Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Deals and Disappointments

There is nothing better than a great deal when you're involved in a hobby.  I have twice been fortunate to have some spare money and the knowledge that a hobby store was going out of business.  I was able to make some buys that I normally would have been financially out of reach (No! Not the highly desired Pocher kit).  It was sad for the hobby shops (only one has since re-opened) but great for me.

The flipside of the coin is the bad deal.  Nothing makes a hobbyist cringe more than seeing a lower price for something that you wanted and either happily or reluctantly shelled out your hard earned cash for.  You might have thought you got a pretty good deal, but then, suddenly you know you didn't.  It can make you scream.

I am not talking about time sensitive things.  Certainly, if you wait some things inevitably come down in price.  If you are collecting a TV series,  (some people still do that) if you wait until the next year, you can certainly save a lot of money.  Of course, that isn't always true.  Some things in the hobby world go up in price, sometimes quite rapidly.  I knew a guy who waited to purchase his first edition copy of Watchmen--well, we all know what happened there don't we.

Having the patience to wait something out is not easy.  Desire and spending money are by nature on a collision course.  If you see it, and you want it, no appeal to your economic well being could persuade you to wait.  If that were true model builders wouldn't have more kits than they can build in the next two lifetimes.  Car collectors wouldn't have multiple sets of multiple companies of one season of cards.  Lego people wouldn't have enough blocks to build a full size replica of the CN Tower.  Toy soldier people wouldn't have enough to stage the civil war two times over.  When it gets right down to it. waiting makes sense, but it doesn't make the kind of sense the heart listens to.

In the old days, this kind of thing probably happened less.  Stores had a more limited selection and the number of stores a person could frequent was probably less.  There weren't the huge number of on-line retailers for the obsessive compulsive price checkers (guilty).

I should note that my argument falls apart a little because I saw a vintage issue of Model Railroader that had more than ten train shops in Toronto.  So, if you lived in a big city there were probably more stores to visit--I guess less time in front of the computer could mean more time at the hobby desk.

Back to price tag shock...... I feel for anyone who gets burned by this, but it happens to all of us.  We get some great deals, but we have to pay sometimes.  Everything balances out in the end.  Good luck, I hope you get a great deal.


  1. Oh, my dad is passionate about trains. I wish I could buy and give him some interesting miniatures. But it's kind of difficult to take them to Brazil; besides, my parents don't really have a lot of space for such a collection, and mom would be mad at us both.

    Well, some things will always be a dream. Do you know that doll's house store on Mount Pleasant? I go crazy every time I go there :) Well, it would be a hassle to clean, anyway...


  2. I have been to the dollhouse store many times--not shopping for myself of course. As for trains, Z scale doesn't really take up that much room. Also, you can see some great ideas in a book called "Model Trains in Small spaces"