|Address:||71 Hilliard St, Manchester, CT 06042, USA|
|Working:||Closed Closed 10AM–6PM 10AM–8PM 10AM–6PM 10AM–6PM 10AM–6PM|
I was thrilled to visit this store. My husband and I were going to purchase a gas powered helicopter. Those are not cheap in any sense of the word. First we went upstairs and oogled over the incredible train display that basically takes up the entire floor. After visiting the trains we headed down to the shop to buy his helicopter. I saw a young man on a green colored cellphone behind the counter. I walked over and waited for him to finish talking so I could ask him about the model. He looked at me and I looked at him dead in the eye and smiled which is a univsersal gesture of "I need your help and am waiting my turn" The young man turned away and headed to an area that had a register. I followed as I assumed thats where he wanted me to be. I had heard enough of his conversation to know he wasnt on the phone with a customer. I still waited patiently. When he looked at me again I smiled then he walked to the other side of the wall and stared at some models on the well so he didnt have to look at me. I was appalled. I love supporting local businesses and was surprised that they would treat their customers like that. All and all we stood there for approximately 10 minutes before realizing they didnt want our business. This place is very cool and has a decent selection of models to choose from but I dont recommend going there. We are now on the hunt for a good hobby shop. Im sure there is another one in the area that will want our business.
Great place and I dont want to hurt a local business, but they do have some problems. Ill start with the great and nice things. First off they have an amazing RC section a nice thing to see that there are still hobby shops not killed by the internet. Great selection and have parts for most common RC planes, multirotos, and cars. They have a huge inventory of stuff, and is great to look at. I havent been upstairs much, but I heard great things. I have to say they promote many hobbies. Now getting to the cons. Price is one thing I have to say, but cant really complain about, you are not going to find many stores around that match online pricing, they are a local business, that has to pay employees, rent, insurance, and taxes. Online store can just be run out of their house and avoid a lot of the cost. Other then that, I would like to say when I go there, for the times I have been, Ive only felt welcomed once, other times it felt dead, I felt ignored, and the staff in RC were not into it the seemed they didnt want to be bothered, exept for a time there was someone else there and they were very friendly. But other then all that they are a great local business and its great to have a local hobby shop I can rely on. I feel they should have some event to promote their store, just as RC events, etc.
I was most interested in their Board Game store across the street from this building and was amazed at what I found. The manager, Jonathan, was VERY friendly, helpful and courteous. We discussed a number of games at length and he was very knowledgeable about it as hes also a gamer. The store was fantastic for gaming. There was a separate room dedicated strictly for miniatures with home built wooden tables that can be configured in different dimensions with pre-made terrain blocks that fit inside them. There must have been at least 20 tables as the area was as big as most game stores in itself. There was another area dedicated for cards (Magic, etc), board games and RPGs. I didnt count them but there had to be about 50 folding tables arranged in rows with plenty of room to walk around them. Most impressive was a library of hundreds of games you can just leave a deposit on (get it back if you return the game INTACT) and play right there at the store. If you come in from out of town (Im from Ohio) you gotta visit this store if you are a game player. I didnt know what games my friends kids would like but when I did Jonathan got it for me in 2 days!
I went to find some specific locomotives, any box cabs. I didnt care if they were Lionel, HO scale, N Scale...If they were plastic or brass. I know that a few makers, such as Lionel, are making a few for under $100. The man in the model train section was busy so I browsed. As I rounded the Lionel section the man came from behind the counter and asked loudly, "Can I help you?" Taken aback a little I asked if he had any box cab locomotives. I said perferably HO, but N scale or Lionel. (Im looking for supplies for a future layout). He mubbles that probably not and goes back behind the counter and starts typing on the computer. I think hes looking at inventory so I walk up to the counter. After a minute he looks at me and tells me to try a website. Ignores me, and that was that. He seemed to act like I had just walk off the street into his personal layout. Not much customer service. I will be back for random parts for my set,and advice on repairs, but I would not rely on customer service. However, in the down stairs store I found a gift for anyone and everyone and a great selection of models for all levels and interests.
This place is amazing. They have a huge selection for literally any hobby youre into. You can get lost in this store for hours. Across the street is a great shop of youre into any TCG,RPGs, Table tops and minitures. I have but only two complaints the first one really is more of a question. I do not understand why out of all the kits the bandai kits especially the Gundam ones are the only ones that are without the plastic packaging. As a collection I refuse to pay the prices they are asking. Bandai is a very reliable and wellknown japanese toy company and they are not known to slip up on any of their products. With the plastic left on you can detect if its been tampered with or opened. Not the other way around. my only complaint really is the prices some items youll be paying $20, $30, and even one item I saw a little over $120. buying online is always the cheapest but even so some of the items that Ive seen even with shipping arent even that much. its a great store, its just the prices are a little too high.
Tons of inventory, fairly knowledgeable staff, cool older building. Downside is they are a little higher pricewise on some items than I would expect even from a local hobby store. Example: I had a 7.4v NiCad battery pack go flat in the field on my sons first hobby grade RC truggy. Popped over to the store which was about a 1/2 mile away to get a new one. I was fully expecting to pay more but thankful they are local and have parts. MSRP is $12.99, internet pricing is about $9.95. I was fine with MSRP - heck even a couple bucks over...but not the $29.95 they were asking. Ill pay more to support a local store but Im not stupid either. I mentioned MSRP and average price to the counter jockey thinking perhaps it was a goof. I got a "sorry, but thats the price" along with an aloof shrug in return. So I picked one up at the hobby store in Enfield next time I was up there - it was marked $9.95, no haggling. So just beware with some items as they may be marked WAY over what they should be.