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Cubby Associated B5One of the most interesting trends that I’ve been hearing more and more about behind the scenes is about kits. You remember them don’t ya? Where you buy a new car, open the box, and all you see is part trees? From what I’ve been hearing there are several manufacturers that would love for them to come back into fashion.

As I’ve said many times before, rc is like anything else, if you wait long enough everything comes back into fashion. Bell-bottoms were huge (no pun intended) in the 1970s, then made a short comeback in the 90′s, and I have no doubt they will once again be all the rage at some point down the road. Therefore I know for a fact that eventually kits will again rule the rc world, it isn’t a matter of “if”, it is a matter of “when”.

There are a whole bunch of upsides to kits ruling the world. In particular, the manufacturers would love for kits to make a comeback. On the business side of things profit margins on kits are greater and it totally eliminates the hundreds of headaches associated with having an RTR assembled. On the consumer side of things, kits create more of a bond with a car owner and ensure they know how to fix their car when it breaks. There is lots of win/win on the kit side of things no doubt.

However… RTRs rule the roost for good reason, especially in the basher world. Most people are either too busy to build a kit or too lazy, so it is simply much more convenient for a “casual” consumer to get into rc via a RTR. So what is it gonna take to flip the rc world upside down? Ya, you already know the answer… marketing. From the rumblings I’ve been hearing throughout the industry, don’t be surprised to start seeing marketing that emphasizes how fun kit building is instead of how convenient RTRs are.

In BSRC news…

While this might sound quite early, I need to start pumping up (read- spamming) the iHobby show. Why so early??? Because iHobby ’14 isn’t gonna be a traditional show for us, it is going to be ground breaking. Of course this is just a tease because I can’t say more, but 100% legit, everyone in the rc world is going to be shocked at what we have in our booth this year. Mark your calenders, put in for vacation time now, and be sure to join us October 2-5 in Schaumburg Illinois. I promise you our booth will not disappoint.

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Quadcopter ShovelHey now everyone, thanks for tuning in to yet another Cub Report, where all the cool industry types get their water cooler fodder.

How was our SoCal trip? Man, I hate to use the word “epic” as it will make me sound arrogant (read- guilty as charged), but ya, that pretty much sums up our trip. If you are “in the industry” and read that (and we haven’t visited you yet), you would probably take that as we “landed” a bunch of new accounts. Quite the contrary, we aren’t the dinosaur media, we didn’t hit anyone up for money, when we road trip we go to simply touch base, rc bench race, and generally get in some serious face time.

So…. what made our road trip so epic?

Trigger time. We got in a lot of driving on this trip (or at least Brian and Tim did, I spent most of my time shopping for car parts). Yes, we get in trigger time every day, but getting the chance to pull trigger at new venues with the actual people that are shaping the industry is something special. For example, if we are out with the Axial crew bashing the new Yeti and we wonder why the rear suspension was done the way it was, we could simply turn to the guy next to us and ask, after all he was the guy that designed it. Or if we are over at Pro-line trying to destroy one of their PRO-2 trucks and can’t get it done, we can pat the guy that designed it on the back and tell him great job. Any trigger time is awesome, trigger time with the actual people that designed the product is truly something epic.

The food. I feel bad for our guy Tim, he had just kicked off a new diet and missed out on some pretty incredible grub. SoCal has a LOT of excellent places to eat, but even better, the manufacturers seemed to hook us up with only the best of the best. Sometimes that meant fancy dancy food at a high buck joint, but we even had kick ass food at a local mom-n-pop joint that didn’t cost much more than eating at Denny’s. Good eats is good times.

Face time. Yes, there is a place for email. Yes, text messages are great. However… nothing will ever beat actual face time. Whether it simply be rc bench racing, talking product specs, or trying to pry out info on upcoming vehicles, nothing beats face time for being able to read someones facial expressions or for being able to really connect with someone. We can run lots of ideas past people over email (and them past us), but doing that face to face in real life yields immediate and often times spectacular results.

So… thanks to all the people that opened their doors to us out west, we’ll have to roll out one seriously kick ass red carpet for you when you make it out our way.

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby RRCi MagazineAs the title states above, this is indeed a “quick-n-dirty” edition of THE Cub Report. Instead of laboring for days making sure the CR is something that would put anything Donald Barlett ever wrote to shame (read- in my dreams), today’s CR is mainly a quick tease.

This weeks CR’s has to be short because the BigSquidRC Bash Crew is once again packing for a trip to Southern California (we’ll be on the ground by the time you read this). This particular trip was supposed to be on the down low, but after getting numerous texts from people wanting to meet up, people who should have had no clue we were going to be in SoCal, it seems our trip didn’t stay a secret for very long.

With all that said…. of course I can’t say why we are going to SoCal, or who we are going to see during our stay. I can’t say if we are going out there to simply enjoy some smog riddled days in the sun, or because there are projects big enough to warrant the trip out. I can’t say if we’ll even be doing posts about our trip this time. If there are things of interest that can be posted on our front page, they will go up, but is NDAs are involved, we may not be able to post much, if anything at all. All I can say is that we’ll definitely try to post as much as we can possibly get away with.

So that’s it for this week folks, the biggest tease ever I guess. If you are a basher in the SoCal area and want to say hello (read- destroy some cars), we are on a pretty slammed schedule, but shoot us an email at the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page and maybe we can work something out. Until next week, go fast, spin tires, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

RC Monster TruckAs I was reading Tabasco Sauce’s column “Raging Rotors” last week, I found that it once again brought up the hot topic of parts availability. Over the course of the week it became the main topic of text messaging between myself, the BSRC crew, and various industry insiders. So here we go, here is a Cub Report dedicated just to it…

First up, if there is one job I would absolutely never want to have at a manufacturer, it would be the inventory control and logistics guy. Most of you out there already know what it takes to keep a proper inventory going at your place of work, so you already know the wretched nightmare that it can be.

As rc’ers we know that some models are hot sellers, some are not. Some cars only break hub carriers, while other only break a-arms. If you are the inventory control guy for a leading rc car manufacturer, the amount of variables you have to deal with is enormous, and many of those variables aren’t even logical, they are the types of variables that would cause Spock’s brain to explode.

Do I have the answers to how a manufacturer can keep all the right parts in stock at your LHS? Absolutely positively not, my brain hurts just scratching at the surface of this one. However, I do know this…

Margins are paper thin when releasing a new car/truck/whatever. If the manufacturer overbuys on parts it can totally kill the profitability of the vehicle.

If a new car doesn’t have good support parts, word spreads fast in the internet age. This results in people not buying the new car/truck/whatever, resulting in no profitability.

Btw, while everybody hears about a parts deficit, you never hear about the stacks of left over carbon fiber towers that an overzealous buyer thought were going to be a hot seller.

There is a good reason Traxxas is number 1 in sales, actually, there are multiple reasons, and parts availability is one of them. The Traxxas model clearly presents evidence that if you want to move mountains of cars, there has to be a mountain of parts on LHS shelves to go with them.

In every one of our car reviews (and shootouts) parts availability is one of the things we “grade” on. Parts availability is one of the top reasons people buy cars, and for a surprisingly high number of people, it is the number one reason. We know it is highly important, consumers know how important it is, but some manufacturers are more concerned about a big initial PO on the car than making sure the parts are there to support it 2-3 years down the road.

There is a surprisingly high number of new cars released with very little parts support, then the manufacturer texts me to see if I have any insight on why it totally flopped. Parts support might not be the main reason in every case, but it can certainly be the kiss of death.

Ok… so before I get the texts, if I had a gun to my head and were forced (even then I wouldn’t do it) to fix the part support problems for the worst offenders, this is what I would do (gulp). I would cut the check to steal away the guy from another company that is known for doing a great job at inventory control. I would then figure in a few bucks towards every new car to cover extra parts (that very well might just sit on a shelf somewhere), but I would rather be known for having too many parts, instead of too few. I would tell my design staff to use more existing part numbers in new platforms. And last but not least, I would target key LHSs in large metro areas to carry more of my parts. Heck, I’d pay for the new pegs, give them $XXX of free parts to get them started, and would drive to the shops to help them hang the stuff up myself, it really is that important. Parts have to be on the pegs for the long term success of a manufacturer, even if it takes some serious cash (and elbow grease) up front to make it happen.

That’s it, I’m done, thanks for reading, have some big news next week, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

rc bashing with CubbyAnd this week the wheel of death lands on… you guessed it, one of my favorites, ROAR! Actually this week I’m not flipping out on them at all, but I do want to talk about their press release from last week. ROAR put out a statement in regards to the high-zoot 2.4″ wheels that are all the rage 10th scale buggies right now. They very nicely explained how the 2.4″ wheels (and tires) have not been approved, therefore nobody should expect them to be legal at ROAR sanctioned events in 2014. The PR was well done and said what needed to said without making them sound evil or out of touch. Well done ROAR (have I ever said that before???).

On the other hand… I’ve seen where there are a bunch of “racers” out there melting down about it, which I simply can not understand. How is it so hard for one to wrap their head around the fact that tires/wheels that have never been approved are not legal for racing? Pretty simple stuff here no doubt, but a certain group of “hardcore” racers think just because they’ve bought a bunch of the 2.4s that they should instantly be legal for any event they see fit. Some of you wacky racers out there need to get grip…

And… some of you “hardcore types” should consider quitting your cheating. A couple weeks ago at a big west coat rc event the organizer decided to do some tech inspections on the “stock” and “super stock” classes and found numerous cheaters at his event. We’ve even seen people at really laid back events cheating by various means. How pathetic is that, cheating at racing toy cars? There is no honor in a win acquired by cheating, and it will be something that the perpetrator will think about over, and over, and over again with shame…

On a different note… years and years ago I had a little accident while racing motocross that was a career ender. After the accident promises were made to my family never to ride again. They (my family) were put through an awful lot during my injury, so I made the promises and pretty much stayed away from bikes after that. Well, until about 2 months ago…

If you ride you know that it is an itch that simply can not be scratched without riding again. I pretty much didn’t ride for close to a decade and a half so the itch simply got too strong and I broke down and bought a new bike. I’ve been riding every week since then, and quite honestly, it has done wonders for my mental state. Riding helps keep me on an even keel, since I’ve been riding I no longer feel like killing everyone I see.

But… I got a real eye opener today (Sunday as I write this). As I neared my local riding spot I started seeing state troopers, an ambulance, and a fire truck. Three riders had been involved in an accident, two of which required helicopter flights, with the other a ride in the ambulance. I don’t know who was involved, or how it happened, but any which way, I forgot that even going out for a casual trial ride can be fatally dangerous.

So what’s my point? I know a whole lot of you do rc plus ride/drive/race the full scale deal too, my point is it’s easy to become too relaxed and forget about the dangers of riding/racing. I know I rode a whole lot more cautiously today after seeing those LifeFlight helicopters, I hope each and every one of you make it a point to have fun and go big, but do it in the safest way possible.

That’s it for this week ya lunatics, stay safe out there and support your local hobby shops and bash spots.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby with TP199 Truck at TORCThe other day I was on the phone complaining about the high prices of dry cleaning to Brian. I told him how every towel roughly costs $3 a piece to have cleaned and how that was just getting to be outrageous (which it is)! He commented on how he had never heard of “dry clean only towels” before and that if they did exist, I had to be out of my mind to actual own them. I had never heard of towels that didn’t need to be dry cleaned, well, except for those nasty pieces of cloth they call towels at hotels, and couldn’t believe he didn’t use dry clean only towels himself. Anyways, I’ve since been appointed a “towel snob” and now you know the story behind this week’s title.

Oh ya, and how about some rc? I don’t think so, why not go old school and talk moto first?

I’m certain you either attended in person or watched the coverage of the AMA Motocross National over the weekend. Yes, Jeremey Martin is killing it, the Dunge is showing his age, but most importantly, did you see all the different lines in the track at Spring Creek? Every corner had multiple lines, some just 2, other a half dozen, either way, all those lines are something us rc’ers can only dream about. Well, unless you’ve only ever raced rc and think one line tracks are the norm and the way things should be, and if that is the case, I feel very sorry for you. I can only hope that somewhere, someday, somehow, rc track “designers” get their act together and start doing what it takes to develop multiple lines, the racing for all involved is sooooo much better.

Speaking of rc… all the “big” new product announcements for the Christmas buying season are just around the corner. I am of course sworn to secrecy, but the X-Mas 2014 rc season has some pretty cool stuff ahead. I am chomping at the bit to say more, but if I do it means getting blackballed on further cool stuff, and I am not going to let that happen.

For even more teasing… did ya know BSRC is ten years old? As unbelievable as that might seem, BigSquidRC has somehow managed to keep the doors open for a decade. And lets face it, you know how we are, we are gonna have to celebrate! And just how does BSRC celebrate a decade of demolition? Well, by giving away some cool stuff to our way super dope readers, plus by having a seriously cool party. More info coming on these soon ya’ll……

And yes, even more teasing… our next shootout is well under way and we hope to finish it up next weekend. What shootout might that be? Our Gasoline Monster Truck Shootout of course. This is just a two truck shootout between the HPI Savage Octane and the Losi LST XXL-2, but for all you hardcore bashers it should be right down your alley. We are aiming for it to hit our main page in about 2-3 weeks.

But what about this week’s review? Oh yes, this weeks review is a good one featuring the Losi Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy. The Mini 8IGHT-T might be small but it packs big power and the dastardly AVC that the old timers love to hate. Find out in just a few days how horrifically we treated the truck, and how long, or even if, it survived.

That’s all I got for ya this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby iHobby Truck Give awayIt amazes me how when every new RTR is announced there are a bunch of old school rc zealots that pop out of the woodwork and go into full idiot mode proclaiming its not worth buying unless it is a kit. Ok, so I understand that some people “like” kits, but to go into a full Chernobyl meltdown after each RTR is announced is a bit much, even by Cubby standards.

Why are the “kit fanboyz” so fanatical? I am certainly no psychologist, so my guess is whatever they may be lacking in life they attempt to make up for by being an “elitist” in the field of rc. They chastise people who don’t share their hatred of RTRs, claim over and over again that RTRs are assembled by blind paraplegics, and state that if you are driving an RTR you are a noob. And after doing so, somehow, someway, it makes them feel “better”.

How is the assembly quality of most RTRs these days? Generally they are much better than RTRs from a decade ago. We go over our review units with a fine tooth comb, and while we do still find a problem here or there, generally RTRs are assembled as good, if not better, than we would have assembled them. The people overseas that are putting these cars/trucks/buggies together do it 40+ hours a week, meaning they are experts at what they are doing. In comparison, an average hobbyist might only assemble one kit every few months. In fact, in the field I’ve seen more poorly built kits than poorly built RTRs over the last couple of years. It seems that while certain hobbyists “want” to build their own rigs, they don’t take the proper time (or read the manual closely enough) to make sure it ends up being built correctly.

If you are driving an RTR does that make you a noob? I’ve personally witnessed pretty much every single big name in our hobby driving a RTR, so that certainly isn’t the case. These big names are no different than the BSRC staff, or the majority of our readers, and they have no problem driving an RTR because it saves them time. It seems that while some of the elitist kit fanboyz swear they would never touch an RTR, the big names they worship have no problem doing so.

And… to all those wanna-be elitists that think every new car announced needs to be available in kit form only- you’ve probably never seen the sales numbers, but I have, and most kits just don’t sell very well. If every new car were banished to being a kit, there would be a whole lot of companies going out of business.

Yes, sure, everyone in the hobby should assemble a kit (or two, or ten) to get a better understanding of the inner workings of an rc car, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with manufacturers putting out mostly RTRs, nor anything wrong with the people that buy them. The advent of the RTR has helped keep our hobby from dying off, and helped finance many of the uber kits that the so called “elitists” like to build.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of rc snobs, support your local hobby shops, bash spots, and ready-to-runs when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

FPV RC CubbyTo mix things up a little this week I’ve decided to make THE Cub Report about some of my favorite hobby shops. I travel a lot for my “work”, so each year I am lucky enough to hit dozens of shops coast to coast. After all my traveling these are my top 3 hobby shops, the ones that if you are a gnarcore hobbyist you have to hit before you die.

3. A Main Hobbies, Chico California - While A Main is known primarily for their on-line sales, their brick and mortar is no joke. Their store isn’t the largest, but with their huge warehouse only about a mile away, it has to be considered one of the best stocked in the country. Want the latest Schumacher? No problem. Need to new Mugen? No problem. Quite simply they have all the stuff in stock that you wished your LHS carried. Also adding to the allure are their top notch tracks and the ability to get all the latest SoCal gossip from the guys working the counters. If you are in SoCal and want to get a real taste of rc, hit up the A Main shop.

2. Slot and Wing Hobbies, Champaign Illinois - Ok, so while A Main has every piece of uber new gear you could possibly want, Slot and Wing has a mind blowing amount of classic products. Slot and Wing, located just a few miles from the behemoths of Hobbico and Horizon, have been buying up “scratch and dent” items for years, thus making for an incredibly diverse product selection. Walking down an isle at Slot and Wing is like walking down memory lane (their classic body selection is particularly impressive). While many local hobby shops have a few leftover parts for older models, what makes Slot and Wing so special is the shear volume of older parts they carry. If you are into a walk down memory lane, or new to the hobby and want a real taste of what the hobby used to be like, plan a pilgrimage to Slot and Wing, some of the items they have on the pegs will blow your mind.

And now for my #1 favorite hobby shop here in the states…

RC Madness, Enfield Connecticut - Does RC Madness have the most gear? Nope, not by a long shot. Is it the most pristine shop you can walk into? No way. However, what makes them the number 1 shop in the country is how they treat their customers. Nearly every time I get to visit I am amazed at some of the things they do to help customers. The crew behind the counter are extremely well versed on the surface side of things, so you never get the deer in the headlights look when you ask for a strange part like you would at most hobby shops. Also, the shop owner Chris would do just about anything to make sure you leave with the parts you need. I’ve never known him to say “no” to even the most bizarre of requests. For example I would say something like, “Hey Chris, any way you can get me one of those #1 Phillips Hudy screwdrivers that only came in the XRay M18 kit?”, and his typical reply is never “No.”, it is more like “Give me a second and let me look.”. This inevitably ends up with him searching around the back, then walking to the counter with obscure part in hand and a price on his mind. In fact, I’ve seen him crack open brand new kits to get a customer the parts they needed. And when they don’t have the parts (or a suitable replacement) in stock, they have no issue going to great length to acquire them. To boil it down, the reason why RC Madness is #1 is because they go the extra mile (sometimes several extra miles) getting every customer exactly what they want. Oh and yes, if you are a hardcore hobbyist it is absolutely worth planning a dedicated trip just to visit Madness, they have multiple tracks to keep you busy once your spending spree is over.

That’s it for this week ya lunatics, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby ROARHello all and welcome to THE Cub Report, the column everyone who is anyone reads to get a weekly dose of rc smack talk.

First up is no smack talk at all, it is good ole’ hard facts. We had more traffic on our website last Monday than any other day in the decade long history of BigSquidRC. Which is truly something, because we’ve had some pretty epic days before. In fact, we had over 30% more traffic last Monday than any other single day. The Axial Yeti review went up that day, plus we had some other decent posts that helped shoot our numbers through the roof. The big numbers prove that our dot com isn’t on a downward trend, it is still gaining momentum, something a whole lot of other sites can not say. So… mad props and huge thanks to all you readers out there for taking the time out of your day to give our little website a visit. It’s all of you that have taken BSRC from being just another little fish in the pond, all the way to being one of the biggest whales in the ocean.

Btw… getting our hands on the Yeti so early was really cool and we need to issue a big thanks to the Axial crew for the hook-up. However, we are not done yet with getting some of the hottest new products wayyyyy early. We have two other items that will be going up this fall that are going to be really, really big deals in the rc world. You guys know I am all about the tease, but I’m not kidding here, luckily we are big enough now days that we can get some big scoops. Both are still a few months out, but they will be legit “big deals”.

On a different note…

Boy, last weeks Cub Report sure got people mashing their keys (about ROAR and artificial stability control). Actually, it was another new record, a record for the most emails after a Cub Report. Those people that love to hate on stability control were out in force, typing out paragraph after paragraph on how that sort of thing is the devil and how I am the biggest idiot on the planet for endorsing its use. Strange, I haven’t run across many people inside the industry against it, nor have I run across many “normal” consumers that consider it something bad. It seems the people going full retard against it are local Joe Blow racers who think they might get beat by someone using it at their local “Paddy’s Cow Pie Trophy Race”. I can assure everyone this, no matter how much you may hate the thought of its existence, it isn’t going away, there are too many people on the design and manufacturing side of things ramping it up right now. Not only does it help make cars easier to drive, but mainly it helps SELL the cars, so don’t expect to see it going away anytime soon.

One last topic…

Ok, so the “gas revolution” is off to a very soft start. The HPI Octane has received a very lukewarm reception, and generally in the numbers we have access to, it looks like the public just isn’t gangbusters for that type of product (yet). Later this week we will be posting our review of the Losi LST XXL2 Gasoline truck. This is the second small scale gasoline vehicle (it just missed by a few days of being first) to hit the market. Does it pick up the ball where the Octane dropped it? Is it the revolution that everyone has been waiting for? Find out later this week on our front page.

That’s it for this week. I wish you all a funtastic July 4th and see you again this time next week. Support your local hobby shops, bash spots, and fireworks stands when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Maxxis TiresLast week our wonderful sanctioning body put out a press release (of sorts) concerning traction control at their races. Here is their PR where they state anyone caught using it gets a 5 year insta-ban…

“The ROAR Executive Committee has decided on a 5 year Suspension from ROAR events for any infractions of rule 5.2.3 The use of traction control sensing devices, active suspension devices, and steering control devices aided by gyroscopes or accelerometers (G-force sensors) of any kind is strictly prohibited. Sensors may be used for the purpose of passive data recording but not for adjusting the performance of the vehicle while in motion.”

As most of you know, I am very “pro stability control”. I dig new technology, and I like how it can (in certain circumstances/conditions) make rc cars easier to control. So ya, you can guess my reaction to the ROAR press release.

Here are some reasons why the ban on stability control is a bad thing, and/or doesn’t make any sense…

1. Been to a “big” race lately? I have, and traction control/stability control won’t make much difference at those types of events. Why? Because they are all about like driving on fly paper. I guess some people don’t realize you have to be sliding around for traction control to actually kick in. These sugar coated/traction additive soaked tracks offer so much traction drivers spend all weekend fighting traction roll, not spinning out. Makes me wonder if any of the people making the “rules” have gotten out much lately.

2. There is no better traction control than the highly skilled trigger finger of a factory driver. Then you put those guys on a fly paper track, and well, seriously, they have no need, nor would get any benefit from, stability control.

3. Most local tracks go by “ROAR rules”. This means they will automatically adopt “no traction control” for their weekly racing. Have you been to many local races lately? Yes, of course I have, and those are the guys that can benefit from the new technology. Head over to YouTube and check out some local race videos. What you’ll find is one or two guys how can actually drive their cars hard and control them, and a whole lot of guys slipping and sliding and crashing their way around the track. How much fun is it to crash all the time and get lapped 5 times in a 6 minute race? Can’t be much…

4. The most elite racing on the planet, F1, has allowed traction control multiple times in the past. They were smart enough (and open minded enough) to try it. It’s truly sad that our tiny toy car sanctioning is so closed minded.

5. A few weeks ago I had a face to face convo with a multi-time IFMAR World Champion about stability control. He was/is as elite of an rc racer as anyone walking this planet. What were his thoughts on stability control? He stated that he wanted to see everyone have the best experience possible in rc, and for the vast majority of drivers that would mean using stability control. While neither of us wanted to see it used at IFMAR WC and ROAR National events, we both agreed that allowing it at the local level, if even just in the “novice” classes, is a great thing for the overall health of our hobby.

To boil it down, it seems like some of the people who are supposed to be “leading” our hobby continue to do everything in their power to keep it in the exact same place that it was in 1985…….

That’s it for this week ya bunch of lunatics, support your local hobby shops, bash spots, and tracks that allow stability control when ya can…

YOUR Cub Reporter

RC Monster TruckHello rc world, it’s Monday and that means yet another funtabulious edition of THE Cub Report.

A couple of months ago when hitting up my local hobby shop, I was quite alarmed when the owner of the shop told me that 2014 was the worst sales year he has seen in the 30+ years his shop has been open. In fact, he went so far to say that 2014 was “Apocalypticly bad” for sales, and that he couldn’t wait for his lease to run out so he could close up shop. Now certainly LHSs are getting hit hard by internet sales, so it is understandable has his sales could be down, but were sales just down at his LHS, or at most hobby shops across the country? What about sales overall? Were the internet places having a bad year too? What about the manufacturers, are sales down for them too?

During my constant travels since then, I’ve made it a point to ask every rc company I’ve visited, from LHSs to manufacturers, just how their year was going. Now… I knew some of the people I asked were always going to say “Sales are at all time highs!!!!” regardless of what the real numbers were. For those people I pretty much zoned out during their answers, but I’ve also gotten the chance to talk to over a dozen people I truly trust, the types of people who aren’t going to just yank my chain. And… yes, it sounds like sales are slow across the board. Most of them were not in full blown panic mode like my LHS owner, but virtually all of them had no problem admitting to me that 2014 has been a stinker thus far for sales.

Why do I bring this up? Because many people in our industry, whether they work at an LHS or at the largest of the manufacturers, don’t often get the chance to honestly talk numbers with people from other companies. And…. because THE Cub Report is read by loads of industry types, I can help spread some information they might be interested in, such as 2014 looks to be a down year. To boil it down, 2014 looks to be a tough one for our industry, but everything works in cycles, lets hope this dip doesn’t last long and gives way to higher sales in the very near future.

If you are a consumer, what does this mean to you? Chances are if you are in the hobby right now you are already spending plenty, however, you can still help spread the word about rc. You can place an rc related sticker on your full size whip, you can do some bashing at the local park to show others how cool it is (in a responsible manner of course, don’t run over any kids with your 5th scale), and of course by just keeping on supporting your LHS or wherever you get your gear from.

On an unrelated note…

We posted a screenshot over the weekend from Tower Hobbies’s website showing Kyosho product on their “Just Announced” section. It’s been several years (a decade???) since the two had a falling out, and if in fact Kyosho is back with Hobbico it should be great for both of them. It gives Hobbico yet another awesome line to sell, and finally gives Kyosho the big distribution they need to excel in the American market. No, I don’t have any inside info on this one, but I’ll be in Champaign later this week and will try to get the scoop face to face.

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can!

YOUR Cub Reporter

The Cub Report Schaumburg“There is a reason they are number two!” is a phrase I say at least a dozen times a week at the BSRC offices. What do I mean by that???

For example, there is a reason Pro-Line is number one in tires/wheels/bodies. They put out a superior product, they have a superior marketing plan, and they have superior people working behind the scenes. The companies in second/third/fourth/fifth? They may have great a great product, but never return emails. They might have a decent marketing plan, but their product stinks. They might have great people, but their marketing plan was created sometime in the late 1980′s. In this industry, or any industry really, you’ve got to be the complete package to get to number one, and an even better one to stay there.

Lets look at car manufacturers. There is no doubt Traxxas rules the roost. They have spent millions of dollars taking rc marketing to places it has never been before, and they put out a solid line-up of products for people who are actually looking to have fun driving rc cars. Their replacement parts can be found on pegs in nearly every hobby shop in the country, and if you have an issue and call them, chances are pretty good you’ll get a human being on the other end of the line. But… there is a reason the number two manufacturer is number two. They might have awesome products, “next generation” type equipment in fact, but because of an irresponsible employee, they might have no problem buying some bogus industry award and their products never get reviewed by any reliable media sources that people actually read (and trust). The number three manufacturer might be where they’re at because they are slowwww to react to market trends, thus they are always 3-5 years behind what consumers really want.

I suppose if you are inside those companies it would be impossible to see the reasons you are not number one (just like I can’t see the 500 things we are doing wrong here at BSRC), but from outside those issues can stick out like sore thumbs. From my perspective, I can easily see how a company can go from grossing 10 million dollars a year, to 15, or 20, or 30. An example? I am thinking of a certain long time rc company, one that has a very dedicated and gifted staff, one that puts out a solid line-up of products year after year. However… they do next to nothing for marketing. Their idea of marketing (for an entire year) is putting up a company FB page, then spending X amount of cash buying robot followers. And… despite them not doing a drop of decent marketing, I’d bet they still gross 10 million in sales this year. If they had the remotest clue about marketing in this day and age, and spent about 5k a month across a variety of solid platforms, I’d bet my best Tag they could double their gross sales in 3 years. Heck, I know of another rc company with great products that could probably double their gross sales simply by responding to emails and phone calls instead of blowing them all off. Yes, some issues can be that simple, and can cost a company thousands/millions each year.

To wrap this up, it is easy to point out exactly why number one companies like Hobbico, Traxxas, and Pro-Line are number one (and have been that way for years), they have their acts together and deserve to reap the rewards of their hard work. The number twos? Ya they deserve to be exactly where they are…

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can…

YOUR Cub Reporter

Gluing RC Tires Pro-Line
While I highly prefer to save time by using pre-mounted tires, gluing tires is still a part of our wonderful hobby. For you old timers, you can glue up a set in your sleep, for you new hobbyists, it isn’t nearly as hard as some people (like me) make it out to be.

I recently got a set of Pro-Line Gladiator SC tires to put in the front of our Pro-Line Pro-2 SCB Converted buggy. For all you newer hobbyists that may not know how to glue tires, here is how I do it…

1. There are tons of tips and tricks that can be used when mounting up tires. Unfortunately, all those take time, and I am incredibly lazy, therefore I bust it out the fastest way possible. Step one is quite easy- get everything you need gathered together. What do you need? Well, tires of course, a set of wheels, some tire/CA glue, and some tire bands. That’s it. Yes, really. Oh, before I forget, we recommend using Pro-Line uber tire glue, but if your LHS doesn’t have any, take note. The thinner the CA glue, the faster it will dry and arguably the harder it will be to work with. The the thicker the glue the easier it is to work with and the longer the drying time.

2. Step two is super easy, simply slide the tires over the wheels. This is impossible to mess up, unless your tires are directional. If you have directionals, mount the wheels to your truck, then slide the tires over. This ensures they are all going the right direction before you start gluing.

3. For step three you need to make sure the bead of the tire is well seated into the bead on the wheel. Once again, this is an easy step, pat yourself on the back when you have all the beads set.

4. About those tire bands… some people install them now before gluing, some immediately after. For a noob, you’ll probably want to put them on before gluing. The bands make sure the beads stay down tight against the wheel for a better glue job.

5. Hey, bust out that glue, it’s time for some real fun. This step can be a bit tricky, so pay achtung here. If it’s your first time, a set of safety glasses is recommended, you really don’t want to get any glue in your eyes (trips to the ER waste a lot of time). Also, be careful not to accidentally glue one of your fingers to the tire/wheel. What happens if you get your finger stuck? It is stuck there forever, and good luck pulling chics with a Gladiator SC hanging off your hand. But seriously, if it gets stuck, it isn’t the end of the world, wait a few minutes and slowly (read- SLOWLY) peel the glue off your finger. To get back to business here, slightly peel back the tire bead and apply the glue to the tire/wheel. Do this all the way around the tire.

6. Ok, its time for a break. Ya, step 5 is awesome. But seriously, when you’ve done one side of the tire, give it a few minutes to dry before you do the other side. Why do this? To help keep yourself from accidentally gluing one of your fingers to the tire.

7. Get back to work ya sloucher, now it’s time to glue the other side of the tire. Just like you did on the first side, lightly pull back the bead, apply glue, and go all the way around the tire.

8. Finally, the last step and it’s really hard. Once you have both sides of all your tires glued, let them sit and dry for a while. Overnight is preferred, but in a pinch you can run them in a manner of minutes. Once dry, mount them to the vehicle of your choice and give them a good thrashing! It isn’t uncommon for tires to come loose on today’s high powered machines, if yours does, no worries, just clean the tire/bead the best you can and re-glue.

Pro-Line Items Used-

Gladiator SC Tires- #1169-01, $22
F-11 SCT Wheels- #2740-03, $9
Pro-Bond Tire Glue- #6031-00, $8
Tire Bands- #6086-00, $11

Read more “How-To” articles at This Link on BigSquidRC.