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Get your game on at Hobby Town USA

Katherine Scoggins • Oct 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Ok, I’ll admit it. Walking into a bright 6,000-square-foot area filled with the sound of drills, lots of extension cords, shelving and numerous boxes of merchandise was pretty intimidating. And yes, there were shelves upon shelves already filled with tiny army men, helicopters, trains and cars that pretty much had me baffled. But, by the time I left, I had made a note to myself to return to Hobby Town USA after the Oct. 4 re-opening to order five Christmas presents.

What a gold mine!

Owners Mary and Robert Barrett brought this hobbyist’s paradise to Johnson City back in 2006. They quickly outgrew their previous location on North Roan Street and were in the process of moving into a huge new space in the former location of Ride Revolution (on the Motor Mile) when I visited.

I had planned to ask Bob what types of things the store carried until I spent a few minutes wandering around. Well, whatdon’tthey have? Pinewood Derby supplies? Check. Everything for the remote control car, plane, helicopter or rocket enthusiast? Check. Paints and tools for model airplanes, cars and trains? Double check. For serious remote control aficionados, Hobby Town carries many popular brands, such as Traxxas®, E-Flight®, Parkzone®, Hobbyzone®, HPI Racing® and Axial Rock Crawlers®.

And then there was my favorite area: educational projects and activities. Shelves upon shelves filled with kites, doll house kits, microscopes, telescopes, games, metal detectors, potato clocks, origami kits, and puzzles of all types. There were also displays of colorful and cuddly stuffed animals and Sesame Street® characters for the youngest customer.

If your Christmas list includes children or adults who are young-at-heart , there’s a good chance that Hobby Town could be a one-stop shopping trip!

Not only will they sell you the supplies and materials for lots of cool things, they will give you a chance to show them off, too! The store participates in national competitions and classes several times a year, but also sponsors their own activities including on-road racing, slot cars and "Warhammer" gaming. Contests and class information can be found on their website and their FaceBook page.

Hobby Town USA is now located at 3515 Bristol Highway, in the former location of Ride Revolution. The telephone number is 423-610-1010 and the website address is www.hobbytown.com. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.

Want to be a neighbor of this fun and exciting store? SJ Strategic Investments is now leasing space in the newly-renovated Shops on the Motor Mile, conveniently located on the Bristol Highway across from Smith Brothers Harley Davidson. Features include: building security system, 750- to 5,000-square-foot spaces available (prices for retail space begins at $8/sq. ft.), a fenced in back lot, generous parking space, and two garage suites available for individual lease. For more information, contact Susan Gregory or DJ Roberts at 423-989-7202, 423-335-4986 (Roberts) or email droberts@sjinvestments.net.

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