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HobbyTown USA, is there a store near you?

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  • 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

  • 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
    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
    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 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 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
    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
    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
    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

 

  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    March, 2015
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
    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
    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 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
    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 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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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
    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 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
    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

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