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The 5 Best Hobby Shops in Johannesburg, Reviewed!

The 5 Best Hobby Shops in Johannesburg, Reviewed!

Range of products – Regardless of speciality, we chose hobby shops that offer a wide range of products to choose from.

Quality – It’s not enough that they offer options. We also looked at the quality of their products to make sure buyers get value for their money.

Pricing and payment options – While these products tend to be expensive, we chose shops that have relatively reasonable prices. We also gave bonus points to shops that offer discounts and those that accept multiple payment options.

Customer service – How do these merchants value their buyers? We prefer shops that treat their buyers well, so we looked at the quality of service they provide customers from inquiry to problem resolution.

1. Hobbies & Models

Hobbies & Models Homepage


Address: 54 York Rd, South Kensington, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa

Contact Details: +27 82 464 9495

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Google reviews score4.7/5 reviews score4/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency4.5/5
Range of products4/5
Pricing and payment options4.5/5
Customer service4.5/5


  • Great customer service
  • One of the first hobby shops in SA
  • Sells complete starter sets
  • Sells several brands and models


  • Many items are out-of-stock
  • Online selection is not complete

Hobbies & Models is a unique shop in Johannesburg that sells model trains. They’re one of the first hobby shops in South Africa and have 33 years’ worth of experience in the industry.

They’re definitely a go-to for train enthusiasts, as they have everything you need to build your set-up. Hobbies & Models sells trains, wagons, tracks, accessories, scenes, and electronics needed to make the set-up work.

We love how they have beginner-friendly products and also sell complete starter sets. They’re also partnered with several big model train brands like Wills Kits, Hornby, and Graham Farish.

Their stocks come and go quickly, though, so make sure you regularly check their registry before you miss the last piece of that accessory you need to complete your scenery.

Hobbies & Models also recently put up an online catalogue to complement their walk-in store, which is great. However, they’re still working on their online store and some of their products aren’t included yet, so you can expect some gaps in their catalogue.

Another thing we like about this hobby store is its active and supportive representatives. Of course, their staff are knowledgeable and train model enthusiasts, too, so it’s easy to ask them about the technical stuff. 

Customers also praise them for their prompt response, professionalism, and warm welcome, especially to newbies.

2. RC King Hobbies

RC King Hobbies Homepage


Address: 250 Corlett Dr, Bramley Gardens, Johannesburg, 2090, South Africa

Contact Details: +27 76 723 4540

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Google reviews score4.8/5 reviews score5/5
Total reviews4.3/4
Score consistency4.5/5
Range of products4.9/5
Pricing and payment options4.5/5
Customer service4.7/5


  • Comprehensive product catalogue
  • Reasonable prices
  • Has over two decades of combined experience
  • Quick and easy delivery


  • In-store visits are by appointment only
  • Some reports of subpar product quality

RC King Hobbies is another popular choice in the community of hobbyists. They started out as an online shop in 2013, but then they decided to expand and opened a physical shop in Joburg.

Take note, though, that in-store visits are strictly by appointment only. You can give them a call to schedule a visit. 

They’re one of the most popular hobby shops in Gauteng province, with over a thousand followers on their page and hundreds of product reviews on their website.

RC King Hobbies’ staff are often complimented by previous customers for their expertise and useful advice. The company has over two decades of combined experience, which also reflects its credibility.

Our favourite feature of RC King Hobbies is its comprehensive product catalogue. They really have something for anyone and their selection can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for rookies.

It’s great that their online shop is organised and easy to navigate. 

RC King Hobbies is also preferred for its reasonable pricing. Customers tell us you can score difficult-to-find and high-quality pieces at this store for a great price.

Customers are also impressed with the company’s logistics. We’re told placing orders is very easy to do and deliveries are quick and always on time. 

Nonetheless, some customers have issues with the quality of some products they purchased from the store. We’re told some products like grub screws are defective and some toys are made with cheap plastic material, and thus are flimsy.

3. Esswex

Esswex Homepage


Address: Northcliff Corner Shopping Center, Beyers Naude Dr &, Milner Ave, Randburg, 2195, South Africa

Contact Details: +27 11 888 3619

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Google reviews score4.6/5
Facebook reviews score5/5
Total reviews4.7/5
Score consistency4.5/5
Range of products4.5/5
Pricing and payment options4.5/5
Customer service4.5/5


  • Frequently restocks
  • Has a wide selection of products
  • Owners give valuable advice for beginners
  • Features several renowned brands


  • Outdated products
  • Not the best store location

Next on our list is Esswex Hobbies, a well-known hobby shop in Northcliff Corner Shopping Centre. They specialise in plastic models, remote-controlled models, and models of various cars, planes, boats, airplanes, and helicopters. 

They’ve been in business for over three decades already and were actually one of the first hobby shops that opened in South Africa.

Esswex Hobbies attracts most of its customers through its extensive product collection. Aside from the models, they also sell accessories, tools, and parts for certain toys.

One thing we love about Esswex Hobbies is they never disappoint when it comes to product stocks. Unlike in other hobby shops, all items in their online shop are available on-hand.

With their comprehensive catalogue, you could expect to find products that are outdated – but that’s not a big issue as they regularly add new products to their collection, which is exciting for collectors. 

It’s also a plus for us that their catalogue features several renowned brands like Guillow’s, G.W.H, Fujimi, and Fleischmann.

Price-wise, Esswex Hobbies has various products for all budgets. Their items are priced between R 20 to as much as R 18,000. 

Another thing customers appreciate about Esswex Hobbies is their staff’s expertise and skills in handling customers. We’re told the owners as well as their support staff give valuable advice for beginners, which is nice.

Customers’ only issue is the store’s poor location. They shared with us how it was difficult to find and its vibe wasn’t really enticing as the stalls beside it were gloomy and vacant.

4. CHZ Hobbies

CHZ Hobbies Homepage


Address: shop 1a, 139 Webber Rd, Lambton, Germiston, 1401, South Africa

Contact Details: +27 11 827 5408

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Google reviews score4.5/5 reviews score4.7/5
Total reviews4.4/5
Score consistency4.5/5
Range of products4.8/5
Pricing and payment options4.5/5
Customer service4/5


  • Features all remote control hobby products
  • The only distributor of Ritewing products
  • Has a full-stock shop with a growing catalogue
  • Often puts selected items on sale


  • Unresponsive
  • Reports on delayed deliveries

CHZ Hobbies is a go-to store for all remote-controlled hobby products. Aside from models of cars, aiplanes, boats, quadcopters and others, they also sell parts, mechanisms, build materials, chargers, and many more.

They have a full-stock shop, both physical and online, and their catalogue is continuously growing. CHZ Hobbies adds new products almost every month, which is awesome.

They’re quite popular for having parts for classic and older toy models. Previous customers shared with us that they’re thankful they found this hobby shop as they lost hope of finding part replacements for their RC models.

CHZ Hobbies’ collection features many big, reputable brands. What impressed us, though, is finding out that they’re the only accredited importer and distributor of Ritewing products.

It’s a plus for us that they allow nationwide delivery, but there are reports from previous customers that it can take a while. 

Some say they had to wait for an entire month before receiving their items, which can be too much of a long wait for others.

Another thing we love about this hobby shop is its frequent product promotions and sales. Featured items vary and are replaced more or less every month, and discounts can save you as much as R 1000 or more.

If there is something CHZ Hobbies needs to improve on, it’s its customer service. There are several complaints about how their representatives are unresponsive to customers’ questions, which can be discouraging for potential buyers.

5. Grand Prix Models

Grand Prix Models Homepage


Address: 21 Yster St, Bardene, Boksburg, 1459, South Africa

Contact Details: +27 11 894 4240

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Sunday 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Google reviews score4.1/5
Facebook reviews score4.8/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency4.5/5
Range of products4.6/5
Pricing and payment options4.7/5
Customer service4/5


  • Go-to shop for car models
  • Features top car makes
  • Also sells informative materials about motor racing
  • Well-established business with over 22 years of experience


  • Weak after-sales service
  • Faulty online shop

Grand Prix Models is the most- and highest-rated hobby shop in our list. They’re actually one of the principal hobbyists with a special interest in racing car models in all of South Africa.

They’re a well-established business with over 22 years of experience. We’d say they’re also the most popular distributor of car models nationwide.

What makes them special is their broad catalogue of products. They’re updated with the latest product releases and we’re told you can score rare, older models finds in this shop too.

Aside from racing cars, they also sell drones, toys and puzzles, LEGO, accessories, kits, and chargers. 

Our favourite feature about Grand Prix Models, though, is their educational and informative products such as magazines, booklets, and DVDs about different models. We think this is great because it can be helpful for newbies still learning about the hobby.

We love that they feature all the top remote-control model makers like Tamiya, Italeri, Schumacher, HSP, and Hornby.

Grand Prix Models has a physical store in town and recently built its online shop, too. However, we’ve heard a number of grumbles regarding their faulty online shop.

Customers complain about how there are discrepancies between the in-store price and the price on the website for the same item. Moreover, we’re told there are also instances where orders placed online aren’t processed and don’t push through.

This is bad news for customers as their payments often go through with no problems. We hope Grand Prix Models addresses these issues as they improve on their online store.

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