When Bob Franck retired from a longtime career in public safety, he decided it was the perfect opportunity to build a new, different career. He invested in one of the most trusted names in the hobby industry: HobbyTown USA.
“It’s been very rewarding,” said Franck, who opened his Temecula business in 2006.
Franck was drawn to the fact that HobbyTown offers toys for all ages. His oldest customer, he said, is a World War II Bomber veteran.
“While we do cater to the entry level hobbyist, we are able to take care of the needs of the intermediate level, and to some degree, the advanced,” Franck said.
When walking inside the neatly displayed business, HobbyTown USA bursts at the seams with endless rows of must-have items.
Its categories of inventory include model trains, games, radio-controlled ground and air vehicles, plastic models, general hobby; and tools, paints and adhesives needed for projects.
Many of the games found at HobbyTown USA generally cannot be located at common big box stores. Nestled among the shelves are toys like Blasteroid Rocket, Space Theatre Planetarium, Alexander the Great and the American Civil War strategic game, House Divided.
One of its biggest sellers, Franck said, is its radio-controlled cars, trucks and boats.
“We support the major brands of radio-controlled ground products,” he said. “And we are the exclusive Temecula outlet for Team Losi products.” Their newest and latest rage is short course race trucks.
These days, radio controlled air has changed drastically from what it used to be years ago. Helicopters, for example, are constructed smaller, are less costly, but still packed with great flying features.
General hobbyists will have a field day at HobbyTown USA sifting through its vast selection of slot cars, science kits, entry level doll houses, flight toys, and air soft products.
Franck considers his business much more than a standard hobby shop. “We are responsive to the needs of our customers in a more flexible way than a corporate entity,” he said. “We can make decisions here at our store.”
The HobbyTown USA team also steps forward in guiding their clientele through their hobby successes, and in turn, how to fix their products. But if a repair is beyond what someone can handle, remote control technicians are on hand to fix helicopter, car and airplane breakdowns for a nominal labor fee.
“The people who work here are engaged in the hobbies that they represent,” Franck said. “They are flying their planes, driving their cars, or racing them at the track.”
Building the business has been an enjoyable experience for Franck, but he’s also taking pleasure seeing how it’s uniting families. Franck said he’s watched many fathers bring their preteen and teen sons into his store to work on a hobby.
“They are finding something that they can do together which bridges that communication gap,” he said.
For girls, the popular Bella Sara Horse Trading Cards are something that mothers and girls are collecting.
Every Sunday, HobbyTown USA in Temecula hosts a game workshop for Warhammer and Warhammer Fantasy. Franck describes it as the perfect opportunity for older children and young adults to energize their creativity while fine-tuning their communication skills at the game table.
“Warhammer is a multifaceted hobby because you build and paint the model design and scenery and then you play the game,” he said.
Franck’s business also hosts Dungeons and Dragons on Fridays, Pokémon on Thursdays, and a model club which meets the first Saturday of each month.
“We really appreciate the support we have received from the community and it has been a wonderful journey.”
HobbyTown USA is located at 27452 Jefferson Ave., Suite 7 in Temecula. For more information on the store and the hobby clubs it facilitates, call (951) 699-7492 or visit http://www.hobbytown.com.
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