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Hobby Shops Closing Down... :/

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Beatties in Watford and the large hobby/toy shop in Queensbury Circle. Just got back into r/c cars after 15-20 years and struggled to think/find a place close to me in NW London, ended up going to a place in Stevenage after a recomendation.

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Beatties in Watford and the large hobby/toy shop in Queensbury Circle. Just got back into r/c cars after 15-20 years and struggled to think/find a place close to me in NW London, ended up going to a place in Stevenage after a recomendation.

Hi,

Interesting this, I'm looking for any shop within 50 miles of me!

Anyway, I used to live in your area & of course remember Beatties in Watford (my first car, a Falcon came from there) & the shop in Queensbury (bought my Monster Beetle there) also The Harrow Model Shop.

Have you tried Phil Greenos in Rayners Lane or DMS on St Albans Road in Watford. I'm not sure if PG is still there but DMS definatley is, I still buy from them on the net, they sell just about anything to do with RC Cars.

If anyone can suggest one near Swansea I'd be gratful, i've already put a post out about this!

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My Frog came from Castle Hill Hobbies - and they're still around. They are almost in the same place as they were - they used to be on Showground Rd, they just moved around the corner onto Old Northern Rd. They still mainly do RC planes and cars. Saw a few of the re-releases in there including the XR-311.

The shop that I miss the most is Hobbies in the Hills - they had a slot car track there, and loads of stock for all sorts of hobbies. It was a huge store. The shop burnt out a couple of years back. They've since re-opened from a warehouse in the lot behind where their store was, but it doesn't have the huge hobby store feel that the old store had.

There still is a Toyworld in Castle Towers, and they sell hobby grade RC, including Tamiya. They're pretty much all XB or RTR, and they don't sell parts. I think I did see a Super Hornet in there.

- James

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Hi,

Interesting this, I'm looking for any shop within 50 miles of me!

Anyway, I used to live in your area & of course remember Beatties in Watford (my first car, a Falcon came from there) & the shop in Queensbury (bought my Monster Beetle there) also The Harrow Model Shop.

Have you tried Phil Greenos in Rayners Lane or DMS on St Albans Road in Watford. I'm not sure if PG is still there but DMS definatley is, I still buy from them on the net, they sell just about anything to do with RC Cars.

If anyone can suggest one near Swansea I'd be gratful, i've already put a post out about this!

Gah what a n00b, forgot the guy on St Albans rd, and was chatting to a mate today and he reminded me of the place next to Croxley Green station. Im sure my dad got my monster beetle from Queensbury, ill have to ask him.

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Hi All,

This thread is interesting, and a little sad; a real representation of how progress can be a good thing, but it is going to ruin the personal side to a hobby like ours..

I am living in Dubai, UAE and there are quite a few hobby shops, given the number of people here for starters....small population compared to US, UK and Euro markets...there remains a common trait amongst all of them though, and this is the thing that disappoints me in all of them...none of them have that personal touch. This is a a VERY throwaway society here, people that get into these hobbies have money to burn and they basically do just that!! Go out and buy a model (which they pay the shop to build for them) and then take it out, smash it around, break it, take it to the shop, leave it there to collect when fixed...wash, rinse, repeat.

The shops charge exorbitant prices, have only a few spares and it is normally based on the latest greatest Ming Yang buggy that can be turfed out afterwards, Tamiya has little place left on their shelves so the stocks dwindle, spares dry up and eventually the shops have become diluted with rubbish....and staff who wish to rip you off....but they do not close....only because most of them are making fat markups, and selling to cash-burning buyers....such a shame...BUT! and this is where I was going with this.....there is one guy who has a shop that has been around for many years....he is the original distributor of Tamiya in the UAE and I have spent some time in that shop over the years and the shopkeep (not the owner) has told me some stories about his dealings with Tamiya, and I cannot help believe that they themselves are not partially to blame for the demise of Tamiya stocks over the years, and along with that market, have gone the hobby shops that stocked 'mainly' Tamiya models...he tells me that he can only order anything from them if it fills one large carton...usually that means about 3 large kits (MT's et al) 6 small kits (TT01 et al) some body kits and some spares of various types.....he then take the cheapest shipping room (maximising profits, minimising costs) and that takes 3 MONTHS to get to him!! He is not in a position to order any smaller shipments than that....not allowed. This might be the way to do it, but surely in a smaller market he should be able to get some leniency on getting spares shipped in smaller qty's or something.....but this is why although he loves, admires and continues to stock these wonderful models....he makes his money on the Ming Yang stuff....

Sign of the times....

RIP all the old hobby shops...

Andy

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I got the Opel Ascona and the Hilux from "the Model Shop" in Woden ACT, I went there a lot, and made a friend of Andy. I took the (then) 15 year old Hilux with my brand new scratch built Caravan to show Andy, just before he shut down the shop in '98.. he was so impresssed with the van, he gave me a set of bearings for the wheels(i had used old ones i had, bit worn). It was agreat shop, and i miss it and miss Andy.

the shop in Fyshwick closed down well before "The model shop"...some time in the late 80's i think...

You're probably thinking of the Hobby Shack at Fyshwick. They had a great range of kits etc. I always remember the place reeked of cigarettes and seemed really dingy. Once you got around the first impressions of the place, the guys there were really helpful and knew their stuff. The shop packed up and moved to Phillip where it changed hands, lasted for a couple of years and then closed down in around 95. The last owner of the shop had build himself a pulsejet powered 1/5th scale drag car. I have no idea what happened to him or the car. I still have fond memories of the whiplash people got one day when we organised a club display at a hobbies show and he spun the jet up in the middle of an exhibition hall.

I used to love heading over to see the Model shop, Andy used to amaze me with the patience he had for young hobbyists.

My fondest memories were of Peter Pan's Hobbies in Civic. It had that real hobby shop feel. It was cluttered and you had to climb these narrow little stairs to get to the hobby section. But when you go there! There was trains and slot cars and static models and of course the RC. This is where my love of Tamiya's started. I still remember staring in amazement at their rough rider displayed in a fish tank up to its axels in water happily spinning its wheels for hours. (they had it hooked up to a 6v power supply). Magic stuff.

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Magic indeed :lol: That is a great story.

HunterZero, I agree about those two also. In the early 90s, Hobbies in the Hills was much smaller. But later expanded (twice possibly?), before suddenly burning down in late '06, right when they had become a huge store full of interesting displays as well as stock.

Another shop I miss is Jordal Hobbies in Blacktown (also near Sydney). They originally had 2 stores I believe, the other closer to the city, and were around for many years. I remember buying a few vintage bits from there in the early 90s, including a Wild Willy manual for $3, and I got a copy of an early 90s Tamiya promo video (I had to beg, because they weren't supposed to let people copy it). They closed a few years ago. Unlike most stores, they had a small website and if you look it up on the web archive you can see roughly how it used to look and when it became defunct (2006)... http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.jordal.com.au

I also miss all the Toyworlds, Uncle Petes, and Zig Zag toy stores that used to be around and used to stock Tamiya and other hobby stuff, before the Toys R Us junk supermarkets arrived and killed off almost all the little toy shops.

cheers,

H.

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"the Model Shop" in Woden ACT,

"Hobby Shack at Fyshwick"

"Peter Pan's Hobbies in Civic"

Wow those names bring back great memories. My first R/C car, the Frog came from 'the Model Shop', used to go in there and bug Andy all the time looking at the great range of kits he had ;)

'Hobby Shack' is were I bought my Toyota Toms 84C - small shop but good memories :D

'Peter Pan' had a great range of plastic model kits, used to love the big scale Hasegawa F-16 that they had stuck to the wall (in pieces), think there was an A-4 Skyhawk aswell.

Wow thanks for bringing back those memories, great times for me :blink: .

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I miss the Beatties shops ;)

Used to love going to them as a kid, I got my first Tamiya from the Glasgow shop, I got a Thundershot QD & my brother got a Super Sabre QD.

Then when we down in Blackpool, I got a Bear Hawk for my birthday, that shop seemed massive back then, maybe it just because I was young ;)

I'm sure there was one in Wishaw aswell, think that was where my brother got his Escort RS from.

There was also a small model shop in Hamilton, was in the shopping centre where Somerfield used to be. Long gone now and can't remember what it was called.

Not much Tamiya in local shops now, Uddingston Model Centre has some stock, I think Wonderland in Edinburgh will be the closest with larger stock levels.

Al

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For me it has to be my long lost and beloved childhood haunt, 'The Hobby Shop (Southport) Ltd.', and was at 17/19 Bold Street, Southport

I remember this place. My parents had business interests in Southport and I used to visit once a year or so with them back in the early to mid 80's. Back in 1983, my dad bought an r/c glider from this store. The glider was an Avoncraft Sprite and as part of the deal he got a 3ch Sanwa radio and the materials to finish the model. Sadly the model is no longer but it survived on a shelf in our garage for years...

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I miss Beatties in Swindon. Spent my Saturdays looking at the Tamiya Models on show and playing with the Scalextric track they had built up!!

This Photo was taken at Stoneleigh in May 1982 at a 'Model Car Buggy Bonanza' meeting

Beatties%20Van.jpg

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The world is changing like everything else. To be successful you got to be a niche within a niche. One just can't compete with the mega discount store where at times they control the factories or the web sellers where their overhead is so low even the mega disount store may not be able to compete on pricing. For hobby store to survive, the owner has to know the trend or have a steady clientete plus new customers coming on board else the huge overhead like retail rent, taxes, utilities, insurance, fees....will put the store out of business in no time.

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I suppose that what a lot of us here would like to see is a "real" equivalent of some of the Ebay stores that we see that sell mainly mint vintage stuff.

Imagine being able to walk in and see a Rough Rider NIB body set, Hump pack batteries, and Acoms MK1 radio control, a Bigwig, a Fox, a Hilux etc., and loads of NIP parts for them, that would be really cool. Pity that in the modern world the economics of it are maybe not viable, hence the Ebay stores - they are both a blessing and a curse.

Going into a modern hobby store with all the truggies and planes and not much else can get to be a real dissappointment for us slightly older guys who remember being able to walk into stores and see realistic looking (or at least imaginative) Off Road buggies. I mean which do I want to go and see, Vulcan Hobbies my LHS (hmmmnnn) or the defunct childhood haunt of mine, The Model Shop at Southport, with Brats and Frogs stacked up to 6 feet high in the front window that I can stare at for ages as an 8 year old kid :o !

Cheers,

Alistair G.

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Beatties in Brighton.

And a little hobby shop in Crowborough that was run by the father of a girl in my class at school. Needless to say it didn't last long, but it set me on the RC path...

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I miss Beatties in Swindon. Spent my Saturdays looking at the Tamiya Models on show and playing with the Scalextric track they had built up!!

This Photo was taken at Stoneleigh in May 1982 at a 'Model Car Buggy Bonanza' meeting

Beatties%20Van.jpg

A quick dvla search shows the date of liability as 1988, im sure this mean when it was last used.

dazaa

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A quick dvla search shows the date of liability as 1988, im sure this mean when it was last used.

dazaa

Interesting how you can find that out, what's the web address for doing that?

Cheers,

Alistair G.

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Interesting how you can find that out, what's the web address for doing that?

Cheers,

Alistair G.

here is the link,

http://www.taxdisc.direct.gov.uk/EvlPortal...event=link.next

You have to exact with the reg no and make. note it also does motorbikes and probably everything else on dvla computer. My dad lost all the papers for his z900 and could only remember the first 3 letters of the number plate. We went through hundreds of different plates on the car check and finally found out the number plate. It took a long time but beats paying 40 to re register the bike. Bet you wont find another 13 year old who knows how to do that.

dazaa

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here is the link,

http://www.taxdisc.direct.gov.uk/EvlPortal...event=link.next

You have to exact with the reg no and make. note it also does motorbikes and probably everything else on dvla computer. My dad lost all the papers for his z900 and could only remember the first 3 letters of the number plate. We went through hundreds of different plates on the car check and finally found out the number plate. It took a long time but beats paying 40 to re register the bike. Bet you wont find another 13 year old who knows how to do that.

dazaa

Excellent, I found my Granddad's Reliant Rebel (turquoise colour, GRP body, 4 wheels, 700CC from 1972) on there! Fascinating!

Cheers,

Alistair G.

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I remember the Leeds Beatties. It was opposite the Schofield centre. I remember seeing the Marui Land Cruiser kits for the first time, and wanting both!. They had at least two floors

I remeber the Leeds Beatties used to go in there and stare at the Kits and i remember one guy who would happily show anybody the models if they asked politely. The memories of this place came flooding back when the Bush Devil i got off of Ebay came in a classic Beatties Bag. It's a shame that more and more of these type of shops are closing and been replaced by (spit spit) Modelzone

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I remeber the Leeds Beatties used to go in there and stare at the Kits and i remember one guy who would happily show anybody the models if they asked politely. The memories of this place came flooding back when the Bush Devil i got off of Ebay came in a classic Beatties Bag. It's a shame that more and more of these type of shops are closing and been replaced by (spit spit) Modelzone

I don't see what is so bad about ModelZone. I go in the Liverpool branch reasonably often and always enjoy myself very much. OK so there's no vintage spares etc. but what do we expect in 2009 in Blighty LOL? The metal die cast models are wonderful and they have a reasonable amount of RC stuff, considering, plus a display rack where I saw some nice Tamiya RC buggies (see pic's). The Model Shop Southport never had any of these on display as I recall, only Tamiya RC kits stacked up. Can't remember what Liverpool Beatties had (they were in the exact same place as Liverpool ModelZone). There were of course no Tamiya promo videos being played in MZ, I'll ask them about that next time. I did ask them why they didn't bother to paint the driver dolls in the cars but they didn't have an answer for that one. It was good to see that the shop guys had assembled some of them pretty well though and painted (in certain cases) and decal'ed them properly. Looked great! Beats my LHS hands down!

Cheers,

Alistair G.

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I enjoyed reading everyones stories of the past great Hobby shops. They were very thin on the ground here in BH Australia. We had two which sort of stocked entry level RC Cars as a sideline. One was Toyworld which had a fast attack vehicle in the window for some time, I'm not sure if it was ever sold before the store inevitably closed to make room for the temporary addition of Zig Zag then Big W and Toys R Us. There was also Hobbies and Electronics which had a Zerda in the window for a while as well as boxed Tamiya kits on a high shelf. I always used to daydream about the high performance looking exotic model when I visited the store during my skateboarding days. After Hobbies and Electronics moved to its current location the Hobbies part ceased to exist, there were no more RC kits or skate gear in the shop as they really concentrated on the "Electronics" side of things. Around that time Big W also ceased to stock Tamiya cars for quite a few years then in the mid 1990's a few "package" Tamiya kits with radio and basic charger found their way there which is where I bought my Stadium Blitzer the kit that got me back into the hobby. Now though all there is to be found there are the cheap or not so cheap mass produced toy RC vehicles. We have had another Hobby store here for a short time but they only seemed to stock static plastic models. Now all my RC purchases are either Ebay or capital city stores online.

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I used to go to 3 model shops in my area - Otley Modelsport as it was known (now just Modelsport) on Gay Lane in Otley It used to be at back of a newsagents - I remember catching the bus to look at the kits, Bought my Hornet and AYK Bobcat from there among other stuff. They used to have second hand models on the bottom shelf and always had numerous Scorchers / Hilux / Holiday Buggys and the like.

My nearest was Windsor models in Horsforth (where I got my Frog and Brat from) closed years ago :-( I still see the daughter of the owner as she works at my dentist -- I tried to get some info on what happened to the owner (her dad) but got no joy. Other place I used to go was Beaties in Leeds but I just used to go there to watch the videos behind the counter as the models were always very dear compared to the other two mentioned. Still i'd always pop in if passing - dont remember ever buying owt from em though...

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I grew up in worcester and happily the model shop that much of my money was spent in, Antics, is still there and still going farily strong with at least one of the same staff as used to be there when I was young. I don't live in worcester any more, but visit every few months, and it's nice to see it still there and still mostly as I remeber it, though the balance of R/C, trains / kits / diecast has changed.

When I went to manchester in 1995, there was a beatties in the arndale centre which I bought a few things from and there's the manchester mdoel centre on deansgate which I think is now a modelzone.

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I don't see what is so bad about ModelZone. I go in the Liverpool branch reasonably often and always enjoy myself very much. OK so there's no vintage spares etc. but what do we expect in 2009 in Blighty LOL? The metal die cast models are wonderful and they have a reasonable amount of RC stuff, considering, plus a display rack where I saw some nice Tamiya RC buggies (see pic's). The Model Shop Southport never had any of these on display as I recall, only Tamiya RC kits stacked up. Can't remember what Liverpool Beatties had (they were in the exact same place as Liverpool ModelZone). There were of course no Tamiya promo videos being played in MZ, I'll ask them about that next time. I did ask them why they didn't bother to paint the driver dolls in the cars but they didn't have an answer for that one. It was good to see that the shop guys had assembled some of them pretty well though and painted (in certain cases) and decal'ed them properly. Looked great! Beats my LHS hands down!

Cheers,

Alistair G.

My nearest Modelzone is 5 minutes from my office Yes i agree they have some nice die cast stuff and some nice static models (line manager spent so much there his card almost melted) but the Leeds branch is staffed by muppets who spend most of their time stood around talking about what they did last night and tend to ignore the customers and i find the RC stuff overpriced compared to my LHS and other places Modelzone was great before it moved from one end of the Merrion Centre to the other, as the staff knew their stuff and offered up advice freely and didn't mind getting stuff out for you to look at. The current staff are dragging their knuckles on the ground :D Hmmm maybe i have enough coffee this morning :) :) :P

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My nearest Modelzone is 5 minutes from my office Yes i agree they have some nice die cast stuff and some nice static models (line manager spent so much there his card almost melted) but the Leeds branch is staffed by muppets who spend most of their time stood around talking about what they did last night and tend to ignore the customers and i find the RC stuff overpriced compared to my LHS and other places Modelzone was great before it moved from one end of the Merrion Centre to the other, as the staff knew their stuff and offered up advice freely and didn't mind getting stuff out for you to look at. The current staff are dragging their knuckles on the ground :D Hmmm maybe i have enough coffee this morning :):P:D

LOL. Funnily enough I did see some discounted prices (you can see them on the price tags in the photos) in ModelZone. Did Beatties ever offer any discount? I'd be interested to know?

Annoyingly, when you buy several items and ask for a discount, or ask them to pricematch, they said that head office won't let them (this was in the Liverpool branch, the last few times I went in). They however before this in the past gave me 10 percent off for buying several paints. Now no chance of that. Manchester's branch inside the Trafford Centre gave me a can of paint free with one kit and some other paints but would not accept a discount or pricematch. Yep MZ sucks when it comes to discounts :) . Even their own staff get no discount for working there!

What were Beatties like on prices of SRB spares / discounts ?

Cheers,

Alistair G.

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