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Latest on Model Master at Hobby Lobby...and an Insult

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I was in Hobby Lobby yesterday (Dec 6) looking for two spray cans of paint from Testors/Model Master to finish a car model for a client. Flat Black Enamel and Gloss Black Lacquer. The open Testors paint rack is now limited to a single rack that is 90% 1/4 oz square bottles. What Model Master bottles that exist are ordinary colors similar to the square bottles. No FS colors exist, not even flat black. The spray cans? They are all locked behind sliding glass doors.

 

Upon finding someone to unlock and open the doors, I started to reach for the desired cans and was prevented from doing so. The employee actually required me to point out the can I wanted, then he picked it up and handed it to me!? Granted, they had a sign stating that they could not sell spray paint to anyone under 18, but being born in 1942, I think I do look a tad older than 18.

 

As it turned out, they only had one color...Flat Black...which then forced me to drive another ten miles to a Hobby Town where I found the Black Lacquer. BTW, Hobby Town carries everything Testor/Model Master still makes, so the Hobby Lobby situation has to be a corporate decision.

 

Was I overreacting to feel insulted/offended by the employee's behavior? I don't think so, but then you be the judge.

Edited by ipmsusa2

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I wouldn't feel offended. It's all about liability nowadays. Some kid buys a can of paint, goe's home and huffs it and gets brain damage, and the next thing you know, you're in court writing a check for a million dollars. I hate to sound so cinical, but that's the way it goes today. Too many folks are looking to make some easy (free) money in court thanks to a few ambulance chasing attorneys who view corporations as their private ATMs. Take your treatment as a compliment. You must've looked 18 to the clerk. :smiley14:

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Rusty, I'm well aware of the liability problems you describe. I have no problem with spray paint being locked behind glass doors. It's when you are standing less than 12 inches from the paint shelf and the employee is standing less than six inches from my left side and I'm prevented from so much as touching a paint can until it is handed to me that I'm referring to. As for me looking younger than my age, I actually do and I appreciate your compliment. But I don't look that much younger.

Edited by ipmsusa2

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Corporate policy is written in black and white and allows for no individual interpretation by employees as invariably, that causes problems. That poor kid or whoever standing next to you probably felt pretty foolish, but that's what he was told to do, so thats what he did. I've seen/experienced the same thing when some whippersnapper of a check out clerk asks for my ID when I buy a six pack of my favorite adult beverage. Unfortunately, I look over 21, but that's what the clerk was told to do, so that's what they did. Sign of the times and of how large organizations have to work,

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With the drug problems in America and our "sue" happy society, it is the way it will be. Where I live, you can't buy any cold medicine expect the same way you mention. Point to what you need and only 30 doses at a time and go back because all the meth addicts are using it. It is so bad that they lock all the razor blades up because they started stealing those. And where I live is nice but the drug idiots drive in to steal. A sign of the times. Reminds of the whole tube glue issue too.

 

Dave

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Dave and Ron, I understand what you're saying. The reason the Hobby Lobby behavior struck me the way it did is the fact that the last time I was there...less than a month...none of the spray cans were locked up and never had been. This was essentially an overnight change. As for the tube glue issue, there was a time when it was so bad that fathers were being arrested for the simple act of buying a bottle of paint or tube of glue and then giving the same product to their son. I believe the charge was 'transferring a controlled substance to a minor'. This was also when attempts were made to produce and market an 'environmentally safe' tube glue for plastic models that was made with a citrus base. Didn't work, of course, and didn't last very long. I tested a tube of the stuff and wouldn't have had it on a gold plated platter!

Edited by ipmsusa2

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This has to be a local (to you) issue. In the Hobby Lobby in Elizabethtown, KY and Louisville, I can still walk in and grab any can of Model Masters spray paint. I just bought a few cans there to work on my Revell Jeep Rubicon; yellow, primer and flat black.

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The closest Hobby Lobby to me (Lewisville) has its spray paints under lock and key, not just Testors but other brands as well. It's due to Texas law, I think. As to having to show an ID when I buy an adult beverage, I just flash my Medicare card!

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Michael, you may be right regarding Texas law. But I wonder if your Hobby Lobby is dropping Model Master enamels the way mine is here in Fort Worth. Also, I just noticed that Squadron carries NO Model Master at all and only a limited list of enamel and lacquer from Tamiya, Testors and Humbrol with most of the colors being automotive and in spray cans. By contrast, Sprue Brothers has a very large list of both Testors and Model Masters in bottles.

 

Robin, I could do exactly what you describe up until a month ago, Texas law notwithstanding. It'll be interesting to see if that changes in your neck of the woods.

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Richard, what a nanny state when an employee has to pass you an aerosol can of paint instead of you picking it off the shelf yourself! Hey, next time you go in get the assistant to keep on passing you one of every colour in the cabinet taking a minute to look carefully at each when passed to you. When every colour is out on the counter choose just one after an hour of deliberation double checking the labels on all  with the assistant in attendance, then leaving them behind to be put away after you go to the checkout!

Edited by noelsmith
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Noel,

I love your sense of humor!  But the flip side of this is that it may not be too long before they start putting locking safety caps on paint bottles.  Seriously, one law leads to another, so you have to wonder what's next.

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Oh it's already bad in the nanny Democratic Republik of Kalifornia! When I go to Wal-Mart to buy my 96-cent can of spray paint, not only does the clerk have to unlock the cabinet, but they also have to take the spray can up to the register and have it held for me there! Man, what a crock!

Phoenix is gonna feel real good for me, getting out of this place!!

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Mark,

I normally would say that's unbelievable, but given the way things are going it is eminently believable.  Which brings up another thought.  If that practice is statewide, what effect does this have on the vendor room of the next IPMS convention to be held in California...assuming one ever is.  Will they be prevented from selling paint and/or tools...especially knives, knife blades and anything else that's sharp and/or pointy?

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FWIW, its that way with razor blades and cold medicine. We have such a meth problem around us that the local stores lock up the chemicals and the razor blades due to them being stolen and sold for money. Sad state of affairs

 

Dave

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22 hours ago, ipmsusa2 said:

Noel,

I love your sense of humor!  But the flip side of this is that it may not be too long before they start putting locking safety caps on paint bottles.  Seriously, one law leads to another, so you have to wonder what's next.

There are already safety lids on MM thinner and Testors liquid cement.

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Richard, to be honest; I don't know. This practice was going on when we had the Nationals in 2007 and it seemed that nothing was affected. The Tool Man did some outstanding business. Most of the issues we have to deal with at a Nationals here focuses on keeping the Fire Marshall happy. Otherwise, I don't think there will be an issue.

 

Robin is right. I have plenty of Model Master thinners that all have those safety lids.

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MM thinners have had safety caps forever, but I'm referring to the metal pint cans.  Hopefully it doesn't turn into a problem with the Nationals whenever they return to California.

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Perhaps it has nothing to do with huffing paint.  Perhaps it has nothing to do with a "Nanny State".  Perhaps it has *everything* to do with the fact that we can't have nice things anymore.

Rather than taking pot-shot guesses as to why this is, I simply asked the department manager when I was in one of their stores.  The answer: 

They got tired of having to replace the fixtures every year because they were caked with paint and looked like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece.  As a chain, they take pride in their appearance, and having a paint-splattered area in the model section was outside corporate appearance standards.  Funny thing, too--this same thing didn't happen where the large spray paint cans were displayed with the other craft paint.  The only area of the store where paint was on display that was abused in this manner was by the plastic models.

In other words, it was done because some people make it impossible for all of us to have nice things.

Cheers!

R

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You make a valid point, but I suspect it is at the bottom of the list  For example: In Chicago it is illegal to sell spray paint, period.  In Texas it is illegal to sell spray paint OR volatile chemicals  to anyone under the age of 18.  You have to be 21 to buy spray paint in New York.  Locking spray paint in cabinets varies from one community to another because each community can set their own laws.  Then you have the peculiar situation where spray paint is available on the shelf in most auto parts stores...although some of them lock the stuff up...and big box stores like Home Depot.  At the same time, Hobby Lobby in the same strip center locks it up.  Then five miles away a Hobby Town doesn't lock up any paint, nor do they bother to check ages in spite of laws restricting sales only to those over 18.

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As far as 'huffing" is concerned, they do that with virtually anything that comes in a spray can, including products that will kill them in the next several hours or days.  All that matters to them is the high that they get.  "Tagging" is done to 'make a statement',  identify their gang affiliation or simply because they want to deface something.  As far as the "Nanny State" is concerned, that already exists and how far it has gone depends on where you live. 

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Round here, an employee must unlock the cabinet and take it up to the register ... in some stores.  In others, the shelves are open and you can handle the can yourself.

It is all about tagging combined with shoplifting.

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I agree that the answer is 'depends'.  What's interesting is the inconsistency.  Here in Ft. Worth you have three major auto parts shops...Auto Zone, O'Reilly's and Advance.  O'Reilly's and Advance have their spray cans on the open shelves while Auto Zone has theirs locked behind glass.  Same group of customers, two display methods.  Go figure.

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