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My favorite Hobby Shop growing up had a section in the back where you could actually work on your own stuff. The staff would help you. People would donate "stuff" you could use - as well as all the supplies you could buy of course.

They added slot-car racing in the early 70s and I built several of my own "Wire frame" racers. That was basically a wire chassis with just enough strength to hold the motor unit and axles. It was very fast and easy to repair when you wrecked it.

I won a lot of races in my age group with those cars. The winner would get a paper certificate and a credit at the store. I remember when my credit hit $40 and I bought a telescope... It took a lot of racing to get to that point, and countless hours building, fixing and racing those cars.

The older kids had much fancier cars with lots more money invested, and when I reached the older classes I could no longer compete.

It was a great place to spend half a day on a weekend.
 

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To some extent the hobby spirit is still alive and well. There are a good number of folks building fpv drones and exploring the tech that goes with it. Likewise there is a lot going on with 3D printing and fabrication as well as playing with programmable microcontrollers and the myriad of sensors and whatnot that go along with that stuff.

On the other side of that coin you’ve got vast armies of cellphone addicted droids who don’t know anything unless it’s spoon fed to them by CNN.
 

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Yes, I miss them. When I was a kid in the 60s, there was a store called Hobbyland, within easy bike riding distance. I built a lot of plastic model cars, and had a large amount of HO scale race track and cars. Later on I got into RC stuff. I think this store was one of the originals when the shopping center opened in 1954. I just checked online, and it looks like it is still there! Then there was a Radio Shack just a few doors down from the Hobbyland. That was great when they still actually had electronic components. I was also into the larger scale slot cars. There was another place with 3 big tracks. That was also within bike riding distance, so I went there a lot after school.

Thanks for bringing back the good childhood memories! Good times!

ETA: Hobbyland looked a LOT like the pictures the OP posted.
 

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I was alway hard to find a good hobby shop. Too many of them were smaller mom/pop stores that lacked variety of inventory. This is one way the interwebbing of the hobby is better.
 
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How about old fashioned bakeries? and butcher shops? No, I don't want to go back to landlines, newspaper/magazines, and tube TV's, but I do miss some of the things that we had back in the day...
I have a barber shop and a butcher I go to and they're only 2 doors apart. I'd rather support local businesses, especially those from my church.
 

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My local hobby shop in Houston was G & G Model Shop at 2522 Times Blvd in Rice Village. It was a place of wonder and want. They had it all. I took my family there several years ago to show them where I spent a lot of time and money during my youth.

I see now that it has moved to a new location after all of these years so I may try another visit when I’m back in town.
 

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Revell Car Models in Plastic
Balsawood Planes with gas engines
Airplane Glue
I liked the AMT car models better than Revell. Revell made some good ones, but Revell were 1/25th scale an AMT were 1/24rth and the Revell cars were slightly smaller. being larger didn't make the AMT cars better but you couldn't have a Revell car and an AMT car side by side with an AMT car or the difference would be obvious.
 

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Yeah, back in my day, there was a great local hobby shop.

The had full-scale firearms models. I remember being infatuated with the M16 and AR15 kits. This was back in the early eighties.

I bought a 1911 model kit there, as well as a 44 Automag and Coly Python, and a friend had a Luger model. They functioned and looked pretty close to the real thing. Even had cartridges you put together, then put in the magazine or cylinder.
 
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When I lived in Illinois, there were two hobby shops in a neighboring town.
Hartmeyers was a large hobby shop that had a little of everything including a huge train set in the front window that as far as I know was never shut off.

The other I cant remember the name but an old man named Clarence owned it. He catered to the RC crowd and was the goto guy in all such matters. He even custom mixed fuel on site.
I bought my first 1/10 scale RC car from him. It was a Bolink hard track car with a 911 body.
Clarence told me it would blow away any of the gassers in the area. Clarence was correct!
 

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Testor's, Revell, Estes, Monogram, Patra, Centuri, Lindburg, Marklin, Tyco, Aurora, Tamiya, Lionel, etc. were gods to me. HH
Besides the typical Estes rockets, and flight line/RC planes, I built five or six of the Monogram 1/8 scale model cars. I built countless AMT, Revell, Testors, and Momogram 1/24 - 1/25 scale cars and a lot of WWII plastic model planes. I still have Lionel O gauge trains and a few Tamiya RC cars. I don't have any kids, so they all sit in storage containers. I set up the train every few years around the Christmas tree.
 

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When I was a kid we were poor, I made most of my toys with a pocket knife, and some immigation. Made Sling Shots out of a Branch of a Tree & Old Inner Tube, Bow and Arrows, Match Guns out of a Spool & Rubber Band, or DYI Wooden Close Pin, and Rubber Bands. Strike anywhere match were my ammo. Rubber Bands, and were also fun just to shoot.

Think when I was 11 I tried the Paper Route thing to earn extra money, it was like having small business, the money was not good because you had to pay for your papers, carrier bag, rubber bands. People would skip out, more or just stiff the paper boy. The Newspaper always got their money at end of month you had to settle up with your boss, you got what was left over. Not much.

Never had money for the Hobby Shop thing until my teens, when I work as a Dish Washer, or Bus Boy. Most of my money was blow on Slot Car Racing love the sport, winning triphies, and trying to figure out how to have the fastest car.
 

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See a common theme here: within bike riding distance.

Yeah, you don’t hear that much anymore either.
Now that you mention it you’re right,kids don’t use bikes as much as kids in the 60’s-70’s did. My folks were of the mind that using the car was only for necessities and if i wanted to go somewhere i had a bike or i could walk. I certainly was in good shape back then.
 
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This may sound strange, but I miss the old hobby shop, specifically, Billy Arthur’s in University Mall. Here’s the weird part, I’ve built one, maybe two models in my life. Maybe it is nostalgia on my part.
 
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