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Ron Bell

What was your first model store like?

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I can't tell you what my first actual shop was but growing up in So Cal in the 70's was nirvana as far as hobby shops go. They were everywhere!

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Allied Hobbies in Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA 1976-1980's. It was the last stop before leaving the mall and I'd hop out of my stroller and run down to their store display with all kinds of built kits. My mom would roll her eyes and me and my dad would go in a look around at the kits and more displays inside. The best part was all the models hanging from the ceiling that's what hooked me.

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I can't tell you what my first actual shop was but growing up in So Cal in the 70's was nirvana as far as hobby shops go. They were everywhere!

 

They still are, although not so thick as fleas anymore. I still have seven of them within a 35 minute drive from my house.

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Lamenting the dearly departed in the Sacramento area:

 

Hobbytown

Highlands Hobbies (The best)

The Toy Shop

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I can't tell you what my first actual shop was but growing up in So Cal in the 70's was nirvana as far as hobby shops go. They were everywhere!

 

They still are, although not so thick as fleas anymore. I still have seven of them within a 35 minute drive from my house.

 

Mark,

 

I spent a fair bit of my money At Military Hobbies when I was 10 and 11. Bought the Monogram B-17G there when it first came out.

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The first model shop I remember was a little hole-in-the-wall shop in Abilene, Texas, close by and just north of the railroad tracks that still run east-west through the middle of town. I was probably about 1951-52. I was 5 years old and was with my father, who bought a Comet or Strombecker balsa Piper Cub kit and some Cub Yellow dope. The shop catered mainy to the balsa-and-tissue flying model enthusiast, and I recall a couple of large free-flight (or possibly even early radio control) models hanging from the ceiling.

 

As an adolescent, most of the models I acquired were purchased at variety stores, notably T.G. & Y. and Neisner's. I spent most of my childhood allowance at the T.G. & Y. on Camp Bowie Blvd in Ft. Worth, which had a large assortment of kits; I especially favored Comet's Cessna 310, Piper Apache, and Aero Commander.

 

We moved to Wichita Falls, TX, in early 1961. There was a "hobby shop" downtown, but it catered mainly to the arts-and-crafts crowd. But there was another hole-in-the-wall shop not far from where we lived that had stacks of Frog kits, of all things! I still haven't figured out how they came to be there.

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Hagenbring's Department Store in Arlington Heights, IL, had a toy department down in the basement space, and they had a great Revell salesman who kept them stocked with new box scale kits in the '50s. I remember desperately trying to raise the 98 cents plus 3 cents sales tax to buy the new Revell Boeing B-52A Stratofortress because I loved the box art. I could also buy 10 cent bottles of Pactra paints in the small square bottles there--red, yellow, blue, white, black, and silver (all gloss, they worked, too). T

Ed, was the Revell kit one of the four box scale kits that had plastic stands that swivelled 360 degrees? I had all four of them mounted to the wall of my bed room.

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Phenicies five and dime store in Constantine Michigan. They had a good selection of Revell and Aurora kits plus the usual Pactra paints. I thought that I was really pushing the envelope when I started painting a black rectangle around the molded-in pilot of the Aurora models.

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My first model (Hawk's Vanguard satellite) was from DeVita's Dept Store, a local mom and pop store in Midland Beach, Staten Island NY. They had a little bit of everything. My next model was the US Moon Ship. This was probably around 1967.

 

Then I somehow discovered across the street was a *tiny* Candy Store operated by a woman who looked about 90! ;) At the time the neighborhood was still mostly a summer community and became a ghost town after Labor Day. Even the bar that was next door to the candy store closed. But the bar owner let the woman bring her "store" in and set it up on the bar, as the one room candy store had no heat.

It was there that I saw Aurora's Frankenstein. Oh boy!! I ran home and talked my Mom into giving me prolly $2 and ran all the way back hoping that someone didn't come in and by it while I was gone. (Yeah right).

 

In the end I ended up with all the Aurora Monsters and Dinosaurs but also remember my shelves were filled with everything else too - planes, tanks, figures. Good times.

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Hagenbring's Department Store in Arlington Heights, IL, had a toy department down in the basement space, and they had a great Revell salesman who kept them stocked with new box scale kits in the '50s. I remember desperately trying to raise the 98 cents plus 3 cents sales tax to buy the new Revell Boeing B-52A Stratofortress because I loved the box art. I could also buy 10 cent bottles of Pactra paints in the small square bottles there--red, yellow, blue, white, black, and silver (all gloss, they worked, too). T

Ed, was the Revell kit one of the four box scale kits that had plastic stands that swivelled 360 degrees? I had all four of them mounted to the wall of my bed room.

 

 

Hi, Clarence,

 

Those clear plastic Revell swivel bases were in dozens of their early model kits. I've kept mine because I applied the large circular identification decal to each one. I have a box of those bases with no models left to display them with. In my showcase with the old models I show the base (minus support post) to ID the models (and document their age).

 

Ed

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Hagenbring's Department Store in Arlington Heights, IL, had a toy department down in the basement space, and they had a great Revell salesman who kept them stocked with new box scale kits in the '50s. I remember desperately trying to raise the 98 cents plus 3 cents sales tax to buy the new Revell Boeing B-52A Stratofortress because I loved the box art. I could also buy 10 cent bottles of Pactra paints in the small square bottles there--red, yellow, blue, white, black, and silver (all gloss, they worked, too). T

 

Ed, was the Revell kit one of the four box scale kits that had plastic stands that swivelled 360 degrees? I had all four of them mounted to the wall of my bed room.

Hi, Clarence,

 

Those clear plastic Revell swivel bases were in dozens of their early model kits. I've kept mine because I applied the large circular identification decal to each one. I have a box of those bases with no models left to display them with. In my showcase with the old models I show the base (minus support post) to ID the models (and document their age).

 

Ed

Hell, there's an interesting contest entry right there!

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About 1957, Neu Eisenberg, W. Germany I was 11 years old, USAF service brat, Dad stationed at Rhein Main AFB. My buddies and I found a small store in town that sold airplane kits.....Frog or Airfix, don't remember. The base PX also had a small selection of plastic kits too. Came back to the States in 1960 and my mother worked for the BX at Travis AFB, CA. The BX had a large plastic model section....I was in hog heaven ! Many happy memories !

 

Mark

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I remember it well, despite the many years that have transpired. My mother and I walked into the M.E. Moses 5 and 10 cent store in the Wynnewood Shopping Center in Dallas, Texas. The year was 1955. My eyes feasted upon an Aurora 1/144" B-17, and the rest was history.

 

Mark

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I remember it well, despite the many years that have transpired. My mother and I walked into the M.E. Moses 5 and 10 cent store in the Wynnewood Shopping Center in Dallas, Texas. The year was 1955. My eyes feasted upon an Aurora 1/144" B-17, and the rest was history.

 

Mark

I was just going to mention M.E. Moses 5 & 10 cent store as it was my first true "hobby shop". My parents used to go to Denison ,Tx all the time and we'd drive right through Gainesville , Tx on the way. We stopped in there for something or another for the first time and I just happened to walk by the model isle. I was just starting to get into WWII at that point in life and saw the Monogram 1/48 SBD Dauntless. Man I was hooked!!!! After jumping up and down like an idiot gone crazy for a minute or so my parents went ahead and got it for me. After that I made sure I had my own money and also made sure my parents stopped at that place every time we were going to Denison. I wound up with a good 15 or so kits like that. All the Pacific War planes (allied and axis) that Monogram offered and most of the German planes that were offered. Man.....................................those were the days right there. :)

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A store called Two Guys from Harrison that had one long isle of Model kits, floor to ceiling. I would shovel snow all day grab my money and regardless of how tired I was I walked to Two Guys. Now the problem with 5 dollars in the sixties is, do I go for quantity or quality. Quantity always won out. Five bucks would buy alot of 49 or 79 cent kits, and I figured that the Christmas wish list to Santa was the best time to go for the quality, (i.e. the aircraft carrier or battleship kits).

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Two Guys from Harrison! I haven't heard about them in years. I'm from Jersey originally. Also E.J. Korvettes. Rumor was the name was derived from Eight Jewish KORean war VETS, but whatever the reason, they had a good model selection as well.

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Unfortunately, my first hobby store was hobbytown USA, but at the time the people who owned it from what I remember really enjoyed the modeling hobby not the RC part of it. It's become very disappointing to go to now, and I only go there if I have a gift card. I much prefer to shop at Stewart's Hobbies in Willoughby now, love the people who own it, very down to earth nice people.

 

But that being said I guess Hobbyland was my first REAL model store. oh the friday memories... i miss living in Columbus.

 

 

 

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Allied Hobbies in Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA 1976-1980's. It was the last stop before leaving the mall and I'd hop out of my stroller and run down to their store display with all kinds of built kits. My mom would roll her eyes and me and my dad would go in a look around at the kits and more displays inside. The best part was all the models hanging from the ceiling that's what hooked me.

Allied hobbies was mine as well but the "Bazaar of all nations" location in Clifton Heights PA. I imagine my Dad took me there the first time but I convinced my Mom to drive me there pretty much every week thereafter. Man, what a great place ! This was about '88 or so and I imagine they'd must have been there since the place opened in the mid '60s as it seemed to be crammed floor to ceiling with piles of dusty kits. After the bazaar closed they bounced around to other local shopping centers before i finally lost track of them.

 

Sean

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