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What's new: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Pro-Line has a new adjustable battery strap for the Slash and Slash 4×4, let me tell you about it.  Well first of all, it’s a battery strap, it’s also adjustable, and it’s made for both the Slash and Slash 4×4.  Also, it’s blackish in color and … did I mention adjustable?  I guess the main point of this whole deal is that it’s not the stock battery strap and it is adjustable for use with larger batteries.  So if you have issues with your current battery strap and it’s non-adjustability, this may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

The strap is available now for $29.95, check out the Pro-Line web site for more info.

Rogue Element Components is prepping a new limited edition part to add some interior detail to the Tamiya Sand Scorcher.  The Sand Scorcher dash kit consists of aluminum and polystyrene parts, and high quality printed details.  REC says the kit is quick and easy to assemble.  It is also setup to accept an LED light to provide back-lighting of the dash instruments.  As with all REC parts the dash kit is only available during a short ordering period and requires a $5 deposit.   The final cost will be $34.95, and it should be shipping out around March 5th.

Check out the Rogue Element Components newsletter for all the details.

What's new: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

SSX v2

Recently we talked about the new LRP SSX Stock Spec V.2 ESC from The guys in Blue at Team Associated and LRP. Well some good news for all you SSX early adopters, they will exchange the original Stock Spec LRP80910 (new, used, or dead) for a SXX Stock Spec V.2! This deal is only good till Jun 15, 2011 and for North America only. So if you have one, you better get to sending it off!

LRP’s web site or Team Associated web site should have all the info you need to make it happen.

DE Racing Trinidad WheelsFor all those that weren’t feeling the black DE Racing Trinidad wheels for the XXX-SCT, they now offer them in silver and white. So for all those looking for some more options, make sure to check these guys out. They also have a redesigned website.

You can order your set now direct from DE Racing for $8.95. Also check your local hobby shops as they may start to carry them as well. Check out the DE Racing web site for more info.

I was just going through all of the images we got from the Toy Fair, making sure I didn’t miss anything important. I believe I’ve exhausted most, if not all, of the big R/C news so I figured I’d throw this post together with some of the extras. The Nuremberg Toy Fair is more than just R/C, it’s also… toys…  And our intrepid European corespondent sent quite a few pics of some of these other things.  The photo above is from the Hot Wheels booth, it’s a full-size Ferrari used to advertise Hot Wheels’ new line of limited edition Ferrari die-cast cars.  In the gallery below you can also see Audi’s collection of high-end toys for those that think the Audi emblem is worth the extra $2000 they tack on to the toy’s actual cost.  There’s also a few extra looks at R/C company booths and other such stuff.  So have a look and imagine the day when you can go and see it for yourself.

Duratrax Evader EXT2 Review

From: DuraTrax

Direct Link: DuraTrax Evader EXT2

Review by Brian
Duratrax Evader EXT2 A while back we got our hands on the DuraTrax Evader EXT2 RTR Stadium Truck. As with all things DuraTrax, we knew a torture test was going to be a must, and we looked forward to finding new ways to see if we could get our new truck to surrender. Did it ask for mercy, or taunt us a second time? Lets find out…
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What's new: Monday, February 14th, 2011

rc Valentines

rc Valentines Most people think that Valentines Day is just for women. Well I got some chocolates for Valentines Day and soon after I ate all the chocolates. But then when i was about to throw away the box I had an idea… This box would have made a perfect R/C Valentines Gift box! So this post is for all the women who haven’t gotten their man anything yet, here is a good idea!

So what is this “iPhone” thing everybody is talking about?  And why does everybody want to create an “app” for it?  Team Associated is also jumping on the “bandwagon” with their recently released “RC Cheat Sheets” “app”.  With this app you can keep track of “vehicle setups”.  It’s useful for electric and “nitro powered” off-road, on-road, oval, “and” pan car style cars and trucks.  It also “includes a number of” other tools such as: a lap “counter”, rollout/gear “ratio” calculator, unit converter, “drill” size chart, and an important “Common mistakes for beginners” help guide.

Being a “Team” Associated product, “the” Cheat Sheets app comes preloaded “with” all of the A team’s popular vehicles.  You can get the app from the “iTunes” “App” “Store” for “only” $2.99.  Check out the Team Associated web site for more info.

Speed Passion has finally released their popular R/C Car A1 app for Android mobile phones.  The iPhone version of the app, which was released some time ago has also received an update to fix some bugs and spelling issues.

Just to refresh your memory, this app provides you with all kinds of tools, such as a lap timer/stop watch, gear ratio and rollout calculator, complete setup sheets for different cars and tracks that allow you to record all kinds of vehicle variables, and also Social Media sharing that allows you to post your information to a special area of Speed Passion’s web site or to your Facebook account.

This will also be the App that you use to setup their upcoming Reventon ESC via bluetooth.  The current versions of this app are available through both the Android Market and iTunes App Store for $2.99.  Check out the Speed Passion web site for all the details.

DirtChamp Design, known for their high tech and affordable IR transponder system, the TimeR, is bringing some more cool tech to their lap counting system.  Their LapR software that is used in conjunction with the TimeR is getting an update to include newly developed voice functionality so that your computer will speechify your lap times.  DCD has also announced a new bundle version of the TimeR for small clubs.  The TimeR Club Kit will include ten IR transponders.  This low cost option will allow clubs to invest in these transponders and use them as a handout system, rather than requiring every member to purchase their own expensive personal transponder.  Finally is DCD’s new Live Racing iPhone app which will be able to view lap times from the TimeR system.

This whole system is turning into an ideal and low cost alternative for parking lot and dirt lot racers out there.  Be sure to hit up DirtChamp Design’s web site for more info.

Cubby Ever notice that when James Stewart doesn’t crash that he nearly always wins? Well… Saturday night in Houston, Bubba crashed twice, netting him a 15th place finish. “Sigh”. But perhaps the bigger news was that Bubba’s lil’ bro Malcolm Stewart competed in his very first pro supercross in Houston (he raced the Lites class). Malcolm looked fast in his heat race finishing second, but seemingly took a cue from his big bro in the main (crashing his brains out) and finished 14th. With both the Stewarts putting on a crash-a-palooza, that left a great opportunity for some new faces on the podium. Trey Canard answered the call on his Factory Honda for the win in the 450 class (his first ever for the ever affable Oklahoma native), and Justin “Marcia, Marcia” Barcia bashed his Geico/Honda to the top of the podium in the Lites class. The east coast supercross schedule looks like they are gonna be some wild times, can’t wait!

So…….. I’ve gone on and on and on about how rc “could” be headed for the mainstream. Several rc companies have been marketing to the masses, and we’ve seen lil’ signs here and there that all that advertising might be working. Heck, in years past you’d Never see any hobby grade rc product on national tv, but now days it’s nearly common place .

I work in marketing, that’s really what I do to keep my flute full of Dom. Working in marketing, I know the difference between how ad campaigns are supposed to turn out, and how they actually end up working in the real world. The numbers may say “spend 20 million on a certain ad campaign and expect to boost sales by 10% for the duration campaign”, but in the real world you may see no gain during the campaign and 20% for 6 months after it has stopped. A different type of campaign may be aimed at no increase in sales, but be focused specifically on changing your brands imagine within the market, with the results being measured by focus groups. In the real world, the focus groups may say your company actually got the opposite change in brand image that you were expecting to get.

The last 2 years, I’ve closely studied the ad campaigns from Traxxas, TT/AE, Kyosho, Tamiya, and Horizon/Losi. More than one of those companies has done an amazingly good job with their marketing (and it shows in sales), while a couple of those companies have done an amazingly poor job (and sales drop accordingly). But… even with the incredible marketing being done by some of the rc companies, I really expected it to take a couple more years for those ad dollars to really pay off by bringing in mainstreams to our hobby. IMO, I really really didn’t expect to see hobby grade rc really hitting mainstream sales for another 2 years (if it was ever going to work at all).

Well……… it may just be a fluke, but I am seeing something I’ve never seen before. On casual drives around the burbs of my city, I’m actually seeing hobby grade rc’s here and there. Today I saw two kids, probably around 10-15 years old, packing their trucks from their house headed for a dirt pile on the other side of the street. One boy was holding a Slash, the other boy had a Stampede. Both trucks looked pretty new, as if the boys got them for x-mas and today was the first good weather day for them to bust’em out. Having been in this hobby for over 2 decades, I have seen “random” people out bashing a half dozen times in my first twenty years in the hobby. But in the last 6 months alone, I can say I’ve seen over a half dozen “random” people out bashing. Just a coincident? Or is all that mass marketing by Traxxas, Thunder Tiger/AE and others already paying off?

So let’s say it is paying off. Let’s say that right now rc is headed for its glory days, for its apogee of popularity. For the normal Joe-Blow types, it means more guys to bash with, more guys to shoot the rc bull on the forums with, and new friends to simply enjoy the funnest hobby in the world.

For the core track types, it means noobs showing up. Noobs that now get in their way, noobs that given a few months in the hobby “could” end up faster than they are. Noobs that show up to a track represent a potential threat to the local fast guys. Unfortunately the local fast guys have the loudest voice at tracks, and they typically use it to run off all those potential threats. Local fast guys love to b!tch and moan to the track owners telling them not to hold “novice” classes, or classes where Stampedes would be legal. They yell and scream at noobs for their driving and their marshalling. Also unfortunately, track owners typically give in to anything/everything the local fast guy wants, afraid that if he loses the 20 hardcore racers he has now, that he’ll go bankrupt. Those track owners never seem to see that losing the 20 hardcore guys could very well bring in 50 noobs.

In theory rc going mainstream should result in banner times for local tracks, but because of how rc racing is set up now days, that simply won’t happen. Tracks will maintain the same 20 guys they’ve had since 92′, and local bash spots will explode in participation.

For local hobby shops, if rc hits its glory years, then it should be glory years for them as well, right? Unfortunately the world is a much different place than it was in 1990. Life is tougher now for your LHS than it has ever been for two reasons- 1. internet competition and 2. the vast array of changing models/parts. Back in 90′ your LHS had a reasonable chance of stocking pretty much every part for every popular vehicle on the market, but there is no chance of that today. Yes, surely rc going mainstream is going to be good for your LHS, but it’ll still be a darn tough living for them.

In closing… so maybe it’s just been a fluke that I’ve been seeing so many random noob rc’ers lately, but maybe we are actually gonna make it to the mainstream. If it is the case that rc makes it to the mainstream, it should be the glory years of our hobby, so I’m appealing to each and every one of you hobbyists out there- be cool with the noobs, you were a noob once too. Don’t look at it like the noobs are a bunch of morons asking questions and getting in the way, look at it like what it really is- a chance to meet some cool new people that enjoy the same hobby as you do. Let’s make the most of this you guys, we may not ever get another shot…..

Till next week, support your local hobby shops, tracks, and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Hex Wrench24 mm hex socket

New from GH Racing is the Aluminum Hex Wrench III. It’s a one way nut hex wrench with two sides, open and close. It built for interchangeable sockets and comes with a 17mm and 23mm. You can also buy a 24mm if you happen to need that size as well. The handle can also be used as a flywheel wrench. This is sounding like one of those ‘must have’ tools in the box!

Head over to the official GH Racing site for details.

What's new: Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Photo of the Week:

Traxxas Slash
by maxcom

I have a busy work weekend, so no bashing for me.   I could use the work as an opportunity to introduce a bunch of people to R/C, but I still haven’t fixed the trucks I’d want to take.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Build Log? More like Built from logs! Ha. *rimshot*

Cool Concept Car: Street Fighter – Large scale custom street racer with tube chassis, looks awesome, too bad he wrecked it.

How-To: Get some weight in those wheels! all for under $10!!!

Video of the Week: