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More than a Hobby: Springfield Store Owner Turns Toys into Business

Hobbies & Aircraft owner Anthony Del Mauro has passion for his business.

Anthony Del Mauro is a father of three. He’s a small business owner. But mostly, he’s a big kid. And the business he owns reflects that.

“I look at this as a big boy toy store,” Del Mauro said, grinning in front of a wall displaying over a dozen bb guns.

Del Mauro, 49, of Roselle Park, has loved remote controlled vehicles and other hobbies all of his life. With his store, Hobbies & Airsoft Remote Control Superstore, he’s making that passion into a career.

Since opening in August, the Mountain Ave. shop has offered a full array of hobbies and diversions. The shelves are stuffed with remote control trucks, helicopters, planes and more. Puzzles, models and kits are piled high. All the ingredients for DIY diversions ranging from pinewood derby racing parts to back yard rockets to home brew beer kits are available.

The highest selling and most prominent stock are the Airsoft guns. The guns shoot lightweight bb pellets that weigh about the same as a Tic Tac. Del Mauro posited the guns as a cost-saving alternative to paintball guns, which require players to constantly buy expensive paint rounds.

The cheapest airsoft models are plastic and cost about $30. The more expensive are metal and heavy as real guns.  Unlike paintball guns, which tag their targets with splatters of paint, airsoft guns don’t leave a mark, but feel like a bee sting.

Del Mauro readily extols the virtues of the guns, but his heart lies with other parts of his store’s inventory, namely the “remote control stuff.” That love, along with international corporate downsizing led to the birth of the store. Two years ago, Del Mauro was an IT manager for Anheuser-Busch’s Jersey City headquarters. Belgian beer company InBev shut down Anheuser-Busch’s IT department when they bought the company, leaving Del Mauro unemployed.

Del Mauro kept busy as a stay-at-home Dad and an eBay seller until his wife lost her job as an accountant. Del Mauro, who owned a pet store and a woman’s clothing store before working in IT, decided to combine his retail experience with his love of hobby craft.

He described his experience with the store as on the whole “fantastic.” Response from Springfield residents has been strong, particularly with students from nearby Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School.

“At 2:30, all the kids are here,” Del Mauro said. He said that even the video-game addled youngsters of today are susceptible to the siren song of remote control toys and model kits.

“They come in, and they look at this, they look at that,” Del Mauro said. “You can see the excitement.”

Ryan February 18, 2012 at 08:56 PM
This is kind of strange but is it only me that notices that every time there is a negative comment posted about this store it seems that the other responses are out of charactar snappy remarks back to defend the store. I believe if people are writing their opinions then maybe take responsibility for your store and make changes. I have been there myself and I didn't care for much of the store. Anthony down talk a lot of the neighboring stores around him. And I am very pleased to say I did go out of curiosity to see what Anthony was talking about and went to see for myself. Airsoft Adventures in Newark NJ . The owner Adriene said he stop talking to Anthony too because of all the negative remarks he says about the local airsoft stores. He said Dave and Shelias the people he was partners with before he got his own shop said many stories of Anthony wanting everything for himself and was greedy. And that is why they part ways. Honestly I wouldn't put it past Anthony writing these snappy remarks to defend himself. Thats ashame. I agree horrible store. But thanks for the connection even though you tried to steer me wrong. What comes around goes around.
Ryan February 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM
It’s Ryan and I want everyone to know the truth my name is Liam from Millburn and I used to work at the store, I got caught stealing and was let go. I like making up shit just to hurt Anthony’s Business. Springfield is lucky to have a store like Hobbies and Airsoft and if anyone knows Anthony they will tell you he is an upfront guy. Why do I talk about other stores because I like to piss him off
Peter February 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I like to fart and make crap in my paints.
Amy February 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Hey i know liam from millburn, he is one of the meanest kids i no. He stole a gun from a friend of mine and then sold it on ebay. Then he tried to charge one of my friends $200 for the use of a battery. He thinks hes mr.airsoft. Hey liam i want everyone to know that its you messing with hobbies and airsoft.
Liam F February 19, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Exscue me Josh Weintraub, Funny thing is i am under the age of 18 and therefore can not use ebay as per their regulations. And i never have sold or tried selling a battery... i dont know where you get your info but you better find a new source.... If you have an issue with me please coem talk to me about it, otherwise grow up and stop hidingunder a fake name on patch... Alos, almsot all the info said in this thread about hobbies and airsoft is false.. they offer competitive pricing, and a store warranty.... if you ever have an issue the staff will immediatly assist you with your products issue... Stop hiding behind fake names on the internet and coem to the store and talk to us... we cant do anything over the interwebs..

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