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What is the best hobby shop in the USA?


Scooter
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Ralph,

 

It's really sad to see the names of old shops I used to support (even after I bought AAA) that are now gone forever.

 

In this economy it's really tough to keep the doors open. All too often the guys can get things online from Asia and pay the shipping for about what I have to spend wholes to get it at the shop.

 

When all of the hobby shop owners decide it's time to retire, what are they gonna do for paint and glue?

 

I've wondered the same thing, James--I have friends who have to do everything via mail order, since they have no local shop.

 

There's something else to it, too--I like going into the shops, chatting with the people there, and perusing the stacks. There's something that's a bit too sterile about mail/web ordering....

 

Does anyone remember these chain stores? They were around briefly in the late 1980's early 1990's at least in South Florida--Zak's and The Hobby Box. Both seemed like they went into business to go out of business--the store space was huge for the inventory they held....

 

Ralph

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Soapy's Hobby Shop in Marquette, MI. He has all the model building civilization you need. Flash your IPMS tin and get a good discount.

 

If Craig doesn't have it, he can get it. If he can't get it you can probably do without it.

 

With a name like "Soapy's", how could it NOT be a great shop???

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Scale Model Supplies in St Paul. I stopped there last fall (I was driving from ND to PA with my son) and was blown away. I found kits I have been looking for (even online) for years.

I live over 6 hours away, and plan to make another trip just to spend an afternoon exploring everything they have.

 

Chuck

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I think that Chris from CRM - St. Louis has a lot to offer. Many after market items for plane, armor etc.

If you do not see what you want Chris tries to help and find it for you. Plus, he is a vendor at many

IPMS Show thru out the year.

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It would take a time machine to get there, but Brown's Hobbies on Main Street in Walnut Creek California was where I learned that there were a lot more models, supplies, and tools than Woolworths had on their shelf (singular, one shelf was their hobby department), that there were people who could tell me more about the model in the box than just the price, and where I could see what could be done with that box full of plastic. So for me, Brown's was the best, and is still in many ways the most important. But that was too long ago to name numbers. Some years later, and ago, I was shipping to the far east and made frequent port calls in Japan. One day I was pedalling around Yokohama and as I passed a toy store, I spotted a couple of model kits in the window. One was a kit I'd been looking for, so I stopped and went in. There were few other models in sight. I asked the lady about the kit in the window, and she showed it to me. She then asked if I wanted to see more models, walked over to a wall full of dolls, and started setting armsful of doll boxes on the floor. There emerged a wall full of kits, from some new ones not yet seen in the US to old dusty OOP kits. When I paid for the armload I chose, she started adding cement, paint, and brushes to the pile, no charge, and seeing that I had arrived on a bicycle, she neatly bundled it all into a wrapped package and made sure that it wouldn't fall off after I'd secured it to the luggage rack. But, all that said, the best hobby shop is probably the one closest. There is a little gem in LaGrande Oregon, Hobby Habit at 411 Fir Street, 541-963-9602, that into one store packs plastic kits, model railroad, radio control, crafts, science kits, educational toys, and a photography studio. Oh yes, and a good attitude. Seventy odd miles from my door, but the others are a lot further.

Edited by Nortley
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