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Manila Hobby Shops

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Manila Hobby Shops: Destinations for the Hobbyist on Vacation

Located in one of the world’s largest shopping malls (Manila’s Megamall), your spouse will be in no danger of feeling neglected while you're stocking-up your stash at Lil’s Hobby Centre.

Though Tamiya is king here, Lil’s is the biggest stockist of all the other major brands, including: Hobby Boss, Trumpeter, Dragon and Revell, to name a few. Though after market resin conversion sets are not as popular here as at home, Lil’s is a great source for Eduard photo-etched sets: I was able to leave with a fistful of the new pre-coloured aircraft update sets for far less than I’m accustomed to paying.

As well as a varied selection, great prices, and knowledgeable staff, the chance to talk with Mr. Shakespeare Chan is well worth the trip. As the first retailer in Asia of Tamiya products and a personal friend of Mr. Tamiya himself, Mr. Chan is one of the few in a unique position to provide an insight into the thinking behind the Tamiya brand. Chan’s relationship with Tamiya and his products goes back over 40 years, when he first established his name.

My first question, “Why are Tamiya kits so expensive?” is answered simply by Chan: “Aside from the fact that the Japanese Yen has substantially devalued over recent years, the expensive tools used in the moulding process are constantly renewed, resulting in the crisp detail and unparalleled quality for which Tamiya is known. New contenders, like Hobby Boss of China, with their variety of subjects and affordable prices, are rising up to challenge Tamiya’s share in the market. In Chan’s opinion, Tamiya will need to stay acutely aware of the desires of hobbyists, if it is to compete with these emerging manufacturers. To that end, we will continue to see more innovative and diverse offerings, such as Tamiya’s recent 1/35th scale JSU-152 and the 1/48th scale G40 Bulldozer kits –future releases should be very interesting.

My sincere thanks to Jun Villion of IPMS, Manila.

LIL'S HOBBY CENTRE: Megamall (Bldg A) Julia Vargas Avenue , Ortigas Center 1550 Mandaluyong, Metro Manila Phone: +63(2)6336358 There are two other branches of Lil’s, also located in Manila: Level 2 Trinoma Edsa Corner, North Avenue Quezon City, Metro Manila Phone: +63(2)9166340

G/F Park Square 1 Theater Drive, Ayala Center Makati, Metro Manila Phone: +63(2)8191646

If time permits, a trip to JMN’s Hobby Square in the Metro area shouldn’t be missed. A friendly little place off of the beaten path, JMN stocks Italeri, Revell, and Dragon kits.

JMN: 2nd floor of the Harrison Plaza Mall, Manila.
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About the Author

About Ted Hayward (ted_hayward)

From B.C., Canada. Living in Taiwan for past several years. I've been building kits for as long as memory serves -armor, aircraft, cars. Big fan of 1/16th scale armor kits. Currently serving as poster boy for working with CA adhesives in a well-ventilated area. My first kit was the positively awful ...


God how I miss going into a model store.... no model stores in Egypt at all Checking out various kits.. finding the exact shade of paint you're looking for (colors vary greatly on the PC screen). Buying from online shops is easy and all that, but it'll never be like a real store you can walk into and talk to the people who work there.. and possibly meeting other modellers. Hisham
JUN 24, 2010 - 07:04 AM
hisham, keith.. i total agree theres no satisfaction like going into the shop and browsing the shelves for paints, new kits, and accessories. people these days are just sticking to the internet yeah sure its easy and simple. i work in the modelshop '' modelzone'' in deansgate dont know if anyone had any trouble with us at xmas last year with the internet orders but thats sorted. ive recently got my job back there and its an ideal job for me i know the stock and what im doing but over the last couple of days when ive been in its been like a ghost town the few odd bodies walking in browsing maybe buying the odd thing. but its our regulars that normaly buy quite alot from us. and yet i see parents coming in with children but they all seem to leave with the hornby, scalectrix and r/c. which is okay for sales yes but its not much and yet youd think parents would buy them like a small airfix kit give them something to do over the summer holidays. my shop has two floors im upstairs on the kits and diecast rest of it is scalectrix hornby and r/c all downstairs and its expensive but its selling more than the kits :s. i think the younger generation is too attached to games these days. i for one am only 21 but i have a ton of models and prefer to build them more than play on my xbox. but yeah theres nothing better than coming into a shop shelves filled up with kits paints etc spending ages looking over and over again. and i do that even on my dinner i browse kits. just thought id add that rant its always nice to see shops filled up to brim with plastic kits tony
JUN 24, 2010 - 07:45 AM
Thanks Guys I don't have a local model store any more it [auto-censored] its doors a few years back (well we have a hobby craft now but that doesn't count)but that went in the main towards R/c because that was what the owner was interested in. It is a real shame that stores seem to close there door's hence one of the reasons I like this feature it does show what we are missing, and personally I would like to see more small features like this on local model shops. So anybody out please take a few moments next time you are in your local model shop to snap a few pictures and send them in with a small write up to the usual address and lets see if we can help out the local store a little cheers Keith
JUN 24, 2010 - 07:54 AM
If you'll excuse a bit of semi-self promotion... I work for Hornet Hobbies in Toronto, a store owned by Dave Browne (multi-award winning modeller and top drawer nice guy). I find it a priviledge to not only count him as a friend but as a teacher as well. He is generous with his critiques (always gentle and positive) and knowledge. Dave has made it a point of not making Hornet Hobbies a store. It is a place where modellers can gather and just chew the fat while buying a bottle of paint. Anything you see that's good in my models comes from Dave showing me (and hundreds others) right in the store. Yes, the hobby store seems to be vanishing, but Hornet Hobbies is a place where you can always find an enthusiast. We have customers that come from all over the world who contact us before they land asking us to put things aside for them. If you're in the neighborhood (and that means anywhere in the world), drop by for a chat.
JUN 24, 2010 - 08:30 AM