We’ve just got back from an afternoon at Joburg’s annual festival of amateur crafting and fun, Hobby-X, at the Northcliff Dome and can whole heartedly recommend a quick trip this Saturday or Sunday to get your fix of, stuff.

Sure, Hobby-X doesn’t have quite the same appeal as rAge, but it’s a much more eclectic mix of ideas and celebration of Doing Things For Yourself. Where else are you likely to pass a group of older ladies having a heated debate about who can knit the fastest, while standing next to a display of amateur robotics.

Robots

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There was various robot toys on offer, but why bother now that making your own is so cheap and straightforward? The University of Johannesburg has a stall where you can check out some simple creations that are used to complete a maze. It’s great for kids, but the adults will be happy watching it too.

Meccano

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While we do love our LEGO here at makers.htxt, it’s nice to see some other building brands on display. In the middle of the Dome you’ll find an elaborate stand filled with mechanisms, vehicles and buildings, all made out of Meccano. We still like LEGO more, but it’s damn impressive.

Boardgames

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One of our only complaints about Hobby-X is the relatively small size. You’ll probably be able to see every stall in around 45 minutes. Luckily, there’s a dedicated space for anyone to sit down and start playing a boardgame that will consume a few hours of your life. This isn’t grannies Monopoly or Snakes & Ladders, it’s the quality stuff you actually want to play. Get there early with a group and stake yourself a table to avoid disappointment.

3D Printers

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Not only did we see a few stalls dedicated to 3D printers, but we also came across the importers of XYZ printers who were having a special for the weekend on sub-R6 000 machines. Yes, you read the scrawl above right: that’s R4 999 ex-VAT for a fully functioning 3D printer/scanner with built-in display.

Everything else

Now that’s a broad selection. There’s drones and model airplanes, woodwork, gym equipment, laser cutting, stitching… almost anything you could classify as a hobby has a small representation.

Hobby-X details

  • Date 3-6 March 2016
  • Time 9 Am onwards
  • Place Northcliff Dome
  • Entrance fee R70 for adults | R20 for kids (6-12)