News:




  • December 17, 2018, 03:59:08 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?  (Read 8929 times)

Offline Bob Wiegand

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2016, 06:15:55 AM »
My dad wouldn't let us mail order from AHC, but your right; we used to drool over those catalogs.  What he would do was to take us to Rich's Hobbytowne in Parsippany New Jersey.  Now that was an amazing place for kids.  They had car racing circle tracks, control line circles (2 or 3 as I remember and O gauge trains running inside. Heck, I even remember boat ponds and I think there was a steam power train running on occasion   It was like going to the county fair, but without all the distractions.

We were allowed to buy one model kit OR accessories that we needed.  We would rush home, build them up and crash them. Then we would moan and groan till he took us there again.  I was a lucky kid. My dad was a civil air patrol scout.   This was probably late 1950's to early 60's.  Miss those days.


Offline George

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 1468
  • Love people, Use things.
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2016, 08:18:43 AM »
I only visited AHC twice...first was in early sixties when they were on 22nd. street...up that long flight of stairs. I was in the Navy at the time. The second time was when they moved to 31st. street. They were still moving and CL items were sparse. The salesman (owner?) was in a phone argument with someone, apparently over warranty stuff for an RC car. I left.

I bought some mail order stuff from them back in the late sixties. No problems.

George
George Bain
AMA 23454

Offline Randy Powell

  • 2016 supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 9956
  • TreeTop Flyer
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2016, 11:50:06 AM »
Got my first ST46 and ST60 there. Used to trade engines all the time and would send them to AHC for discounts on stuff. Very cool and I miss them.
Member in good standing of P.I.S.T
(Politically Incorrect Stunt Team)
AMA 67711

Randy Powell

Offline Andre Ming

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #53 on: November 18, 2016, 06:02:17 PM »
Mr. Bob said:

"I still have may 1947 Hodaka and 1974 Canam 250."

Now that's pretty cool. (Got a feeling that's a typo on the 1947 Hodaka, though. Bet you meant 1974?)

I wore all my vintage stuff plum out back the day and kept trading up until some 18 or so years ago I begin to have the desire to again own some vintage iron.
AMA 408

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2018, 03:57:42 PM »
I'd believe that the service AHC gave in the 50s and 60s when Bernie Winston ran the business was actually quite good. Yes, things came slow- there wasn't Priority Mail , Fed X or UPS. Just lowly Parcel Post, but the shipping was cheap by today's standards. And, I don't recall ever getting stiffed back them. They treated young customers quite well.

There was a definite change when Marshall Winston took over in the 70s.  No doubt, he was short on social graces. Like others, I was turned off by his curt behavior ;particularly at the WRAM Show . He had a hustler's approach.

Too bad he wasn't like his Dad who truly knew the hobby. I still have my little handbook " Glow Engine Guide". Bernie wrote that and others.

Anyway, the mag ads gave me something to dream about when I was a kid .

That is an accurate assessment.  Marshall was not Bernard.  He TRIED to be.  I had stuff Marshall wrote when he was a kid and teenager, trying to write model airplane books like his father did.
Now...Marshall was no saint.  Not was he totally evil, either.  But he was what he was...a lot of the bluster was just what passed for old school New York humor...
Example...I was there when two black guys walked into the store...Marshall stage whispers to the first guy:
"Don't look now, but a BLACK GUY just followed you in!"
Which was meant by him as humor.
But...I understand a lot of people did not get his sense of humor.
And sometimes he was just plain old RUDE.  Sometimes. 
He did not LIKE the hobby or hobbyists.  He grew up in that store and was there for fifty some odd years, he did not like going to work there.
He really liked raising race horses, that was his thing.
My understanding is that when he passed, his children did not attend his funeral.  Think about that for a bit.  He was NOT a generally happy person.
Hmmmm,  Just musing.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2018, 03:59:50 PM »
Mike. I had a long conversation with Curtis A few years back. AHC had a small show room for a hobby shop with the amount of inventory they had on had. ( Their customer service Sucked...) When Curtis bought them out. The inventory was astronomical to say the least and then some. There was a basement the size of the buildings foundation. Plus another 7 sub basements each about a 5th the size of the main basement... I could relate  about the size of basements being like that. My grandparents owned a grocery store back in the day. The model train inventory was around $2,000,000.00 alone. When they ordered product it was always by the case. Inventory control needless to say was nonexistent...  Curtis had to rent a airplane hanger to warehouse it all, about the size to house 4 single engine planes to relate to the
size of the inventory.
 He also bought out Elmer Roth's Hobby's warehouse inventory sometime in the late 90's. That was 2-18 wheelers loaded to the gills.

Only SLIGHTLY exaggerated.  The building had SIX floors and TWO subbasements.  Each full footprint.  The stuff there was staggering, going all the way back to 1922.  For real.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2018, 04:01:44 PM »
Pretty much anyone over the age of 50 remembers those full-page AHC ads in 'Model Airplane News' (back before it became an RC rag).

I could be mistaken, but I think AHC's stock was bought-out by one Curtis Mattikow (aka 'Easytiger') sometime in the '90s.  Anyone know something about that?

I know something about that!
Seeing your signature...I feel encouraged.  I dropped AMA also.  To know someone of your calibre did so proudly also makes me feel better.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2018, 04:07:47 PM »
Back when NVCL hosted its first or second Musciano Contest Curtis Mattikow attended.  In the back of his Explorer he had these huge Tupperware trays of .049 engine parts from engines I had never seen before.  Growing up we bought Cox 049s and we saw the OK Cub advertisements in the magazines.  But there must have been a lot of manufacturers churning out small engines...

Ah.  The AHC trade in program.  The deal was, trade in ANY engine and get an O&R 23 for $3.95.  They must have gotten a really good deal on the O&R engines, did not matter much what they sold them for.  They also had a deal where you sent in any trade in and got a discount on any new engine.  That discount still left a profit on the engine.  Remember that AHC would buy direct from the manufacturers in huge quantities, and most items were 100 percent markup, so you could offer 33 percent off and still do well.
So...what did they do with all the trade in engines?
NOTHING.  They threw them into giant cardboard boxes in the basement that ended up being too heavy to lift.  You can be sure that any Elf Sixes and Morton Radials were picked out, but I ended up getting thousands of engines, mostly 049s, and many I had never heard of or seen, really interesting stuff,  And many that were not so interesting.  Like...what do you do with 250 Wen Mac 049s?  Sell them in buckets of fifty.  For real.

Offline Scott Richlen

  • AMA Member
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1217
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2018, 06:32:08 PM »
Quote
but I ended up getting thousands of engines, mostly 049s, and many I had never heard of or seen, really interesting stuff,  And many that were not so interesting.

So, what happened to all those .049s?  After about 8 or 9 years of doing the Musciano event interest tapered off in our club.  We had a lot of club members always saying "yeah, let's do it again!" but then only about 4 of us building new stuff for the contest.  So, we dropped it.  And now,if we are lucky, we maybe have one .049 fun fly in the summer.  Seemed like years ago the world revolved around .049s.  Now, it's pffft!

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2018, 07:00:40 PM »
So, what happened to all those .049s?  After about 8 or 9 years of doing the Musciano event interest tapered off in our club.  We had a lot of club members always saying "yeah, let's do it again!" but then only about 4 of us building new stuff for the contest.  So, we dropped it.  And now,if we are lucky, we maybe have one .049 fun fly in the summer.  Seemed like years ago the world revolved around .049s.  Now, it's pffft!

The engines are scattered around the world....
The Musciano event...what you say happened is FINE,  Who wants to do the same thing year after year?  It ends up getting boring.  There is not THAT much depth to the hollow log models, they are mostly the same model with slightly different shapes.  After two or three years of attending I was all done.  Still fun, but how long do you want to do it?
Hey...just thought of something.,.I sent a really nice Scientific P82 with two green anodized Don Garry Special Babe Bees down there many years ago to be proxy flown.  Never got it back.  Any idea if it is still around?  I was proud of that one, don't remember if I ever flew it.

Offline Dave_Trible

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 4459
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #60 on: December 05, 2018, 07:10:47 PM »
I'd never seen this thread before.  I spent many hours going over their ads when we'd get a new model mag.  They put out a small catalog a few times and as a junior and high schooler I carried these along with my school books (and read through them far more).  I couldn't afford much in the catalog but I had to dream.......You couldn't pry the thing away from me!  We had quite a few good hobby shops around KC in those days but AHC had very many things the hobby shops never carried.  I think part of that was how most hobby shops bought from traveling jobbers then and if the jobbers didn't buy from Jetco or .....the local didn't have it.  This was before UPS or FEDEX.  A little later there was a hobby wholesale business here who sold to all the shops.  I worked in a hobby shop through high school and on a few occasions went there with the shop owner to pick up a load.  Again if they didn't carry certain things you couldn't really buy it-just want to.......unless you ordered from AHC and paid snail mail.

Dave
AMA 20934
FAA Certificate FA3ATY4T94

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2018, 07:34:59 PM »
I'd never seen this thread before.  I spent many hours going over their ads when we'd get a new model mag.  They put out a small catalog a few times and as a junior and high schooler I carried these along with my school books (and read through them far more).  I couldn't afford much in the catalog but I had to dream.......You couldn't pry the thing away from me!  We had quite a few good hobby shops around KC in those days but AHC had very many things the hobby shops never carried.  I think part of that was how most hobby shops bought from traveling jobbers then and if the jobbers didn't buy from Jetco or .....the local didn't have it.  This was before UPS or FEDEX.  A little later there was a hobby wholesale business here who sold to all the shops.  I worked in a hobby shop through high school and on a few occasions went there with the shop owner to pick up a load.  Again if they didn't carry certain things you couldn't really buy it-just want to.......unless you ordered from AHC and paid snail mail.

Dave
Those AHC catalogs were the book of dreams and STILL awesome if you find one.

Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2018, 08:06:07 PM »
I have kept three or four AHC catalogs from the mid 50s through the mid 60s. They make fine encyclopedias for looking up kits, motors, prices, etc, from the era.  For example, you can find all of the Eureka kits (B-36, B-29, etc), along with a postage stamp sized illustration of the model.  Currell

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #63 on: December 05, 2018, 08:16:36 PM »
I have kept three or four AHC catalogs from the mid 50s through the mid 60s. They make fine encyclopedias for looking up kits, motors, prices, etc, from the era.  For example, you can find all of the Eureka kits (B-36, B-29, etc), along with a postage stamp sized illustration of the model.  Currell
When I cleaned out AHC, I did not get any Eureka kits...but I got a TON of landing gear and canopy sets, they were a goldmine.  Many kits were sold without the gear.  That nice spring loaded stuff.
AHC had...EVERYTHING.
There were seperate dream books for trains, cars, plastics...not everybody knows that.  They probably did more with trains than planes.

Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #64 on: December 05, 2018, 08:27:56 PM »
Curtis: I think I still have your Scientific Hollow Log F-82 Twin Mustang and F-86 Sabre. The latter was in some sort of aluminum mylar covering. I scratch built another F-82, and it did well in the Musciano Speed event. Noseheavy with two Fox 049s, and it would sit in a nice groove. Currell

Offline George Albo

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • *
  • Posts: 361
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #65 on: December 05, 2018, 08:30:04 PM »
Pretty much anyone over the age of 50 remembers those full-page AHC ads in 'Model Airplane News' (back before it became an RC rag).

I could be mistaken, but I think AHC's stock was bought-out by one Curtis Mattikow (aka 'Easytiger') sometime in the '90s.  Anyone know something about that?
Yup, used to get their catalog. Great stuff. Loved their C/L plane and engine combo deals. I got a few things from them. Used, Money Orders . No credit card, no paypal,
All things come to those that wait. If you want it any faster, you'd better move!:)

Offline Juan Valentin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 446
  • USAF 1969-73 ANG 73-77
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #66 on: December 05, 2018, 08:36:56 PM »

                    In 1967 bought my first big engines (K&B Stallion.35) from AHC via U.S. Mail using an order cupon from a Model Airplane news. My uncle bought me one and I the other with money that I had saved.  I used one on a Flying fool and the other on a Veco mustang. When I joined the service I gave the engines to my cousin.  I don`t remember if in my collection of books and mags I might have a catalog saved but I used to love receiving them.Here is a pic of the Flying fool with the Stallion.35.
                                                                                                                                                                    Juan

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2018, 08:38:41 PM »
Curtis: I think I still have your Scientific Hollow Log F-82 Twin Mustang and F-86 Sabre. The latter was in some sort of aluminum mylar covering. I scratch built another F-82, and it did well in the Musciano Speed event. Noseheavy with two Fox 049s, and it would sit in a nice groove. Currell

I had forgotten the sabre!  Aluminum tape covered!  How about the launcher thing for my Enterprise Moonliner?  I got the plane back, but it needs that rack thingie for the full buck rodgers effect...

Offline Tom Walker

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • New Pilot
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2018, 08:45:46 PM »
I ordered a lot of stuff from AHC, as they were the supplier that had everything a teenager
wanted.  In the day deliveries took weeks and money orders were much cheaper than today. 
Ordering stopped when my selective service draft notice arrived in late 1965.  Here's a scan
of the 1966 catalog I kept at 160 pages

Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2018, 09:37:05 PM »
Curtis: I have to disagree a bit re the sameness of the Scientific Hollow Logs. There are about 85 models eligible for the Musciano Meets, and they do vary considerably. For example, the 23" span Bullet makes a pretty decent stunt plane, as does the 23" Mustang. Zambelli, A Musciano regular, will agree that the key here is to build lightly.  They do better than the standard 18" span Logs. I had some Musciano luck in Stunt, using these larger ships.  Also, the early 50s models had thicker airfoils than the later, pretty standard 1/8" that you would see. For Speed, our F-82s work well, with the two engines. The ME-109 is another fine choice for Speed, since it has such a small cross section. I had some luck with them, using Fox 049s.  And so forth...Oh yes, the Triplane, if done right, has a lot going for it in Scale competition.

For Team Race, I would agree with you, since the result is usually based on pit times.  You could use any number of model types and be successful.

The AHC catalog had some great Scientific ads, and also showed the models individually, with those tiny pics.

Currell Pattie

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2018, 05:20:01 AM »
Curtis: I have to disagree a bit re the sameness of the Scientific Hollow Logs. There are about 85 models eligible for the Musciano Meets, and they do vary considerably. For example, the 23" span Bullet makes a pretty decent stunt plane, as does the 23" Mustang. Zambelli, A Musciano regular, will agree that the key here is to build lightly.  They do better than the standard 18" span Logs. I had some Musciano luck in Stunt, using these larger ships.  Also, the early 50s models had thicker airfoils than the later, pretty standard 1/8" that you would see. For Speed, our F-82s work well, with the two engines. The ME-109 is another fine choice for Speed, since it has such a small cross section. I had some luck with them, using Fox 049s.  And so forth...Oh yes, the Triplane, if done right, has a lot going for it in Scale competition.

For Team Race, I would agree with you, since the result is usually based on pit times.  You could use any number of model types and be successful.

The AHC catalog had some great Scientific ads, and also showed the models individually, with those tiny pics.

Currell Pattie

Fair enough,,.musciano was very creative...but you notice that many people were like me, after a few years, been there, done that, and would not build and attend anymore...Musciano himself is also a very nice guy!
His creativity...he built MANY more models than the Scientific stuff...I remember he had a damn crazy RC TV Truck in one of his books...try to imagine that...
The AHC catalog was all done by hand...I had some of the stamp blocks used to do it, like the order block and such...make no mistake, it was guys with razors and paste putting those little scientific pictures onto a sheet by hand for printing...
So...what will it cost to get my twenty years missing models back?

Offline Avaiojet

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 6578
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2018, 05:28:36 AM »
Was AHC purchased by Polk's Hobby?
Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS

Avaiojet Derangement Syndrome. ADS

Please visit my updated Website! www.cfcgraphics.com

If you're Trolled, you know you're doing something right.

Alpha Mike Foxtrot.

Owner of CFC Graphics. "Model Airplane Graphics from a Model Airplane Builder."

"No one has ever made a difference by being like everyone else."

Marcus Cordeiro, The "Mark of Excellence," you will not be forgotten.

I look at the Forum as a place to contribute and make friends, some view it as a Realm where they could be King.

"Ya gotta love it when a plane comes together."

Proverb 11.9  "With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor..."

"Perhaps the greatest challenge in modeling is to build a competitive control line stunter that looks like a real airplane." David McCellan, 1980.

Offline Skip Chernoff

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 964
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #72 on: December 06, 2018, 05:43:15 AM »
Charles,Curtis bought them out.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #73 on: December 06, 2018, 05:46:11 AM »
Was AHC purchased by Polk's Hobby?
Polks folded long before AHC did.

Offline Avaiojet

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 6578
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #74 on: December 06, 2018, 05:47:59 AM »
Was AHC purchased by Polk's Hobby?

Yes, I now see that.
Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS

Avaiojet Derangement Syndrome. ADS

Please visit my updated Website! www.cfcgraphics.com

If you're Trolled, you know you're doing something right.

Alpha Mike Foxtrot.

Owner of CFC Graphics. "Model Airplane Graphics from a Model Airplane Builder."

"No one has ever made a difference by being like everyone else."

Marcus Cordeiro, The "Mark of Excellence," you will not be forgotten.

I look at the Forum as a place to contribute and make friends, some view it as a Realm where they could be King.

"Ya gotta love it when a plane comes together."

Proverb 11.9  "With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor..."

"Perhaps the greatest challenge in modeling is to build a competitive control line stunter that looks like a real airplane." David McCellan, 1980.

Offline Scott Richlen

  • AMA Member
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1217
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2018, 07:09:24 AM »
Quote
I sent a really nice Scientific P82 with two green anodized Don Garry Special Babe Bees down there many years ago to be proxy flown.  Never got it back.  Any idea if it is still around?  I was proud of that one, don't remember if I ever flew it.

I'm glad Currell has it.  When you posted that, I was thinking "Yikes!  I don't even recall the plane, much less who flew it for you!"

I don't recall seeing the Moonliner at our contest, but that wasn't a Musciano design was it?  I have a copy of the assembly instructions for one that came in the kit, but there never were a regular set of plans for it.  AHC probably offered it in combo with a Wen-Mac.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2018, 07:24:41 AM »
I'm glad Currell has it.  When you posted that, I was thinking "Yikes!  I don't even recall the plane, much less who flew it for you!"

I don't recall seeing the Moonliner at our contest, but that wasn't a Musciano design was it?  I have a copy of the assembly instructions for one that came in the kit, but there never were a regular set of plans for it.  AHC probably offered it in combo with a Wen-Mac.
I don;t know if my planes were actually flown or not...never heard anything.  The moonliner is not Musciano but I thought it was cool as sin and guys would want to see and fly it.  I did get the model itself back, but not the launcher thingie.  My moonliner kit came out of the Elmer Roth Hobby haul from Oregon. 

Offline EddyR

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2236
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #77 on: December 06, 2018, 07:30:26 AM »
 Kern's Hobbies in Binghamton NY was one of those old entire building hobbie shops. Kern had some business tie's to both Polk and AHC as he was on the phone with them several times  a week. Model trains came from them and coins went to them. Leo Kern was a expert on coins. I worked there as a part time job from 1954 -1965. We sold thousands of dollars a day in model trains in season. One time I went to both AHC ans Polk and was surprised how small there were compared to Kerns. He was one of the first to have AMA RC contest. I got every thing free when I worked there. We would build combat models on the counter tops during slow days. 
 Side Note      Kerns was next to the Susquehanna River and just around the corner was the hotel where several Dick Clark shows were filmed and my wife Rebecca can be seen in those old films. They were filmed outside in the parking lot next to the river. We also flew CL models there for local TV 12 and I have seen that film several times over the years.
 I was at  Kerns the day it closed and bought out a lot of his CL stock. I also worked for TRI City Photo and Hobby during this same time on the east side of Binghamton. The old Tri City building is still there on Robinson St
   Fun nostalgia trip back to the good old day  EddyR
Locust NC 40 miles from the Huntersville field

Offline George Albo

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • *
  • Posts: 361
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #78 on: December 06, 2018, 08:02:25 AM »
        Found it!

Just read it, great story!
All things come to those that wait. If you want it any faster, you'd better move!:)

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #79 on: December 06, 2018, 08:23:32 AM »
Kern's Hobbies in Binghamton NY was one of those old entire building hobbie shops. Kern had some business tie's to both Polk and AHC as he was on the phone with them several times  a week. Model trains came from them and coins went to them. Leo Kern was a expert on coins. I worked there as a part time job from 1954 -1965. We sold thousands of dollars a day in model trains in season. One time I went to both AHC ans Polk and was surprised how small there were compared to Kerns. He was one of the first to have AMA RC contest. I got every thing free when I worked there. We would build combat models on the counter tops during slow days. 
 Side Note      Kerns was next to the Susquehanna River and just around the corner was the hotel where several Dick Clark shows were filmed and my wife Rebecca can be seen in those old films. They were filmed outside in the parking lot next to the river. We also flew CL models there for local TV 12 and I have seen that film several times over the years.
 I was at  Kerns the day it closed and bought out a lot of his CL stock. I also worked for TRI City Photo and Hobby during this same time on the east side of Binghamton. The old Tri City building is still there on Robinson St
   Fun nostalgia trip back to the good old day  EddyR
You say you were surprised at how small AHC and polks were compared tp Kerns...but both AHC and polks were five floors or more...and both sitting on very very prime manhattan real estate.  So the showrooms would be smaller...but...that building AHC was on 22nd street sold for some 10-20 million dollars...which would probably buy most of downtown Binghamton!   
Never knew Kerns...thanks for the memories, the day of the hobbyshop is long over.

Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #80 on: December 06, 2018, 09:17:23 AM »
Hi Curtis: The F-82 is at Saint Simons Island, Ga, and the Sabre is in Shelby Township, Mi. I am in Keswick, Va right now, where my wife and I are building a house. We will be in Ga by the middle of the month, and I can ship the F-82 back to you. I don't recall if it has the Cox motors on it or not. It is in perfect shape. I recall having trouble getting them to run correctly. Let me see if I can find them.
I can have a friend ship the Sabre from Mi. It is also in good condition. I will cover the cost of shipping for both, but will need your address.

Currell


Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #81 on: December 06, 2018, 10:09:26 AM »
A bit more re the F-82 Hollow Log Scientific model. I had a medical issue in either '07 or '08 (afib). so my F-82 was proxy flown at the Kalamazoo Musciano Meet of that year. It won Speed at 66 mph. This may be a Musciano Meet record. The closest second place was 63 mph. Getting a single engine Scientific Hollow Log (they are all single, except the Twin Mustang) over 60 mph on a two port Cox Black Widow, Fox 049, a hot OK Cub, or any other eligible engine, is pretty good. The NVCL club used Proto rules, measuring 10 laps from a standing start, where Kalamazoo measured after two laps in the air, thereby giving you a higher mph figure. I would build all the Hollow Log models as light as possible (10 grams for an extremely hollowed out log fuselage, including the firewall), and under 10 grams for the wing (I was quite anal about this, weighing things constantly during the building process).  Through this process, you could reduce the weight vs a stock Scientific kit by 2/3rds or more. It transformed the flying ability, both for Speed and for Stunt. These models would accelerate like crazy under the standing start rules. You could have an engine run that was slightly off a competitor's, rpm wise, and still win, due to the advantage in getting off the ground faster.

Curtiss, my memories of your F-82 contest results are hazy now, but I believe your F-82 was first in Concours at NVCL one year. It did not fly, due to problems with the Cox engines. You did a more scale-like job on the F-82 than I. Mine was built purely for speed, so I did not have landing gear, radio antenna, etc. I think you had rockets or maybe a wing tankon your wing, too, but I will have to check on that.

Musciano Meets were fun. If you chose the right model, such as the Bullet, and built lightly, they would wingover, lazy eight, loop, fly inverted, and maybe some other daring-for-Hollow-Log maneuvers, with ease.  I did come in second in Stunt one year, and it was all about choosing the right airplane, not the pilot.

I went Musciano crazy for a few years. Built four racing ME-109, and I think I won once, and came in second, in a few meets. One year, a NVCL Twin Mustang blew me away, which prompted me to build one.

One year, when flying Team Race, I completed the two pit 70 lap Final for second place. Two laps later, the Cox Black Widow pulled completely off the blackplate! Talk about luck. Boy, those races were fun...

Scott, now that I am in Va, maybe I can rejoin NVCL. I owe a bunch of back dues!

Enough rambling for a while...Currell

Offline Ty Marcucci

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 899
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #82 on: December 06, 2018, 11:10:46 AM »
As a 12 to 14 year old out in the desert of northern Nevada,  AHC was about the only place to buy balsa, kits, engines etc. My first from them was the two for one kit by Scientific of the P51 and F86 and an OK Cub .049 B kit. Remember the little 4 x 4 paper with the punch outs.  Get enough of them and you got a subscription to to MAN.  If you had a back order or out of stock, you had to redeem the credit slip within30 days. Never did and they still owe me $2.89.  LL~ LL~ LL~I still have some of the balsa I got from them back in 1955. Like rock. H^^

Visited their "store" in 1967 when my tin can pulled into NYC,  Up those long stairs and met the most cranky guy ever. 4 Sailors were not happy campers when we left. The young guy that waited on us was a real snot. I thought my buddy Ralph was gonna deck him.  LL~ LL~ H^^
Ty Marcucci

Offline john e. holliday

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 19925
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #83 on: December 06, 2018, 12:22:48 PM »
As a high schooler back in the late 50's AHC was my hobby shop when I lived in southern Missouri.   Otherwise I would give a list to one of my brothers and they would visit Charley's Hobby Shop in Kansas City KS and they would bring me stuff if he had it.   The thing that amazed me was if AHC didn't have an item in stock they would send a comparable item or a better one.  Once I graduated from high school and returned to KCK, AHC was forgotten.  Used to be a good selection of hobby shops in the KC area. H^^
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Have fun as I have and is still breaking a record.

Offline Randy Powell

  • 2016 supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 9956
  • TreeTop Flyer
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2018, 01:18:00 PM »
I liked the used and trade in engine stuff. Bought my first ST 46 and 60 from them.
Member in good standing of P.I.S.T
(Politically Incorrect Stunt Team)
AMA 67711

Randy Powell

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 537
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2018, 01:49:51 PM »
I was the first black person they ever hired. The first day there, I sold a $450.00 Graupner RC helicopter to a Frenchmen. The other sales people went ballistic. They said a black has no business being here, much less selling expensive equipment. I was just a young teenager at the time.
Its always amazed me how some people react to things.  Like them thinking that you had no business there because of your skin color.  That stuff always pissed me off.  Yet there you were, doing the same job they were, and apparently doing it well. Sounds like they were jealous to me.    I hope you kept at it and showed them what being a decent human being was all about.  Sounds like they needed some lessons on the subject.  Good for you!

Gary
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2018, 02:07:05 PM »
Hi Curtis: The F-82 is at Saint Simons Island, Ga, and the Sabre is in Shelby Township, Mi. I am in Keswick, Va right now, where my wife and I are building a house. We will be in Ga by the middle of the month, and I can ship the F-82 back to you. I don't recall if it has the Cox motors on it or not. It is in perfect shape. I recall having trouble getting them to run correctly. Let me see if I can find them.
I can have a friend ship the Sabre from Mi. It is also in good condition. I will cover the cost of shipping for both, but will need your address.

Currell
Cool! 

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2018, 02:10:37 PM »
A bit more re the F-82 Hollow Log Scientific model. I had a medical issue in either '07 or '08 (afib). so my F-82 was proxy flown at the Kalamazoo Musciano Meet of that year. It won Speed at 66 mph. This may be a Musciano Meet record. The closest second place was 63 mph. Getting a single engine Scientific Hollow Log (they are all single, except the Twin Mustang) over 60 mph on a two port Cox Black Widow, Fox 049, a hot OK Cub, or any other eligible engine, is pretty good. The NVCL club used Proto rules, measuring 10 laps from a standing start, where Kalamazoo measured after two laps in the air, thereby giving you a higher mph figure. I would build all the Hollow Log models as light as possible (10 grams for an extremely hollowed out log fuselage, including the firewall), and under 10 grams for the wing (I was quite anal about this, weighing things constantly during the building process).  Through this process, you could reduce the weight vs a stock Scientific kit by 2/3rds or more. It transformed the flying ability, both for Speed and for Stunt. These models would accelerate like crazy under the standing start rules. You could have an engine run that was slightly off a competitor's, rpm wise, and still win, due to the advantage in getting off the ground faster.

Curtiss, my memories of your F-82 contest results are hazy now, but I believe your F-82 was first in Concours at NVCL one year. It did not fly, due to problems with the Cox engines. You did a more scale-like job on the F-82 than I. Mine was built purely for speed, so I did not have landing gear, radio antenna, etc. I think you had rockets or maybe a wing tankon your wing, too, but I will have to check on that.

Musciano Meets were fun. If you chose the right model, such as the Bullet, and built lightly, they would wingover, lazy eight, loop, fly inverted, and maybe some other daring-for-Hollow-Log maneuvers, with ease.  I did come in second in Stunt one year, and it was all about choosing the right airplane, not the pilot.

I went Musciano crazy for a few years. Built four racing ME-109, and I think I won once, and came in second, in a few meets. One year, a NVCL Twin Mustang blew me away, which prompted me to build one.

One year, when flying Team Race, I completed the two pit 70 lap Final for second place. Two laps later, the Cox Black Widow pulled completely off the blackplate! Talk about luck. Boy, those races were fun...

Scott, now that I am in Va, maybe I can rejoin NVCL. I owe a bunch of back dues!

Enough rambling for a while...Currell

I had no idea...
Yo...I'm a CONTROL LINE CONCOURS WINNER.
And...
A CONTROL LINE SPEED CHAMPION.
Chicks are going to MELT when they hear that!
I'm just happy to hear it got flown!  I remember the pair of green anodized Babe Bees Don Garry made for me for that.
I did not attempt to keep it light, pretty sure I had 12 coats of brushed brodak black dope on it...I was going for looks, not weight.
I know I never put the rockets on, because I found them in a bag many years later.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #88 on: December 06, 2018, 02:12:50 PM »
Its always amazed me how some people react to things.  Like them thinking that you had no business there because of your skin color.  That stuff always pissed me off.  Yet there you were, doing the same job they were, and apparently doing it well. Sounds like they were jealous to me.    I hope you kept at it and showed them what being a decent human being was all about.  Sounds like they needed some lessons on the subject.  Good for you!

Gary

I'm not sure I would read too deeply into that...Marshall Winston was equally obnoxious to all people irrespective of skin color,  If you were a Pole, Eskimo, or black, he would be sure to make some crack about it, that's not racism, that's just him.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #89 on: December 06, 2018, 02:15:03 PM »
As a 12 to 14 year old out in the desert of northern Nevada,  AHC was about the only place to buy balsa, kits, engines etc. My first from them was the two for one kit by Scientific of the P51 and F86 and an OK Cub .049 B kit. Remember the little 4 x 4 paper with the punch outs.  Get enough of them and you got a subscription to to MAN.  If you had a back order or out of stock, you had to redeem the credit slip within30 days. Never did and they still owe me $2.89.  LL~ LL~ LL~I still have some of the balsa I got from them back in 1955. Like rock. H^^

Visited their "store" in 1967 when my tin can pulled into NYC,  Up those long stairs and met the most cranky guy ever. 4 Sailors were not happy campers when we left. The young guy that waited on us was a real snot. I thought my buddy Ralph was gonna deck him.  LL~ LL~ H^^

AHC was a lifeline to the hobby for many, many people who lived in rural areas or overseas.  They had EVERYTHING and they would mail ANYWHERE.  And they would ship one tiny item or twenty five.  For all intensive purposes...they INVENTED mail order discount hobbies.

Offline Scott Richlen

  • AMA Member
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1217
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #90 on: December 06, 2018, 02:21:33 PM »
Quote
Scott, now that I am in Va, maybe I can rejoin NVCL. I owe a bunch of back dues!

Currel:  We are still meeting at Frost Intermediate School in the winter and flying at Meadowood!

Offline peabody

  • 2016 supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 2572
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #91 on: December 06, 2018, 02:44:01 PM »
I moved to NJ in 1984....found AHC in 87 or so, Then it was necessary to hike up to the second floor (the first floor has 15-20' ceilings) and the display space was dingy and about 20' square, ringed by cabinets.
I met Marshall and he asked what I wanted. When I replied that I was "just looking", he stomped off. He returned and did manage to show me a kit. I passed on the kit but did buy some stuff.
Next time, I was hunting for something and chatted him up, saying that he was probably the only place on the Planet that had one.... It was a train car for my father. Marshall let me come in back of the counter and we climbed two flights and he rummaged through what looked like debris and, VIOLA, the car was there and in a box, unmolested. I thanked him profusely.... never asked the price, and he gave me a real deal.
He was always nice on return trips....

His son ran a location in River Edge and lamented that his father would NEVER computerize. I believe that his name was Robb?

They opened a location on Kennedy Blvd. with an RC car race track on the roof, and most of their nifty stock was gone. Instead cheesy RC ARFs and the like.


River Edge was pretty well stocked, but soon closed. The Kennedy location survived for a couple more years...mayhaps until 2002 or so?



Offline Ty Marcucci

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 899
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #92 on: December 06, 2018, 02:47:00 PM »
I'm not sure I would read too deeply into that...Marshall Winston was equally obnoxious to all people irrespective of skin color,  If you were a Pole, Eskimo, or black, he would be sure to make some crack about it, that's not racism, that's just him.

It was the times and area.  I heard never ending jokes about Dago's, Wops and Guineas.  H^^  Some were actually funny, the first time..... H^^
Ty Marcucci

Offline Frank Imbriaco

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 686
  • At the 69 Willow Grove NATS with J.D. FALCON II
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2018, 04:20:18 PM »
I would say that with respect to AHC , the  two greatest pleasures I experienced were reading their ads and receiving their brown packages with my name on them.
Nirvana for an 11 year old dreamer.

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2018, 04:32:23 PM »
I would say that with respect to AHC , the  two greatest pleasures I experienced were reading their ads and receiving their brown packages with my name on them.
Nirvana for an 11 year old dreamer.

Right there.  Right on, What joy. My favorite was the Collectors Closeout Corner at the far left corner of the ads...there would be all these models from the forties and fifties for twenty five cents apeice(this was the seventies) and I could get a TON of them for ten bucks.  Which is why I am the only fifty year old guy who remembers powdered casein glue that came with Strombecker solid kits from his childhood...
I owe so much to AHC.  Warts and all.  At least Marshall was not DULL.  Too much of this world today, well...they boiled all the flavor out of the soup.  I'll take a Marshall Winston over politically correct blanditude any day.

Offline nobler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #95 on: December 06, 2018, 07:24:31 PM »
Curtis: Not a champion at all, but a Musciano participant that had a lot of fun.

Send me your snail, and I get the Twin Mustang back to you when I get back to St Simons.  Currell

Offline EddyR

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2236
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2018, 08:14:43 PM »
 Curtis    A little more on Kerns. I told about  the retail building but he had the largest slot car track in the northeast around the corner in another building. He had the US and World Championships there two times. Longest slot car drag strip in the US. 
 Kerns was also a narrow store on the first floor but was huge on the upper floors.    Marine Midland bought the entire block and removed all the old buildings in the late 1970. I did a search on Google for a picture of the old store but could not find any. It has been gone for a long time now but the memories still live on. I rode my bike to get there in 1955.
 Ed
 
Locust NC 40 miles from the Huntersville field

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1656
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #97 on: December 07, 2018, 12:20:32 AM »
===================================================
Obviously didn't realize who he was talking to!   LL~

To be fair, Mike.  At the time he was talking to "nobody"!

Offline curtis mattikow

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #98 on: December 07, 2018, 05:16:02 AM »
To be fair, Mike.  At the time he was talking to "nobody"!
With all due respect...we ALL were nobody!

EVERYBODY came into the 22nd street store.  People from around the world.  It was a mandatory stop for anyone with a hobby thing...and remember...model trains DWARFED model airplanes.
Marshall knew princes and presidents.   Or, at leasst they BOUGHT from him.  And you know...I doubt any of them EVER forgot Marshall.

Baby Doc Duvalier used to come in with a private jet and buy 25 models at a time...DeNiro, Rod Stewart...a long long list.

Nothing unusual about, say, a Swiss Airline pilot dropping in and filling up the cockpit jumpseat of his 747 with a $2000 ducted fan jet...

AHC was a DESTINATION...

Offline EddyR

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2236
Re: AHC( America's Hobby Center) - Who remembers it ?
« Reply #99 on: December 07, 2018, 08:00:40 AM »
   One thing that is apparent in this thread is the owners seemed to be not very nice people.  The customers that came in to Kerns asked for Dick Nito,Ron Boors,Ed Ruane,Jerry Hickey on and on. Leo would open and one of us would close. If you were not friendly you would not work there. I worked there before many on here were born. New York and Binghamton are very different places. You could spend the afternoon looking and walk out without buying any thing. There was no junk rooms as everything was on shelves and inventoried.
 Leo loved coins and had I think that was his reason for keeping the store open. I remember Leo giving  me a new K&B 35 when they were the hot combat motor. He had decals that said Kerns Hobbies and asked me to put on the wing.
 Leo wanted out as the late 60's came and he offered to sell me the business and the building. He wanted to retire to Florida and run his coin business from the store front and his home in Florida. Leo and I were good friends and he trusted me to run the place when he was away on trips. I never worked there full time except on summer vacation when still in school.
  I remember people coming in with 1/2A motors that they could not get running ,bad plug, he would hold it in his had and start it and run it. I did it also but used a glove on my hand.
 It was the type of hobby shop we all want to remember but few have been it.
EddyR 
     NOTE    I am sure i have forgotten all the long days ,grumpy Leo , and low pay. Ha Ha on me. #^ #^ #^
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 02:23:00 PM by EddyR »
Locust NC 40 miles from the Huntersville field


Tags: