This may be my first post in a very long time but in the last several months, I've gotten more into video games and appliances. I just want to break the news that a flagship hobby store in my hometown in New Jersey, Hobbymasters is going out of business after 45 years. Arlene Placer, the owner is retiring after 45 years on the job and no one has looked to acquire it. Everything will be marked down from now until its closure by the end of March. I have long memories of this store as I have always gotten everything there, once had an intern there, and have known the people there very well. My friend Colin Daly also had a job there not long ago. With them closing, the store has downsized to one floor last year and inventory has gotten worse over the years. Now is the chance to visit before it closes for good. 

Last edited by mpeck161
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Thank you for the heads up. I liked that store but being an hour away I didn’t go there very often. I once spent over $500 for a slot car set there. I am sorry to hear about yet another hobby shop closing. I would like to stop by one last time before they close. 

Hobbymasters was my go to hobby store during my early modeling years starting around 13.  I purchased several Athearn blue box kits, paints, brushes. and decals there.  I still have the those early disaster repaints to this day.  Good memories.  Shame to see another LHS close.

I've been there!  Found it while I was working at the base in Earle.  I want to say they had 3 floors but it may have only been 2, it was quite a few years back.

Online ordering is too easy.

Wow!!! Never even caught a train from the Earle Naval base line before even though I crossed the tracks there a thousand times. Yeah Hobbymasters had only 2 floors during its heyday but after some serious financial trouble, downsized to one floor and took over the former Toymasters space after it closed. A lot has changed in over a few years with that place.

If you go now, you might be disappointed.    The upstairs is gone.  All of the trains are in the small room to the left when you walk in.  It already looked picked over when I was there after Christmas.

Sad when another brick and mortar bites the dust.  In order to be successful in today's hobby shop economy you must have an online business to help augment your local store sales.

Ron

Last year I helped Lou build a good size O gauge layout that we delivered to a gentleman in Brooklyn. He did a few more layouts in HO after that. Lou, who was their manager, left about a month ago.

They did have a good online business as I seen what they shipped out from working there. Ot came down to the fact that Arlene wanted to retire and I guess she could not get a buyer. The mural on the front of the building is beautiful.

Ron045 posted:

If you go now, you might be disappointed.    The upstairs is gone.  All of the trains are in the small room to the left when you walk in.  It already looked picked over when I was there after Christmas.

Sad when another brick and mortar bites the dust.  In order to be successful in today's hobby shop economy you must have an online business to help augment your local store sales.

Ron

I mentioned about the shrinking of the store to one floor in my initial post. There was an online store to help raise money. Obviously it didn't work out in later years due to high pricing and a small selection which is the reason why they decided to close up shop. 

It’s with great pleasure that we announce the TrainDoctor has acquired the entire model train service department of HobbyMaster’s, a Red Bank NJ institution, and the East Coast’s largest hobby shop. The service center consists of a repair and upgrade center as well as a custom paint shop. HobbyMaster’s is an icon in the Shore area and we are filled with sadness for their closing. The TrainDoctor will continue to support HobbyMaster’s model train customers and we look forward to seeing you. Please stop by, the coffee is always fresh and free. Further info can be found on our website, www.thetraindoctor.com

 Rem

I forgot to mention from my previous post that Steve The Train and model manager from HobbyMasters has been working at The TrainDoctor for the last 15 months or so.

CNJMan posted:

It’s with great pleasure that we announce the TrainDoctor has acquired the entire model train service department of HobbyMaster’s, a Red Bank NJ institution, and the East Coast’s largest hobby shop. The service center consists of a repair and upgrade center as well as a custom paint shop. HobbyMaster’s is an icon in the Shore area and we are filled with sadness for their closing. The TrainDoctor will continue to support HobbyMaster’s model train customers and we look forward to seeing you. Please stop by, the coffee is always fresh and free. Further info can be found on our website, www.thetraindoctor.com

 Rem

There is also John's Train Stop in Hazlet. John is a former employee and train repair guy at The Hobby Shop in Aberdeen in which he now has his own spin off at his own house. His house not only features a repair center of his but when you walk in, he has gigantic layout and collection with lots of accessories, a giant roundhouse and a catenary system. He is also mainly an MTH authorized repair center and has most of his items from them as well. 

https://johnstrainstop.com/

 

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Ted Bertiger posted:

Last year I helped Lou build a good size O gauge layout that we delivered to a gentleman in Brooklyn. He did a few more layouts in HO after that. Lou, who was their manager, left about a month ago.

They did have a good online business as I seen what they shipped out from working there. Ot came down to the fact that Arlene wanted to retire and I guess she could not get a buyer. The mural on the front of the building is beautiful.

Lou is now working at Hobby Town in Toms River as a manager. I know it because in the last 2 summers I've worked with his wife Jenn at the Monmouth County Park system.

Last edited by mpeck161

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