I remember my somewhat older cousin having the Mapiln catalogue when I was growing up. Enticed by the sci-fi cover art I looked inside to see all these fascinating things that were used to build electronics. Fond memories.
We used to have a Tandy at the top of the road, changed to Maplin a number of years ago but was still delightfully geeky for a while, guess they've gotta chase the money in the internet age but a shame to see them stocking up with dissapointing tat.
The guys at my local hackerspace are very disparaging about Maplin, the only reason to use them is if they have that component that you've forgotten to order and need it now (assuming it's not some shonky, low-budget copy)