Founded in 1964 and located in Brentwood, Tennessee, Hobby Lobby International closed its doors a couple years ago. Born in an era when many - if not most - products used by aircraft, boat, and car modelers were manufactured here in the United States, Hobby Lobby served the entire spectrum of modeling. Hobby Lobby did offer many hard-to-get foreign kits as well, though. It was the first mail-order hobby shops that I remember using. There were not any "real" hobby shops near my Mayo, Maryland, home as a kid, so unless I could whine enough to get my father to drive me the 20+ miles to the nearest hobby shop, the only alternative was to cut out the order form, fill it out, have my mother write a check (from money I earned on my paper route), stuff it all in an envelope, and put it in the mailbox. Three to four weeks later (after the check had cleared), the much-anticipated box would arrive in the mail. For me it was like with Ralphie Parker waiting for his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. Watching the slow demise of Hobby Lobby in the 2010s was a sorrowful thing.
In 2014 the New York Times ran an article entitled, "A Small Brand Tries to Escape the Confusing Shadow of a Big Brand," which talked about the identity crisis created by the existence of another unaffiliated Hobby Lobby Stores company that sells craft items. It followed up with, "How Hobby Lobby International Resolved Its Trademark Dispute." The Nashville Business Journal in 2013 ran a story entitled, "Hobby Lobby Stores Buys Brand Name from Nashville Company," that introduced Hobby Express as the company's new name. RC Groups forums ran a piece at the same time entitled, "Hobby Lobby International to Become Hobby Express." Finally, in 2015, this article appeared on the RC Groups website, "The End of an Era - Hobby Lobby Building Torn Down." Hobby Express, I just discovered, has fallen to the level of selling pot on their website.
See also my Hobby Lobby International Postcard Notice from 1972.
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Posted April 19, 2019