Friday, August 8, 2014

The Friday Grab Bag - HobbyTown USA, Lake in the Hills (Crystal Lake), IL

It's been quite some time since I have seen a HobbyTown USA store that had much in the way of gaming stuff.  I don't think it is typically problematic.  In fact, the HobbyTown in Lake Geneva, WI, which just opened last year, purposefully keeps gaming stuff scant.  It's not interest in trying to compete with Lake Geneva Games on games and doesn't want Lake Geneva Games competing with them on RC vehicles, model railroad offerings, etc.  The Lake Geneva HobbyTown USA has a minimal amount of gaming products.  It's the same stuff that might appear in many non-gamestores that carry a few non-traditional games and just a bit more: Catan, Munchkin, some dice and little else.  I get the feeling each franchisee of HobbyTown gets some stuff suggested strongly to them and with the numbers these games do, cannot really say "No" to carrying them.

In any event, earlier this week I happened to be down in Crystal Lake, IL, on some other business and decided to swing by the local Lake in the Hills HobbyTown USA to see what they had.  I was quite surprised at the variety for a store such as theirs.  It may be the number of game stores in the area has declined enough to warrant adding more than the usual fare.  I know that Games Plus all the way down in Mount Prospect, IL, gets plenty of traffic from Crystal Lake and beyond to their NW, though that can be attributed in large part to their excellent selection and service.  But taking a look in the games section of the Lake in the Hills HobbyTown USA shows they do have a fair amount of stuff that hopefully is seen, picked up by hobbyists of other stripes, and help in their conversion.

It's a wide, free-standing store and the far-right third of the building has a huge RC track within.

They devote about four shelving units to display their games and very little is faced out,
so that means they have quite a bit on those units.

Moving past the chess and backgammon sets, they have some family games
like Yatzee, Bungo, and Farkle but not too much of this.

Plenty of Ticket to Ride, Axis & Allies, plus a modest amount of Magic.

Axis & Allies models.

Zombie Dice and some pre-painted minis.

Lots of Zombies and some variety.

A great deal of Catan.

I was actually quite impressed by the selection.

Their RPGing selection was weak at best.

So, if you are in the area and can't make it further to a store with more, this HobbyTown USA certainly can give you some boardgame choices.

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