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Oct 02, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Polks hobbies closes thier doors

It is with a both sad and happy heart that I announce that POLK’S Hobbies and Aristo-Craft Trains, has closed its doors, and the modeling public, has lost one of the founding members of the modeling industry as we know it.

I have known Louis Polk and his father for the entire life of my company, over forty years, and have shared the ups and downs of the industry with him as well as everyone who earns their living from the model industry. The list of things that POLKS started for the modeling world, reads like the who’s who of new items bought forth to the modeling world. Founded back in the early 1920’s, they shaped the now defunct three tier system of product sales, which was the foundation of marketing for half a century.
Their scope of products sold were to say the least, was astounding, many of them manufactured for POLKS Hobbies as well as the ARISTO CRAFT label. Supplier of DC Motors, Radio Control systems, Electronics, Trains, the list goes on and on.

To Louis and his wife Mary Ann, I say, GOOD JOB!!! It is time to give yourself a gold watch and enjoy retirement. Speaking for myself, I think I know Louis well enough that he will still be tinkering under wraps.

PS. Louis, I think our fathers would be happy with what we have done with their companies.
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Oct 02, 2013, 12:27 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
How sad! Wow all of those two page adds in all those magazines for years. I wish the Polks the best of all things in their new life.
Oct 02, 2013, 08:33 PM
blutoh's Avatar
As I understood it, just the RC division was closing, and that the model train group was going to remain in business? The Train site is ( is still up and running.
Oct 02, 2013, 08:34 PM
I see all your typos
Harquebus's Avatar
I only vaguely knew of Polk's and would be delighted to see some sort of retrospective of their wares, old ads and so forth.

Is there no one, no heir to take over their business or is are things in too much of a decline to be worth it?
Oct 02, 2013, 09:06 PM
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BLUTOH- The whole company is closing down. It was the train section of the company which was the biggest part of POLKS / ARISTO CRAFT that was taking the biggest down turn in sales.
Oct 03, 2013, 01:05 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
I used to buy Polk's model boat accessories for my boat builds in the 50's through the 70's. Seldom saw Polk's ads in model magazines that are still in business. I'll bet generations of well known New York area modelers bought kits and supplies from Nate Polk. Everything that is good seems to come to an end.
Oct 03, 2013, 08:17 PM
Ed Croughwell
modelerman's Avatar
Bummer... Another victim of personal discretionary spending. And I can speak from experience.
Oct 05, 2013, 09:01 AM
Registered User
Yes I remember those Polk's ads back in the fifties and later as I grew up to be a adult playing with my toy models. lol
Have a good retirement for a job well done guys.
Oct 05, 2013, 01:49 PM
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What many folks do not realize is that POLKís Hobbies/ ARISTO CRAFT, were the very first to bring into the modeling arena many of the major players of todayís market place. To name a few does the name MABUCHI MOTORS, or HITEC RADIOS, or SUNLUX ELECTRONICS, or JET-X MOTORS sound familiar.
Oct 06, 2013, 11:16 PM
rloose's Avatar


How weird. My 10 year old Polk's Tracker II transmitter just died! I believe it was one of the first synthesized multichannel transmitters with synthesized stinkin' crystals. Dang it. I will miss Polk's Hobby and my old transmitter. Hmmm..I see lots of switches, knobs, and gimbals that may save some other transmitter.

By the way, it was sort of my own fault. I left the transmitter on in my truck and the battery ran all the way down. After I charged it back up, the scanner is now reporting all frequencies busy and won't let me do anything else. Tried removing the battery to reboot to no avail. Anybody know a quick fix, before I assign it to the parts bin?

Jan 10, 2014, 07:05 PM
Looking for a place to crash
Got a new Tracker III That I am willing to let go.

I bought it as a back up to my first Tracker III. Still in the box.

I am converting my 1st Tracker to 2.4Ghz with the Spektrum RF module.

Jan 11, 2014, 10:36 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
A lot of hobby-related businesses are closing down for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the flooding of the marketplace by cheap products from CHINA.
Jan 11, 2014, 08:48 PM
I see all your typos
Harquebus's Avatar
Someone here, I forget whom, was a big proponent of a Polk's ESC and used them in almost all of his boats. Just saddened that Polk's and this product are no longer available and I think may have been for quite some time before this unfortunate closure.

I suspect they may have been "home grown" or did they just have a Polk's logo slapped on them (and manufactured elsewhere)??
Jan 11, 2014, 10:42 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
The original ESCís sold by Aristo Craft were made in Korea and sold under the trade name SUNLUX. Then as Polkís moved more into the RC field and also developing the walk about train controls, the speed controls were made in China.
The fellow you are thinking about was John Gill, who worked at Polkís for years.
Jan 12, 2014, 08:08 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Rich, haven't heard from John in quite some time, what is he doing now---?

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