HobbyTown was founded in 1980 by Merlin Hayes and Thomas Walla with the purchase of a local business in Lincoln, Nebraska. The corporation was established for the sole purpose of sharing their dream with other people who wanted to own their own hobby store.
Today, HobbyTown is a nationally registered franchise, and the company is widely regarded as a leader in the retail hobby industry. There are currently over 160 HobbyTown franchises open or under development in 43 states. It is the largest retail hobby franchise in the world and is ranked in the top 2% of all franchises worldwide.