What’s A Hobby Shop?

Weird title for my blog right? Dangerously, I got to thinking tonight that it won’t be long before a generation comes along and asks that very question. You see, I am on Spring Break with my family in Branson, Missouri this week. As all my trips to any new city go, I search for any local hobby shops. My searches usually end with nothing more than a Hobby Lobby. This time, however, led me to Branson Hobby Center. An actual brick and mortar hobby shop. It’s main focus is aimed at the RC or train enthusiast but they did have some plastic to look through. I was very pleased to find two Airfix Martlets as well as an Airfix  Blenheim. There were quite a few more that I wanted to purchase but I resisted. Added to the three kits were two bottles of RAF Dark Earth and an AK-47 rubber-band gun and ammo for my son. All for $100.00. 

It felt great to actually step into a store and physically buy my kits instead of searching online or bidding on them. I realize with the internet that the days of the hobby shop are almost over. It’s saddening to witness and contribute to the demise. Nevertheless, I will continue to seek them out every chance that I get.

32 thoughts on “What’s A Hobby Shop?

  1. I’m lucky to have three hobby shops close to where I live. One has a focus on RC, another on trains and the last (my fave) on military models. Planes, tanks and ships etc. However, like DVD rental shops I think they’re slowly dying out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great that you mention the box art. That was a key contribution to my persuaded as a kid. Even now as an adult I prefer the painted images as opposed to real life images. I think they add to the imagination of your build.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very true. My home town was blessed with two really great hobby shops, one of which had four floors! A whole floor was dedicated to model kits and paints. Both sadly closed a few years ago within months of each other. So, mostly I now rely on the internet…

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  3. There is no greater feeling than walking into a hobby shop, seeing a kit you want and picking it off the shelf. You can take it straight home and open the box and then plan your project. Looking at the sprues and decal options is almost as pleasurable as making the kit itself. My local hobby shop will be closing after trading since 1972. Thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I got the fever to build tethered planes when I was young at a hobby shop in a very small town I grew up in. We would go look at the projects they were working on and most of their planes were two channel remotes and very large.

    Today as we travel I stop in nearly all hobby shops I find in our travels. Sad to say but our local store closed a few years ago and there is not another one around. Virtual reality and computer games are replacing the fundamental hands on skills needed to build things ourselves. Our children have a chance from watching us but what about the rest? If they can’t get something already built they won’t know how to put anything together. That includes IKEA furniture.

    Shop classes in schools are being replaced with computer labs and academics which are cheaper to run. Skilled trades are what made our country great.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on My Forgotten Hobby and commented:
    We all have those precious memories about our favorite hobby shops. Mine was Westmount Hobby Shop in Montreal when I was a teenager. As a kid it was L’Oiseau bleu in the east-end of Montreal on Ste. Catherines street.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great finds. I’m lucky that my home town stil has the same hobby shop open from when I was a kid. I still buy stuff from it all the time. There is also a three floor games centre/ shop so I am pretty well served.



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  7. It saddens me to see Hobby Shops in the UK are nowhere near as prolific, and generally very specialised. Gone are the days of a vast choice of Airfix kits. Now we just see a few R/C shops, and the giant HobbyCraft selling everything from chocolate, and all manner of rubbish, along with a few plane kits.

    Glad to see you bought a Blenheim, I saw my first one flying at good wood last year, I didn’t know there were any left. Incredibly the rebuild was completed after the team discovered an original nose cone being used as part of a kit car – as the last flying example had been too badly smashed up in a bad landing. You can read the amazing story here, the link to tell you about the car is worth clicking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Specialized is a great word to sum up the hobby shops of today. I understand that certain plane types won’t sell quick but I have plenty of Me-109’s and F-15’s. When I find a “rare” aircraft, I always pick it up. It’s hard to find good kits even when I find a shop on my travels.
      I’d love to see some WWII British birds flying! The Blenheim has been on my list for a while so I’m glad to cross it off finally. Now when to build it?


  8. Hi, bit of an older blog but I think it’s a really good one. It’s always nice to have ‘an address’ for whatever we need be it groceries, to cutting your hair, to car parts, to you name it. I was really happy to recently discover I have a hobbyshop within a 10 minute drive distance and I think I’ve went there every week for the last month and sometimes multiple times a week! There is just nothing like browsing for new ideas in a shop like that.. it’s the only reason I am already considering building the Saturn V, or the USS Enterprise. Those are not things I would consider otherwise, but seeing them in a box in front of you rather than having to look for them in a webshop makes all the difference when it comes to giving you inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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