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Offbeat Places You Have Purchased Model Kits?


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Another topic about buying model kits at drug and hardware stores got me wondering-- where are some non-traditional (i.e. not hobby shops, swap meets, rummage sales, eBay, etc) or unusual places you have purchased model kits? One bottle of Pactra's "never gonna dry" silver paint awarded if you remember exactly what, where and when you bought it/them. ^_^

Edited by Casey
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On a road trip to Los Angles for an engineering company I worked for, in the early eighties, I was checking into a motel for the night. Having a young son I always made it a point to bring him back something from my trips away from home.

I noticed they had a small gift shop and stopped in to have a look. Much to my surprise, they had a few older model kits no longer available in hobby shops. I picked up a diecast Corvette kit figuring it would be durable for my sons young rough play.

For myself I bought the last two Monogram kits they had, long out of production. Felt like the trip was well worth it.

 _57_zpsyq1ykfxz.jpg

 

Edited by Greg Myers
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When I was a kid, I used to buy a lot of my kits at a local small town gas station called "Webb's".

It was kind of the pre-cursor to today's convenience store back in the late 70s.

I remember the store's curator, Ozzie, kept a pretty good selection of kits on hand.

 

Steve

 

 

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All these were bought 20 - 30 years ago.  Hardly any shops over here sell kits these days:

Monogram '70 Boss 429 from a Do It All DIY store.

ERTL COE & conv. Transtars and an MPC El Diablo from the back room of a bicycle shop.

Jo-Han Mustang Funny Car from the gift shop at a preserved steam railway.  I think it was the only car kit in a shop that understandably stocked a lot of model train stuff.

Revell '60 Corvette from Tandy (Radio Shack).

 

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Mopat Nationals I bought one of the most expensive ones Ive ever bought.

 

1st one I remember buying came from Sids Drugstore , a little mom + pop place in Elsmere Ky  a LOOOOOONG time ago.

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here in Canada we have a chain of book store's named ' COLES'.....they still exist today, but way back in the 60s up thru the early 80s they were big player's in hobby kit's, paint, glue, you name it. we lived across from a small plaza in the 60s and up to 1974, and lot's of my car model's were bought there,,, all the time actually. also, summer vacation of '69 we stopped at a small hardware store in a little village a couple hundred mile's from home camping, and in the window was the new AMT 69 Camaro pace car kit and the 69 AMX annual....I talked my dad into the AMX, and some copper spray paint, then proceeded to bang it together on a picnic table later that day...lol....:lol:..the Ace..

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In 1975, my mom wanted to check out a new "discount store" in a nearby village.  It wasn't a typical store, it was more like a steel building with only a couple of windows.  Anything not sitting directly on the floor was placed on those adjustable metal shelves like you'd have in a garage or basement.  Mom was underwhelmed to say the least.  I don't remember too much about what they were selling, but it was mostly hardware and household items.  The stock was probably bought from some other store that had closed.  There was one "toy" shelf, and I noticed one kit there, and it was opened.  Checked it out, missing decals but otherwise all there.  The box was a mess.  I paid a buck and a half for it. 

MPC '71 Dodge Demon.  I knew it existed, but I'd never seen one before.  It was probably ten years before I saw another one, and I haven't seen too many of them since then.

The following winter, the roof of the store collapsed under the weight of a snowstorm and it wasn't rebuilt.  I don't think they were doing well enough to bother to reopen elsewhere.

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When I was a kid, EVERYWHERE sold model kits--drugstores, grocery stores, hardware stores, five-and-dimes (the great-granddaddies of today's big box stores), and of course the early discount chains. There were two competing five-and-dimes across the street from each other on the main drag here in Dickburg and each of them had more kits on the shelf (and more DIFFERENT kits) than any modern Hobby Lobby today.

Not all that long ago, I bought a bunch of slightly played-with old promos for $20 each at a flea market. The haul included a '66 T-Bird hardtop, '65 Mustang coupe, '65 Bonneville, '67 T-Bird, and '67 Riviera. Oh, and the star of the show, '66 Barracuda. $120 was a lot of money for me at the time, but that is a LOT of great vintage plastic.

Some time after that, a mint unbuilt AMT '65 Corvette coupe, new in box, showed up at another local flea market with a $95 price tag on it. I watched it for weeks, and then one day the place had a "30% Off Everything!" sale and I almost sprained my wrist grabbing for my wallet. I still have it, still in the box, unbuilt. Since I've picked up a couple restorable glue bombs since then, I doubt I will ever build it.

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Growing up in Sydney, Nova Scotia, my Dad used to pick up a few models for me from the CO-OP grocery store. They only carried car models and had a very limited selection. 

He told me years later that as he was an avid airplane model builder when he was a kid, and that he sat on the Board of Directors for the store, he made sure they brought in models when I developed an interest in them. I think I got my first kit when I was 6 or 7, a white with blue stripes Trans Am, sometime around 1970-1972ish.

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Growing up, the IDA drug stores always had a "toy" section in them, and I used to get a few kits there whenever I could scrounge up the funds or nag my parents into buying something for me. The only specific kit I remember was the old Subaru Brat kit, I think AMT or Monogram.

More recently, a few years ago, I happened to see models art Wal Mart. It's the only time I've ever seen them there. They had a bunch of the Polar Lights NASCAR kits on for $5 CDN each. So I grabbed three of them. Not particularly interested in old school NASCAR, but I can't can't say no do a deal.

I buy a lot at local antique malls too. Lots of deals to be had there.

 

 

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Yard sales, 1:1 car swap meets, craigslist, facebook, from friends, a second hand model parts shop (yes, one existed for a little while near me, it was freaking fantastic) and of course hobby shops and ebay. 

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My two best hauls were the old hardware store around  1979 that was frozen in time about 1967. Took me 3 trips to get it all. 

Most unusual was I was out checking in at some race shops in Harrisburg Concord NC area. Drove by a wholesale pharmaceutical company that said it had toys on close out. Had 3 kids at home so I stop. Found little.....but did find a Monogram Bill Elliott Melling Thunderbird kit for $2. Took it to the register and the guy behind the counter asked if I wanted more of the Elliott kits. I said yes....he said how many.....he said I have 300 on hand.......give me $1 each if you take all of them. I DID......a year later the NASCAR boom hit and I sold them for more than a $1 for sure.    

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In the late Seventies, my older brother bought a bunch of stuff from an auto parts store.  They'd relocated up the street from another location (lost the lease), and the new place was bigger so they could put more merchandise out.  He found/bought/resold a bunch of early Sixties kits (they had stuff from the latter half of the Sixties), a couple of Erector sets, tin toys, all new in the boxes.  In 1977 I had just started driving and had graduated high school, and heard the guy was closing up shop at the end of the month.  He didn't have any kits left, but I bought several Revell parts packs at retail price, and got the store display along with them.  I asked him what he'd take for the display, his reply was "buy the stuff that's in it, and I won't need the display any more!".  I took that home and stuck it in the basement.

In 1989 when I bought my own home, I took everything out of the display to box it up separately for the move.  The display still felt heavy considering it was empty.  I looked at the back, and there was a flap that opened to the underside of the display.  There were twelve parts packs in there that he and I overlooked.  Probably a good thing, as I had just about enough money to pay for the thing when I bought it in the first place.  I've still got the display, I've only seen one or two others since then.

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Bought an F-5E fighter from a grocery/drug store in Taipei Taiwan while visiting my brother, who was a Northrup-Grumman rep. Box markings & instructions were all in Chinese, but looked very much like the Monogram 1/48 F-5. The cover art had Taiwan ROC AF aggressor squadron markings and my brother's work associate, Col. Chu, was the squadron leader. I asked the man if that was his plane on the cover. He said it wasn't his but he had on occasion flown that plane with that tail number. I was thrilled and asked him to please sign the instruction sheet in English and Chinese. With a touch of modesty, he did so and we visited.

A couple days later, my brother hosted a house party for a handful of Taiwanese military leaders and associates. Col. Chu was there and he pulled me aside and presented me with a squadron key ring with a 2-inch cast metal, etched and brushed fob of the squadron logo in a case. He said it was for "honoring" him by asking for his autograph on the instructions.

TaiwanF5E_zps8wnf0cbu.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer
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Western Publishing (Little Golden Books) in Racine, Wisconsin, used to have sales that were open to teachers. My dad was an elementary-school teacher and he went to at least a couple of these sales and brought home loads of cheap Monogram kits...this was probably in the early 1980s. Pretty sure the kits he bought included the Chevy LUV camper, the yellow version of the Jeep CJ-7, the black '66 Chevelle flip nose, and a couple of the made-in-Japan 1/15-scale motorcycle kits.

Later (probably in the early 1990s), there was a strange outlet-type store in Racine just west of the Zoo that was set up in what had probably originally been a supermarket. Think we originally discovered it when we went to see our eye doctor who had his office across the street. It was called the Boat House (no idea why), and I remember someone at the store told my dad it was somehow related to Western Publishing. I remember everything was displayed on overturned heavy cardboard boxes that had been set up like big tables with aisles in between. They had some kits that were probably closeouts they had picked up someplace. Remember them having Monogram Luminator monsters, and some AMT/Ertl kits including a gigantic pile of the March 86C Cummins Indy car and quite a few of the reissued American LaFrance Aero Chief. Prices were really low, think the Indy cars were $1.99 or $2.99 (probably still have one someplace) and the fire trucks were $4.99 or $5.99. Still have a couple Polistil 1/24-scale Renault Fuego die-casts I bought there too.  

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When I was growing up in Milwaukee on the south side, there was a little drug store on the corner of S.31st and W.Greenfield ave. It was called Louie's and it had a soda fountain where you could get malts, Stewart sammiches and popcorn made in one of those machines that shook the little pan the popcorn came in similar to Jiffy Pop. Anyways, he had general merchandise as well as medicines. There was always a couple of model kits. I bought my MPC 65 Monaco and the 66 Polara there. Over on Muskego Avenue there was a small hardware store that also carried models. I bought the AMT 69 Wildcat  (or LeSabre...I not sure) and a JoHan Mercedes Benz kit. He had a small selection of Pactra, Testor's and AMT paints in bottle and spray too.

 

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