependent upon ownership and other factors, but in general, Ok. And I'm happy for that.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2019
Posted by Fesan on Thursday, May 16, 2019 5:33 PM

Greg

Thanks for sharing your HobbyTown and LHS situation, TB. Yes

Sheep, as lousy as my memory is, I remember your story from a couple years back. That was a sad thing to read then, and it is now. One of those in a lifetime would be enough.

BTW, On re-reading my OP, it sort of sounds like my point was to gripe about being followed around the store. I really didn't mean it that way. I got to typing and got carried away, led myself off-topic as I do sometimes, and I apologize for that.

The intention of my post was to get a feel for how Hobbytowns are doing in general, and thanks to all of the helpful replies, now I know. It's localized, dependent upon ownership and other factors, but in general, Ok. And I'm happy for that.

 

I was just relating to your post since I had a similar situation. I can honestly say for my hobby town though it would not survive if it was not for their indoor rc car track and slot car track they have also. They usually have my car fix for models but lack in plane and armor which is a bummer for me been enjoying my plane that i got and armor been really interesting me a lot.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, May 16, 2019 5:57 PM

EdGrune

I think the success or failure of a store is largely the fault of the local franchise owner...

I agree completely.

We had a HobbyTown here, that was in business for at least 20 years.  Then the owner sold it and retired.  The new owner couldn't make a go of it, and within a year, he had to close up shop.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Thursday, May 16, 2019 6:56 PM

We no longer have any of the "chain" stores in this area. Last one (Hobbytown, I believe)has been gone for...5-6 years now...maybe more??? The shop I used to frequent, for paints and basic supplies has been gone for some time as well.

 We do have a thriving shop in Ypsilanti (MI). I know I've mentioned it before. "Model Cave". Definitely worth a visit, if you're in the area. By far, the best aircraft selection I have ever seen, and it dominates the store. He also has a good selection for ships. A bit weak on armor (bothers me not). I'd say a fare selection of Gundam and autos too.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Thursday, May 16, 2019 8:29 PM

I have one about 2 miles away, in Londonderry, NH.  Typical of the breed, they have a sampling  of plastic kits. Usually an old assortment of old releases, but with a several new releases scattered in. Once in a while, they surprise me with a new release no one else had yet.    I got my Revell Yacht America there well before it showed at the two well stocked shops in the area.   And sometimes they’ll have a recent Airfix release that is already sold out everywhere else.

I stopped in recently, and was surprised ( and a little disappointed) to see that they had bunch of the well worn Revell 1/48 aircraft- looked like a ” new“ shipment of the old standby Revell kits had finally come in from the new Revell Germany. (Not much else to pick from.)

While the plastic section is weak, they do have basic RC supplies that I need for my scratchbuilt RC Ships.

I‘ve been in the area NW of Boston for 25 years now, and fully realize how great I have it. There are two very well stocked shops in the area- one in Marlboro, MA; one in Tyngsboro MA. One is 25 min away, the other is 65 min away.

 

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:17 PM

Greg -

Probably the nearest LHS in my general area would be Syracuse, NY an hours drive from here. I have yet checked it out. There is one in Webster (Rochester area) called Performance Hobbies I went to a few years back that I was impressed with. Great stock and hobby supplies. Sadly, I haven’t gotten the chance to go back. Hopefully this year next time we have a family gathering.

  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Ted4321 on Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:28 PM

In the past few days I've seen this thread and figured there wouldn't be a store close to me so I passed over it.  I finally googled it and found there is one 8 minutes from work.  Big Smile

Thanks forum community! 

T e d

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:44 PM

Fesan
I was just relating to your post since I had a similar situation.

Absolutely. And anyway, I started it. Albeit inadvertently. Tongue Tied

Baron, thanks for sharing your local situation.

Fermis, there doesn't seem to be a pattern to the surviving and not-so-much stores I guess. And I've not forgotten about the Model Cave. Just haven't had a reason to head up your way. Yet. Thanks for sharing what's going on in your neck of the woods.

RCBoater, though your closest HTUSA might not quite be what you'd like, it sounds like you are lucking indeed to have two great LHS's near by.

Sheep, well at least you have a couple stores within reasonalble driving distance. Every now and again I get the bug to take a road trip just to visit a hobby shop. Sounds like we have something in common, I tend not to follow through. I do hope you make a road trip and visit one if it sounds like fun to you. And why the heck do I keep forgetting you are in upstate NY? For some reason I keep having you in Chicago. Senility sucks.

Ted4321

In the past few days I've seen this thread and figured there wouldn't be a store close to me so I passed over it.  I finally googled it and found there is one 8 minutes from work.  Big Smile

Thanks forum community! 

T e d

 

Ted, I'm pretty happy this thread helped somebody. That's a pretty cool discovery! Thanks for posting that. Yes

 

 

 

-Greg

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, May 16, 2019 9:53 PM

LOL! Syracuse I rarely have a reason to go out there unless the family has the mood to spend a day of shopping. Webster, NY is where my sis in law lives.

I’m sure Albany probably has a few but I absolutely hate driving in New York’s capital. 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, May 17, 2019 7:36 AM

A long, long time ago my sis used to live in Endicott and we were there a few times when I was a kid. Later, I bought some machines in Elmira and went there a few times in the 80's mostly.

Just felt like sharing some memories of your home state. I don't know if either of these places are anywhere near you.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, May 18, 2019 7:27 AM

I have one not too far in Sanford. Unfortunately last time  I was there they had 0 plastic kits! Looks like rc has taken over.Sad  

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, May 18, 2019 9:15 AM

plasticjunkie
I have one not too far in Sanford. Unfortunately last time I was there they had 0 plastic kits! Looks like rc has taken over.Sad

Never thought to look at the Orlando area stores, and didn't know there was one in Sanford. Sounds like some HobbyTowns are mostly RC, as mine right down the street is. My close one is a Mini-Me HobbyTown, and when I stopped in to check it out a couple years back, I was surprised that the franchise was even allowed. Not that it isn't a nice little store, it is, but it is way off-standard from the others I've seen.

Thanks for adding what is going on in Central FL, Ernie.

-Greg

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Saturday, May 18, 2019 11:17 AM
Since it came up, I’ll tell you not to waste your time traveling to Syracuse - the store I referred to as a toilet was Walt’s Hobby Town. It’s a shadow of the place it was 20 years ago, and the kit selection available there is not much better than Hobby Lobby or Michael’s now. You’re better off buying what you want online and not wasting the trip, because they don’t have it anyway.
  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, May 18, 2019 3:27 PM

Greg

 

 
plasticjunkie
I have one not too far in Sanford. Unfortunately last time I was there they had 0 plastic kits! Looks like rc has taken over.Sad

 

Never thought to look at the Orlando area stores, and didn't know there was one in Sanford. Sounds like some HobbyTowns are mostly RC, as mine right down the street is. My close one is a Mini-Me HobbyTown, and when I stopped in to check it out a couple years back, I was surprised that the franchise was even allowed. Not that it isn't a nice little store, it is, but it is way off-standard from the others I've seen.

Thanks for adding what is going on in Central FL, Ernie.

 

 

You are welcome Greg. It will say that 98% of my hobby shopping is done thru the internet. The only other store here is Colonial Photo and Hobby off Colonial Dr and Mills. They have a great paint selection but model kits are quite sparse. 

I do find it a bit ironic that Hobby Town has like 0 model kits on the shelves yet they sponsor the annual Modelpalooza show here in Orlando. I don’t get it. 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, May 18, 2019 5:32 PM

PJ, Colonial Hobby might be interesting to me anyway.....decent camera stores are hard to come by too. Smile

plasticjunkie
I do find it a bit ironic that Hobby Town has like 0 model kits on the shelves yet they sponsor the annual Modelpalooza show here in Orlando. I don’t get it.

That is odd, but from what I've heard about Modelpalooza, good on them whatever their motives might be, eh?

-Greg

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Monday, May 20, 2019 11:49 AM
One is near me in Tucson, AZ, well near being thirty odd miles. They used to carry an okay selection of plastic models. But were horribly overpriced such as the old Tamiya 1/48 Zero for $30US versus what it usually costs less the $15US. The only good thing they really had going was a large selection of paint including the big bottles of Tamiya acrylic at not a bad price.
 
 
Recently in the past four or so months the model selection has slowly disappeared till what was left was put on clearance. The store is now fully focused on R/C and nothing else. So that ends my visits to HobbyTown for the foreseeable future.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, May 20, 2019 2:05 PM

GreySnake
 
Recently in the past four or so months the model selection has slowly disappeared till what was left was put on clearance. The store is now fully focused on R/C and nothing else.
 

That seems to be a repeating theme, which is too bad for us sprue snippers.

Thanks for reporting the situation down your way.

-Greg

  • Member since
    December 2015
Posted by lcb248 on Friday, May 24, 2019 2:48 PM

The Cincy store has a decent collection of models but a GREAT selection of Vallejo paints, as well as Model Master & Tamiya.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, May 24, 2019 6:47 PM

lcb248

The Cincy store has a decent collection of models but a GREAT selection of Vallejo paints, as well as Model Master & Tamiya.

 

I think that's the main thing I have liked about most of the Hobbytown's I've visited, the paint and tool and gadget selection. Glad you have a good one in Cincinnati, and thanks for contributing to the thread.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, May 25, 2019 2:33 PM

There os one a few miles from my house in Schaumburg, IL. I have not been here in a few months. Last time I was there they were almost out of paint. There seem to have moved on to R/C stuff.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Saturday, May 25, 2019 6:45 PM
That is exactly what happened locally, too - if your ‘Hobby’ is R/C, great. Almost everything else though has been, or is being phased out. May be time for a rebranding to ‘R/C Town’.
  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Bent River, IA
Posted by Reasoned on Saturday, May 25, 2019 9:07 PM
Nope, but we are blessed here in "River City" to have a fantastic LHS with a great selection of kits and supplies. Plus the owner will order most anything and charge about the same as online (I'd rather support her than save a couple of bucks).

Science is the pursiut of knowledge, faith is the pursuit of wisdom.  Peace be with you.

On the Tarmac: 1/48 Revell P-38

In the Hanger: A bunch of kits

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Sunday, May 26, 2019 9:50 AM

Sadly the LHS is going to be a thing of the past. There is a HobbyTown about 2 hours from my home in Lexington, KY. I'll buy paints and things of that nature but no kits. They are priced way too high. 

Jeff

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, May 26, 2019 10:39 AM

Johnny, MJames....the focus on RC does seem to be a trend. Probably disturbing to us, not so much to the RC fans though.

Reasoned, I think a good LHS is a real blessing, and the independant (non-franchise) ones have a special charm indeed. Glad you have one.  I hear the Hobbytown over in Folsom closed. That was the first Hobbytown I ever visited, it had almost anything a sprue-snipper could want. I was sad to hear it closed. Sorry if I already mentioned this in this thread....

Thanks for chiming in, Drifter. I hope you are wrong about the future of the LHS, but I think you are not.

-Greg

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Cygnus X-1
Posted by ogrejohn on Sunday, May 26, 2019 1:38 PM

The one on Southport Road south of Indy isn't bad. Lots of paint and tools. Some models but not like in years past. I go there from time to time. Actually was there yesterday. 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, May 27, 2019 10:06 AM

Greg

the focus on RC does seem to be a trend. Probably disturbing to us, not so much to the RC fans though.

 

Even the outstanding local hobby shop in Louisville has a good RC selection as well as a track set up in the parking lot of the plaza they are located in. I've got a couple of RC models, the Tamiya HMMWV and M4 (105) HVSS as well as the full RC option Tiger tank I won in an online drawing nearly 20 years ago.

I'm not into RC modeling, but I can see that's where there's a lot of money in it for hobby shops. My local shop had a flying RC set up on a computer where you could try to virtually fly an RC plane. That is a great idea; you don't crash your actual plane.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, May 27, 2019 11:42 AM

We had one in Roanoke Virginia until the owner retired and shut it down about twenty years ago. He claimed it was doing quite well until then. 

Currently we have two major hobby shops. One that deals in mostly railroading supplies (Roanoke is a historic rail hub) but also sells a decent supply of kits, mostly auto. He also gives our local IPMS Club a lot of support including our yearly show. And a second that deals in mostly, yes, R/C with a small sideline in other stuff.

I shop at the former about once a month usually dropping about thirty bucks or more on paint etc. The latter I'm in much more irregulary.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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