While visiting family up in Rochester NY I had a few minutes to slip away and check out a popular local Hobby store Dan's Crafts and Things (no relation!). The shop is located just off 590 in the eastern part of Rochester NY.
Late Friday night I checked out their website. I was pleasantly surprised that they have started to carry Gunpla. So, I decided to make a point of stopping Saturday to check it out. When I arrived I had a quick conversation with one of the owners named John to ensure I had permission to photographed inside of the store.
A few things stood out to me when I started looking over the Gunpla inside of the store:
- The Gunpla was really easy to find. It's almost the first display you see as you enter the building.
- They had a good variety of models. Super Deformed, High grade, Real Grades, Master Grade, Perfect Grade, No-Grade kits. RE 1/100, stands and Gundam weapon kits. Most of the kits are out on the floor, there were a few of the larger MGs and PGs behind the main checkout.
- The kits in stock are a nice mix of old, new and different series and they included very recent releases. They had plenty of models from IBO, and the two of the new HG's released from April 2016 the HG Waff, & HG Gouf Revive.
- The HG prices are competitive with other brick and mortar stores. On average the HG kits I saw were only about $1-2 more than the prices listed on Amazon. Dan's also currently has a PG Astray for sale for $179.99; I'm fairly sure this is the cheapest I've seen this kit.
- Some of the prices of the MGs and RGs could use a bit of work. Based on what I saw most of the RGs are $3-5 more and MGs are priced $7-10 more than some of the brick and mortar shops I'm aware of (Hobby Town & Gundam Planet).
- There weren't any completed Gunpla models on display that I saw. In the future I hope their staff completes a few display models. The colorful and outlandish designs can really attract people and get them interested.
I really appreciate being able to walk into a store look at a large selection of kits and just browse.It's also a wonderful way to meet other Gunpla builders, or encourage newbies to dive in. I regret that I don't have a brick and mortar shop like this near where I live!
Dan's Crafts and Things is easily the largest independently operated hobby shop I've ever been in. The store employs a large staff and everyone I spoke with was polite and knowledgeable.
Due to some of the things recommended above I recommend researching prices before committing to a purchase.
If you live in Rochester you are probably already aware of Dan's Crafts and Things . But, if you're new to the area or live outside of Rochester you should take the time to check the store out. They carry a wide variety of models and hobbies outside of Gunpla and all of the tools and paint that you might need. You can find this store's website, address and contact information here.