1) Billy Q. – Indiana 2) Chris M. – Illinois 3) Sawyer F. – Indiana
Pro-Line Rat Rod Package Contest!
Review – ProTek RC Universal Radio Case
Review – Duratrax Nissan GT-R Nitro RTR Review
Review- TrakPower MS Series 8.5 Turn Brushless Racing System
Review – Vaterra Twin Hammers 1.9 Rock Racer
What's new: Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Wow, I need some photography lessons! Here are some more amazing Fan Pictures for the Big Squid RC Contest! The quality is super, and so is that content! I’m sure the girls were really happy about this picture.. haha. I guess it’s better then having some guy hang on them though saying ‘Take my picture!’.
Keep those awesome pictures coming! Keep up the great work TitaniumXRC! Thanks for sending these in!
What's new: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
Striking while it’s hot, Pro-Line Racing has just announced a second body for the popular Traxxas Slash! The folks over at Pro-Line know a good thing when they see it, and I have a feeling it’s going to do very well for them. I was invited out to the track this weekend for a little bashing fun and I think there were more Slash’es then monster trucks! It was like an infestation! They should of named it the Traxxas Roach, they are everywhere!
Anyway, don’t be like the people I saw this weekend getting them confused with other blue and silver ones! Run out and get yourself a body and some original paint! Don’t forget the Big Squid RC Stickers!
What's new: Monday, September 1st, 2008
Hopefully, you and yours are enjoying a long Labor Day weekend. Hopefully kicking back, drinking a few cold one’s, and even getting in some serious trigger time with your favorite hobby grade rc car or truck.
First off, let’s thank about all those people in the rc industry, those people that put in the time, money and effort (and entire lives!), that make our hobby so special. While I’m best known for ripping most of these guys new A-holes on a weekly basis, I do certainly appreciate all their hard work. Most rc companies are a LOT smaller than you think, and it’s a dern hard living coming up with the next big thing. With the current economy, finances are especially tough for these people and their families, huge props to all of them for working extra hard to keep their doors open.
Well, it’s finally here. Somebody finally did it. I placed my bet on Horizon/Losi months ago, and indeed, they are the first “big name” with a production 8th scale brushless buggy. The consumers have wanted, hell, even demanded this product, and finally Losi steps up to the plate. So huge props to them for being the first big name to have the nutz to deliver the most highly anticipated platform since the electric 10th scale “stadium” truck in the early 90′s.
So, what are the big up-sides to the new Losi (dubbed the Eight-E)? Well, it comes as a “race roller”, meaning it comes assembled, with speedo and motor, but no transmitter. Speedo is non-sensored, and looks a lot like a Monster Max. I’m not saying that it is, just say’n the likenesses are uncanny. Anyways, the next “plus” is that it is based off the popular and race tested Losi 8 platform. That particular buggy platform works especially well with electric conversions due to it’s off-set center drive line. An electric specific platform would be preferred of course, but we’ll take the nitro platform for now over waiting more months/years. Price is going to be around $879 American dinero’s. This might sound horrifically high, but is actually a plus. If you were to buy a normal 8th scale buggy, big azz speedo and motor, plus a conversion kit, it would cost wayyy more than $879. The cost of an 8th scaler plus big speedo and motor just plain isn’t cheap. Price will go down somewhat in years to come, but you will never see a $299 price point 8th scale RTR electric buggy.
Downsides? This once would have been a plus, but now days, not coming with full electronics (it doesn’t come with a radio system) is actually a downside. Next, the new Losi 8E does not come with a slipper clutch. If indeed it has the driveline from hell, it might survive, otherwise, a slipper really is a “must” have. I think we already know what one of the first “upgrades” released will be, LOL. Finally, and what I see is the biggest thumb’s down- the 8E relies only on motor braking, not servo/rotor braking. Any dirt 8th scaler drives mucho better with a bunch of brake bias towards the front. Using only motor braking, gives half the braking power to the front, half to the rear, making it mucho harder to get through corners. At least this gives Horizon/Losi some room for improvement on their next-gen electric big scaler.
Horizon/Losi also released another truck last week, and it’s perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the year. The Losi HIGHroller (Up In Smoke) totally blindsided most people in the industry. It’s basically a 2wd electric 10th scale monster truck, very much Traxxas Stampede style. Price point? $179, right in the heart of Traxxastown. To me, at a glance, it screams “Hey look, Horizon’s got a new kit source in China!”. Once again, that just might be me, but just say’n. I read on-line where someone took one glance at the HIGHroller (Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie) and said it made him want to burn his XXX-T MF2, the reason being that the Losi name used to stand for the best racing equipment you could buy. Yes, and while the looks and price point of the HIGHroller (Nice Dreams) will make it a big seller, it’s one more dagger in the heart of the Losi brand name. Horizon would be best suited to be careful with how far they drag it down. They paid good money for it, and it’s only of use to Horizon if it still means something race worthy, not bash material. Horizon’s in-house Sportwerks name would be much better suited on the HIGHroller (It Came From Hollywood).
That’s it for this week freaks. Get outside, enjoy your extra time off work by dropping buy (Freudian slip) your local LHS, visit your local bash spot, or put the transponder in and get some racing in.
Your Cub Reporter
What's new: Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Whoa! RPM RC has just about every electric Traxxas vehicle covered! This new cover is for ALL ELECTRIC Traxxas Slash, Stampede, Bandit, Rustler. This inclues the XL-5 and VXL models. They carry their limited lifetime warranty and are only about $7! We are big fans of RPM and their dedication to bashers!
The full press release will be posted in the NEW Product Forum.
What's new: Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Some new products from Muchmore Racing are coming in. First up is this Multi-Wheel Balancer. It uses specially designed magnets to balance racing wheels, two way adapters to fit all on-road and off-road 1/10th scale wheels, and comes with a caddy for shafts and adapters.
A few years back I was having issues getting around a dirt track when someone suggested I try to balance my wheels. I honestly didn’t think it would really make that much difference, but I couldn’t of been more wrong. Having balanced wheels is night and day! From accelerating to cornering, it’s really an important step. If you are looking to improve your driving, make sure you get balanced!
The full press release is in the NEW Product Forum if you need all the awesome details!
What's new: Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
The Duratrax people have tossed their hat into the ever growing LiPo Battery ring. The packs are protected inside an impact and puncture resistant ABS case. They are wired for balancing with gold-plated bullet connectors for all terminals. They can be bought with a variety of leads such as Deans or the standard DTXC2211. I find the bullet connections right to the pack interesting.
The full press release is in the NEW Product Forum if you need all the awesome details!
What's new: Monday, August 25th, 2008
This has to be one of the slowest news weeks in recent memory. But aha! The Cubbster can always dig up a little something to rant about. (even if it is a “nice rant”)
Horizon/Losi pre-released some hype on a “top secret” price leader being introduced at the end of the month. Official release date is 08.29, but if you sign up for their super dope newsletter, you get the scoop on this secret model one day early! Hobby shop price is going to be $179, making it more affordable than most Losi offerings, and right in the heart of Traxxas price territory.
It’s nice to see Horizon/Losi getting a grasp on today’s internet based advertising model. Very few of the crusty old school rc companies even know how to approach the young internet crowd, but Horizon has obviously kept their eyes open, and have learned from other progressive companies on how to reach out to the young one’s. By “hyping” this new “secret” model via a pre-release announcement, they are getting a lot of bang for the buck advertising wise, in addition to actually getting all those X-Box head youngsters attention, which is incredibly hard to do. Anyways, kudos to Horizon for getting a clue about todays advertising, they are just beginning to tap the potential.
But, with such an announcement, comes one more nail in the coffin of the beloved rc trade show, and one less hot new model to make a splash there. Over the past half decade, most all rc companies save little, to no, new products to debut at RCX, Vegas or I-Hobby. It makes you wonder why manufactures even bother to pay the big money it takes for a booth, rental cars, hotel rooms, food, and airfare for any of the trade shows, when they can get more publicity with a simple email/press release to the on-line mags. There will become a point, perhaps not too far in the future, where the big dogs, Horizon and Great Planes, no longer decide to pop the big bucks to participate on the trade show circuit. At this point, based on their return vs investment that they currently get from trade shows, I would not blame them. And, the more they get it together with their internet based advertising, the less important the trade shows will be to them. Once GP and Horizon pull out of the big shows, the final death of the shows won’t be far behind.
Because this is a very short Cub-Report, I’d like to close with some thank you’s. First off, huge thanks to Brian at BigSquid, for making the report possible, and more importantly, for dealing with the bulk of the hate mail from irate manufactures every Monday afternoon. Next, special thanks to all your readers (both Bob and Jim). Without you two guys, the only people reading this article would be the legal departments for basically every rc company in the industry. Lastly, I’d like to thank those “rc insiders” that help write the report each week by emailing me “behind the scenes” info. Strangely, these people will tell me how messed up their new truck is, yet call and leave a 10 minute curse filled voicemail to me after I put it in print. Thanks guys!
Support your LHS’s and local tracks!
What's new: Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
While normally we only post Fan Pictures for the Big Squid RC Contest here on the front page that have Big Squid RC stickers on them, these pictures from TitaniumXRC were just too beautiful not to post! I left them at a pretty hi-res also for people to check out.
Keep those awesome pictures coming! Hopefully TitaniumXRC will find some stickers for his next amazing shots!
What's new: Monday, August 18th, 2008
For those of you that own a Traxxas Slash, and since that seems like anyone into RC, Pro-Line Racing has you covered! I can’t believe how this truck is taking off, and now you can finally get your paint out and look different. The Traxxas body is called the Hardcore Slash. This body is built to be durable and ready for action. It’s got some cool details like roll bar, radiator, rear shocks and wing and everything you would expect from Pro-Line You know you need this! Wait for it….. GO!
Welcome once again to another exciting and infuriating Cub Report!
BigSquidRC.com’s top man, Brian, is not at the top of his game. He was actually hospitalized this week, but seems to be doing better now. If you get a chance, shoot him a “get well soon” note to brian (at sym) bigsquidrc.com . We need to keep Brian well and healthy enough to keep my checks coming. Thanks!
Also in BigSquid news- aspiring models are needed. If you are, or know of a pretty lady that would like to get in some trade show modeling experience, shoot Brian an email as he is looking for “booth-babes” for this falls I-Hobby International Hobby Expo in Chicago. If you know someone, help Brian have the coolest booth at the show, and help a young lady gain a nice reference on her resume.
I can’t help it, I’ve got Olympic fever. I just can’t get enough! Phelps, Liukin, and others- how can I resist? It just looks so damn good in HD. Seems I’m not the only one, as the ratings of this years Olympics from Beijing are through the roof. But what does this have to do with rc? Not a damn thing other than it’s nice to see a well organized event come off as a huge success, and I’ve got some results from the question I asked last week about who us Americans would like to see represent us if rc racing was actually an Olympic sport. The top 3 vote getter’s from BigSquid readers are….
Honorable mentions- Brian “Dirtinator” Kinwald, Scott Hughes, and Billy “Mr Versatile” Fischer.
3. Mark Pavidis- Perennial front runner Pavidis garnered 3′rd place in the votes. Mark would certainly be a good pick for the team, as he has nerves of steel, and really picks up the pace the bigger the event is. He doesn’t back down from anybody, forcing passes when he has to. And perhaps his largest asset? Car set-up, he’s simply a master at making the most out of his equipment.
2. Ryan Maifield- AE’s latest hotshot has been tearing a wide swath through the pro ranks, winning nearly everything he enters. Driven, determined, and even a bit cocky, Ryan drives the tires off anything he races, and isn’t afraid to huck it huge to make a tricky pass. And, he doesn’t just like to win races, he prefers to CRUSH the field. Confidence is a dangerous thing, and he has lots of it right now.
1. Getting the most votes for our theoretical “Olympic RC Team America” is- Adam Drake. The Drake is not some pretty boy model type, he looks just like you and me. But what he is, is perhaps America’s top racer at the moment. The Drake is known for incredible corner speed, but less known, and more importantly, he is the king at finding good lines. If you want to find the very best line through any section (and have the skill to follow it), just watch where The Drake goes. Likable, friendly, and smart, The Drake deserves his title as being the best liked racer in America, and would represent a Team America in only the best light.
Of course there are tons of super talented drivers left off this list, but the most surprising to me was that not one carpet guru got made the top 3. Just goes to show that BigSquid readers, along with most Amercian rc’ers, know the top dirt guys better than the top carpet guys.
Did you tune in live to Speed TV this weekend and catch the CORR race? Gotta love CORR’s tv package this year with Speed, as you can’t beat Live! Rockstar/Makita/Kal-Gard’s Kyle LuDuc pwned Pro 4, Rockstar Energy/BFGoodrich’s Rob MacCachren took Pro 2, and BOSS Plow/Kumho/Amsoilʼs Chad Hord took Pro Lites. And what the Heck does this have to do with rc? Well, Thunder Tiger/AE unveiled their new rc CORR truck at the event, that’s what!
Dubbed the SC8, which stands for “short course”, the new AE rc CORR truck is based off their extremely fast RC8 nitro platform. The trucks look phenomenal, very scale, even down to the tires and mud-flaps. But will it be a bigger hit than the Traxxas Slash? Oh, it’ll be a hit alright, but don’t expect to see as many of them as the Slash. The Slash has a much better price point, and, it’s electric, which is all the rage now. I’m also disappointed to see the SC8 being a nitro, as it’s obvious the industry is swinging hard to electric now, but, I’m impressed to see AE jump into the “CORR” truck game so quickly. Industry rumor is that word about the Slash leaked out over a year ago from guys within the CORR ranks to the Thunder Tiger/AE camp, giving AE a bit of a “head’s up” to get a similar truck to market. Truth? Who knows.
Not to be outdone, Horizon/Losi released info on their 8th scale nitro buggy based Oval car this week. Dubbed the L8ight, this is what you get when you take one of their 8th scale off-road buggys and convert it for oval use. Does it look trick? Sorta. Will it suddenly be the boost that dirt oval needs so desperately? I don’t think so. But, it will open a lot of eyes, and provide lots of enjoyment to owners. I’ve seen converted 8th scale dirt oval cars race, and they look like a blast! Very realistic, lots of roost, tons of fun!
Now, if Thunder Tiger/AE and Horizon/Losi can FINALLY release their BL/Li-po 8th scale RTR’s! I-Hobby, you’ll see.
As previously posted by Brian on the main page, Tekin’s former sales and marketing man, “Scooter” has opened up a new BL and Li-po company. Scooter has been a warm face to see at many a race, and I personally wish him the best on his new business venture. The BL/Li-po sector is a hard one to break into, but Scooter is a down to Earth guy that knows what racers are looking for. I am looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table.
Lastly, Red Bull Cola tastes awesome! It tastes best well chilled, just like normal Red Bull. It is quite strong, but very pleasing. If you can find a can, it’s worth a sip or two.
Till next week, support your local tracks and LHS’s, and check BigSquid daily for the latest and greatest!
Your Cub Reporter
What's new: Friday, August 15th, 2008
Wow. I just got a letter from from Scooter telling me he has left
Team Tekin! Scooter has been the face of Tekin for years now, and it’s always great to talk with him at the iHobby shows. If you ever get the chance to meet him in person you will see he is one of the most passionate people about RC you could ever know.
Scooter has started his own thing called Scooter Motor Works. There isn’t much there on the site yet, but it sounds like he will have everything from Li-PO’s to new brushless esc’s! We will make sure to bring you all the future announcements from there.
We wish both Scooter and Team Tekin the best of luck in the future, I’m sure both will come out just fine.
Since we are talking about Scooter, check out our footage of him from last years i-hobby show, it’s probably the last time anyone will see him in front of a Tekin sign!
High Res version here:
Big Squid RC iHobby 07 – Meet Team Tekin!. Please ‘right click, save as’ for best viewing.
What's new: Thursday, August 14th, 2008
This is awesome! RPM RC has started to support the big boys! And by big I mean 5th scale. These are the new a-arm sets for the HPI 5B. Not that they do not come in these colors, these have been dyed. I also can’t believe that they can look that good dyed. I so have to try that. Anyway, if you own a 5B, your bashing world just got a little better!
The full press release will be posted in the NEW Product Forum.