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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.”

TJ February 01, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Everybody Shop at Hobbies and Airsoft......
TJ February 01, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I'm just mad because I lost !!!!!!!!!!!. I’m Springfield’s biggest looser.
Jeremy February 01, 2012 at 10:23 PM
This store is great. I am a frequent customer and personally speaking, Anthony has always stressed the importance of safety and responsibility. I would, and often do, recommend Hobbies and Airsoft to anyone looking for most things remote control and airsoft related.
Dave B. February 01, 2012 at 10:52 PM
It’s people like you TJ who hurt our town small business, I shop in this store a lot and I always see the owner checking the age of the kids that walk in. In fact he will not even let them hold an Airsoft gun unless there with a parent. I use to shop down in Greenbrook talk about lack of safety. TJ I think you need to get a life and stop spreading lies. This is a good store and I’m glad it’s in Springfield.
H&A February 01, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Guys even though this store is degrading... please be nice
Nick Duffala February 02, 2012 at 01:20 AM
yea yea its sad
Nick Duffala February 02, 2012 at 01:21 AM
this store is a fault
LF February 02, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Wow nick from clark what are you 6, you dont even make sence what you wrote.
LF February 02, 2012 at 01:39 AM
This post is not from H&A it looks like it came from liam from millburn. He just a trouble maker, has no friends and thinks he is mr. Airsoft. This store is great they do airsoft repairs and have a great selection. Check it out for yourself and you will see this is a great store.
Danny February 02, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Is there somthing wrong with all of you, your all acting like childern, grow up. For anyone who has dout about this store just stop by and meet the owner, he seems to be a good guy and verry helpful the store is pack with great items and it is safe to say this is one of the best stores for airsoft. Just stop by and see for youself.
Ellen February 02, 2012 at 03:31 PM
My children love this store. I just bought my 14 year old son an airsoft gun, the store was very good about going over the gun and the safety aspects. My 8 year old got a model rocket kit and can’t stop talking about it. The store is a lot of fun and everyone should check it out.
Donald Florio February 02, 2012 at 07:27 PM
In a culture saturated with images of gun violence in the movies, on TV, in video games not mention the reality in the news everyday is it wise to promote the use of realistic toy guns as a hobby? Is not this emersion in violence and pretend violence coarsening the young? The pictures of this place make it look like a junior gun shop. Some local police might stroll through making admiring comments but many law enforcement groups are concerned how real airsoft guns look. Parents need to take a long hard look and decide if this culture of violence is corrupting their children. If so they must say no to what's allowed into their homes and not give into the howling of their children or the unscrupulous who exploit them.
Daddy of 4 February 02, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Who died and left you in charge, there toys, there a reason for children to go an learn team work. Maybe you haven’t noticed they shoot PLASTIC, under a 1/3 of a gram. I think Donald you should seek out help and stop trying to play god. You are the one corrupting thing, have you ever played airsoft, have you ever been to an airsoft game, have you ever held an airsoft gun. The guns are safe its people like yourself who are not safe.
A Student at MMS February 02, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Airsoft is a team building sport... It helps build strong bonds between people and is even used as a training tool for the military.. When these guns are used properly and in a safe enivorment, they can and will provide hours of endless fun. Hobbies and airsoft makes sure to only sell to people above the age of 18 years old, or to the adult of a child like my self looking to become more active in the sport.
A Student at MMS February 02, 2012 at 11:01 PM
As a 14 year old i find my self participating in airsoft events frequently with the players i have met playing. I have formed a tight bond with my fellow players and we have even formed and organized team that participates in events. Hell, we are even traveling up to vermont this summer to play in a three day event involving the use of helicopters, and other military vehicles. Airsoft is a true game that brings people together to have a truly good time. Hobbies and Airsoft is a great store that carries basically everything someone just starting out or an experienced player would need, bb's, airsoft replcias, vest and many more items. The customer service there is excellent with every question i have ever asked has been answered. And their technician is on of the ebst and few that i would trust. Their stock of Rc cars and knowledge of them is also very impressive. I would and do recommend hobbies and airsoft to all of my team mates and fellow players as should you. They are truly a great addition to the town of springfield and i hope they stay for years to com
Sam February 04, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Was just there, the store is great and very helpful, not like other airsoft stores I shopped at this store did not try to over sell me. I just bought a new M4 and they took the time to go over the whole gun with me and also went over the rules and gun safety with my son. I live in Clark NJ and I recommend this store to any who is in to airsoft
GH February 10, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Hello, I am one of the kids who created the winning video. During production no gun was actually shot and no BB left the barrel of gun. There is such a thing as special effects and acting.
Jim February 18, 2012 at 04:32 AM
I just would like to not recommend this place to anyone at all. I had such a bad experience with Anthony at springfield hobbies and airsoft. I bought a gun there and the gun wasn't working the same day when I went home. So I brought the gun back the very next day right away and asked Anthony for help . He said he couldn't do anything for me because he said to me that "It looked like my son was the problem." I was in complete shock. The guy who I thought was nice of the day I bought the gun turned into be a rude person who accused my son of breaking a gun that he did not. Very unproffessional and does not back up the merchandise he sells. I hope I help the next person before they fall into his trap.
Tim February 18, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Lies, Lies, Lies. I shop ther all the time, the stoe is great alway helpful and always proffessional.
Tim February 18, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Hey jim im so sure you are lieing i would like to meet you at the store with a reporter from the patch and see this in person.
Dave B February 18, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I think Jim is confused maybe your talking about Godfather Airsoft or that small crappy store in clark theses are two of the worst stores to shop at. We are proud to have such a nice store like Hobbies and Airsoft in our town. Hey Jim " if thats your real name" maybe you and your son are the problem. Right Liam.
Jim February 18, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Ok, Ok my son broke the gun. The store was helpful I guess i got cought in a lie. Sorry.
Jim February 18, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I hope Anthony at Springfield Hobbies and Airsoft forgives me. My son likes shopping there the store is one of the best Airsoft stores in NJ.
Burst February 18, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Jim you sound like an ass. There is somthing wrong with the patch how can you alloew someone to make remarks that slander them, with no proof or fact. I smell law suit. The patch is a joke, it looks like it is ran my fools.
Terri February 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Burst, you speak the truth the patch is a joke. And me and my 2 sons shop there all the time the owner is verry nice and helpful. I know they fired one of there workers and it is so easy to get a patch account, they don't ask for much to join. The patch should be made responsable for the remarks left by others. I tell every DON'T READ THE PATCH!
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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