Formed from the October 2004 alliance between Helihobby and HobbyHouse, ehobbyhouse's fleet of radio-wired model helicopters and RC boats and cars, as well as its bountiful stock of tools and parts, fill gaps of spare time with high-flying fun. Electric and gas airplanes stand ready for flight clearance, and an armory of electric, gas, and spring-loaded guns awaits target practice. The 3,500-square-foot shop also houses a comprehensive catalog of replacement parts, helping mend motors blown after a race or refill confetti cannons shot off after postrace celebrations.
Natural light from a generous picture window floods Color Me Mine’s studio as visiting artists start the six-step process of painting custom, keepsake ceramic pieces. After paying a studio fee ($10 for adults, $6 for children younger than 12), full-sized and miniature humans alike peruse shelves of unpainted bisque pottery ($15+), evaluating the grip of a sturdy mug or the number of firecrackers a serving platter could hold. Drawing inspiration from a design center with stencils, sponges, and more than 22,000 images, pottery painters devise a custom design and select vivid colors of paint.
Handmade Galleries LA fills its 5,000 square feet with an ever-rotating supply of cards, home décor, clothing, and eclectic gifts from more than 100 artisans and craftspeople. The perfect stop on the way to a kid's birthday party or a playground inauguration speech, gift givers can choose from 15-inch-tall Cordy Roy animals ($24.95), available in such disparate species as horses, giraffes, and aardvarks.
Oh Fancy That! imports the flavors and finery of the British Isles, filling its colorful shelves with tea, cookies, culinary supplies, and creative trinkets fetched straight from overseas. Customers can stock home pantries with authentic grocery items made by McVitie's, Marmite, Yorkshire Tea, and Robinsons beverages to impress guests or encourage baffled jars of peanut butter to adopt an English accent. Afternoon respites don a refined air with a cup of authentic PG tips tea ($7.99/box) paired with McVitie's biscuits in original ($3.99) or milk chocolate ($5.99) varieties, whereas heartier fare such as pork pies ($4.99), Heinz baked beans ($1.79), and irish sausage ($7.50/lb) sate the most critical of carnivores. Aside from the authentic edibles, a range of British-themed gifts, including tea towels and novelty teapots, makes perfect fillers for a creative home curio, whereas mugs emblazoned with the timeless "Keep Calm and Carry On" slogan ($10.99), make a thoughtful present for a friend lost in the space-time continuum.
Tastes in Halloween costumes change quickly, but the team at Halloween Club knows that some staples never go out of style. Taco costumes, for instance. Creepy masks, police uniforms, and pirate apparel aren't forgotten either, allowing patrons to finish their cosplay outfit, celebrate Halloween, or put together a really spectacular excuse for not going into work. To round out the store's selection, there's outlandish props, too, such as seven-foot-tall haunted tree automated to flail spookily on its own.