Some People Take Their "Hobbies" Seriously!
Generations of hobby enthusiasts have enjoyed the varied options in the hobby industry from building scale models, designing scenes for railroad operations, RC models from model airplanes, RC model trucks, race cars, All-terrain vehicles, boats and now the multi-rotor and UAVs.
We spent hours upon hours building, painting, finding new models, expanding our collections. We learned about RC models and delved into building actually running models and advanced to improved models that took us outside for Fun Days.
How Did The Hobby Industry Become Serious?
Well, serious in another aspect than what you might be thinking. As your premier hobby shop in Tompkins County, we have seen a shift in the RC model industry over the past few years and it is serious. The generations of families and hobbiests are declining. Hobbies that require working quietly, using ingenuity, hands-on mechanics and planning ahead have lost interest from the general public.
Is this a dying industry? What will happen when the hobbiests of today are no longer here to share their knowledge and pass on to future generations the love of this industry? It's a question that is yet unanswered but the concern for the hobby industry in general is at stake.
Wink's Hobby Shop in Ithaca, NY has always been your true source of excellent products made by top manufacturers. We are deeply enthused with the industry and always looking to bring the best products and accessories to our customers.
Until recently, your mainstay RC hobbies included scale railroading (N, HO, O, etc) with a plentiful array of upgrades and items needed to build fantastic layouts; it included model airplanes that flew and performed incredible air stunts; it included cars and trucks that encouraged ingenuity and mechanics due to the different power sources available and the expansion into off-road driving and competitions. Name the vehicle and you have RC models to work with.
With the inclusion of the “drones” (more correctly referred to as UAVs), helicopters and other multi-rotor vehicles, there was a significant increase in hobby interest. But, many of the purchases were made by current and past RC model lovers. There is an expectation that these multi-rotor models will bring an increase in interest in the near future. But who is going to be the operators?
How Society Is Affecting the Hobby Industry
Perusing through various hobby-related material and discussions, we find a possible realization that many people are seeing throughout various areas of life. This is what “Bill” had to say on Flying Giants in response to a question regarding the future of the industry.
Biggest difference I see.....our 'world' was the neighborhood, close schools, good friends, and every grown up was 'your parent' .... one quick dial of 7 digits and Mom/Dad would know of your misdeeds. In this world I dreamed of being a pilot, read great SciFi books and thought about what it'd be like to be on another planet. Also helped that we were in a 'space race' with those darn Russians and every Tuesday morning at 10:00 am the air raid siren went off and we practiced 'duck and cover' under our desks or in the hallways at school
Nowadays THE WORLD is our children and grandchildren's neighborhood....they can make friends easier with someone half way across the world then a kid down the street.....thanks to the Internet. This also gives them a world of options for spending their time on.......a lot of which requires minimal, if any, real effort or commitment. Why spend weeks/months on a plane (whether building or learning to fly) when immediate gratification can be gained by 'simulated flying' of F-16's, space ships, etc.
Encourage More to Enjoy the RC Model Industry
There is always talk about promoting and bringing new people in. This has to be addressed if the RC model hobbies are to continue into future generations. The historical elements of many of the models is one that the younger generations have little understanding or knowledge of.
Bring your children and grandchildren to your Ithaca hobby shop and introduce them to the fun and enjoyment located on our shelves. Show them how to control a model, teach them about the historical significance of the different eras. Talk about how our great country (and our world) developed over centuries to move materials and people all over the world.
Life is not what is going on in that little screen in their hands. Help the future generations get back to their roots and a passion they cannot find elsewhere.