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HobbyTown USA, is there a store near you?

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  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Monday, May 27, 2019 11:45 AM

Hi Greg ;

     Now you know why a lot of what I do is scratchbuilding. Even my favorite shop ( I failed to mention him ) Gary Emory owns a shop at Ford's Landing in San Antonio. It's Hill Country Hobbies. He has a great selection of all the stuff any one would like to build .Prices are reasonable and he has a Consignment section too. No R.C.or Trains !

    Gary is about 38 miles away as the crow flies . He has a selection of paints and aftermarket stuff that would knock yer socks off . I don't get to make visits often because of my very tight budget . 

 I have seen shops fail here at a phenominal rate .One at San Marcos failed after barely two years .But , I noticed if they were small ( Gary's ) and did what they thought was right they stuck ( Gary )! If they got into stuff they didn't have to much training or interest in they overdid it and blam! Gone .

 I tried to do it and never got past the Bank's marketing survey . Spaces here were just too expensive even for a 20' X 60' store .Can you say a base of $2,500 a month ?That's just store and utility costs ! Walk in prospects were meagre and parking was tight ! So they said NO!

 My idea was a small space with an unusual starter program . How about this .Nothing but salvaged type parts . No, not salvaged kits .Just, all sold was parts only . No kits to start. Just millions of parts for Cars ,Trucks,Armor,Planes and Ships .All in bins .Buy what you need or want.

    Like a Screw and Nut and Bolt section in a hardware store. And I would merrily sit at the counter cutting up the kits to fill the bins .You know, Like cars .Need a pair of quarter panels? Ships; How about this Hull? Armor: You need what kind of volute suspension? And so on . I did it once years back in Arkansas and made pretty good money. I worked out of a storage building .10'X10' by appointment only .

    Silly ain't it? But think, you could even buy damaged and parts missing stock to refresh the bins with what's in those damaged boxes .The start was an auction of cargo from a wrecked Semi.I bought the trailer and it's contents for a song . Over 90% of the cargo was saleable ,the rest, parts only.

    That is where I got the idea . T.B.

   

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:11 AM

The last time I was there in Sanford they had a small but decent stock of kits. That's sad to hear because before they moved to thier current store they had a very good selection of kits. They do however have a good selection of paints when I visited ,albeit 2 years ago.

The local IPMS chapter meets there once a month and I'm surprised that none of them has offered any opinions here. How about it guys, what news do you have ?

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, May 31, 2019 4:58 PM

ogrejohn, thanks for adding info on the south Indy store. Cool you recently stopped in.

Rob, ahhh, the recurring RC theme again. I recall my son had one of those RC simulators you speak of some years back after we gave up flying RC. The simulator was pretty neat. My latest thought is though RC isn't my thing either, if it is helping keep hobby shops open, then I'm all for it.

Cliff, well at least you have a couple LHS's left. Thanks!

TB, nice to hear from you and thanks for chiming in. That's an interesting idea you had there. Banks aren't what they used to be. a couple decades back, who knows?

Uncle Jay Jay Smile, good to hear from you. I have a buddy just up the road from Sanford in Deland. I used to stop in once in a while, not so much anymore. Maybe next winter, who knows.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Friday, May 31, 2019 5:50 PM

There is one about 20 minutes from my house, located on the far western boundary of Houston, TX. It was awesome when it first opened roughly 5 years ago. They have a large selection of RC and non-hobby (games, puzzles, Legos, etc) but their selection of plastic has dwindled from 4 glorious rows to now just 1. I found a number of good buys in there during their first couple of years but have only bought one kit there since (Tamiya's new Bf109G-6). They do maintain a couple of rows of tools and supplies, although the paint selection has dwindled largely due to Model Master going away.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, May 31, 2019 8:29 PM

Aggieman

There is one about 20 minutes from my house, located on the far western boundary of Houston, TX. It was awesome when it first opened roughly 5 years ago. They have a large selection of RC and non-hobby (games, puzzles, Legos, etc) but their selection of plastic has dwindled from 4 glorious rows to now just 1. I found a number of good buys in there during their first couple of years but have only bought one kit there since (Tamiya's new Bf109G-6). They do maintain a couple of rows of tools and supplies, although the paint selection has dwindled largely due to Model Master going away.

 

Thanks for your input. What has finally occurred to me is as impressed as I was with my first Hobbytown USA visit, I overlooked that they are as succeptable to the competition of internet buying as any LHS. Score a 'duh' on me.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 9:40 PM

Aggieman

There is one about 20 minutes from my house, located on the far western boundary of Houston, TX. It was awesome when it first opened roughly 5 years ago. They have a large selection of RC and non-hobby (games, puzzles, Legos, etc) but their selection of plastic has dwindled from 4 glorious rows to now just 1. I found a number of good buys in there during their first couple of years but have only bought one kit there since (Tamiya's new Bf109G-6). They do maintain a couple of rows of tools and supplies, although the paint selection has dwindled largely due to Model Master going away.

 

I should have seen it coming, especially after this post. I was in need of some glue and paint just last week, got n the truck for the relatively short drive to Hobbytown, pulled into their lot and wouldn't you know it - they are gone! Arggggh.

  • Member since
    June, 2019
Posted by danham on Thursday, June 13, 2019 7:50 AM
Hi everyone. I am from Detroit and I haven't seen any. Is there any store in Detroit?
  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:57 AM

Aggieman
I should have seen it coming, especially after this post. I was in need of some glue and paint just last week, got n the truck for the relatively short drive to Hobbytown, pulled into their lot and wouldn't you know it - they are gone! Arggggh.

Oh man, that was a tough emotion when you saw it was gone. Been there. (I sort of feel that way most times I drive by the building where my old childhood LHS was).

Since you bumped this, I should update something I said about the Granger, IN Hobbytown USA earlier which was in error......

I had said it was just a little store to serve the RC racetrack it is next to.

Last week a buddy wanted to go to the store. His description confused me. In short, they've moved the store from hidden behind the shopping complex (where nobody knew it was) to the actual shopping center, enlarged it, and greatly increased the inventory. I was short on time and look forward to going back.

I guess I'm lucky to be amongst the few who have reported thier local stores are still good or getting better.

-Greg

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