Model Kits Keeping Some Occupied During Shutdown

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Some people are killing time during the pandemic by picking up an old hobby.

The owner of a hobby shop in the Norwood Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side says he's been able to weather the COVID-19 economic shutdown through brisk online sales of model kits.

Gregory Bosak of Chicagoland Toys and Hobbies said people buy the model kits online and then pick them up during curb-side service hours.

Most of his customers are Baby Boomers who want to build the models of their youth, Bosak said. They’re buying model kits for classic cars, aircraft, ships and World War II-vintage military equipment.

"It's still Dad or Grandpa's hobby. But we have seen a bigger push from the dads to try to get their kids off the sofas and away from the games to start building models,” he said. “So, we've seen some push from parents trying to do that.”

Model supplies are outpacing the sales of the model kits themselves, Bosak added. He thinks this is because some customers finally have the time to tackle a model kit that may have been gathering dust for years.

The online sales an an eBay site for used model trains are keeping Bosak afloat.

"It's been able to keep us going and keep paying the bills, but it's probably less than half of what we normally would have been doing this time of year," he said.