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Supporting your local hobby shop

Like many of you out there, I do place my orders usually for model kits on-line. Usually when a certain model kit is not available locally and/or when available locally the price is at full MSRP. But it also depends on the MSRP and the price on-line plus shipping. It is hard to be price conscious and loving instant gratification at the same time. I’m lucky to have 2 well stocked hobby shops in the Twin Cities. 1 in St. Paul and the other one in Minneapolis. Most of my building supplies are purchased locally.  That has created a bond with store managers, owners and employees.

That also gives me the opportunity to place special orders and put merchandise on hold either in store or on the phone. That’s something you can not do with hobby shops on-line. Yesterday I stopped by my local hobby shop to pick up an Airfix 1:350 Trafalgar Class Submarine. The lowest price I found on-line was $8.89 + $5.95 for S&H. That brings the model to $14.84. My local hobby shop had it for $12 even + local tax. Add the instant gratification and I’m even ;o)

But wait! there’s more!  They are currently running a Summer sale with many model kits with a  50% discount and even more. I couldn’t help to leave the store with a model I have had my eyes set on for months, a 1/32 Me 262 A-1a from Trumpeter Models. I walked out of the store with a 1/72 RF-4 C/E Phantom II from Fujimi models. If it wasn’t because I don’t have the order-on-line only mindset, I would have missed that trumpeter kit.

I know, many after market items are not available at hobby shops. Let’s be realistic, they are too many to stock them all. But for the most common items, that jar of glue or paint, there is still room for support. One might get cheaper prices (subjective) and a box waiting at your doorstep with the click of your mouse. But good relationships between owners, employees and other fellow modelers is priceless. Just thinking out loud.

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George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.