What you see - A left turn into the nondescript lane called Main Channel Road in Ulsoor, Bangalore leads you to New India Hobby Centre. It’s one of those tiny shops you would ordinarily pass by without even a second glance. However, for those interested in aero-modeling kits, telescopes and basic science experiments, this kids’ shop is one of the best in Bangalore.
What you get - Aero-modeling kits and accessories are one of the main products here. If your child is around three years or if you are just starting to figure out what aero-modeling is, you can go for the simple Catapult Aeroplane models (Rs. 195). Looking for something that involves a little more effort? Try the Toeline Glider (Rs. 950 onwards). For serious enthusiasts, you even get Control Line Aeroplanes that are made of Balsa wood and can be fitted with engines. These are suitable for children above 10 years of age but of course with adult involvement and supervision. These cost around Rs. 7,000.
Owner Sampat Kumar says they can offer guidance in making the planes and teach you how to fly it right. The real heavy-duty stuff here includes Remote Controlled aeroplanes that Kumar claims can fly up to 5,000 feet and stay in the air for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the engine power. There are even models for advanced aero modelers that can do maneuvers in the air. All these cost upwards of Rs. 35,000 and are usually bought by those who treat it as a very serious hobby. You could even make these planes from scratch as all spare parts, including Balsa wood, are available here.
New India Hobby Centre also stocks numerous experiment kits for children in the age group of 7 to 15 years. These innovative kits are a great attempt at making science simpler with experiments like Energy Generation, Electricity Basics etc. MetroMela liked the Electronic Kit with 100 experiments (Rs. 750). You have scientific but fun stuff like a Magic Tap that operates by electricity, a Solar Cap with fan, and a light that turns on with the sound of your clap! They also have chemicals (Rs. 100 each) for experiments like making Mercury, while the Solar energy experiment kit lets you create things like the Powerless Telephone etc. The other fun bit is in making your own Robot. The Robotics kits cost around Rs. 750 upwards.
The shop also has magnetic experiment kits (Rs. 200), Kaleidoscopes and spare parts like Light-emitting Diode (LED) lights, gears and switches. If it’s not crammed within this tiny store, they’ll procure it for you. Among MetroMela’s favorites here was the Telescope making kit (Rs. 250), suitable for kids around 8 years onwards. You could also buy good telescopes here to do your own serious stargazing. Prices start at Rs. 4,400 onwards.
Our verdict - If you have a child interested in aeroplanes, space and science, this is a treasure house, though it doesn’t look like one. Their main store Balajee Enterprises, housed next door, even has material required for architectural mini models, making school projects seem a cakewalk. They also conduct aero-modeling workshops for children during vacation months. If aero-modeling or science interests you or your child and if you are not let down by the lack of organized display and attraction, the store is worth a visit. Parking is available in the lanes around the store.
Drive to - New India Hobby Centre
7, Main Channel Road
Call at - 080-25911811, 41133708
Anytime between - 10 AM - 1.30 PM and 4 PM - 8 PM