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nspreitler

Freetime Hobbies

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I just ordered from Freetime Hobbies, I've never even heard of them until yesterday but their prices are really good and they have an impressive assortment of stuff. I ordered an AMK Magister, Special Hobby D XXI and Trumpeter MiG-23BN all for $92 with free shipping.   The MSRP is about $200 and the Spruebrothers price is about $150, so it was a good bargain.   I'm a big fan of Spruebrothers and normally shop there, but couldn't pass this up.  

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I preordered my HK B-17F from them.  Good price, free shipping, and solid communication.  I now regularly check them along with Sprue Brothers when I need or want something.

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Free time is way better than Sprue brothers price wise and the same in regards to shipping time. Sprue has this weird cult following on their shipping which is total BS, dude just prints a label and people freak out, I haven't bought from them in years, there are much better deals on EBay and other vendors. That said Squadron has had the only real deals this year IMHO.

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FreeTime is in my home town, i deal with them all the time, in fact was there today. Really great people, good prices and excellent service. I highly recommend them.

Chuck

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They're good and reliable, which is why they're on my short list, with two orders in the past week.

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I am surprised I've never heard of them, I do a lot of buying on Ebay, but I tend to go with Spruebrothers because the price is decent and I generally order paint I can't find easily elsewhere.  Freetime also has a nice selection of paint and weathering products.   If the order is here in a reasonable amount of time (a couple weeks) I'm sure I'll order from them again.  

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I took a road trip up to Freetime with a couple of modelling buddies in October.  Absolutely one of the best brick and mortar hobby stores I've ever been to.  Huge selection of items.  Great staff, and have mail ordered from them as well without any problems.  I'll definitely be using them more in the future.

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The store is absolutely incredible and worth the hour and a half drive from Marietta. Blue Ridge (and pretty much all of north Georgia) is beautiful as well and always nice to visit. After my second retirement from Trader Joe's, the wife and I have considered moving up there!

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I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Not too many hobby shops left in the US like this one. If you are a plastic ship modeler, there is no better place in the world. I say that without exaggeration. 

 

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looks like every hobbyshop in Japan! Its always nice to know there is at least on in the states that still has a storefront with cool employees. 

Edited by Brian 1

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That looks amazing!  Not to derail this, but I always thought that is what Squadron should be.  I'll be visiting next time I'm in the area.

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2 hours ago, falcon20driver said:

That looks amazing!  Not to derail this, but I always thought that is what Squadron should be.  I'll be visiting next time I'm in the area.

 

Squadron tried years ago with their Squadron Shops back in the Jerry Campbell era. The only problem was being a distributor as well, they were required by law to provide new product to their down line Hobby shop dealers before they could could put the same product in their shops. It was a conflict of interest as they couldn't be a distributor and be the first available to the consumer as well. I forget how many shops they had total but they all eventually died on the grapevine. 

 

Similarly for the Squadron warehouse, while for years consumers could go and shop during Scalefest and Eagle Quest (now Eagle Quest only) they can't have a store front as well. Nor could they have a will call window to pick product up rather than ship it. I used to live within a few miles of Squadron but had to pay shipping just like everyone else. To have either was a direct conflict of interest with local hobby shops. It could also be, given Squadron's location, they not "zoned" for regular retail. 

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4 hours ago, Brian 1 said:

looks like every hobbyshop in Japan! Its always nice to know there is at least on in the states that still has a storefront with cool employees. 

 

Yeah, when you can find them. When I went to Japan in 2002 as part of a corporate flight crew no one had a clue what I was talking about. I even had a model kit with me to show as an example and they had not idea what I was talking about. Now there is plenty of information on various forums, I also have a friend who flies to Japan regularly who knows where all the shops are. If only I had that information back then, I'd have spent a wade while I was there. 

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I go several times a year and even though, over the years I've watched the number of them subside, they are still everywhere! I was there two weeks ago and picked up some good deals.

Edited by Brian 1

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Wow that looks like a great shop. The local modellers sure are lucky to have a place like that. I am seriously jealous.

 

When I lived back east in Ontario there was a shop that the guys met at every Saturday morning and shot the sh*t drank coffee and bought stuff. The we would go for lunch. Not sure if that still happens but I think not as that shop has downsized stock from what I hear.

 

The only think in my city now is a hobby shop which really specializes in RC and they are very knowledgeable in that field. The plastic is only 1-1/2 aisles and top be honest only the major brands. No Hasegawa, which is probably a good thing considering the prices. No resin and no decals.

 

 

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On 11/25/2016 at 4:56 PM, Brian 1 said:

Free time is way better than Sprue brothers price wise and the same in regards to shipping time. Sprue has this weird cult following on their shipping which is total BS, dude just prints a label and people freak out, I haven't bought from them in years, there are much better deals on EBay and other vendors. That said Squadron has had the only real deals this year IMHO.

 

You really don't have a clue about Sprue Brothers' operation. It's a whole lot more than the "dude just printing a label". They have a following because they've EARNED it. SB prices are set so they are below MSRP. What else do you want? The tone of your post would suggest you have something against SB. They have redefined the on-line hobby industry. Why is Freetime good? Because SB set the bar. I have watched SB grow from an eBay company out of his basement to owning his own warehouse and having world-wide sales. Am I a fan of SB? You bet, for all the reasons listed above. Does that mean Freetime is horrible? Nope. I bet they serve their customers very well. So why the snide comments against SB? In regards to Squadron, they are a shell of their former selves and will collapse in the near future unless they take some drastic measures. 

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On 11/28/2016 at 8:35 AM, 86Sabreboy1 said:

Nor could they have a will call window to pick product up rather than ship it. 

Is that just a Texas thing? You can pick stuff up at Sprue Brothers warehouse instead of having it shipped. 

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10 minutes ago, TankerTweaker said:

Is that just a Texas thing? You can pick stuff up at Sprue Brothers warehouse instead of having it shipped. 

 

I don't know if it's a "Texas" thing or not but I used to live about 15 minutes away from Squadron. I called to place and order and asked if I could be "will called" or picked up. I was told no, that is not available. Regardless of how close or far away they have to ship. At one point I spoke with someone who said they could get me in the warehouse (other than the open house) but I never took them up on it. While I appreciated the offer I didn't feel it right to take advantage and I eventually moved out of the state anyway. 

 

Given at one time there were a lot more hobbyshops in the Dallas area to include a Squadron shop it could be they decided then it was not necessary to have a Will Call option and never created one after the Squadron Shop closed as a courtesy to local existing hobby shop owners. As for Spruebrothers I don't think they have as many local hobby shops. As I understand it they tried to work with one local shop, maybe even offering free delivery to the shop and were turned down. I know a few more details than that but to talk more would be inappropriate.   

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On 11/30/2016 at 5:28 PM, Darren Roberts said:

 

You really don't have a clue about Sprue Brothers' operation. It's a whole lot more than the "dude just printing a label". They have a following because they've EARNED it. SB prices are set so they are below MSRP. What else do you want? The tone of your post would suggest you have something against SB. They have redefined the on-line hobby industry. Why is Freetime good? Because SB set the bar. I have watched SB grow from an eBay company out of his basement to owning his own warehouse and having world-wide sales. Am I a fan of SB? You bet, for all the reasons listed above. Does that mean Freetime is horrible? Nope. I bet they serve their customers very well. So why the snide comments against SB? In regards to Squadron, they are a shell of their former selves and will collapse in the near future unless they take some drastic measures. 

 

Amen brother. Spruebrothers and Freetime Hobbies are about as different to each other as apples and oranges, their business practices are much different from each other. To say one is better than the other is a waste of energy. They are both great business and should be appreciated and applauded for their respective efforts. As for Squadron,,well,,,,,,when is the other shoe going to drop??? If they can pull themselves out of the hole they created for themselves then that means another healthy company within the industry which we need. If they can't, it's one less piece on an ever shrinking map. 

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Is that just a Texas thing? You can pick stuff up at Sprue Brothers warehouse instead of having it shipped. 

Squadron now does have a "will call" option so if you are in the area you can drop by and save the shipping; however you can not go into the warehouse and shop.

 

Regards

Jim Barr

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I've known about them for some years but it's been a while since my last order due to financial things.  Hopefully this month I can order the grail kit I've been waiting for.  I just hope there's a couple left until then.

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31 minutes ago, Jim Barr said:

Squadron now does have a "will call" option so if you are in the area you can drop by and save the shipping; however you can not go into the warehouse and shop.

 

Regards

Jim Barr

Not surprising given their current situation. They need to generate revenue any way they can. 

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