We have some sad news for toy-car enthusiasts out there: The founders of Lil’s Hobby Center, Shakespeare and Lily Chan, have passed away. To celebrate the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Chan, we take a look back at how the late couple’s local toy empire was built.
Shakespeare, the pioneer of the local plastic model and RC car industry, founded Lil’s in the ’70s. According to a source close to the family, Mr. Chan was the one who personally went to Japan to bring in the Tamiya brand. Chan went there alone, without any smartphones or even email technology at his disposal at the time. Our source recalls how Mr. Chan missed his train and ran late for his official meeting. By the looks of how things went from then, though, that incident didn’t seem to matter.
Over the years, Chan made several successful recommendations to Tamiya both for plastic models and an air compressor. He also even recommended opening a factory in Cebu, one that Top Gear Philippines was able to visit a while back.
Lil’s grew to become a household name for Filipino hobby enthusiasts. It remains the go-to place for Tamiyas in the Philippines. We’re certain that for generations more to come, this humble store will continue to inspire car enthusiasts both young and old alike.
Rest in peace, Mr. and Mrs. Shakespeare and Lily Chan.