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Your first hobby shop

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Posted by drgwcs on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 11:26 PM

MidlandMike

Speaking of combination hobby shops, I don't recall Hobby Lobby being brought up.  Our town lost its last hobby shop, and I have drifted into Hobby Lobby when my wife was going there, and I actually picked up some useful hobby tools.  They also have things like Woodland Scenics which are used in a number of hobbies.

 

I'm actually working on a clinic on things that can be used from the craft store. Hobby Lobby used to have a very great hobby and train selection. My first job was running the hobby dept in store 5 when there were only 13 stores. We had quite a bit of train stuff probably the equivalent of one of their modern aisles although ours were shorter. We had Athearn Roundhouse and Atlas plus a bunch of woodland scenics.  Even had a good selection of radio control. Quite a change from today but they still have a bunch that is usable. 

Jim

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 10:39 AM

drgwcs
Hobby Lobby used to have a very great hobby and train selection.

I have noticed that not all Hobby Lobbys have the same sized hobby section. Here in Fort Myers ours has two aisles of hobby stuff, but the Hobby Lobby in Lakeland only has half an aisle.

-Kevin

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 11:00 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
drgwcs
Hobby Lobby used to have a very great hobby and train selection.

 

I have noticed that not all Hobby Lobbys have the same sized hobby section. Here in Fort Myers ours has two aisles of hobby stuff, but the Hobby Lobby in Lakeland only has half an aisle.

-Kevin

 

May vary according to store size. They used to have class A,B&C stores. Not sure if they do that anymore as most are the size of what used to be an A store. The ones nearest us are roughly the same size and have the same amount of hobbies. 

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Posted by DonRicardo on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 4:08 PM

Our Hobby Lobby has a limited amount of model railroad merchandise, but they have a terrific paint, magic marker and tool section.

I find myself using our local hobby shop mostly, Great service, can order almost anythig, and when you add shipping to on line items, they are very reasonble. And a great place for asking questions!

 

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 4:17 PM

Went to Hobby Lobby more frquently when they had the coupons.

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Posted by AEP528 on Thursday, May 18, 2023 7:02 AM

I drive the extra distance, and yes, pay the higher (non-corporate subsidized) prices to buy from local hobby, craft and art supply stores instead of Hobby Lobby. 

But go ahead, continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, Ebay, and Amazon and whine on these forums that all the local stores have closed.

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Posted by josephbw on Thursday, May 18, 2023 7:38 AM

My first hobby shop was Weaver's Bikes and Hobbies in Greenville Ohio. Dan Weaver became a very close friend of mine. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

Joe

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, May 18, 2023 7:42 AM

AEP528
But go ahead, continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, Ebay, and Amazon and whine on these forums that all the local stores have closed.

 

The Hobby Lobby that I use (50 miles away) is not exactly the same as Ebay and Amazon.  At Hobby Lobby, I can actually pick up and look at the items.  They also employ local people.

There is a 'local' hobby shop about 55 miles away which I use.  They often don't have the same types of things that I want from Hobby Lobby.

York1 John       

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, May 18, 2023 7:51 AM

MidlandMike

Speaking of combination hobby shops, I don't recall Hobby Lobby being brought up.  Our town lost its last hobby shop, and I have drifted into Hobby Lobby when my wife was going there, and I actually picked up some useful hobby tools.  They also have things like Woodland Scenics which are used in a number of hobbies.

 

When Lady Firestorm goes on one of her what I call "yarn raids" (her hobby's knitting)  to places like Michaels or Hobby Lobby sometimes I'll tag along.  First, she's fun to watch!  Second, I might just find something useful myself and frequently do. 

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Posted by n012944 on Thursday, May 18, 2023 8:47 AM

AEP528

But go ahead, continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, Ebay, and Amazon and whine on these forums that all the local stores have closed.

 

I don't go to Hobby Lobby, but I love eBay and Amazon.  I don't really miss having a local hobby shop at all (there are none in the Jacksonville FL area anyway).

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, May 18, 2023 3:37 PM

AEP528

I drive the extra distance, and yes, pay the higher (non-corporate subsidized) prices to buy from local hobby, craft and art supply stores instead of Hobby Lobby. 

But go ahead, continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, Ebay, and Amazon and whine on these forums that all the local stores have closed.

 

I do patronize my "local" hobby shops but they are an hour and 15 to 30 away. For most of us that is a reality. Going to shop one Saturday. But if I need a bottle of paint or glue etc I do buy at Hobby Lobby rather than make the drive. That being said there are some things that you wind up having to buy on ebay. I'm a narrow gauger on the VA/ NC border and it's rare here. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, May 18, 2023 9:54 PM

AEP528
But go ahead, continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, Ebay, and Amazon and whine on these forums that all the local stores have closed.

Perhaps you missed the part where I said that I've been going to Hobby Lobby after my local hobby shop closed.  I use eBay after I can't find what I'm looking for at out-of-town hobby stores or train shows.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 19, 2023 9:19 PM

I went to the Hobby Lobby on East Colonial Drive in Orlando today.

Two aisles of "hobbys", but an amazingly diverse selection.

Model trains, military models, coin & stamp collecting, woodburning, airbrushes, miniature rocketry, hobby paints, anime models, foam cutters, and on & on & on.

I don't remember that many different sub-sections in the hobby aisles.

-Kevin

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 19, 2023 9:23 PM

n012944
I don't really miss having a local hobby shop at all (there are none in the Jacksonville FL area anyway).

Is Hurricane Hobbies still there?

I know they did not have any trains, but they had a massive selection of paints, tools, and supplies.

-Kevin

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Posted by n012944 on Sunday, May 21, 2023 3:11 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
n012944
I don't really miss having a local hobby shop at all (there are none in the Jacksonville FL area anyway).

 

Is Hurricane Hobbies still there?

I know they did not have any trains, but they had a massive selection of paints, tools, and supplies.

-Kevin

 

 

Yes, they are still there.  Since they don't bother stocking model railroad stuff, I don't bother them with my money.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 3:42 PM

tloc52

I spent much time in Trost as a kid. Biking from 68th and Hamlin to 63rd and over. I loved the HO brass engines in the glass counter as you walked in on your left. Lionel in the back corner straight in was my hang out. They were good folks till Betty took over. Every Christmas for years I added on to my Santa Fe Super Chief passenger train. Found HO senior year in college, 1973-74.

But then it was the suburban shops I hit up.

good memories 

Good memories, for sure. I had previously replied to this thread, but I missed these two posts on Trost Hobbies.

That is quite a bike ride from 68th and Hamlin. I rode my bike from 60th and Artesian. Spent most of my grammar school years at Trost except for dinner and bedtime.

Betty does not stand out in my mind.

Rich

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Posted by Tin Can II on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 9:56 AM

A little later in life, we were living in Arlington, TX.  My Dad was an intern at John Peter Smith hospital in Ft. Worth, so we did lots of things in Ft. Worth.  My Lionel engine quit working, and Dad took it to a hobby shop in Ft. Worth called Tolson's.  It seemed like forever for them to fix it, but when it was finally ready, he let me go with him to pick it up.  It was an interesting shop, with lots of Lionel, but also lots of HO and brass.  Fast forward to 1981; I am working and have some disposable income.  I was living in Abilene, TX, but I went to a train show in DFW and dropped by Tolson's.  They had a Hallmark CF7 model for sale.  I had to have it; but as it was unpainted, I paid them to paint it and install constant/directional lighting and a flashing beacon.  That took another 3 months.  I loved that engine, but it would not negotiate less than perfect track without shorting.  The constant  lighting unit quit working.  It has been boxed for over 35 years because I have moved on to RPP and now Athearn CF7 models. 

Sometime after my experience with Tolson's and Hallmark, I discovered Bobbye Hall's in Dallas.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  That shop had everything.  I eventually moved to the DFW area, and had monthly meetings in downtown Dallas.  I would make a trip to Bobbye Hall's part of the itinerary.   

I later found out that the repair that Tolson's did was to re-solder one of the motor leads.  It didn't take, and I had to resolder it myself.

 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 10:48 AM

Back in the 1960s, before I was a model railroader, I used to go to Hub Hobby Shop in Richfield MN to buy plastic model kits (airplanes and ships mostly). This was the "old" Hub Hobby when it was still in the Hub Shopping Center (strip mall) at 66th and Nicollet. I started buying train stuff there when I started model railroading in 1971. However, there was also a bike shop on Lyndale Ave. that sold train stuff too that I frequented, and my dad was the mailman for Woodcraft Hobby, "the old reliable" on Lake and Bryant in south Minneapolis, so we went there sometimes too.

Stix
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, November 16, 2023 8:13 AM

Since we are going down memory lane - my first recollection of a hobby shop was as a 4 year old, my dad visited a hobby shop while working on my (I didn't know it at the time) Christmas present from Santa.  It turned out to be a 4x6 plywood board painted and laid with Lionel Track and a Hudson Steam engine and cars.  After that I don't remember visiting a hobby shop until I was a teen and found a shop in the Alpha Beta strip mall in east Davis CA.  There I bought some SP dayight Athearn shorty passenger cars.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by trwroute on Thursday, November 16, 2023 9:16 PM

Tin Can II

Sometime after my experience with Tolson's and Hallmark, I discovered Bobbye Hall's in Dallas.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  That shop had everything.  I eventually moved to the DFW area, and had monthly meetings in downtown Dallas.  I would make a trip to Bobbye Hall's part of the itinerary.    

My dad and I would frequent Tolson's, Whistle Stop Hobbies, A&A Hobbies, and several others in Fort Worth back in the 70's.  Bill Tolson was a bit of a strange guy, but he had a bunch of Lionel, brass, and narrow gauge stuff.

There was also a small shop in Everman, Smitty's, that did some locomotive kit building and painting for my dad.

Hobby Hub in Seminary South was probably my first hobby shop I ever went to.  I loved that place and will never forget their neat layout in the center of the store with plexiglass panels all around it.  I could watch it for hours!

Bobbye Hall's (Hallmark Models) was in a class all by itself.  Went there a bunch for close to 30 years until it closed in 2000.

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by Tin Can II on Friday, November 17, 2023 9:35 AM

trwroute
Bill Tolson was a bit of a strange guy, but he had a bunch of Lionel, brass, and narrow gauge stuff.

I took an out of town friend to Tolson's in the early 80's.  In addition to being a very skilled HO modeler, he also built model airplane models.  Tolson's had a wall of plastic model airplane kits.  My friend picked out several that he wanted to buy, but Mr. Tolson would not sell them because they were rare and he could not restock them.  That was my last time to visit Tolson's.

There was a Hobby Hub in Arlington, TX near our house; close enough to ride a bicycle.  Unfortunately, I didn't yet have any HO trains, but it was fun to look and dream.

 

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Posted by trwroute on Friday, November 17, 2023 4:25 PM

Tin Can II

There was a Hobby Hub in Arlington, TX near our house; close enough to ride a bicycle.  Unfortunately, I didn't yet have any HO trains, but it was fun to look and dream.

Hobby Hub moved from Seminary South mall to New York Avenue in Arlington in the late 70's.  In the 80's, they moved off 303 and Cooper St.  They were then purchased by Whistle Stop Hobbies in the early 90's and closed a few years later.  Whistle Stop also purchased A&A, and they also closed around the same time.

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by up831 on Sunday, November 19, 2023 9:02 PM

My first real hobby shop was St. Clair's Hobby Shop in Salina when I started building Athearn YB kits and got into HO.  Then was Larry's Hobbyland and finally McDowell's Craft Shop.  All of those shops were gone before 1970.

Less is more,...more or less!

Jim (with a nod to Mies Van Der Rohe)

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Posted by Polarys425 on Monday, November 20, 2023 11:14 PM

I grew up in the small town of Covington, VA. We had a store, Barr's Critters, Crafts and Cards. They sold a few hobby things as well. My first train was the Tyco 638 Chattanooga. Not sure if it came from there or not. But they had a sale after the flood of '85 for stuff that couldn't be sold as new, damaged packaging, etc.  My mom took me up there. I came out with 4 Bachmann C&O diesels, cars, transformers, track, etc. I still have it all. The Bachmanns are down to two working units, as they suffer from cracked gears. I've combined and repaired pieces to make two units work. More sentimental reasons than anything, as DCC is far superior. I don't have room for a proper layout, so I've been out of the train game for a very long time, as in since before DCC. Needless to say, I wish DCC was a thng when I was a kid. I'm currently collecting a few things, way more than I need however. With the goal of setting up a wall mounted track setup for a couple trains in my den. I'm trying to replicate the the "Shenandoah Valley Limited" That the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Virginia Scenic Railway recently ran featuring the N&W 611. I also have my dad's Lionel childhood train that I'd like to setup on the second track.

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 6:47 PM

up831
.... and finally McDowell's Craft Shop. 

I thought McDowell's was a burger place.

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Posted by Tin Can II on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 11:20 AM

I rode my bicycle to the New York Avenue store when I was in 4th & 5th grades; that was in the 67 - 69 time frame. I remember the move to 303 & Cooper; went in that store many a time in the 80s as a young adult with disposable income.  There was also a train counter at Roy's Toys in the Forum mall for a while.

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Posted by trwroute on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 4:08 PM

Tin Can II

I rode my bicycle to the New York Avenue store when I was in 4th & 5th grades; that was in the 67 - 69 time frame. I remember the move to 303 & Cooper; went in that store many a time in the 80s as a young adult with disposable income.  There was also a train counter at Roy's Toys in the Forum mall for a while.

Maybe Hobby Hub had the two locations at the same time?  I just remember going to the Arlington location after the Fort Worth one closed.  Yep; Toys by Roy in Forum 303 Mall and Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth.  Loved those stores!  

We also frequented Woolworth on 303 in Arlington for inexpensive AHM stuff.  Great times.  This was during the early to mid 70's when I was around 10 years old.

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 7:20 PM

My train shop was more than that.  It was an introduction to many different hobbies.  I tried some and enjoyed them.  It was a way to expand my horizons.  I bought a couple of slot cars and went to the shop to race them.  After a while, I got into gas-powered airplanes, the kind you flew around in a circle with a couple of lines.  I wasn't gòod at flying, but I got good at fixing planes, mostly with glue.

But, I always came back to trains.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 8:55 AM

trwroute

 

 
Tin Can II

I rode my bicycle to the New York Avenue store when I was in 4th & 5th grades; that was in the 67 - 69 time frame. I remember the move to 303 & Cooper; went in that store many a time in the 80s as a young adult with disposable income.  There was also a train counter at Roy's Toys in the Forum mall for a while.

 

 

Maybe Hobby Hub had the two locations at the same time?  I just remember going to the Arlington location after the Fort Worth one closed.  Yep; Toys by Roy in Forum 303 Mall and Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth.  Loved those stores!  

We also frequented Woolworth on 303 in Arlington for inexpensive AHM stuff.  Great times.  This was during the early to mid 70's when I was around 10 years old.

 

Thank you for filling in a couple of holes in my memory. I had relatives in Arlington and remembered going into the Hobby Hub as a kid. I also remember going into the one at Seminary South with the multi scale wedding cake layout. Was there a hobby shop in Hulan Mall too or am I confusing that with Seminary South?

Toys by Roy had a couple of locations in Oklahoma too. They had one in Crossroads Mall in OKC that was pretty neat. I remember drooling over some of the original Atlas engines that were at that time as a kid out of my price range. I do remember looking there and then finding a few trains on after Christmas clearance at JC Penney there Tyco but hey they were a buck. I think Toys by Roy also had a store in Woodland Hills in Tulsa briefly but that was not there long and that was about the time the one in Crossroads closed. I was surprised to see one in 1993 when we went to a mall in the Metroplex (but I can't remember which one) That was long after the ones in OK had closed.

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 10:09 AM

The first hobby shop I can remember is going with my Dad to Forest Park Hobby Shop here in Kokomo, they carried everything to do with hobbies, kind of like a mini Hobby Lobbys but with a small train department at the back.   We also had a Ben Franklin five and dime.  I bought lots of AHM/Rivarossi stuff there with my allowance and yard mowing money.  My first engine I bought on my own was one of the USRA 0-6-0(simplified version).  I always admired the AHM O scale kits, but they were beyond this boys means back then.  Not anymore!   

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