The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Imaginative Sign for an Amazing Hobby Shop

This truly imaginative sign has always caught my attention on my way home from work. Yesterday, I stopped, took these pictures as the sun was lowering, and went into the shop. While it was the sign that first spoke to me and drew me in, the shop is truly amazing. Downstairs is a hobby shop like the one I haunted in the 1970s, full of models to build, paints to bring them to life with, accessories to make the experience complete, and the apparently mandatory case full of models assembled and painted by some adult pro who manages to make them look like real life miniatures (I have since met a couple of these magicians and helped them complete a couple books on their art). That case also had those remote control tanks that were a source of endless fascination but were also always way out of reach.

Both the lower and upper floors are maze-like and stuffed to the gills with toys, hobby items, fan collectibles you'd expect to see in Stewart's comic book shop in Big Bang Theory and more. It is an experience walking through the aisles. I'm sure it would be sensory overload for a young kid looking for a toy. Overhead on that lower level were all sort of well built radio control airplanes ... as one would expect if one has any experience with such shops. Off to one side, stumbled upon by accident was a LARGE car racing track. I'm sure they have some interesting events there.

The upper floor was a different world entirely. This was the world dedicated to miniature railroads ... and the purpose of the sign outside. From N gauge to garden railroads, they have it all, with several displays of trains that run. This was the rest of what I would find in that hobby shop of yore. The trains themselves were the stars. The most beautiful were lining the wall and center displays. All the track, switches, rolling stock, structures, and every bit of equipment needed to create a detailed miniature world for your fantasy railroad is there for the asking. There is one other aspect of the hobby that hasn't changed too much. This is a hobby one must be serious about. It is an investment. The prices are not exactly cheap for this niche market. The individuals I saw in that upper floor sanctuary for railroad hobbyists was filled with a clientele comprised entirely of well dressed men. That was a little different from the clientele of the shop of my childhood as I remember it. Then again, I never saw the place when office hours were over.

If you find a shop with such an intricate sign that calls to you, take the time to stop. Behind that amazing sign was a real treasure.

The sign in situ with a more ordinary model
Signs with imaginative shapes always attract my attention these days, as they are increasingly rare. If you feel the same, for another example, see:

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