About HobbyTown

The HobbyTown story begins in Lincoln, NE (where our national headquarters remains today). Thom Walla, Merlin Hayes and Mary Hayes founded HobbyTown Unlimited, Inc. in 1985 and opened the first franchise store in 1986. Today, HobbyTown franchise stores span the U.S. from coast to coast, making us the leader in the retail hobby and specialty toy industry.

More than 100 HobbyTown franchise stores are located in 39 states in the continental U.S., making us the largest brick and mortar hobby retailer in the world!

HobbyTown
HobbyTown History
HobbyTown

HobbyTown’s Core Values

WE BRING IT EVERY DAY

We energetically share our passion for hobbies with contagious enthusiasm. Customers will always enjoy an exceptional shopping experience that exceeds expectations. Bringing it is not a spectator sport, bringing it is making (not watching) things happen.

LEAD & SERVE

We lead by aspiring to be our best and giving our best to others at all times. We serve by always maintaining a positive and welcoming environment for all. We aspire to be an asset to our community by making free time awesome!

CULTIVATE GROWTH

We believe growth is achieved by exceeding the expectations of each individual customer. We relentlessly pursue the development of ourselves and others to foster growth. We believe growth is a process that requires consistent effort.

KEEP CALM & HOBBY ON

Wisdom and knowledge come with experience. In the face of adversity, we stay calm and focused on finding a solution or a better way. We always seek to first understand, act, then hobby on.

FAQ

HobbyTown’s History

1980

Thom, Merl and Mary purchase the original HobbyTown store established in downtown Lincoln, NE in 1946.

1986

The first HobbyTown franchise store is opened by Todd Noble in Colorado Springs, CO.

1991

HobbyTown makes its first appearance in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.

1994

The first HobbyTown National Convention is held in Lincoln, NE.

1998

BuyersClub is established to provide exclusive product distribution to HobbyTown franchise stores.

2003

Our proprietary SMART Point of Sale (POS) and inventory management software is released.

2012

Colpar Hobbies in Denver, CO becomes the first established independent hobby retailer to cobrand with HobbyTown.

2013

HobbyTown designates TeamMates Youth Mentoring as our official corporate sponsored charity.

2016

HobbyTown partners with AMain Hobbies to develop HobbyTown.com and integrate with our SMART POS.

2017

The HobbyTown National Branding Program is established to leverage the scale of the entire franchise to more effectively build local/national brand awareness and drive new customer acquisition.

2018

The merchandising mix in HobbyTown stores expands further into toys to capture new market opportunities.

2018

Sophisticated CRM marketing tied to POS transactions is implemented to increase customer loyalty and retention.

2018

RadioShack partners with HobbyTown to establish RadioShack Express stores within HobbyTown franchise stores.

2019

Community and in-store activities are emphasized in franchise stores to drive customer engagement.

2019

The second generation, cloud-based version of our exclusive SMART POS is released to enhance efficiency of store operations.

2019

2019 Pointy is integrated into the SmartSuite platform to drive local market SEO and integration with the Google “See What’s In Store” online directory.