Helloooo friends, and welcome back yet again to another amazingly tart edition of THE Cub Report, your weekly (sarcastically written) guide to our hobby.
Just after the start of each new year it doesn’t take long for full scale racing to get rocking. The Dakar rally is once again underway, and Feld/FIM Supercross kicked off its 2011 season last Saturday night in Anaheim California. Congrats to Monster/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto for taking the win against one of the most stacked supercross fields in years. Keep your tv tuned to Speed channel next Saturday night as the second round is aired live, just like the opening round was. While you are watching, keep an eye out for Traxxas commercials (featuring Mitch Payton’s Monster/Pro Circuit riders) and Traxxas banners lining the track.
So……… Traxxas announced that they are now the “official hobby class radio control truck of Monster Energy Supercross”. Ok, first off, some people just do not understand why Traxxas would ever want to sponsor a motorcycle series, I mean the big TRX doesn’t even sell an rc motorcycle. Here’s the answer, and it’s real simple- to cross market their current products to potential consumers who not already in our hobby. And just why would Traxxas want to market to the supercross crowd? For lots of good reasons, with the most important one being to simply make more money.
Traxxas could be the “exclusive rc car of bowling”, or the “official rc boat of underwater basket weaving”, but they aren’t, they chose to put their money into supercross, and for good reason. Supercross has slowly made itself mainstream- now it’s fashionably “hip” to wear Fox clothing (but the newly revived JT is sooo much cooler), to know who Ryan Dungey is, and to watch Bubba’s World on Fuel TV. And not only is supercross “hip”, but it’s Huge. The 2011 supercross calender sports 17 events, typically sold out to around 40-50,000 live spectators, and has a large tv audience of consumers in the perfect target demographic to market hobby grade rc products to. So once again, as much as I want to hate Traxxas, they’ve got their sh*& together, and are more than doing their part to put hobby rc products into the mainstream. So thanks Traxxas, you are helping the entire hobby, and more than a few of us out here appreciate it.
There are nothing but upsides for going mainstream with hobby rc. Quite simply, the more mainstream it blows up, the more money r & d departments have to engineer uber new gear for us core rc’ers, and the more people we have to race and bash with. But, there are some a#$munchers in our hobby that insist that going mainstream will ruin everything. They insist that having a bunch of noobs running around is a bad thing. These same people hate answering noob questions, and hate helping noobs perform routine maintenance. These are the people that feel their uber high tech rc race machines are well beyond what a mainstream noob should ever own. These people are the hobby snobs, people too dumb to realize that even the most uber 8th scale racing buggy is still a toy, plain and simple. If these people were to actually start working within the hobby, they’d realize that. Or even simpler, if they need confirmation they are indeed playing with toy cars, no matter how esoteric (or expensive) they might think, all they need to do is show up at Any form of full scale racing with their rc. If they were to do this, they’ll find out rc is cool, it is fun, but it’s just a bug in the grill of a full scale race machine, and the full scale driver risks life and limb while going for it, not just a broken $5 a-arm. Huge difference between rc (toy) and full scale (potential death around every corner).
These hobby snobs somehow get joy out of running people away from our hobby, and if you’ve been in this hobby more than a few months, I’m certain you’ve met your fair share of them. I will admit I was one of them too before I started working within the hobby, but two things allowed me to see the light. The first one was a Saturday afternoon when I was walking around a very busy suburban mall with an IFMAR world champion. I thought he was gonna be recognized all over the place, signing juggies and babies, but after walking around a mall for two hours, not one person seemed to know who he was. The second eye opener for me was a conference call with one of the industry big hitters just after I got into the industry. This man is a living legend in our hobby and while the hobby has clothed and fed his family for the last 20 years, it was obvious to me that he was vastly more concerned about what brand of tire to put on his full size Benz than with anything going on within the hobby. That particular person realized that an rc car is a great hobby and a lot of fun (and a way to making a living), but it’s not what the world revolves around like the hobby snobs will try to make you think.
Anyways…. in other big news, guess what? Traxxas had the other big news of the week with their new officially licensed Grave Digger and other monster truck models. I totally get this, if you are the big TRX, you pay the big bucks for the licensing fees, then put the cool bodies on an inexpensive chassis and sell a zillion of’em to noobs and Feld monster truck enthusiasts. I get it, but I don’t dig it. If a company wants to cut the gigantic check for use of the Grave Digger name and likeness, they might as well design a realistic chassis under it (fyi- a 2wd Pede is NOT it). An officially licensed Grave Digger truck that is scale (inside and out) would just be soooooo much more uber than what Traxxas is putting out. Real rc hobbyists would dig it, and genuine hardcore Grave Digger fans would as well. Oh well, maybe in the future…….
So…. after all the Traxxas news in the last couple weeks, in case you haven’t gotten the memo, Traxxas is kicking all the other manufactures a$$es. Associated? Pwned. Losi? Pwned. If what Traxxas is doing right now doesn’t light some serious fires under their competitors a$#es, nothing will. Sure, no doubt, I’m coming across like some Traxxas fanboy right now, but I’m only calling it like I see it- Traxxas owns the hobby showrooms, and are boldly surging forward while all the other rc manufactures look like bumbling fools. Harsh words for sure, but maybe it’ll open some eyes and get the competitions heads back into the game before they wake up smell nothing other than bankruptcy.
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading and support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter