The Tamiya distribution headquarters
Singapore may be small in landmass but it is crammed to the brim with hobby shops. I had a chance to visit a few of these stores during a recent trip and they didn't disappoint. As a matter of fact, judging by the state of these stores in Singapore, I must profess that the hobby is alive and well in the city state!
The first of my reviews will be for the Tamiya distribution headquarters.This is actually one of the more obscure locations, being far and away from the bustling Central Business District and Orchard Road popular with tourists. The store is located in the Tanjong Katong area and would be easily missed if not for the big Tamiya twin star logo adorning the storefront.
The first impression a visitor gets from entering the store is the sheer size of it. Being the only Tamiya showroom outside of Japan (the previous showroom was located in Aliso Viejo, CA USA) there are multiple glass display cases with pre-built Tamiya products prominently displayed. You can find Tamiya products of all scales and subjects in this store, from RC to plastic models. Additionally, they are stocked with Tamiya special edition products you can't find anywhere else.
Being a Tamiya only store, you will not be able to find any after-market products. Still, you will be able to find shelves upon shelves of neatly stacked and familiar looking Tamiya model boxes. Pricing wise, after currency conversion (in my case, US$), you will find that the prices for most items aren't any different from what you will see in your home country. So, unless you really cannot find that one kit in your geographical area, there may not be a good reason to make a purchase. The staff are indifferent to shoppers, being a pretty well visited store and they don't mind you taking photos.
The store itself isn't too far from the airport, you can get there easily via the highly efficient and easy to use Mass Rapid
Transit system (MRT). There is one such MRT station only 5 minutes walking distance away. Taking a taxicab won't be too expensive from either the airport or a tourist hotspot. Be prepared however to spend two hours focused on this store alone (including travel time). The store front has a huge Tamiya logo and that wouldn't be hard to spot from the side of the road.
This IS a hobby store to visit when you are in Singapore. By square footage, it could be the largest hobby store on the island. There is another small hobby store in the Tanjong Katong Shopping Centre just $5 (Singaporean dollars; literally around one mile away), so you can turn the visit into a two-for-one deal. If not anything, it is a definite visit based on the novelty factor alone!
Paya Lebar 178 #01-03,
178 Paya Lebar Road (S)409030,
+65 6746 2168