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Subject: Sad Day for FLGS rss

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Dan Becker
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It is a sad day here in Austin. A friendly local game store, King's Hobby (http://www.kingshobby.com/) is in dire straits. The proprietors have declared that they are getting out of the business as of December 31st, 2008. Assuming no one purchases the store, that means they might be out of business soon.

Although games were a small part of the store, they were a big hub for both modelers and model train enthusiasts. On any given Saturday or lunch time, there were many customers. They had a great big inventory, allowing you to skim the Osprey books, look at tons of brushes before buying the best one, comparing different monthly magazines, or actually seeing the details on that train car. They had lots of displays, showing you some of the stuff you could do with models, scenery, and track. They had a knowlegable staff that could recommend paints, digital locomotive decoders, spray brushes, and glues. A fantastic shop for raw supplies such as wood stock, plastic stock, plaster, etc. They had many clinics, so you could learn how to use a spray brush or apply static grass flock. They started up in 1973.

I will miss the social scene and helpful people there.
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Bob Roberts

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My condolences. My FLGS closed down last week, so I know the feeling.
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CHAPEL
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Is it that the model train hobby is lessening? It is sad, kings was the first hobbyshop I went to when I came to Austin. They did have an Awesome Osprey collection. I admit, I pretty much only go to Dragons Lair and Great Hall games anymore.
 
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Dan Becker
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MWChapel wrote:
Is it that the model train hobby is lessening?


Good question. I read the monthly train magazines, and I also read some model magazines every month. The number of new products released every month is certainly much higher, perhaps by a factor of 10 to 50, than it was 30-40 years ago. There would not be new products if there were no demand. However, perhaps the popular entry Revell model of 1975 sold 100 times more than the popular entry model of 2008. I dunno.

It could be another case of the web devouring a brick and mortar store. Online train and model stores abound. It is sad to me. Online I've never seen good product lists (with good photos and descriptions), nor demos, nor the community that the brick and mortar stores can provide.
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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My condolences. The largest one in my town closed ~6 weeks ago, they'd been around for 15+ years (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2736932). Thankfully we still have a couple smaller and younger ones left.
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Geoff
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Major bummer. I have only been into King's Hobby once or twice, but I really liked the store. Once I was out of apartments and in a house, I was hoping to dedicate some space to a model train. As it is, I don't have the room right now. I guess I'll have to find another place once it comes time
 
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Dan Becker
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philomars wrote:
In 75, a model was around 3 bucks, now it's 30.


Today, there are many advanced models at $30 or more true. However, you can still find many entry tank models (1/35 scale) at $15 or (1/72 scale) at $7. Plenty of 1/350 ships under $20. Plenty of 1/72 aircraft at under $15.

I looked at the consumer price index for 1975 (53) versus 2007 (207), a change of about 400%. So it seems the approximate price for a $3 beginner model today is pretty close to that figure (accounting for inflation).

Competition? Lower popularity? Other thoughts?
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Davido
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sigh-I remember taking the freaking BUS from Anderson HS to Northcross Mall to Peyton Gin in the late 70's to check out the latest and greatest in D&D supplements and AH games. Always friendly, always willing to let you browse. Another loss to the "old Austin Gaming scene" cry

Also, nowadays it's tougher to get modeling supplies-e.g. paints, glues, etc. due to abuse concerns. Too bad, I remember my model building days as um, being very um, "happy" zombie
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David K.
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This is sad. I have been a Model Railroder here in Austin for almost 20 years. Although, I have not been active for about 8 years. King's hobby was one place that my brother and I would go to for D&D miniatures and models when we were in school (Murchison Jr. High and Anderson HS) in the late 70s and early 80s.

The online and mail order places were the place of choice for our model RR group to purchase because of the power of bulk purchasing. Sadly this is something that Bob King wouldn't do much of. (to the knowledge I had years ago at least)

I may go by there one day soon. I'll check out the inventory and kibitz with Bob and wife and wish them well.
 
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Philip Reed
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MWChapel wrote:
I admit, I pretty much only go to Dragons Lair and Great Hall games anymore.


I usually hit King's Hobby once every month or two, but Great Hall is my store of choice in Austin.

Too bad, because KH has some older products on the shelves and I usually grab something each time I'm in there. They just aren't a great store for games, though.
 
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Ryan Powers
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beckerdo wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Is it that the model train hobby is lessening?


Good question. I read the monthly train magazines, and I also read some model magazines every month. The number of new products released every month is certainly much higher, perhaps by a factor of 10 to 50, than it was 30-40 years ago. There would not be new products if there were no demand. However, perhaps the popular entry Revell model of 1975 sold 100 times more than the popular entry model of 2008. I dunno.

It could be another case of the web devouring a brick and mortar store. Online train and model stores abound. It is sad to me. Online I've never seen good product lists (with good photos and descriptions), nor demos, nor the community that the brick and mortar stores can provide.


Entry level models are no longer available in the Walmart/KMart/Target/etc stores around here. Assuming that's the case more places than here, I think that bodes very poorly for the long term future of the nicer ones. I know if I hadn't gotten hooked on them by buying the cheap ones as a kid, I'd never have started building the nicer ones now.
 
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Robert Wilson
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philomars wrote:
beckerdo wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Is it that the model train hobby is lessening?

However, perhaps the popular entry Revell model of 1975 sold 100 times more than the popular entry model of 2008. I dunno.



In 75, a model was around 3 bucks, now it's 30.


In 75 I made a quarter a week

I make that now in 20 seconds
 
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Eric
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dude163 wrote:
philomars wrote:
beckerdo wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Is it that the model train hobby is lessening?

However, perhaps the popular entry Revell model of 1975 sold 100 times more than the popular entry model of 2008. I dunno.



In 75, a model was around 3 bucks, now it's 30.


In 75 I made a quarter a week

I make that now in 20 seconds


I was about to say that you were exagerating, until I realized that in 75, I wasn't even making a quarter a week! cry
 
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Dan Becker
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Some good news today. I went to King's Hobby in Austin and found that they had been bought and have a new owner. So the old owners are out, and the hobby store continues. Congratulations to a store that carries a lot of great stock and really cares about the needs and desires of their customers. I for one am happy that they continue on!
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good news on a Monday! hooray!
 
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Scott Woodard
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Not that it will be the same with your venue, but there was a pretty terrible game shop out this way that was purchased by a new owner and completely revamped... Not only revamped, but entirely gutted, painted, rebuilt, etc.!!!

The old shop was disgusting --- Stained carpets, dust-covered games, no sense of organization and employees who couldn't give a crap about you, but now it is pristine, bright, enormous (with lots of open gaming space) and very professionally run! Night and day here.

In other words, while a lot of posts here have been focused on the disintegration of their local game shops, there have been a few examples of game store phoenixes rising from the ashes in recent years.
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J.L. Robert
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Ogma wrote:
Not that it will be the same with your venue, but there was a pretty terrible game shop out this way that was purchased by a new owner and completely revamped... Not only revamped, but entirely gutted, painted, rebuilt, etc.!!!

The old shop was disgusting --- Stained carpets, dust-covered games, no sense of organization and employees who couldn't give a crap about you, but now it is pristine, bright, enormous (with lots of open gaming space) and very professionally run! Night and day here.

In other words, while a lot of posts here have been focused on the disintegration of their local game shops, there have been a few examples of game store phoenixes rising from the ashes in recent years.


Scott, are you referring to Game Empire (nee The Game Zone)? Or has someone recently purchased The Last Grenadier?
 
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Anton Dovydaitis
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Sorry to hear your local game store is closing, although my impression was that there were at least three game stores in Austin. Silicon Valley has dropped from about a dozen game stores a few years ago to less than half that (depending how you draw the boundaries).

I fear this last awful Christmas will do in dozens of game stores.

Smeelbo
 
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Scott Woodard
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Scott, are you referring to Game Empire (nee The Game Zone)? Or has someone recently purchased The Last Grenadier?


I am indeed referring to the GE (formerly GZ)!
 
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