Photos by Tony Feredo
recent trip to the Philippines I had the honor to meet up with a long time
internet friend Tony Feredo in Manila. I had originally intended to meet
up with Tony in 2013, but the massive storm Typhoon Yolanda cancelled our plans.
Lils Hobby Center is a family run business that focuses on plenty of product selection and offering helpful friendly service. They have 3 stores in metro Manila and the shop we went to had product stacked from floor to ceiling to try and give the customer the biggest selection of product in the smallest area. All the staff were young ladies which makes sense considering the majority of the customers are probably men. I asked Tony to help me select a USN carrier from the battles around the Philippines during WW2 from the product in stock and we finally decided the 1/350 Trumpeter USS Franklin as the best choice from the kits on hand in the store. The price was about 30% less than what I would expect to pay back home. The girls opened the box and checked every single item to make sure nothing was missing or damaged, which was an extra level of service I've never experienced before. As a bonus my kits were packed in a reusable cloth bag with the stores logo on one side and the Tamiya logo on the other side of the bag. Reusable cloth bags for hobby shops is something I've not seen before although they are common for grocery stores etc.
One thing I noticed was most of the product on the shelves was from far east manufacturers and for prices about 30% less than I would expect to pay back home. This makes sense as Asia is full of kit manufacturers thus providing a huge variety of product from an high quality selection of kit manufacturers.
If you are ever in Manila.....you really should drop by one of the 3
You can find them on facebook at this link https://www.facebook.com/lilshobbycenter/?fref=ts
Tony and I then left the shop and have a relaxing lunch catching up on things. My special thanks to my good friend Tony for such a memorable day.
Photos and text Š by Steve Bamford