Of course, you might enjoy shooting or diving or hang gliding as a hobby, and we list a few of those outlets below as well. But going with the regular definition of a hobby shop, however, with thousands of models to build, radio-controlled planes, choppers, drones and other big-kid toys, Pretoria has loads of them!
Master RC models
Known as an RC keen-bean’s paradise, Master RC Models has earned a reputation as a tech-savvy and well-stocked hobby shop. Unlike shopping for running shoes, where you might wonder just how keen a runner the sales assistant is, giving you all this advice on shoes, Master RC is a shop full of fundis. RC nuts know it well, and the staff will get a total novice capably up to speed, while also servicing the needs of established hobbyists.
You’ll find Master RC Models on Lynnwood Road, at the Willow Way Shopping Centre in Die Wilgers. Tel: (012) 807 4667.
Frasers Radio Control Models
Situated in the Eastdale Pavilion Centre on Jacqueline Drive in Garsfontein, Frasers is the nut nest of many true hobbyist enthusiasts. Known as the place for all things RC on four wheels, this is another venue peopled with genuinely interested individuals, rather than simply being a commercial enterprise with bored staff. The full house of goodies awaits you but especially if you’re an on- or off-road RC nut, Frasers should be a regular stop.
Call them on (012) 362 4925 or email @ email@example.com. The shop also has a large mail-order arm and is something of a go-to venue for serious Pretoria hobbyists.
Another hobby shop in the same league is REVO, situated in Magalieskruin, along Braam Pretorius Street. Known for a friendly and welcoming service, the shop doesn’t skimp on stock either. Most hobbyists of whatever degree can justify leaning on the staff here, at least on occasion, as they exude an old-school enthusiasm that makes for a shopping experience unlikely to be repeated elsewhere.
Known for competitive prices, you’ll want to buzz them on (012) 543 0123 or go look at their shelves regularly. They have an awesome online presence too.
If old-school knowledge and experience are important to you, you’ll probably want to visit Jix Hobbies at the Menlyn Retail Park in Lois Street. With a reputation as having the lowdown on even old or obscure parts and models, the owners are lifers, and know pretty much all there is to know about anything RC and beyond on the hobby scene.
With such a welcoming, knowledgeable stance, this shop is also neat and competitive. You can reach Jix on (012) 348 0308, and they’re open till 13:00 on a Sunday.
Safari Outdoor – Pretoria
This is one for gun nuts, those who enjoy propelling high-speed lead at things. Safari Outdoor is an unashamedly South African shop, epitomising all that is gung-ho but they are also clever about skiet. Unlike American outlets, which can seem to be all about maximum war and death, Safari Outdoor shops around the country exude a far more successful outdoorsy feel, and Pretoria is no exception.
With an intelligent and extensive assembly of peripheral goods, this is like the alpha male experience of Builder’s Warehouse — you’re going to struggle to leave quickly. A comprehensively outdoor gun shop, it’s kind of like Camp and Climb with weapons and ammunition — totally awesome.
Find the Pretoria Safari Outdoor at the Lynnwood Bridge Centre, or you can reach them on 087 075 1386.
Another pukka hobby shop where customers typically hang around awhile and soak up the atmosphere, Victory has the reputation of being a well-stocked and knowledgeable venue. Definitely one where the kids can tag along, due to a bit of a toy store feel, however, this is a genuine hobby shop with good stock and great opinions.
Another hobby store that maintains the depth and breadth of all things hobbyist, Victory Hobbies is situated at 449 34th Avenue in Villieria, and you can reach them on (012) 333 0226.
Jimnettes Lynnridge Mall
More an art supply shop than a hobbyist’s paradise, many pursuits nonetheless send customers to Jimnettes, as they cater for arts and crafts, yes, but also that ‘overlap’ area where hobbies, arts and crafts mix. Scrapbooking, beading, painting and baking enthusiasts will never want to leave, while a wide variety of other hobbyists can find supplies here for their various needs.
A store with the kind of detail that goes to the heart of many practices, this is another venue with loads of interesting stuff on the shelves. You can find them in the Lynnridge Mall, on Lynnwood Road, or buzz them on (012) 361 4469.
Since it’s summer, let’s list one other relevant, speciality pursuit outlet. Divetek is a destination catering for diving instruction and equipment, and also a one-stop e-commerce venue for diving enthusiasts. Diving is slowly regaining the popularity it enjoyed in the 80s, and Divetek is the place to visit in Pretoria if you want to get your feet seriously wet. There is also an outlet in Jozi, and the company is genuinely vested in the sport, with supplies to match.
For both novice and underwater fundi, the venue will meet everyone’s needs as a general rule, and the company is one of the best for novices to get trained and geared up. They also have a sleek online store, and Divetek regularly ships kit worldwide via mail order.
Find Divetek at Greenlyn Village Centre, corner Thomas Edison and Mackenzie streets in Menlo Park, or you can reach them on 063 498 6794.