Hobby People, the retail chain known for its devotion to dedicated hobbyists, opened its Clovis store nearly two months ago. Local residents may recognize Hobby People from traveling across the state; with locations in San Diego, Santa Clara and Riverside, the hobby store is famous for being largely California-based.
“We provide almost everything RC [remote control], from cars to airplanes and drones,” said Hobby People team member Richard Huggins.
The name Hobby People may be somewhat vague, but don’t be fooled — Hobby People is not an arts-and-crafts store, though it does sell specialty paints for model cars and other tools for various hobby projects.
Hobby People is a Mecca for folks fascinated by RC trucks, cars, boats and drones of many shapes and sizes.
According to manager Felipe Ortiz, drones are one of today’s biggest trends in the hobby industry and Hobby People wants to help the general public learn how to properly handle the devices.
“Drones are great, but they have a bad rap,” Ortiz said. “We’re affiliated with the Know Before You Fly program and we encourage people who have never flown drones before to start with something smaller before moving on to one of the larger [models].”
The Know Before You Fly campaign was founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Academy of Model Aeronautics. It works in association with the Federal Aviation Administration to teach buyers of unmanned aircraft systems such as drones that purchasing a flying device does not necessarily give you the right to fly it anywhere at any time.
Drones between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds must register online at www.knowbeforeyoufly.org before taking flight, a new rule that was established in December 2015.
One of the biggest draws to the world of drones is aerial photography. YouTube videos of footage caught on high-definition cameras with drones make photographers and videographers eager to capture angles previously unattainable by traditional methods. Hobby People is ready to help out anyone interested in amping up their photo game.
“We have drones up to three feet wide. A lot of people come in and want something they can attach their GoPro to. We can set them up with something that can support the weight of the camera,” Huggins said. “Many people in agriculture want to use drones to monitor their fields. With [HD cameras] it’s a much sharper image.”
Drones are not the only products that customers ought to be cautious with, according to Huggins. Mechanical parts and pieces require the right knowledge to be used safely.
“We educate people on the safety of drones and the safety of other items in the store, like batteries, LiPo [lithium-ion polymer] batteries, nitro fuels … we really focus on educating people as well as selling products,” Huggins said.
Hobby People emphasizes that remote controlled vehicles and aircrafts are indeed fun to play with, but they are not toys. Remote controlled cars can range in price from $80 to $1,000.
“We do have kids come in here, but it’s more adults than kids. We cater to entry-level hobbyists and all the way up to advanced hobbyists who’ve been it in for decades,” Huggins said. “Since we are a chain, we’re in here for the long haul. A lot of hobby stores have gone out of business. We’re a relaxed, family-friendly store.”
Hobby People’s Clovis store is in the same shopping center as Walmart on Shaw and Villa. Its formal grand opening date is yet to be announced, but it opens daily at 10 a.m.
For more information about Hobby People’s merchandise or to consult one of Hobby People’s mechanics about repairs, call (559) 862-1574.