M B Klein Closing Showroom

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/retail-store/

Klien is closing their showroom to add more warehouse space.
When their store was on Gay St. in Baltimore, it was almost an adventure to sort through the isles for model train stuff. When they moved out to Cockeyesville, their showroom was still a great place to shop. A few years ago they scaled down the showroom significantly to where there was no real reason to visit the store anymore. Now, they are reduced to an on-line entity only.
 

Boris

Beach Bum
Their current location is a bit off the beaten path, but on the other hand, I haven't been in their retail store since 1986, so it's not like a problem for me. They are still my primary go to. As I mentioned elsewhere, Trainworld is reducing their hours, especially in Brooklyn. Just not enough foot traffic any more

Boris
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Sounds like the natural progression of things, today. My easiest Hobby Store to go, to is in St. Cloud, Minnesota, because my son lives there. Other than CA and other types of glues, there is so little stuff there of interest to me that most times we go to St. Cloud, simply to see my Son and Grand Son and I don't even think about the hobby. This is a Hobby Town, one of the chain stores Hobby Shops that caters to hobbies other than Model Railroading and doesn't do a good job of that, even.

There I go again hitting everyone with the Negative Waves! However, that ModelTrainStuff/M.B. Klein still exists is certainly a positive for this hobby.
 
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Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
Sounds like the natural progression of things, today. My easiest Hobby Store to go, to is in St. Cloud, Minnesota, because my son lives there. Other than CA and other types of glues, there is so little stuff there of interest to me that most times we go to St. Cloud, simply to see my Son and Grand Son and I don't even think about the hobby. This is a Hobby Barn, one of the chain stores Hobby Shops that caters to hobbys other than Model Railroading and doesn't do a good job of that, even.

There I go again hitting everyone with the Negative Waves! However, that ModelTrainStuff/M.B. Klein still exists is certainly a positive for this hobby.
So Houston is the 4th largest city in the country. To my knowledge there are only 2 shops that cater to model railroaders. One is strictly trains the other a hobby shop with a section for trains. There are many other hobby stores, but none with trains. Even Hobby Lobby has a minimal amount of materials, but yet sell train sets. I know I can buy most any thing I need train wise online cheaper, but I try to buy something from train store once or twice a year.
 

Patrick

GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Sad they're closing their brick and mortar operation, but that's the way a lot of them are going. I do have a Hobby Town that will order what they don't have, but still way cheaper online (and the state worries about lost sales taxes). But they don't have a large selection as they mostly cater to RC stuff (boats, cars, planes).

I have purchased online from MTS\M.B. Klein as they do have good prices.
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
I was in a Hobby Town a few weeks ago while on a work trip. I looked at their website before I went and was excited by it. When I got there, it was pretty much empty. Interesting visit anyhow...
 
N

NP2626

Guest
The Hobby Town I visited used to be Baker's Hobby in St. Cloud, MN. They moved to a new, more difficult location to find about a year and a half ago and changed the name to Hobby Town. The store now caters to War Gaming and R/C cars. In fact a large portion of the store is taken up with an Off Road type R/C Car Race Track. They do have some Model Railroad stuff along with R/C Airplanes, Drones, plastic model kits and Helicopters. Hobby Shops of today seem to specialize in one particular hobby and let all the rest of the hobbies slide.

Since I have never lived near where M.B. Klein/ModelTrainStuff existed, I never knew that they had an actual Brick & Mortar store front. So their closing that down isn't really going to effect me!
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
It's a little sad for me to hear the store is closing.

When I was just a boy hobby shops did not treat me well. In fact a few ran me off. I felt like I was in an old movie "go away kid, you bother me."

I decided to take two busses to get to downtown Baltimore to see the store my grandfather shopped at, M.B. Klein's.

It was Christmas time, the place was packed with people. The isles were narrow, the shelves were full of all kinds of stuff I had never dreamed about. I was very impressed!

I only had a few dollars, I was looking for some Life-Like or Tyco cars I could afford to add to my Tyco set. I was leery of asking for help. Usually when I asked for help with my "cheap crap" as one Hobby Shop called it, that was when I soon got ran off.

I mustarded the courage to ask a guy in colorful clothes. He was so nice to me, he showed me just about everything I could afford and left me to decide, telling me "if you need any more help, just ask"

As it turned out that guy was Ted Klein.

I soon got frustrated with the hobby and became more interested in girls and other things, but I never forgot those great looking Lionel sets that I thought I could never afford as a paper boy.

Over the years when I needed a new HO set for my Christmas tree I went to M.B. Klein.

In 2012 my daughter bought me a Lionel Polar Express Set from Walmart to replace my worn out HO set to run under the Christmas tree. The new set had a problem with the locomotive. I knew what to do, we returned the set to Walmart and drove to M.B. Klein's in the new Timonium location and picked up another Lionel Polar Express. That was the beginning of my Lionel obsession!

I soon bought another Lionel set, a Lionel Horseshoe Curve freight set. I wanted a 2003 Christmas boxcar to run with the set. I married my little Angel in 2003. I went to M.B. Klein and asked about it, they did not have one. Just my luck, Ted Klein happened to be in the store and overheard my story. He went into the back for what seemed like a long time and finally brought out a 2003 Lionel Toy Fair boxcar. He asked me if that would do? I was very happy to say; yes it would!

When I looked closely at the Lionel shipping box I saw the shipping label was addressed to Ted Klein, personally. I showed it to him and he said "It's ok, I don't collect trains" I said thank you again!

I've met Ted a several times over the many years I shopped at his store, he was always a nice person to talk to. Everybody at M.B. Klein's was nice. Before the new store closed I would always wave at the security cameras to say hello to Ted. Fred, the store manager told me "Ted watches over us a lot" :)

While it's a little sad to see the store close, it's not been the same since the new general manager took over. The store felt more like a corporate franchise, instead of the old fashioned country store I knew it to be.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
M.B. Klein Inc. / modeltrainstuff.com
**Customer Announcement**

Our Maryland retail store is now closed. We'd like to thank our in-store customers for making our hobby store experience so special for the past 50+ years! We look forward to continuing to serve you at modeltrainstuff.com, as we head full steam ahead into the next chapter in our business!

Local Pickup will be temporarily unavailable as we carry out the transition process, but will return on Tuesday, November 5th. Full details are available here: https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/retail-store/

1572543410599.png
 

Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
Good Morning All. 45 degrees, wind gusts to 30, brrrr. I do like it better than 95 degrees and 85% humidity though.

I quit crying over the Astros. Still not sure I understand why Cole was not used, but I ain't the manager.

Thanks for all the likes on the photos. I like to take photo and then look at how I might improve a scene. I find that I see things in the photo I didn't see just looking at the layout. Maybe it's a "forest for the trees" thing.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Texas Hobo, I think you pulled one of my numbers, posted in the wrong forum.

If so you can easily copy and than delete your post and repost it in the coffee shop. I do it often enough to know how easy it is to fix ;)
 

MikeInHubCity

Well-Known Member
It's a little sad for me to hear the store is closing.

When I was just a boy hobby shops did not treat me well. In fact a few ran me off. I felt like I was in an old movie "go away kid, you bother me."

I decided to take two busses to get to downtown Baltimore to see the store my grandfather shopped at, M.B. Klein's.

It was Christmas time, the place was packed with people. The isles were narrow, the shelves were full of all kinds of stuff I had never dreamed about. I was very impressed!

I only had a few dollars, I was looking for some Life-Like or Tyco cars I could afford to add to my Tyco set. I was leery of asking for help. Usually when I asked for help with my "cheap crap" as one Hobby Shop called it, that was when I soon got ran off.

I mustarded the courage to ask a guy in colorful clothes. He was so nice to me, he showed me just about everything I could afford and left me to decide, telling me "if you need any more help, just ask"

As it turned out that guy was Ted Klein.

I soon got frustrated with the hobby and became more interested in girls and other things, but I never forgot those great looking Lionel sets that I thought I could never afford as a paper boy.

Over the years when I needed a new HO set for my Christmas tree I went to M.B. Klein.

In 2012 my daughter bought me a Lionel Polar Express Set from Walmart to replace my worn out HO set to run under the Christmas tree. The new set had a problem with the locomotive. I knew what to do, we returned the set to Walmart and drove to M.B. Klein's in the new Timonium location and picked up another Lionel Polar Express. That was the beginning of my Lionel obsession!

I soon bought another Lionel set, a Lionel Horseshoe Curve freight set. I wanted a 2003 Christmas boxcar to run with the set. I married my little Angel in 2003. I went to M.B. Klein and asked about it, they did not have one. Just my luck, Ted Klein happened to be in the store and overheard my story. He went into the back for what seemed like a long time and finally brought out a 2003 Lionel Toy Fair boxcar. He asked me if that would do? I was very happy to say; yes it would!

When I looked closely at the Lionel shipping box I saw the shipping label was addressed to Ted Klein, personally. I showed it to him and he said "It's ok, I don't collect trains" I said thank you again!

I've met Ted a several times over the many years I shopped at his store, he was always a nice person to talk to. Everybody at M.B. Klein's was nice. Before the new store closed I would always wave at the security cameras to say hello to Ted. Fred, the store manager told me "Ted watches over us a lot" :)

While it's a little sad to see the store close, it's not been the same since the new general manager took over. The store felt more like a corporate franchise, instead of the old fashioned country store I knew it to be.
Louis- thank you for sharing personal experiences, both at the LHS that would run you off as a “go away, kid” but more importantly, your experiences with Ted Klein. Your description of Mr Klein taking the time to help you find some options that would satisfy your needs as a young man with a very modest budget. Plus, when he dug into his personal stash, to come up with a piece of Lionel rolling stock from the year you needed to tie your marriage to your lovely bride into your collection.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
As long as they stay with an online store at least. That's how we do our shopping here - even though the $ is crap at the moment
Sure is eh!, that and the successive increases in shipping since it was good. Hey though, we did get a bump up by about a cent, since the US Fed, dropped the rate again. Not making the RBA happy.
 

riogrande

Active Member
Bruette, I enjoyed your story.

I lived up North with a grumpy train shop owner and shopped with Klein's starting almost 25 years ago via mail order. Due to the bad economy there, I moved to northern Virginia in 2009. Since the Timonium show was the biggest show within a couple hours driving distance, I started going several times a year and with Klein's being nearby in Cockysville, I made it a habit to visit nearly every show trip.

A couple years ago they cut the walk-in store to 1/3 it's former size to dedicate more space to the online Dept. It was terribly crowded on show day after that and not very nice.

I went a couple weeks ago after the show to pay my respects. Since it was late in the day and just before closing time, the place only had a couple customers. I chatted with one employee I have seen many times and he only worked weekends. He didn't even know if he had a job after the walk-in closure. But he only worked there for train money and figured he could mow lawns and make more in his neighborhood.

I still mail order from Klein's. Always great service and prices.
 




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