Hobbyists have long patronized Westchester Trains & Hobbies in White Plains and have recently traveled to its new location.
The store moved from the White Plains Mall to the Galleria Mall last spring. “I needed more space. The old mall was terrible to say the least. And we got a pretty good deal here,” store manager Jon Sanders of West Harrison said last week.
The store focuses on selling hobby and other collectable items, such as models and model paints and tools, die casts, trains, wooden toys and slot cars, both old and new, Sanders noted. His store offers products from the early 20th Century to today, he said.
“We have toys for all ages. That’s one of our real focuses,” Sanders said.
Sanders said his clients come “from all over,” including from Virginia to Maine and as far west as Ohio. “It’s weird because there’s two types of hobbyists,” he said. “There are people who jump in and out of it and may be serious about it but aren’t serious in the way of a collector.”
“A builder hobbyist, which is more of what I am, wants to get things so that they can put it together and think about it and create something from it,” Sanders said. “The collector hobbyists are the ones who’ll go the distance to find something.”
Sanders said his store’s customers include youth in their teens, though most of his clients are in their 40’s or older. “It’s pretty much a grab bag of everybody,” he said.
Sanders said he was a model builder growing up. “I started off doing just basic cars and things like that,” he said. “It evolved into doing tabletop war gaming, figurine work and scenery work.”
By the time he was in his teens he was building things for his friends, Sanders recalled. He began working at Westchester Trains & Hobbies when he was 20, originally on a part-time basis, Sanders said. Ten years ago he became manager of the store.
“I made my hobby my job, which is never a good thing,” Sanders said. I don’t build for myself anymore. I haven’t really done a model for myself in a very long time. But I get to do all the things and be around all the things that I loved doing growing up.”
“I’m a collector. I’m a builder. I’m a little bit of everything with the stuff in here and I’m pretty darn good at it, so why leave?” Sanders said.
Westchester Trains & Hobby is located in the Galleria Mall (one floor below the food court) at 100 Main St. in White Plains. For more information call 914-421-1262, visit https://www.westchester-trains.com/ or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.