ace hobby ltd.
Located in the suburb of Birkenhead, Auckland, Ace Hobby is presented by a humble shop front with a display of the various brands that it carries on its shelves. Customers would enter the shop by a single doorway, which could be easily overlooked by any passer by. This hobby store however is one that no men should ever judge by its appearance as it truly is one treasure trove. Once inside the shop, you are immediately greeted by a large range of plastic kitsets, remote controls, paints and a large display cabinet consisting of a wide range of beautifully constructed scale models.
range of products
Relative to the other shops located in Auckand, New Zealand, Ace Hobby boasts one of the largest range of model kitsets in the Auckland region. Their products range from radio controlled aircraft, cars, boats, yachts, helicopter, plastic model kits, resin kits, paints, and accessories. Top brand such as Hitec, Academy, Trumpeter, Thundertiger, Promodel, VQ, Sol Model, Legend, ILSAN, BYD Battery, Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi, Revell, Dragon, AFV Club, Du-Bro and K&S are just some of the brands that they carry. All products are prominently displayed and neatly stacked on your typical display shelves, most of which are easily accessible without the need for staff assistance.
Being an armor enthusiast, I found a very good range of 1:35 and 1:48 scale armor kits of various brands located in the same area of the shop. All armor kits were strategically arranged in such a way that you only need to turn around to compare the prices of different brands without having to move to another aisle. Needless to say, all 1:35 scale kits are grouped together to avoid any possible confusion with the 1:48 scale kits. Moving onto the other aisles would bring one into either the realms of the aircrafts or science fiction scale kitsets.
Nothing annoys an avid modeller more than a hobby store staff member who knows nothing about the products that they sell or worse yet, provide you with the wrong information. This however is not the case with Ace Hobby as all ground staff are avid modellers themselves who are resident experts in different areas of modelling. In short, if a customer is unable to acquire the relevant information from one staff member, they will find someone who will. Having experienced this first hand, I was most impressed with the level of service provided from such a humble looking model shop. As a result of this, they have just gained one more loyal customer. The ground staff were most helpful when I purchased an incorrect model and exchanged it with little to no hassles about a week later when I found the time to do so.
Like all customers, nothing turns a customer off more than over priced model kitsets (lets leave the manufacturers out of this point). This is once again not the case with Ace Hobby as they once again boast one of the cheapest price ranges for their entire stock. One does not have to go far when comparing prices as their entire price range is available on their online site. Based on their armor kitsets alone, their price range are typically $3 - $5 cheaper than the other hobby stores in Auckland. This saving can thus be better spent on the paints needed for the model itself.
on line site
The Ace Hobby online site is possibly the only down side of an otherwise fantastic hobby store. You are first presented with a thumbnail image view of the latest products however when drilling down to specific products, not all products have a thumbnail image and not all products displayed are available in stock. This shortfall however is easily overlooked as they do sort products by brand and even displays the prices of the various products in a table format for easy comparison. When a product is not in stock, a customer is able to take the usual approach of calling and placing an order for it. On occasions, the shop itself may not have the product in stock but a single phone call to their suppliers may result in the product arriving the next day. Not all stock held by the supplier is stored by the retailers.
Prior to discovering this shop, I often frequent the local hobby store around my area purely out of convenience rather than loyalty. Having already ventured into various stores around Auckland, I have noticed Ace Hobby is always constantly the cheapest in terms of their armor kits. The shop is very well laid out and is obvious that all kits were strategically arranged to reduce complexity for the customer when trying to locate their product. Having experienced it first hand, their staffs are very helpful when needing to do exchanges and made it a really painless process.
I would fully recommend this hobby store to both local and international visitors to New Zealand. To find out more information on the store, please venture to www.acehobby.co.nz . Further details are as follows:
Director: Shin-Keum Kang
Manager: Alan Tong
Staff: DJ & Wantae Kim
65 Birkenhead Ave, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand
Monday - Wednesday, Friday : AM 9:30 to PM 6:00
Thursday : AM 9:30 to PM 8:00
Saturday, Sunday & public holidays :AM10:00 to PM 4:00
Phone : +64-9-480-4633
Fax : +64-9-480-4634