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Traxxas CubbyThis is “one of those weeks” where I haven’t been biting at the bit to rant about something all week long, so I’ll start off with some generic BSRC news and just go from there.

Biggest rumor from last week? Another company is about 3 weeks away from announcing their upcoming gas powered machine. The HPI Octane is now looking like a mid-late May release, which is also the last we heard about a release date for the Losi XXL, this third entry into the small scale gas market is rumored to be hitting shelves in July. With a third west coast based company in the mix the summer of ’14 might very well be known for the explosion, or the failure, of gas powered rc vehicles.

So… last week I ranted about my unwavering hatred for FB. To change things up a bit we posted last Friday about the new BigSquidRC Facebook Group. So far so good with the group. It has gotten a solid response with actual real people that drive real rc cars, so we are stoked to have a place where we can go hang with people as hardcore about bashing as we are. FB groups are blowing up now days, leaving many an old school forums in their wake, even if you hate FB Check Ours Out to see what all the buzz is about.

There was no Supercross over the weekend as it was an off week, and the officials at the F1 Grand Prix in China threw the flag 2 laps early. Hey, at least Vettel isn’t crushing it again this year, although having the Mercedes dominating every weekend is going to get old fast too.

I’m sure you saw that Pro-Line announced their Blockbuster body last week. The Blockbuster was designed from the ground up to hold a GoPro or other “action” camera. Now… how many people shoot on-board video with their rc cars? In the grand scheme of things, not very darn many. So… it’s obvious the Blockbuster isn’t going to put a bunch more Ferraris in anyones garage, however, it is yet another example of how the team over at Pro-Line aren’t afraid to take chances, and because they are willing to “go for it”, they keep on the top of the aftermarket tire and body heap. Getting to the top is hard, staying at the top is a million times harder, but year after year the peeps over at Pro-Line keep kicking ass. That is something myself and a lot of industry people have to admire (and envy!).

The review we have coming up this week is for the Spektrum DX4S transmitter. I would say we spent more time on this review than any other in the history of BigSquidRC. We’ve been using it daily for about a month now and needless to say we’ve learned an awful lot. It’s Spektrum’s transmitter intended for users that want to add AVC to their cars, so we spent the majority of our testing seeing exactly what AVC can, and can not do. Check it out later in the week on our front page.

Also in the way of reviews, our Chi-Town crew is finishing up another Carisma review, this time on the M10DT VW Beetle. The M10DT is a 2wd off-roader targeted right at the bash market, with a unique look for all you guys burnt out on short course trucks. Look for the full review next week.

For you new readers out there I would like to mention our weekly schedule. Mondays are always THE Cub Report, Tuesdays used to be review day, but lately we sort of post the reviews whenever they get finished during the week. Wednesday is Rage’n Rotors for the mult-rotor crowd, Thursdays have ASK Cubby, Friday is scale column day, and our boat column Prop Wash goes up whenever Iron Mike gets around to posting it. We could still use good writers, especially those with a specific interest like drag racing, monster trucks, nitro only, 5th scale, etc, so hit us up if interested.

BigSquidRC goes on the road the second week of May for our SoCal Road Trip. Whether you be in the industry, or are just a gnar-core basher, shoot us an email if you want to meet up while we are in the greater Los Angeles metro area.

Thanks for reading BigSquidRC, we hope you have a great week, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby with TP199 Truck at TORCI am not, nor never have been, or ever will be, a fan of Facebook. Early in the FB life cycle I looked at it as a very bad looking website with a number of fundamental flaws. The largest of the flaws being the cute little “friend” button. Why was that kid I barely knew in second grade hitting me up to be my “friend” 35 years later? Why was my 6th cousin who I’ve never met wanting to be my friend? Why was the lady from an Asian OEM claiming to be my “friend”? Oh and, I really knew FB was screwed in the head when my 4th grade English teacher (who obviously wasn’t very good at her job, LOL) wanted to be my friend too. I didn’t like her then, I have never talked to her since, and now all of a sudden she wants to friend me? Hey, maybe my definition of “friend” is a whole lot different than the rest of the world, mine means somebody I actually know, someone I actually like, and someone who would actually pour water on me from across the street if I was on fire. Strangely 99% of the people on FB who wanted to be my friend did not fit my definition.

And that was the early days of FB, since then it’s been all about monetization, and that has resulted in a real train wreck on the business side. If you are a casual user, a person who only gets on to see what your Uncle Bob is planting in his garden this spring or to get updates on what Happy Flower RC is up to, things are probably fine, but on the business side of things, it is downright ugly. For instance, BSRC has around 9k people that have liked our FB page, while other rc media outlets have over a hundred thousand, and they add 5k-10k new followers a week. If you didn’t know any better you would just think a page with 150k likes is sooooooo popular, but for those in the know, those are some insanely bulls$%^ numbers. There are some very big rc companies out there, some with some integrity that don’t buy likes, that have 20k total likes and add 50 new ones a month.

FB, which has constantly shoved down everyone’s throats that they were all about fighting bulls%^& likes/numbers via press releases, has turned out to be all about bogus people, bogus likes, and bogus numbers. Luckily that has turned out good for us at BSRC. When a potential advertiser comes to us, it is ridiculously easy for us to pull up FB numbers and show them how Company X just added 5k new likes this week (All based out of India, have you been to India? I have and I can assure you rc is the last thing on their minds there.), while BSRC added 5 actual human beings that might actually be interested in driving a real rc car. The potential advertiser sees that Company X is just fine and dandy with buying fake FB numbers, so how can Company X be trusted at all? Potential advertisers are not stupid and they only want to invest their precious marketing dollars with companies they trust, Company X buying 5k FB likes a week is an easy way to blow that, which turns out awesome for us.

On the downside… for companies unwilling to cut the check for bulls%^& numbers (like us), there is a penalty to be paid. FB seems to want advertising dollars above all else, so the powers that be have limited the number of people that see our posts since we stopped paying for advertising. For example, only about 2% of the real human beings that have liked the BSRC FB page see our posts in their feeds (we stopped advertising there because we started seeing fake likes). For the average hobbyist that has willingly liked our page, they would need to actually visit the BSRC FB page to see our posts because it is highly unlikely that any of our posts will appear in their feeds. Of course there is a way to change that, just throw some big dollars to the folks at FB, but unfortunately that would also create an avalanche of fake new likes, something we do not want. “Sigh”

So where am I going here? We are going to do some changes to what we do on FB. We are not going to be bullied into playing their game, all we want is a fair shake, one where real human beings that like both FB and BigSquidRC can get together, without any robots from India having to join in the game. We’ll let you know what’s up in the coming weeks here on our main page and via our various social media outlets. Personally, while I am not a big fan of Google, I have long ago killed off my FB account and have been G+ ever since, where none of the BS exists at all, (and we have a killer page over there) but that’s just me…

In “real” rc news…

You are not gonna believe this, but the HPI Savage Octane is nearly here. I’ve held back talking about it for a while because after a few years of teasing it gets really old, but I have it on some pretty reliable sources that yes, it is indeed going to be in consumers hands the first week of May. After all this wait we finally get to find out if good old fashioned gasoline is going to change the rc market for years to come. If the Octane can do all that it promises- longer runtimes, less engine tuning, and easy starting, our industry is in for a T-Maxx type of revolution. For those of you that got into rc recently, the nitro powered T-Maxx turned the rc world upside down, it made nitro engines incredibly popular when electric had ruled the roost for years. Anyways, if you want to get your hands on one, it sounds like the initial release is going to be limited, as in most hobby shops will only get one or two. So… if you want to be one of the first people to own one, your name had better be first on the list at your LHS.

The latest word that I’ve heard about the gas powered Losi XXL is that it is scheduled for a late May release. First to the market is always a big deal and can make or break a product, but who knows, I know it’s a nuclear arms race for several companies to get their gas powered products to the marketplace. Will it end up being HPI or Losi first to dealer shelves with a gas powered MT???? Time will tell, but needless to say the next 6 months is going to be very interesting in the world of rc, and the world as we know it might look much different this time next year.

In BSRC news…

Expect our Durango DETC410 touring car review to drop later this week, as well as coverage from the STL round of the Axial G6, along with multiple other original pieces that you won’t find anyplace else. Thanks to you guys, life is very good at BSRC, we are hardcoring the rc life and hope you know that we appreciate everyone who supports us.

Until next week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can…

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Quadcopter ShovelI walked into my LHS the other day because I needed a part for a new car I have. I thought it would be a pretty simple request, the car is fairly popular and the part I had broken was nothing obscure, so I figured I had a pretty good shot at getting a replacement. Also, my LHS does not suck, it’s probably one of the top 50 shops in the country and stocks a lot of surface rc parts. After hitting up the very knowledgeable person behind the counter, no, they didn’t have the part I needed, nor could they order it because it was not in stock at the distributor. So there I was, holding a broken new car (with only 3 packs on it) that I was going to have to pull some industry strings to get going again.

How many of you guys have been through that before? All of you, that’s how many. Inventory management is one thing, it’s much harder than most people would think, and I am very glad that isn’t my job. However, the bigger point I want to make today is this- even if the parts were available from the distributor, now days it isn’t likely that my LHS would stock them anyways. Why? Because there are sooooo many more different cars on the market now then 15 years ago, and there is seemingly a new car announced every day. A local hobby shop simply can not stock all the parts for every car out there, it is impossible on multiple levels.

When I first got into the rc industry I was very lucky to become friends with arguably the number one marketing man in rc. I was also lucky enough to be able to spend time with him at events, lucky that he would return my phone calls, in fact, lucky that he would talk to me at all. He is no longer in the rc biz, but I hung on every single word he ever told me, they were precious to me and I learned more in a few months than most people learn in decades. In later years, when the industry started going through some big changes right before he got out of rc, he often times told me how bad it was for the industry to be putting out so many new cars, as opposed to cracking down and doing some real marketing on the products they were already producing.

It is impossible for you not to have noticed how nearly every manufacturer puts out a lot more new cars than they used to. There are multiple different reasons why they do this, but if I had to guess the “real reason”, it is so some freakn-no-driving-suit can stand up in a meeting at the beginning of every month and say “Sales are up 1.2% over last month!!!!”. But… there are ramifications to putting out so many cars, one of which is THE Cub Reporter can’t get #%@$&*# spare parts he needs at his LHS.

There is a different way to keep the numbers up – great marketing (example- the original RC10 ad featuring Jay Halsey). In the case of my “mentor”, he came up with and produced numerous marketing plans that cranked out great numbers, year after year, on the same old products. He was able to create that want/need of consumers by nearly making his products larger than life, thus making it easy for the consumer to give the mental go ahead to buy the product. Then, a half decade later when there was an actual need for an updated product, consumers were even more stoked and willing to hand over the cash, it was new, and it had great marketing behind it.

Today’s marketing consists of a half dozen pictures, 3 lines of text, and a half dozen bullet points. It’s as if some manufacturers expect you to buy their product simply because it is new, not because it is better, or needed, or it is a superior product to the competition. I can only hope that someday true marketing programs on already existing vehicles comes back into vogue. Maybe then my LHS can stock the parts I need to keep driving my car.

On a different tangent, a few BigSquidRC notes…

The BigSquidRC Bash Crew is doing a Southern California tour in May. Live in SoCal and want to get some face time with us? Shoot Brian an email and we’ll see if we can work something out.

We should have multiple reviews going up this week. Our review of the Helion Dominus 10SCv2 will go up later in the week, as will the review for the latest Axial crawler. Heck, we might just throw in another Carisma review for some icing on the cake. We’ll also have a new edition of Iron Mike’s Prop Wash, along with Doug’s scaler column and Hot Sauce’s multi-rotor piece.

March Bashness is nearly over! Get your vote in for your favorite bash machines and win something cool! The final this year is epic, the Losi 5ive-T vs the ARRMA Granite BLX, both gnarly bash machines that even our staffers can’t wait to see who wins.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

THE Cub Reporter“Hey Cubby, who killed off scale short course buggies?” was the text message that woke me up wayyy too early last Tuesday morning. I guess one of my SoCal industry buddies thought that was a great question to get my day started, LOL. Don’t worry, I returned the favor yesterday morning (Sunday) to him, I’m quite certain he loved my multiple text messages at 4:30 am his time. LOL

Why would he say such a thing about short course buggies? Are they really dead? Well… they aren’t dead, that’s for sure. For example, Pro-Line just released their scale buggy conversion for the PRO-2, and if Pro-Line is doing it, it is far from dead. Another example is 2 of our staffers drive their SCBs on a nearly daily basis (they much prefer how they drive compared to an SCT), and we see more of them out bashing than we see of their smaller UFO counterparts. However, SCBs, which are great for the long term health of the hobby (due to their scale appearance and larger size than UFO buggies), haven’t been getting as much support from the industry as they should be. Losi killed off their SCB a long time ago and Axial disco’ed the EXO too. The Associated SC10B is alive, but it and the Pro-Line conversion are now the only options for a high performance “scale buggy”.

Losi and AE could have intro’ed their new platforms (22 and B5 respectively) as short course buggies, but instead they went the traditional UFO route. If either of those platforms would have first debuted as scale buggies (and later made into UFOs & stadium trucks), it would have shown some real leadership, something that would have looked great for either/both companies, and have given a real boost to a genre that is nothing but good for the hobby.

I have no inside info on why AE & Losi did not intro their new platforms as scale buggies, but a possible reason may have been rc’s sanction body not pushing them at all. Had “our” sanctioning body pushed short course buggies from their resurgence (or heck, just stuck to their guns on scale realism from the beginning of the class wayyy back in the day), perhaps we would already have an Associated SC10B5 and Losi 22-SCB on store shelves. Unfortunately our sanctioning body is all about the status quo, seemingly trying to keep everything the same as it was in ’89, instead of progressing forward into modern times where scale appearance is not only nice to look at, but huge for sales among new hobbyists.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby Horizon AVCA number of times our good friend Hawaiian Chris has come out to help us do vehicle reviews. First off it’s always good to get another opinion on a review, and second, he is super well versed on “everything rc” making him a great asset to have around. HC has been core into 5th scale, core into nitro, core into oval, core into just plain everything that moves on 4 wheels that is remote controlled. But… nearly every time I hand the controller over to him he freaks out a little. Why? Because typically we test with a “lot of power” installed in the cars, and he just isn’t used to that. HC is used to the “norm”, what the guys down at the track run, what most of the guys on the forums say to use, ect, and well, we don’t operate that way around here. When possible, we put wayyyy too power much in and simply don’t use it all except for rare occasions (like making a big jump, long runs on pavement, etc).

HC isn’t alone though, it is very common for us to hand over controllers to long-time, hardcore rc’ers who start in which a lecture that goes something like this- “OMG, you guys are out of your minds, you can’t put that power down and all you are going to do is break parts!”. Yes certainly, an HPI Blitz on 6S can be hard to drive, and yes it can instantly break a lot of parts, but that totally depends on the driver. A driver used to “stupid power” will lightly, VERY lightly, feathers into the throttle, they never just tag it WFO like some stock class racer would, and when driven with care, even stupid power doesn’t have to break parts.

So where am I going with this… we run crazy power in some of our test vehicles for one reason only- it is fun. There is nothing like pulling 50 mph wheelies on a 6S MT4 G3, or double backflips with a 4S 2wd Slash, fast is exhilarating. And… if you’ve been a hobbyist for as long as we have, it’s good to really get the blood pumping once in a while. Double and… we sure as heck aren’t going to install a slow power system in a car just because that is the “norm”, or that’s what “everybody else is running”, we are going to install what we think is fun.

Which finally gets me to the moral of the story… if you are a consumer, you do not have to listen to what all the lifers on the forums tell you to install in your car, put in what you want and find out for yourself what works for you. If you work for Happy Flower rc car manufacturer, just because short course trucks is hot doesn’t mean you have to put out another one, put out what YOU are passionate about and what you would have fun driving. If you are in the rc media and think you have to give some POS car a 9 out of 10 score because you might lose some advertising, grow a set and give it an honest rating. Yes, you might lose one advertiser, but there are plenty of good companies out there that will respect you because of it, and they just might cut you bigger checks because of it.

A couple of quick BSRC notes here…

Hey, we’ve got uber new BSRC hoodies that will tell everyone you know what’s up in the rc world. Hit up the BSRC shop button at the top of page to check out all our swag.

Review this week- Pro-Line short course buggy conversion, look for it Thurs or Fri.

Vote for your favorite truck/buggy/car in our March Bashness contest. Your vote is actually legit and everything, not like other reader voted on things out there on the net. At the end of the brackets the winning vehicle is actually the one that our readers were the most zealous about, and at least one of you guys will win something really sweet.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

The Cub Report SchaumburgA few days ago when getting home from a long trip, I noticed something on my front doorstep. I noticed it was a big plastic bag, and I was hoping it was not was not what I suspected it to be. I stopped my car and hopped out to investigate, and sure enough it turned out to be what I suspected, more dreaded phone books. This time not just one, not two, but three of them, and I was pissed off.

Why would I be pissed off about getting phone books? Because… they are an enormous waste of resources. All I have ever done with phone books since the late 90s is throw them away. I can’t even remember the last time I actually cracked one open (how about you???), yet they cost some serious bank to design, print, and ship to my house. Wow, imagine what could be accomplished if all the resources that were saved from printing phone books were put to good use like fighting cancer/hunger/etc

So… why do phone books still exist? Oh, you already know the answer, but in case it has slipped your mind- to sell advertising. All those trees are destroyed and all those fossil fuels are used, just so some schmuck can sell advertising that nobody EVER SEES. It’s one thing if the advertising actually does some good, but when it isn’t, that’s what makes it such a waste.

Which brings to me my point here, phone books are much like todays dinosaur media/magazines (and not just rc mags, but all mags). Their readership is crap, yet they still exist. How? You guessed it, because their slick salespeople can still talk money out of advertisers. It seems like some mags do not care if all those glossy pages are never seen by human eyeballs before being crushed in a trash compactor, what really matters to them is how many ads the sales department can pump out each month.

I’ve got no issue with mags that exist to actually be seen by real life readers (an example being RRCi, which is obviously a labor of love with loads of original content and very little advertising), but I’ve got a HUGE problem with mags that are a waste, those only printed to provide numbers for selling advertising, those that are the phone books of the mag world…

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby LosiYa know that one guy that shows up to bash and brings 30 cars with him but never gets around to actually running one? Ya, you don’t want to be “That Guy”.

Know the guy that shows up to bash running a 9,000kV motor on 8S and blows a CVD, spur, and idler, the very first time he squirts the gas? Ya, you don’t want to be that guy either.

Have you ever been in the middle of the A-main and slam into someone driving backwards on the main straight? Yup, I FREAK’N HATE THAT GUY.

One guy that really drives me insane is “Mr Hey Can I Borrow”. You know the guy, he never brings any spare parts, never has any tools, and he goes around the pits begging for stuff all day. You can see the veins in my forehead pulse when that guy comes over to my pits.

Or how about the guy in the pits that brings a full blown boom-box with him and insists on listening to Baby Metal full blast all day long? Ya, I wanna stick a hot soldering iron in that guy’s face.

Know that one guy that talks smack all day long on the net about how fast he is, but is always too busy to ever actually run? I know wayyy too many of those guys.

Ever see some joker at a bash with a 5th scale annihilate some noobs Traxxas, then not even go over and apologize or offer to pay for parts? I hate that guy too.

So your buddy texts you non-stop on how rad his new paint scheme is and how it’s so much better looking than yours, when actually it looks like something your dog hacked up on your living room carpet? Ya, that kinda guy gets insta-blocked on my cell.

Ever go to a new track and they stick you in the “slow heat” with all the people they know can’t drive? You spend the next 5 minutes weaving back and forth trying not to be taken out by a never ending stream of jam cars. Thanks Mr Sign Up Guy for the hook-up. Facepalm.

Remember that dude, in practice, going full psycho on the driver stand because someone didn’t marshal his car fast enough? I would love to punch a hole through that guys face.

Why is it that the worst drivers always have the most power in their cars? You know, they can barely drive a figure 8 without crashing yet they gotta have 6S and a pinion the size of your fist in their E-Revo? Then they insist on doing speed pass after speed pass all day long, and even though you are pitted 100 feet from where the guys are driving, you still think you are gonna catch an 8th scale monster truck in the face at some point during the day? Ya, those guys drive me insane.

Ever click a link on YouTube to a video saying “Worlds Fastest RC Truck!” only to find out it is some idiot sitting in front of a white sheet talking about how fast his truck is but he NEVER RUNS IT??? Thanks guy for wasting another 2 minutes of my precious life.

Ever get done running your 5 minute stadium truck main and find out you now have to marshal a 30 minute nitro race? Ya that sucks, and is yet another reason I hate nitro.

So you are finally putting together a great race and the first corner after lapping some spode he hacks you and you both crash. That torques me off, but I lose all my marbles when the marshal in that corner is too busy smoking AND texting to see that I’m on my lid. Where is a wood chipper that fires into a hog lot when I really need one?

Yes, we ALL hate “That Guy”, but you gotta admit they are a huge part of what makes this hobby so “interesting”…

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

rc bashing with CubbyMx/SX had a banner weekend for television coverage. The SX was live from Indy on Saturday night, then the MXGP from Qatar came on even later Saturday night, then coverage from the ArenaCross came on Sunday, as did an episode of SuperCross Behind the Dream on CBS. Wall to wall moto, I never thought it would happen, but it has, and I am in moto heaven.

Btw, an American named Thomas Covington (check out his Twitter HERE ) took 3rd place in the second moto in Qatar, which is a big deal for a couple of reasons. One, it’s been a long time since an American has done well in Grand Prix motocross, and two, he gave Traxxas, one of his major sponsors, props during an on-air interview. A number of industry types have made doomsday remarks about Traxxas, but it seems they aren’t as bad off as some people say.

Another example is the fact that Traxxas has signed back on with the TORC series for 2014. No, they are no longer the big title sponsor, but they are back for more crossover marketing, and are putting multiple trucks back on the track (click HERE to read the entire PR). Heck, even I am glad to hear they are back into the TORC series, I may love to hate on them, but at the end of the day they’ve done an awful lot to put (and keep) our hobby on the map.

Also on the verge of death this week… 10th scale stadium trucks. 10th scale buggies have blown up the last couple of years, and SCT trucks have taken over local tracks and bash spots, thus the oddly shaped stadium trucks were left without a home or a future. However, where ROAR busted out the pen and killed off a dead and unneeded 10th scale gas truck class, they haven’t done the same with electric stadium trucks, leaving a bit of life left in them. Expect the upcoming Associated T5 and other new stadium trucks like the HobbyPro PR ST-1 to breathe a bit more life back into the category. While some people say stadium trucks are dead and should done away with, they will live to fight another day, and who knows when they might come back into vogue.

In BSRC news…

March Bashness is just around the corner folks! If you’ve never heard of it, its a contest where our readers nominate their favorite bash machines, then they vote on them, tournament style, to determine an overall winner/favorite. Unlike some other very questionable “reader favorite” contests, ours is 10000% legit, and eventually a lucky reader (or two) gets to take home a brand new truck/buggy. Look for us to get the March Bashness contest started up in a few days.

Sometime today we’ll be posting a write-up on the 2014 BigSquidRC Quadcopter Championships that took place over the weekend in Orland Park Illinois. While I was stuck in an airport half way across the country and didn’t get to take part in all the fun, I’m sure our staff will fill you in on all the goings ons and how it turned out. Also, on Tuesday we’ll be doing a post on the young man that took home the overall championship, the world of quads/mult-rotors has its first big star, so stay tuned.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

cubby with torc spoke-modelRecently, a big name IFMAR World Champ walked out on a race. After practice, he decided to picked up his stuff and just go home. Sounds like a uncool thing to do? Sound like a quitter to you? It might sound that way, but the racer, Jared Tebo, was worried about the health of his family, that’s why he loaded up and went home. You see, he was at an indoor track where everyone was using tire sauce. What he did has subsequently set off “tire gate 2014″.

If you are just a basher you might not know, but at many track across the world, racers rely on tire sauce to get better traction and to lower lap times. Tire sauces have been said to be a “toxic stew” of chemicals that both clean and soften tires. When used at breezy outdoor tracks, you never notice them, however, if you are trapped at an indoor facility for days on end, they can affect even the most hardcore of racers. Personally, for years I was a zombie racer-type that just accepted the fact that the skull splitting headaches and nausea was a part of competition. And I wasn’t alone, there are hundreds, heck, thousands, of racers that sit in pit areas every weekend breathing God knows what for hours upon hours.

No, there have been no studies on the effects of tire sauce fumes on the human body, but it only takes common sense to know it can’t be good. Yet… the racing community has ignored the health hazard in exchange of faster lap times. Tebo showed leadership and decided it wasn’t worth the risk, when will race promoters and sanctioning bodies man up and outlaw tire sauces???? Cutting a tenth or two off a lap time while racing a toy car is not worth the potential health risks. Ever, Period. Tebo- thanks for the wake-up call, industry- time to get your s**t together, and racers- time to Wake Up!

On to BSRC news…

Hey, as I am writing this there is only 4 days and 22 hours until the BigSquidRC Quadcopter Championships presented by Ares, Blade, and Heli-Max, and ESTES. There are a ton of questions behind this event, like- obviously quads are a sales floor darling, but will anyone show up to actually compete with them? The Bash Crew has built some pretty cool obstacles for the competition and we’ve got some SIC looking trophies for the winners, but we honestly have no idea if 3 people are going to show up, or 300. Of course the Bash Crew will be there, as well as some industry types driving up from the greater Champaign area, and of course you, yes You, are cordially invited to join us too. Just grab a quad, grab $5 for an entry fee, and prepare to be a part of something new and trend setting. Oh and, if you win, not only do you win a trophy, you’ll also win a brand new quad and, you & your quad will be featured on the front page of BigSquidRC (read- instant Rockstar status).

Lastly… we have a big review coming up later this week, the 5th scale Losi Desert Buggy XL. As a teaser I will say that it definitely took a while to get started, but once going, we had a blast and even hucked it off a roof, not once, but twice, AND it drove away both times. To read the full review keep your eye on our front page later in the week.

That’s all I have for now, hope to meet a bunch of you guys this weekend at the Quad Championships, and support your local bash spots and hobby shops when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby at Auto Show Monster Energy MustangIt is time for rc racing to get some freshening up, I mean, it is basically the same as it was the 80′s, THE 80′S! Nobody else rests on their laurels that long and for good reason, when you do, things get static and boring. And while turnouts at “big” races are doing well, local racing in many areas has dried up.

There are quite simple things that can be done to freshen up rc racing, things that take just a few phone calls, a few emails, but would go a long ways towards bringing new interest to the sport. For example, in mx they issue national rank numbers. Now days the numbering system in mx is a little different, but back in the day your national number was given to you based upon how many points you acquired the previous year. So… when a fan hit the local Supercross they instantly knew that the guy with the number 9 on his plates was faster than the guy with the number 61, and number 61 was faster than 92, etc. For the actual racers it was a huge deal, the privateers were working their asses off for very little money, but it meant a lot to them to earn a lower national number each year. If you showed up to any track in the country with a two digit national number, you were instantly respected. For potential sponsors it also simplified things, if you got a resume from a guy with a two digit national number you knew they guy was no joke.

The national number concept would also work well in the rc realm. In rc it would do the exact same things as in the mx world, it would give the racers something tangible to work towards, and something to be proud of even if they didn’t take home any big race wins. All those privateers are blowing their credit cards up to race each season, a national number would give them something to be proud of.

And lets say you are a potential sponsor. There are a lot of fast drivers out there- dozens upon dozens upon dozens of them, so many that it is impossible to differentiate between them all. You can sponsor the guy that just won the “big” race last weekend, but there are 2 more big races this weekend that will have two different winners. You can sponsor the ROAR national champion, but there are like 20 of those, and you can’t sponsor them all. A national number system would be a way of showing, in order, who the fastest 100 racers in the country truly are.

To pull off the national number system would be very easy, it could simply be points accumulated from the multiple ROAR national races, or preferably, it would give points for all the ROAR nats and select big event like Snowbirds, Cactus, the Reedy race, etc. Oh and, when I said all the ROAR nats, I ment ALL of them, off-road and on-road. Why? Because in case you haven’t noticed, on-road (and oval for that matter) is D E A D here in America. If on-road (and oval!) events were included in the national numbering system it would give them a much, MUCH needed boost in interest. And on top of that, if we are trying to determine the top 100 racers in America, it has to encompass more than just a single form of rc racing, to determine the best overall, it has to include multiple disciplines.

Ok, so it might take a couple sheets of paper to write down names and how many points a person picked up at each event. It might take a couple phone calls to convince race promoters that their event needs to be ROAR sanctioned to provide points for the national number system. Heck it might even take a few minutes here and there to shoot out emails to work out the details. But… it wouldn’t take much at all, monetarily or time wise, to implement.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby with TP199 Truck at TORCWhat is going on at Traxxas? I suppose if you are a consumer all you notice is that their RTRs are still on the shelves and your LHS still has a-arms in stock, but we (and other industry types) tend to notice other things. Like… I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Traxxas during any of the AMA Supercross broadcasts this year. In the past you would see their banners everywhere, from the stadium floor to the victory podium, but not this year. You would also see their logo on the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki team, once again it seems to be long gone. Then there is the TORC series, which they also seem to be completely gone from. And… when we hit up our local Feld Monster Truck event over the weekend, a year ago Traxxas was everywhere, this year, totally absent.

I am only throwing out the question of “What is going on at Traxxas?” because I seem to be the devil to them, therefore they are not going to shoot me a text/email/phone call to let me know what’s up. So that leaves me to sit here and speculate, something I love to do. :) To break it down, there can only be a couple of possibilities of what’s up. On the bright side, maybe they’ve just decided to go another route with their marketing dollars, like banking them and not spending them at all. On the not so bright side, maybe the marketing dollars just don’t exist anymore. Any which way, most rc people, including myself, hoped that Traxxas’s marketing to the mainstream would continue forever as it was good for the entire industry, but that seems not to be the case, it looks like it has come to an end. And while I love to hate on Traxxas, I love to love on Traxxas when they are kicking ass, and I am definitely not stoked to see them pulling out of the mainstream. Heck, I don’t think anyone other than their competitors are.

I have heard multiple industry insiders say that the entire surface rc industry has been surfing along on Traxxas’s wake since the T-Maxx, a point that I don’t think I would argue, but with Traxxas seemingly pulling out of mainstream marketing and with their apparent reduction of innovative new products, that big old coattail may not be there to ride on much longer. Traxxas is still at the top of the sales heap, but for how much longer?

So who is going to pick up the ball and run with it if Traxxas is indeed dropping it? There are a whole lot of hungry companies out there that want to be the king that sits on top of the hill. Associated had a long run at the top, then Traxxas had a decade and a half, who’s next???? More on this in the coming months…

On a different note….

Hey, wanna rub elbows with the freaks known as the BigSquidRC Bash Crew? Wanna give me a piece of your mind in person? Want to even give us a pat on the back? Well you can do that this weekend at E-Fest in Champaign Illinois. We’ll have a booth promoting the Quad Championships as well as giving consumers (and industry types) more information on what we are all about. To get more information on E-Fest click This Link.

Have you noticed the BigSquidRC/Ares/Heli-Max/Blade Quadcopter Championships are just 19 days away??? Which pilot (or pilots) are going to instantly vault to Rockstar status? What brand quads are going to win? There has been some heavy speculation going on that’s for sure. While we virtually have no idea what pilots might show up and take home the hardware, several staffers have been going back and forth on which quad is best suited for winning each class. If you haven’t made plans to attend why not pencil it in. Hit’n the Quad Championships in Chi-Town is a perfect excuse for a roadtrip. Come be a part of something new and cool, make some new friends, get some free stuff, and have a killer day fly’n quads.

Oh and hey, there is just a few more hours in our sweet Pro-Line Valentines Giveaway, be sure and get your entry in. Hit This Link to get your entry in ASAP.

Yo that’s it for this week, but I need to bust out some props to Jeff Hoy for his work on the website lately. It’s not a lot you can see on the outside, but it sure helps out behind the scenes. Also big props to Iron Mike, Tomato Sauce, and Dougie Doug for not quitting (we certainly don’t make it easy on the new guys) and busting out weekly columns. Somehow we manage to take BigSquidRC up a notch every year, thanks to them our 2014 is off to an epic start.

Support your local hobby shops, I know I say that every week, but myself and the entire BSRC crew really mean it, and hit up your local bash spot when there isn’t a foot of snow covering it.

YOUR Cub Reporter

The Cub Report SchaumburgHallo everyone, I hope you had a great weekend filled with rc, Supercross, with some time left over to watch the Superbowl. While the Superbowl might have turned out to be a one sided boring bowl, the Supercross on Saturday night actually was worth watching. Speedy Reedy took another surprise win in the 450 class, while 250 points leader Jason “Last Lap” Anderson traded some paint with Mookie and didn’t make the podium. Speaking of Anderson, if you watched the SX Saturday night on Fox 1 he had a small feature on him and his rc trucks. Horizon/Losi are one of the sponsors of the Rockstar/KTM team he rides on, and they got some decent love on the telecast (they showed Anderson driving at an rc track with his Losi SCT). Once again it was super cool to see rc get some cross marketing exposure with the Supercross crowd.

Speaking of Horizon, they freak’n killed it at the Toy Fair in Germany. They didn’t just have one “big” release, they had a number of them, and didn’t have a stinker in the bunch. There have been a bunch of Horizon naysayers as of late, but if the Toy Fair is any indication, it looks like 2014 just might be Horizon’s year.

Losi LST XXL2- Everyone suspected someone might try to beat the HPI Octane Savage to the marketplace and Losi/Horizon are the first to pull trigger on it. Props to the Horizon crew for green lighting the project, and hopefully they’ve done their homework so a good product hits the shelves. Now it’s a race between Losi and HPI, the first one to dealer shelves is bound to make a LOT of money.

4wd ECXs- No, the ECX line isn’t loaded with carbon fiber or a lineage of world championships, but it has become a solid line for the average user. To take the line up a notch they introduced 4wd versions of 3 of their popular trucks. The BSRC Bash Crew was stoked to see the 4wd versions announced, but we were even more stoked when we found out the price point- $239. We won’t know if they are any good till we get our hands on one, but if they are, ECX better order up a couple extra Brinks trucks to handle the extra cash they are gonna make.

Losi 5IVE Mini Rally- It’s not every day that a new 5th scaler gets introduced, so the 5IVE Mini rally car from Losi was “big” news. It also goes to show the dedication to the 5th scale market that Horizon has. There has been some question about Losi’s dedication to the big scale class but the rally shows they still have more up their sleeves. While I am soooo not into the 5th scale scene, they deserve some props for supporting those that are.

Vaterra- The newest line from Horizon also had two new cool models, a freak’n gorgeous ’69 Mustang, and a 4wd SCT. It seems that everyone is driving a 4wd SCT now days, so another entry into that market is welcome to see, while another “shelf queen that you can drive” goes to show that Vaterra is the brand setting the standard in how a car has to look now days.

I know that all sounds like a Horizon love fest, and yes, it was. But… when a company has earned the props, they should get some. However… one company that isn’t getting any props this week is….

Traxxas- Oooofaaahhh…. their big news was a new 18th scale truck, the Teton. While the Traxxas fanboys were digging it, from my side of the fence it was a “look at how the mighty have fallen” kind of machine. You have Horizon putting out a bunch of cool new products that can be bashed just about anywhere, and then you have Traxxas putting out some little truck that looks like it was part of the Hi-Moto line-up (a decade ago). Ok, so maybe I expect too much out of the Texas crew now days, maybe they’ve got some things to sort out and they’ll be back in full force. Heck, I hope that happens, I really do. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to endure some more dark days until then.

Back to the brighter side of the Toy Fair…

ARRMA- Oh heck ya, ARRMA announced a big new 4wd MT and an 8th scale buggy. ARRMA is basically the “bashing” division of Durango and we have liked what they’ve done so far. Their two new 8th vehicles are aimed at ruling the roost at every bash spot across the globe, and are a huge departure from what they’ve put out thus far. While some of the bash crew lusted over the Losi XXL2 from the Nurnberg show, and others were all about the 4×4 ECXs, the ARRMA Kraton tops my list of “who do I have to bribe to get one of these in hands” vehicles.

Kyosho- Then you’ve got Kyosho, a company I love to hate on but they introduced multiple bash oriented vehicles in Germany. Heck, even I can’t fault them for that. They showed a brushless 6S capable MT (Psycho Kruiser) and a pair of 7th scale buggies aimed right at a basher’s heart.

Serpent- Ok, so you might not have owned many of these before, but Serpent is typically a brand that only sells the “best of the best” type vehicles. And what did they have on display at the Toy Fair? Their new monster truck, the Cobra MTe. So… even Serpent is putting out a super high-end monster truck? Seemingly there were new monster trucks everywhere at Nurnberg, could 2014 be the year of the basher? The year of the Monster Truck? Wouldn’t THAT be something…

And lastly… Carisma is coming back to the states. Who in the heck is Carisma? You’ve seen us do a couple of reviews on their products, and you might have seen Carisma product distributed by Horizon in the past, but now they are back. They’ve joined forces with the Jeric Group, who is basically made up of a former big Horizon guy. Carisma products seem to be good to go for the basher market, but can an untested Jeric Group get them into the hands of the public?

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

YOUR Cub Reporter

Cubby BigSquidHappiest of Mondays to you rc fans, I know the weather is less than optimal in some parts of the country, but the rc industry keeps on roll’n regardless.

I am deeply saddened and in a perpetual state of numbness because there still has been no “official” word on how Michael Schumacher is doing. To some people, people who have never been through such a thing, no news is probably good news. Sadly, having been down that road before, I know that being in a medically induced coma for this long is never a good thing. Miracles can happen and I sincerely hope the Schumacher family gets one. Regardless of the outcome, I will always remember fondly the sunny days that Schu piloted a blazing red Ferrari to victory, his epic drives in the rain behind the wheel of a Benetton, and his euphoric antics on the podium when the German national anthem was done playing.

Anyways… on to rc…

Ok, so the BigSquidRC Quadcopter Championships are coming up on March 1st right here in Chicago Illinois. I wrote last week about the classes and such, this week I get the pleasure of announcing the first big sponsor- Ares. Maybe you are a surface guy and aren’t into the air scene, but Ares is the air division of Firelands Group, and are available exclusively at HobbyTown USA stores. Their air products have been proven to be top notch, they have won both of our quadcopter shootouts, and a number of “serious” quad fliers won’t use anything else. It’s cool that Ares is on board for the big show and we’ll be announcing more sponsors next week. If your company wants in on a great way of showcasing quad products, hit the “Contact Us” link and shoot Brian an email.

Personally, I can’t wait to see which machines win at the BQC. I know the Heli-Max stuff is good, I know that Blade also makes solid product, and it will be interesting to see how other companies like Ares and Traxxas (Hubsan) stack up. It will also be cool to see how the Quadcopter Championships affects the quad industry. Will a win help separate one brand from the pack? Will the aftermarket start making hop-up parts for the winning quads? That whole part of the industry is so new I can’t wait to see how it evolves and to see how our Quad Championships (and our future) events help shape it.

On the participant side of things, there are no big “established” names to compete against, who will be the first? Will guys that normally fly planes or helis dominate the event, or will it be a new name that just specializes in quads? I will say that whoever wins will get a pretty cool trophy, a brand new quad, and we’ll be doing a feature article on them and their flying machine for the front page of BigSquidRC (read- instant rockstar).

On the surface side of things everyone is kind of waiting for Nuremburg. A number of companies have some cool new products that they are holding off till the show, and we can’t wait to get them posted up. The show starts in just 2 days and of course we’ll be hooking ya up with some killer coverage. Ya, there is a ton of cool stuff on the market right now, but like always, there is a whole bunch more on the way.

Lastly… our review of the 2014 Thunder Tiger ST4 G3 truggy goes up later this week. It is one of those vehicles that is a “King of the Hill” type bash machine. If you are looking for something at the top end of the bashing spectrum, it is a review you will be interested in. Plus, we’ll be bringing you all the daily news, Spaghetti Sauce’s Quad column, Doug’s scale column, and of course ASK Cubby on Thursday.

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

YOUR Cub Reporter