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What about your favorite hobby shop makes it so?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
What about your favorite hobby shop makes it so?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 12:17 AM
WHat is it about your favorite hobby shop that makes you keep coming back again and again? Invetory? Employees? Location?

Also what would you put into a hobby shop if you were opening it yourself?


I think about this every so often when i dream about opening my own shop.So i figured who better to ask then the people that might acctually shop thereBig Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 4:08 AM
I have yet to find a hobby shop that is friendly to me, and not give me a 'and what do -you- want?' look.. I guess I don´t emit the usual hobbyist signs having a unshaved complexion, long near-shaggy hair and beat up old leather jacket.. I think my local lot expect elderly-ish gents with tweed jackets, flat caps and a volvo.. I guess i should be glad I removed the metal band patch covered denim from my jacket.

I don´t know what their problem is. At least I wash! Stuff ´em, I'd rather shop on-line anyway (if I had a credit-card, that is.. And my Land-Rover was on the road to actually get there..).

I´m just misunderstood.. Sniff..
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:53 AM
-The guys know my name and are friendly........they have the ability to either sell or educate and can tailor their salespitch to the buyer (not everyone needs to know about the model they are buying - it's true!!)
-They are enthusiasts - they have a great knowledge about their subjects - one guy knows about armour and what kits have been made, another is the same about cars, another one is great about plane subjects, another is great with sci-fi
-They have a great variety of different subjects, scales, aftermarket decals, detail sets, and reference books
-They NEVER refuse to allow the opening of a sealed model for an inspection
I guess there's more, but those are the important bits...........
LeeTree

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 6:18 AM
I have nothing to say -- LeeTree said it all above...!!! Exactly my feelings.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:19 AM
yall come into my shop you better keep those hands in your pockets boy...
you want to look in the box!!!!.....get the hell out of here.!! you pick up the box you buy it boy!!!.....look Mr this aint no drop in center you been in here four hours and all i got is drool on the products..and dont try to change no price stickers either....yall give me any lip son i'll superglue your pecker to your forehead....and put back the magazine ..aint no nekked chicks in thar...now its all dog eared and fingerprints...thank you for your custom yall come back to buy or die real soon y'hear............
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:19 AM
Well, I wish I could say that the hobby shop I frequent (Hobbytown USA) is friendly but, not so. It's the closest place to me and it's about a 40 minute drive and leaves me no other choice. What I normally do is, go there to look at the kits I want (or dream of having) pick up some paint and leave. I purchased my Aztech from them but had to have a long discussion about WHY I wanted to open the box. Sleepy [|)] You know, make sure it has the spray tips I need and adapters and such.

I then order those kits online. Needless to say, the prices at USA are very expensive. So, I guess through all this, my "normal" shop would be Hobbylinc.com. The prices are as low or lower than most other online dealers and shipping is at a minimum. I have dealt with them for over 3 years now and have never had a bad experience. I just wish that they would stock more of the "Add-on or Detail" parts to their inventory.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posted by Jeeves on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:42 AM
I am with Erock-- the two local shops are pretty exclusively railroad or R/C racing...in the 5 years I have lived here, they have not ordered any new models for their shelves. So I have to drive 30 minutes to Hobbytown in Albany....and while their selection is usually excellent, they are WAY overpriced. It's no wonder online shopping is so much more popular now....
Mike
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: West Des Moines, IA USA
Posted by jridge on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:56 AM
My hobby shop is Great Hobby Adventures, West Des Moines, IA. It's a small, two person hobby shop delivering customer service, customer service, customer service. It's like Cheers, "everyone knows your name". There's no such thing as a dumb question. Trust me, I tested that one.....

I tried the "big" hobby shop in town and got talked down to, snubbed, etc.

I value loyalty and service and vote with my Visa card!

Jim
Jim The fate of the Chambermaid http://30thbg.1hwy.com/38thBS.html
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:19 AM
It's the only one in town......actually they are pretty pro-active in alot of things, mostly R/C stuff, but they have monthly meetings for the local model builders (scratch builders too) to trade tips and show off your work.

LT
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:19 PM
A few significant items:
1. They make a point to learn and remember my name.
2. They build kits too and enjoy the hobby.
3. They aren't afraid to order in special items

Location has nothing to do with it since it is 6+ hours drive away. Prices aren't that big of a factor either because they are typically a bit more than some of the on-line stores.

I'd rather pay $20 to a friend than $17 to the jerk that could care less...

Murray
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:59 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by leemitcheltree

-The guys know my name and are friendly........they have the ability to either sell or educate and can tailor their salespitch to the buyer (not everyone needs to know about the model they are buying - it's true!!)
-They are enthusiasts - they have a great knowledge about their subjects - one guy knows about armour and what kits have been made, another is the same about cars, another one is great about plane subjects, another is great with sci-fi
-They have a great variety of different subjects, scales, aftermarket decals, detail sets, and reference books
-They NEVER refuse to allow the opening of a sealed model for an inspection
I guess there's more, but those are the important bits...........
LeeTree

I agree, and my hobby guy will find anything you need, sometimes even if it's OOP..Approve [^]Big Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 6:03 PM
the hobby shop in my little town doesnt have much inventory, but they are nice enough. I make trips to Lexington, KY on occasion and visit HObbyland (I think), and their selection of kits is very good. But the complaint i have is...during the day, there is no one there that is knowledgeable about aircraft kits...I find they are competitive in price, once you figure in the shipping and handling from an online vendor. I just wish there was someone in that store i could talk to about problems and solutions. And it galls me when after you shop in a place a number of times and get the same clerk, that they fail to recognize you by name. When i was in the retail business, that was one thing i stressed to all of my employees...everyone likes to be recognized. My gosh, look at the check or the credit card and get the name in your mind.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:27 PM
I usually go to "The Hobby Shop" in Aberdeen, NJ. It's about a 20 minute drive from me. They have this huge display (must be about a 49 square foot area, enclosed by glass walls) right when you walk in, with train tracks, service stations, police and fire stations, all sorts of neat things, and have the controls in form of buttons you push and activate all the different gizmos. it is pretty neat.

The variety when it comes to scale modeling is not great, but it is better than AC More, Pearl or Michaels which would be my only other alternatives in the area (AND THEY SUCK!). They have a huge variety of train accessories, a collectible (sports cards, magazines...) section, and an R/C section. I believe they will buy your finished models and put them on display for sale.

I've never been treated badly there, the employees seem to be knowledgeable of their products, so I keep going back. although I wish there was something closer.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:38 PM
Yikes!
It's kinda depressing to hear how belligerent the seemingly majority of hobby shop staff is!
The guys at my favorite shop are great. Heck, I stop by at least twice a week just to have a chat! We even all go out and have the ocassional beer.
Besides that great friendly atmosphere, the shop is well-stocked, the prices are great, and it's only a 10-minute walk form my house.
Also, there are hundreds of finished models and dioramas on display there, many of which have been featured in Armor Modeling and Model Art. I've learned a lot just staring at all those masterpieces! They've even let me display a few of my modest pieces there.
An all-around great place!
~Brian
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 11:26 PM
Deakon must be from the southern U.K.Tongue [:P]

The shop I frequent is a little hole in the wall shop that is nothing but kits. Floor to ceiling broken down into aircraft, cars armor, ships and acessories. Nice guy, makes a point of calling me by name when I go in and is pretty free with the info. Will order anything I want, and will look for OOP stuff for me too. Has a regular gathering of guys in the shop and they are all pretty friendly.

As for my dream shop. Pretty much the same way, lit up nice and bright. Nothing but kits and accessories, details, tools etc. A sizeable section for figures. Probobly would run regular events and workshops there and a big section of reference books.

And I'd open it near each of you guys....talk about a crack dealer plying his tradeWink [;)]

Cool [8D]Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 1:50 AM
Well our shop in nearby Montclair, Ca, has grown quite a bit since it's beginnings in Upland. R/C is big here so of course that prt of the shop has grown as well. But it does have a large kit section and detail sets for armor,a/c and really big on the auto aftermarket stuff since they have there own line now. But they are friendly, you can open a kit to check it out. The staff has changed and are more business like but they are not standoffish at all.
Now if I could open a hobbyshop it would be like the one I grew up with in La Habra in the mid 70's, run by two individuals who catered to young kids like me. Mostly kits with a spattering of r/c and wargaming, arts and some crafts. A liitle work shop in the back where I learned how to use an airbrush. Supported tthe local IPMS chapter. What was really nice of John and Lane that operated that shop was to help students like us to master the art of model building, we did not have much money and the high end kits were beginning to show up about that time. Most of us did not have an airbrush, but to let others learn and use an airbrush in the shop at no charge was really cool of them. Once a month they would provide transportation to the huge IPMS SpacePark meet in Torrance which was 2 hours away, allowed to bring there completed models to participate in that evenings contest. We had kids 15-18 years old competing in juniors level and winning ribbons there against great model builders. That is the type of shop I would like to have, inspire these kids that yes it's one thing flying an F-14 or Stormovick in a PC Simulator, but how would you like to build it? Not just planes but the whole aspect of modelling, cars, ships scifi it's all there and to touch your dreams not just think it!

Whew [:0] Fly Navy, Don't look back, something may be gaining on you!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 1:36 PM
My local shop is pretty much like renarts. Small place but with a good selection. A small group of regulars hang out in the place but they are all real friendly to enthusiast and newbie alike, no model-nazis in the place. And I think it worth paying a few extra bucks to shop in a place where they know my name and only carry models, no trains or r/c. Not that I have anything against trains or r/c, it just seems that in the shops that carry them along with plastic, the models are always on the dusty back shelf. A little customer service goes a long way.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 2:31 PM
My local shop its cool, the owner always knows which paint i need and he knows all my favorite airplanes, he have tons of books that he borrow, he also give me lessons and he have teach me all i know about this great hobby Big Smile [:D], Dam F4Ufan always make the right questions and he always get answers Clown [:o)] hehehe

PeAc3 OuT "I smell your brain, or its that a fart"
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Connecticut, USA
Posted by Aurora-7 on Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:48 PM
I agree with J-Hulk. It seems most Hobby Shop staff/owners amost seem to hate the fact that they need customers. They don't mind their regulars but a newbie is an inconvience.

The husband and wife owner of 'Hobby Haven' in Milford Connecticut are the nicest people I have ever met in the hobby business. 'War and Pieces' in West Hartford Connecticut is my favorite for overall variety of stock, supplies and knowledge.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Thursday, June 12, 2003 5:49 PM
Wow, Hobby Haven is still around?

That was my favorite place to go and shop. The guys there were great and were helpful to no end. They were the first place I saw that carried figures. And that was 25 years ago. I used to live in Shelton and that was the best place in the area to go short of headng down to NYC and hitting Polks.

Geez Aurora, you're making me all misty eyed.....

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Joisey
Posted by John P on Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:39 PM
Mainly, it's the only one in the whole freakin' county :).
Also, I've been going there for models and supplies since - well, I had to ride my bike the 7.5 miles to get there. I'm 46 now. And I've become friends with the owner and (now) his son over the years. I wouldn't know what to do if HiWay Hobby House wasn't there!
-------------------------------
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 7:32 PM
My favorite hobby store (and only hobby store in town) is Hobby Lobby. Their selection isn't fantastic, but the employees know my name, are nice to me, always give me a discount, are willing to deliver models and equipment to my house, make me dinner, do my laundry...Cool [8D]

Alright, alright!!!! My wife works there, OK? Whatcha want from me? Sheeesshh!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 8:01 PM
My local home town favorite is Old Town Hobby in Shelton Washington. Richard and his wife have an advertisment in the back of FSM and they have the classic hobby shop feel, not just models but stamps, puzzles, rockets & other art type projects. Their hobby shop reminds me of Sheltons first hobby shop Hamblin's Hobby Shop which used to be right around the corner some 15 years ago before Ol Ham retired. Rich supports a model club meeting 1 2 times a month and we offer the Manogram/Revell make and take program for ALL modelers. Richard is VERY helpful and does special orders for those HARD to find items. They also have a rather large collection of OOP kits.
Tally ho
Rosie
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Poway, Ca.
Posted by mostlyjets on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:05 AM
Years ago, I used to go to a place in San Diego called, of all things, "Military Plastic Models". It was run by a couple of friendly Naval Aviator types. They had a section for planes, ships, armor and after-market decals, PE parts, books, etc. and display cases for finished kits. It was there that I got the idea of building each aircraft my squadron flew when I found an article about the last TBF Avenger built, and how, with signatures from factory workers on the interior, it went to the Pacific. Naturally, with all good things, this place closed down. Now, my closest hobby shop gives the kit builder the minimum space, as they cater to thr R/C crowd. It's staffed by kids, who, to their credit, at least say "hi". Looks like I'll try online.
All out of Snakes and Nape, switching to guns...
  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by M1abramsRules on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:25 AM
The one I like to go to is perfect, The guys are friendly, it is a very friendly atmosphere (at least the cat likes to play)(hey I'm not kidding) They always give me some ideas every time I go. It's the perfect place to browse for . . . let's see my record is about 2 1/2 hours now.

Murray Kish - you might have been to it. if not you should go there, it's "J and P hobby Supplies" in Prince Albert - sposed to be the biggest model shop in Saskatchewan.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:44 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Aurora-7

I agree with J-Hulk. It seems most Hobby Shop staff/owners amost seem to hate the fact that they need customers. They don't mind their regulars but a newbie is an inconvience.

The husband and wife owner of 'Hobby Haven' in Milford Connecticut are the nicest people I have ever met in the hobby business. 'War and Pieces' in West Hartford Connecticut is my favorite for overall variety of stock, supplies and knowledge.


Yes I know of that shop in Milford, Here I am a stranger in a strange land in Ct, I was TAD to Sikorsky for the Navy and spent a year in Stratford, Hobby Haven was a haven away from home. Nice people, it was Shirley and John I believe was the owners name. Also the gentleman in Clinton was it Wings and wheels there on the coast was also a nice gent as well. That shop in Hartford was also a pleasant visit as well. Really made my year in New England and a great experience. Nice people.Cool [8D]

Fly Navy
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Canada
Posted by dogsbody on Friday, June 13, 2003 4:21 AM
I wish I lived close enough to somewhere to have a favorite hobby shop. The closest place is Edmonton(Alberta) , 300 miles away. There are some nise shops there, but I don't have a "favorite". If I had to pick something, I guess it would have to be Squadron Mail Order. That's life on the backside of beyond.

"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by nsclcctl on Friday, June 13, 2003 7:48 AM
To Huskerguy,
I live in Lexington and you are talking about Hobbytown. I now go there religiously. I agree about during the day. However, try wednesday evenings and ask for a guy named Dennis. He has turned me into a fanatic for WWII planes. He is incredibly knowledgaeable, friendly, patient, and seems to genuinely care about the hobby as well as the guys who flew these planes. I will tell you this, talk to him once, he will knock your socks off. He is the reason I build again. I now have a resource. Try him out, I gurantee you will be astounded by his knowledge and openess.

Hope that helps, where are you from?
email me if you choose.
jyann1@email.uky.edu
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 9:20 AM
the younger guy that works there speaks english as my german is really terrible!!!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 10:45 AM
Hobby Island! It's like Cheers for kitbashers!

I've been fortunate enough to find a little local shop here in Houston, Texas that is fantastic. Although it isn't a big store, I have never had any problem finding exactly what I need. They have an excellent selection of kits, aftermarket parts and supplies. Their prices are competitive with some of the larger on-line hobby suppliers.

It isn't just the stock that makes it a good model shop though. When you walk into the store, it's like dropping into your favorite old barber shop. The owners and their customers are always ready to talk shop, and offer tips and advice that you just can't find anywhere else. They have several stools set at the front counter which are frequently occupied by some of the most experienced modelers in town. The atmosphere is so comfortable, I often find myself shopping twice as long simply to spend time with others who share my enthusiasm for the hobby.

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