Action Hobby Canada Ltd
By YP Contributor

Making a Business of Hobbies

“If we took the time to test every product in here, we wouldn’t sell anything,” Donette Hyslip explains. “We’d be too busy having fun. But the manufacturers have a thorough system for testing, and with YouTube, we can easily show patrons the performance of the various RC items.”

Action Hobby started as The RC Hangar in October of 1991. Donette and her husband Doug were looking for different career paths from their respective architecture and oil patch jobs and starting their own business based around their shared hobby made sense. Actually, Doug’s longtime love of radio-controlled airplanes inspired Donette to get into the hobby as well. “It’s been an interest of ours for many years,” she says. “Doug introduced it to me and now I love it. My favourite plane, for both style and performance, has to be the bi-plane models.”

If we took the time to test every product in here, we wouldn’t sell anything! We’d be too busy having fun! - Donette Hyslip, co-owner
Action Hobby Canada Ltd. - RC planes, automobiles, trucks, helicopters, quad copters, rockets, plastic model kits, parts, technical support

Assembly is Half the Fun

“Many of our customers asked about other forms of RC vehicles,” Donette recalls. “So we expanded our product line to include boats, trucks, cars and helicopters. We changed the name to Action Hobby in 2004 because this is something you take action with: you build it and you fly, drive, or boat it.”

When it comes to airplanes, Doug and Donette carry options suitable for beginners and experts alike. Models range from complicated setups to introductory foam versions. “Those foam models are really nice because you aren’t so nervous about flying them,” Donette notes. “If they break, you can glue them back together. It’s very accessible for beginners, and they often move up to the more complicated kits afterwards.”

A particularly interesting product available at the store is a quad copter (a helicopter with four individual blades) that offers you a first-person view. “It’s really neat. It's your usual quad copter, but with a camera installed so that you can see its point of view from the controller in your hand,” Donette explains. “For under $300, it's a lot of fun.”

The rock crawlers and trail trucks that the store stocks are very popular. While these items may be a bit of an investment, they are of high quality and Action Hobby backs them up with replacement parts (just as they do with their other products). “We don’t stock products that don’t have replacement parts,” Donette says. “And if we don’t have the parts in at the time, we have shipments in every week, so you won't be waiting for long.”

Action Hobby Canada Ltd. - RC planes, automobiles, trucks, helicopters, quad copters, rockets, plastic model kits, parts, technical support

Everything Radio-Controlled

“Our philosophy is to keep our shelves full. When people have money to spend and come in, we want to supply them with what they want,” Donette says. “We are limited by the space we have, but we order often so special orders usually come in within a week."

With such fast-moving parts and varying levels of difficulty, manufacturers recommend a minimum age of 12 to play with most of the models in Donette and Doug’s store. Allowing younger children to operate an RC vehicle is up to the parent. “The hand-eye coordination of children is phenomenal,” Donette says, “but adult supervision is definitely advised.”

Action Hobby Canada Ltd. - RC planes, automobiles, trucks, helicopters, quad copters, rockets, plastic model kits, parts, technical support
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