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Report: Demand for scale models surges as world deals with COVID-19 pandemic

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It isn’t just the auto industry that’s struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic—other sectors were hit either just as bad or worse.

Chip shortages are now messing with supply chains all across the tech industry, and countless restaurants, both big and small, have shut their doors permanently due to  COVID-19. Tourism, aviation, entertainment, oil and gas—all of these industries have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

But at least scale-model manufacturers are thriving right now, which is nice.

Work from home, play from home

According to a report by the Associated Press, the scale-model business is booming with all the people stuck at home due to the pandemic—so much so that scale-model manufacturer Hornby’s ran out of stock of Spitfire scale model kits for the first time in the company’s 71-year history. British toymaker Peco has had to hire extra staff to keep up with demand, which has surged by as much as 50% in some countries.

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“This is happening everywhere: Our markets in the UK, across Europe, in Australia, North America, in China,” Peco sales manager Steve Haynes said. “People are making far greater use of their spare time, their free time, their enforced time stuck at home to tackle the boredom, to tackle the isolation and do something creative.”

One such person is Maxime Fannoy, who is currently locked down in Belgium with his family. According to him, the hobby is an excellent way to cope with all that’s going on.


“It’s an escape. When you are building a kit or a scene, you really plunge into it,” Fannoy said. “Everything else loses its importance, and in the current context, that is a real help.”

An opportunity to bridge relationships

Guy Warein, a 70-year-old in France, shared that he pulled out an old model train set from his attic and has found it as an opportunity to bond with his grandchildren: “‘Come on Grandpa, let’s go and see the trains and make them work.’ So we put them together and did things together,” he said. “It’s a coming together of generations, and that can only be beneficial.”

Well, that’s certainly heartwarming to hear. Do you think the uptick in sales can continue even when the pandemic begins to die down? Let us know in the comments.

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