Squadron is now Kaput ( who next ? )

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
341
Really sucks. My local Hobbytown USA is closing too, and they are the only shop in town except for Michaels and Hobby Lobby. VLS has been gone for awhile, that one took me by surprise.

I keep buying stuff from Sprue Brothers and Hobbylinc and all of my other favorite places in hopes that they will continue to stay in biz.

Back when I lived in Pittsburgh in the late 90's, I was always at this place called AB Charles & Son, went out of business around 2015... They were around for like 50 years and it was the premiere hobby shop in town.
 

urumomo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
2,844
Yep .
We have ONE hobby shop here . There was another but it closed a couple years ago .

But it's only a very small town named Houston , Texas :D :D

I stopped by a little shop way over on the far west side called Gundam Kingdom .
All they sell is Gundam kits and a very small selection of basic tools and glue/ paint .
Been there a few years and I hope they remain successful but it's strange that a store with such a niche market can make it ,, especially waaay over there on the far west side .
 

Belugawrx

Active Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
477
Here
There is only one actual train/kits/tools/paints/hobby shop within an hour from me, I try to get to once a month and spend waaay too much drinking monies..
The Olde Niagara Central Hobbies (my local) closed about 5 years ago..
Nothing beats the smell of old hobby shops
 

Jim62

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
229
I haven't used them since I got back in this hobby but I sure use to enjoy their mailer and ordering models back in the 70's and early 80's.
 

unclepine

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
19
We lost Gooche's hobbues, Spare Time Hobbies, Argus Hobbies(no loss, owner was a turd), Tiger Hobbies lost a wonderful chap, Ken Margusa over CHristmas to ALS...BUT...HobbySense started up 2 years ago, and has become the premiere HS here in Canada. FANTASTIC selection of kits, tools and OMG, his paint line is awesome. Best shop I know of that will ship almost same day...!!! I've seen the stack of parcels waiting at the front door for Postal pick up...his prices are fair and a super nice gentleman to work with. Chk out his site, he has a new points system that I have used and saved a lot of money...especially with my bad(good) spending habits...LOL...!
 

stevethefish

My name's actually not Steve
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
92
I stopped by a little shop way over on the far west side called Gundam Kingdom .
All they sell is Gundam kits and a very small selection of basic tools and glue/ paint .
Been there a few years and I hope they remain successful but it's strange that a store with such a niche market can make it ,, especially waaay over there on the far west side .
It's because Gundam stuff is popular. They helped me get back into the hobby when I was afraid of airbrushes. YouTube channels focusing on Gundams get the clicks for sure. You don't even have to be good at modeling, especially if you're a girl who likes to wear tight tank tops with her tits on display (not mentioning any names).

Here is one of the model shops in my small town. The facade hasn't changed since it started in the early '80s. The other hobby shop is just a block north on the same street.
 

Jim62

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
229
It's because Gundam stuff is popular. They helped me get back into the hobby when I was afraid of airbrushes. YouTube channels focusing on Gundams get the clicks for sure. You don't even have to be good at modeling, especially if you're a girl who likes to wear tight tank tops with her tits on display (not mentioning any names).

Here is one of the model shops in my small town. The facade hasn't changed since it started in the early '80s. The other hobby shop is just a block north on the same street.
In 30 or 40 years all the Gundam folks will be the old farts on the forums instead of us current old farts here building our planes, ships, cars, etc. Glad it's there to spur interest in the hobby.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,342
Nobody is next. Squadron's failure is purely due to Squadron's poor management and business decisions over the past 10 years, at least. They have been in a long, slow decline. There are plenty of other vendors, who offer a better range of products, with better service and better prices, generally, than Squadron has had in that time.
 

Peppylepugh

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
153
Let’s see if we can kick this one up again.
I’d have to agree with you here Baron. I thought
their full retail pricing was out-completely ragious. I’d bought a couple things that were on sale, but spotty purchases over the years at best.
Now for the boomer alert. I can remember them, well the original management, when they had, what seven stores nationwide? Was actually in the Michigan store.
When Jef took over, I asked if I could keep my
old customer # 7348, Mackey Sue was okay with it.
End of an era.
 
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
183
Yep .
We have ONE hobby shop here . There was another but it closed a couple years ago .

But it's only a very small town named Houston , Texas :D :D

I stopped by a little shop way over on the far west side called Gundam Kingdom .
All they sell is Gundam kits and a very small selection of basic tools and glue/ paint .
Been there a few years and I hope they remain successful but it's strange that a store with such a niche market can make it ,, especially waaay over there on the far west side .
I went there a few months ago. I thought the same but i watched people go in and out for 20 minutes while waiting for my wife in another store. I bought a couple kits from him, i would say fairly priced giving that its an actual brick store lol
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
341
All we had here was a Hobbytown USA and that went kaput last month. So now down to Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Our HL does have a decent selection of tools, paint, etc. Basic kit array...
 

Quaralane

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
11,076
This is why I do my best to support my LHS
They've been in business for 35+ years, through at least four different locations. Bur I've never been disappointed by them
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
341
In the case of our HobbyTown USA that finished out in Feb, they were having serious rent issues in the strip mall they were located in. Smack in between Lowes, Kohls and Michaels. High rent put them out of business. If I want a real hobby shop now, I have to drive south 1 hour to Fort Collins Colorado, but there they have a handful of them.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,342
The thing about the local hobby shop, which now has an almost mythical quality to it, is that it really was a product of a specific era, the post-war Baby Boom. It was generally a mom-and-pop type of business; a sole proprietorship, dependent on the resources of its owner, both financial and in terms of his labor. And they blossomed as the first Baby Boomers were kids, plastic model kits made modeling more accessible, and the hobby took off.

Some of the early hobby shop owners had started previously as mail-order vendors, selling materials and the kits of the day, still in wood. As they saw they could make more with a shop, they opened a shop. And newer ones opened, as people saw there was money to be made, often an outgrowth of a love of the hobby.

That kind of business had a definite shelf-life, because as the owners aged and got to a point at which they were ready to retire, or they passed, there was no one interested in taking over the business and continuing it. Not family, not friends. That's the biggest reason that the LHS died out, not the Internet, not the advent of other things for kids to do. Those had their impact, but by the time their effects started to be felt, the LHS was already on its way out.

Some LHS survived. Here in PA, we had three, now down to two, all within an hour of me here the Lehigh Valley.

One was Penn Valley Hobbies, which was the store I frequented when I was a kid. It was about eight miles away by bike. PVH adapted to the Internet, selling through a website and an eBay store, and gradually scaling down the hours at the bricks-and-mortar store. Eventually they eliminated their hours and just used the store-which was one home in a row of houses in a small town-as their warehouse, selling completely online. But when the founder and his wife passed, I think they shut down for good.

Then we have the oldest continuously operating hobby shop in PA, Tony's, in Coplay, a small borough just outside of Allentown. Again, it's a store in a row home. Tony opened it in 1948, I think it was, and today, his son, Gary runs it. But he also has an online presence. And if Gary hadn't been interested in picking up the business, that would have been the end of it.

The other store is called Trains & Lanes, an unusual place a little north of and between Bethlehem and Easton. As the name suggests, they sell model railroad supplies. Scale models are a part of their offering, but only after the model railroad products, and RC aircraft. They also have one of the few slot car tracks still operating, an indoor batting cage, and a go-kart track on the property. They've been gradually reducing their model kit inventory, but they're still a local source for paints and other supplies.

As the LHS were "maturing", there were also retail stores that emerged and competed with them. Again, looking at SE PA and over into Jersey, we had a chain called Allied Hobbies. They had stores in various malls in the area, and they competed directly with the local mom-and-pop shops. And we have the more recent chains like HobbyTown. These companies can benefit from their size, but they're susceptible to the broader trend in the market, to poor planning, both at the level of the franchisee and the parent company. We had a HobbyTown here in the Valley, which took the place in our market of an LHS that went out of business. That HobbyTown ran for over 20 years, and only went out of business when the original franchisee sold it to a new one, who promptly went out of business in less than a year. Not that the demand wasn't there-he wasn't a good businessman.

This brings us in time, to the era of the Internet. From our perspective, as modelers, and generally speaking, this is a new golden age, in terms of the variety of subjects in kit form, the supplies, and in their availability to the broadest number of modelers. There are so many online vendors, and so many kit manufacturers and suppliers, that we have a variety our dads never imagined, when they were busy in the backyard with their planes, and their tanks, or ships, or cars, from Monogram, Revel, Aurora, Lindberg, Renwal, Pyro, etc, reliving the things their dads talked about. And the Internet makes possible sharing information that a generation ago, was only available through magazines or newsletters, or at a local club. And of course, the personal contact is still there, and cannot really be replaced-the clubs, the shows, where we get together in person with our friends in the hobby.
 

Peppylepugh

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
153
@the Baron
I thought I had read somewhere you were out of the Lehigh Valley. We’ve probably bumped into each other if you’ve ever been to MosquitoCon.
Out of Tunkhannock. That’s a 90 mile, one way ride for me just to the Valley. We have a couple places in Scranton that are long imbedded, but they could be gone tomorrow. I think the only thing keeping Scranton Hobbies open is the traffic from the nearly bankrupt Steamtown mall. The rest are so over the top retail, it pushes you straight to the internet, evil bay, direct buy and sell on the forums.
I used to bring the truck and trailer over to tTrains and Lanes and spend the better part of a paycheck there. Really sorry to hear they are downsizing. If you looked real hard you find some odder stuff jammed in the back of the shelves. Great days there.
Main Hobby has long since closed and the brick building where Internet Hobbies is located has such odd hours, I haven’t been in there in years. Not worth my effort.
 

Peppylepugh

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
153
@stevethefish
Hey there Hoss.
Glad to see you back on the boards here.
Your old you tube bud, Dave Pugh, here.
I don’t know if yt even bothered to tell you of a name change to my old channel there. I switched it the Cellar Dweller a couple months back.
Had to take a break from it all a couple back,
so came back to one of my first loves here in the hobby. I’ll get back to those updates soon,
I can assure you I have truly missed them.
 

stevethefish

My name's actually not Steve
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
92
@Peppylepugh Hi Dave,
I didn't know you are on this forum. Yeah, I guess I haven't heard from you in a while. Glad to hear you like the updates, as often I don't feel like making them and lack motivation to do so. I know people get a kick out of me reading the messages from people who take it upon themselves to tell me what I should and should not do with my YouTube channel, and people who announce that they'll unsubscribe, as if that's supposed to hurt my feelings and they want me to beg them to stay.

So kind of going back to the conversation, I grew up in Glendale Arizona and I lived in North Phoenix from 2002-2012. Hobby Bench is a local chain that I assume still exists, although the store in Paradise Valley Mall closed some time ago. The Hobby Bench in north Phoenix is the one where my wife bought the AMT AT-AT kit in 2005 and she asked me to build it for her, thus ushering me back into the hobby. But that store became annoying because I couldn't ask many questions about plastic models. The employees there only cared about RC crap. I once asked them if I could mix Testors Model Master acrylics with Tamiya acrylics and the response was, "Well, they're both acrylics, so I don't see why not!" And that would be after I had to stand around for several minutes while the clerk gabbed away about RC with another customer. Nobody there had any passion for the scale model hobby because they only cared about RC crap.

That's when I discovered Andy's Hobby Headquarters in North Glendale. Just as he is on his YouTube channel, he is such a nice guy with a passion for the hobby in real life as well. His store was smaller but only focused on models, plus he was very knowledgeable. He got my business from then on. It's good that he's actually expanded his store, and I think his success can be attributed to his online store and his charming YT channel. I gave him my big stack of Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby magazines to share with his modeling group when I moved to Japan over 9 years ago. Great guy.
 

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