Going Back to the Hobby Shop

A quick check on this blog reveals that I haven’t written anything in eleven months.  That is far too long and kind of sad.  After all, this was my flagship blog.   I even transferred it from one platform to another.

The subject of today’s blog is the train shop.  I visited George’s Trains today for the first time in over a year.  And, well, things seem a bit off.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I knew something just wasn’t quite the same.

They’ve moved some products around.  The N scale stuff that I was interested in had moved and there were far fewer pieces around.  The HO scale stuff was still pretty abundant, but there did seem to be a bit less of it.  They still had a huge selection of magazines and books for sale, but it just seemed like there was less.

I also noticed that the prices of stuff had really jumped.  While the engines had always commanded a high price, the rolling stock seemed to be moving in that direction also.  A lot of what I saw was double the price it was five years ago.

I walked around in a bit of dismay.  Is this what the internet has done?  Or is this just the reality of the hobby now?  Are the aging train lovers not being replaced by a new generation?

Maybe I am one of the causes of the problem.  I walked out of the store without buying anything.  I also walked out without really considering buying anything.

Hobby Store Questions

Today, I had time to ponder a question. What do you want your hobby store to be?

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Do you want to find it in your shopping mall, in a dark corner of a subway concourse, in a suburban strip mall, or tucked away in an industrial section of town. I can find hobby shops in all of these places in the metropolitan Toronto area.  Prices seem to be cheaper in the industrial area, but less convenient to get to, and somewhat dark.

Do you want it to cover the full diversity of hobbies, or do you want it specialized? I prefer the specialized stores, even though they tend to be somewhat overwhelming in nature.  I think I just prefer the directness of the advice rather than the some general knowledge.

What made me ponder this question. Today I went to a hobby store that I hadn’t been to in many years.  They have moved shop from a bigger location or they shrunk from two stores to one.  I am not sure and I don’t want to speculate.  They have a lot of stuff crammed into the one store and it got me thinking.

They had trains (HO and N) model kits (gundam, cars, military) RC (boats, planes, and cars in multiple scales). and rocket kits.  Of course they had paint, glue, tools, fuel, spare parts, balsa wood, and even a few jigsaw puzzles.  Really, a lot of stuff…just nothing I was looking for today except some paint.

It was still fun to wander around the aisles and ponder what I could do next…if I didn’t have so many projects and hobbies to do next.