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Fast Chat: A Tacoma hobby store says helicopters are flying out of the store

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on Nov. 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
November 26, 2008 4:06 pm

Fast chat: Dave Kleinman, owner of Fantasy World Hobbies

For the next few days, what with the holidays approaching, we’ll be speaking to small retail stores in the South Sound. If yo9u’d like to nominate a retail business for this series, e-mail


Address: 1909 South 72nd St. at the Tacoma Place Shopping Center

On the phone: Dave Kleinman, owner

Please give me a quick description of what you sell.

We have a complete assortment of hobby items, including slot cars, radio-controlled cars, helicopters. We have model kits, model rockets, all the accessories. We’re basically in the hobby business.

When did your holiday season start?

It really hasn’t started yet. We’re waiting for Black Friday. The economy is in the tank. We’re doing everything we can to stimulate business. We’re making the store look as good as possible, decorating. We’re still waiting, like everybody, for the holidays to begin.

How are sales so far?

It’s been slow, but there are signs of improvement. We’re getting a lot of people looking for ideas, bringing the kids in. A lot of our customers are adult males, so the wives are coming in to get ideas. We’re also trying to reach out to the 5-15 year olds, who like to do the slot cars and radio- controlled things. We sell a lot of slot cars on the Internet. We’ve seen that kick up already.

What are you hearing from your shoppers about their budgets?

I think some people are concerned, some people are limiting what they buy, and some aren’t affected.

Are you having any sales?

We have all kinds of sales. We have some surprise specials over the weekend, plus we do give free battery packs with some of the radio-controlled cars. We have a rewards program – a $10 rebate for every $200 they spend, plus they get gift certificates on their birthdays and anniversary dates.

What are your most popular sellers so far this season?

The E-Flight radio-controlled helicopters, the Traxxas radio-controlled cars and trucks, monster trucks. Slot cars have always been our biggest thing – on the Internet. The helicopters are moving up real fast. You used to spend $1,000, now it’s just over a hundred.

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