Good Old Maplins


Have just bought my first netbook – a lovely little thing from Maplins called a CnMbook costing £140 running Linux on a 400MHz MIPS processor and, guess what, when you push the button it starts – just like that – none of this ‘Windows is starting up  . . . .’ bollox, followed by several minutes of aggravating boot-up time. It’s for my eight year-old grand-daughter and the OS is so simple to use she was using it immediately.

I have to say Maplins is a great addition to the High Street. Two Christmases ago they did a brace of  electric bumper cars which the grand-children could sit in and drive round their parents’ house giving the paintwork a right old seeing to. The pleasures of grandparent-hood!


This year I got three hovercraft from Maplins, one for each of the grand-children and one for their father which were a great success. A model speedboat went down very well with their father earlier last year.


Maplins’ stuff seems to be unique to them and appears to be either built in the Far East to their specifications or very astutely bought. It does the essential business without wasting money on the inessentials.


It’s great to have an electronics shop on the High Street which has the guts to sell unique stuff and not put up the same dreary parade of over-priced stuff from the same old lurkers.



  1. Thanks Geoff that’s well worth knowing

  2. Yes, Roger, you’re absolutely spot on on both counts.

  3. Maplins is fascinating but I have two problems with it. Firstly, it is pricey for basic computer components (disks, memory, …), and secondly it doesn’t stock ‘scopes.

  4. That’s a lovely story.
    The Sutton assistants are just as clueless as the Tottenham Court Road ones..

  5. Maplins has filled the evolutionary niche left by Tandy’s. I think it’s great – there’s now somewhere ten minutes away from me in Camden where I can pick up just enough of a range of components to keep me going when I’m playing radio, as well as lots of different sorts of power supplies, tools and test gear. None of it is terribly high quality, but it works (mostly) and they’re fine about taking stuff back.
    But you do have to know what you want before you go in. The assistants can be very clueless: I popped into the Tottenham Court Road branch last year to get (among other stuff) a 1N4001 bog standard little 50v 1A diode. The assistant went by stock number, which he misread, and disappeared into the basement only to reappear five minutes later, grunting and sweating, carrying a huge speaker stand bigger than me.

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