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What's new: Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Everybody’s getting retrospective with the closing of the New Year, and Brian (not our Brian, another Brian… seriously, there’s at least two guys named Brian in this world…) from Roger’s Hobby Center offers up his thoughts on the year passed in the r/c hobby world.  He’s got some interesting, thoughts:

And finally, I think 2010 is going to be known as the year electric power became cool. Electric cars have always outsold the nitro variety before, mainly due to price. But now, the comparison is so lopsided, it’s a wonder anyone is still making the nitro cars. We’ve pushed electric hard, and it’s paid off. And with all the fun, but a third of the hassle, it’s no wonder that electric cars and trucks have taken center stage in the last year. I expect to see that margin grow in 2011.

And then closes with a good question:

And to those that would rather purchase your hobby wares online – what are we doing wrong? How can we better serve your needs, and earn your loyalty? While there are some things that, admittedly, we simply can’t do that the “e-tailers” can, if there is anything I can do to earn your business…

Overall, another interesting read, so go check it out.

What's new: Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Reef Squid at Bonaire

It’s New Year’s Day.  You’re all probably too hung over to read this and make sense of it anyway (or maybe I’m still too drunk to write it in a way that makes sense to you…), so I’m just going to put in a bunch of squid related links.  Also, nobody is doing anything except partying, so there’s not much out there to link.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Around the Web next Saturday.

Anime: Squid GirlAs she sets out on her vengeful journey … she becomes aware of certain limitations.  She’s nothing but a squid out of water…

Forum Thread: What Are Your R/C Rules to Live By? – Wait… This isn’t about squids… How’d this link get in here?

In Squid News: Imported squids now cost more in Sibu – But here on the internet, your daily order of Big Squid will always be free.

More Squid News: New ‘glow-in-the dark’ squid discovered ‘We think we have more than one new species of squid,’ Rogers said. ‘This just happens to be the biggest and most glamorous one.’ – These are very exciting times for squid lovers everywhere!

Recipe: Calamari – I tried calamari once… I found it unsettling… It felt like I was cannibalizing a fellow human.

Video of the Week:

What's new: Friday, December 31st, 2010

We have a winner! Thanks to everyone that entered to Win a DuraTrax Evader DT! we had hundreds of people this time. More than we have ever had for a drawing!
The winner is Bryan Bonfim who entered via Facebook! Congratulations Bryan! You have 7 Days to contact us with your shipping information, and we will get the truck out to you ASAP!
Check out the video drawing:

Thanks again to everyone who entered! We will be doing many more contests this year. Watch for the next one starting in a few days!

Model Retailer Magazine, a trade publication aimed at hobby shop owners and others in the industry has a new article up on their web site looking back at what they thought were the biggest news items of 2010.  Being business and industry focused much of what they talked about had to do with the state of the economy and business.  A couple that caught my eye were:

4. Rising cost of doing business with China
Chinese manufacturers have had to raise wages to get and retain workers. This in turn will lead to a rise in the cost of finished goods — perhaps as much as 30% — much of which will be seen in 2011. Some of the increase will be borne by the importers, but much of it will go to the consumers. How it will affect the latter group depends largely on the rate of improvement of the economy.

Which is basically saying that we can probably expect higher prices for the things we enjoy over the next year.

9. Micro R/C continues to be hot
Once just a niche of the radio-control hobby frequently associated with the toy market, micro R/C has turned into big business.

Since 2007, the number of micro R/C aircraft and vehicles to choose from has grown enormous, with robust airframes and chassis like their larger cousins, and interactive elements like guns that fire infrared beams at targets.

In scales from 1:36 to 1:18, these little planes, helis and trucks have expanded the market by keeping prices low and reducing the barrier to entry, while still attracting experienced hobbyists.

In R/C, as with computers, if smaller is better, what’s next? A scale R/C butterfly?

This is something we’ve been seeing on Big Squid as well.  Articles about mini and micro rc, such as Kyosho’s Mini-Z line, Losi’s Micro SCT and Rally, and Traxxas 1/16 scale vehicles have been among the most popular during the last year.  Though, on the opposite end, we’ve also seen a lot of interest in 1/5 scale news.

If you’re interested in the state of the hobby industry, this article would be a good introduction to the issues that are troubling the industry.  Head on over and read the whole thing.

Portable Ramp Recently Big Squid RC wrote a guest article for our friends over at Hobby Town USA in their online Hobby Outlook magazine. It’s a new design for a portable adjustable ramp. Bill (aka Wrench) did most of the work, I just supervised and did all the typing parts. The article came out great, and the ramp works very well! If you are looking to build a new bash ramp, check out the article.
Head over to the Hobby Outlook site. It’s in issue 2, page 36!

What's new: Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Yes, we even work during the holiday season, we’ll do anything for your reading enjoyment! On to my favorite emails from the past week….

“Hey guys I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for all of the work you guys put into the website and into our hobby! I actually found your website by accident several months and if you ask me it was one of the best finds on the internet! Your reviews are great and the info you guys provide is excellent! So I just wanted to say thank you and keep up the great work!
Have a Happy New Year!!!
Angel B.”

Cubby- Thanks for the kind words Angel. And ya, I gotta agree with ya, Editor Brian and Jeff The Web Guy do not get enough props for all their hard work. Of course some news days are much slower than others, but they typically come up with at least something worth blowing a couple minutes on reading. And….. for 2011 we’ll be adding a few new weekly columns/articles that should once again raise the bar for rc news/views/reviews. We’ve been lucky to have gathered a quite large (and seemingly loyal?) reader base, so we’ve once again re-focused to push even harder in 11′. We can never say enough “thanks for reading”, whether you are reading because you dig BSRC or because you hate it, either way- Thanks!

The OWNER of my LHS melted some guys LIPO cases because he used charger plugs on the guys battery. He’s all the time telling people to just use adaptors instead of changing the plugs. People need the right info to make informed choices. I would like to see testing on the following and maybe a little about the right application for each. Thank you.

Castle Creations 4mm Bullet Connector
Hobbico Banana Plugs
Great Planes Gold Plate Bullet Connector 4mm
Great Planes Gold Plate Bullet Connector Male 3.5mm
also w.s. deans,traxxas trx,ec3,ec5,gold Tamiya

Cubby- Ya know… since the Earth cooled hobbyists have been arguing what is the “best” connector to use in their rc car. Then for years it was all about “direct soldering”. Now days, we are back into a connector war. We’ve got the “old” king of the hill W.S. Deans, vs the uber new Traxxas plug, vs the multi Venom plugs, vs gold plated bullet connectors of various diameters, vs all the other old school plugs, vs some new goofy looking (knock off/copycat??) plugs from Asia. Today when you hit a track you will arguably see more different connectors than at any time previous in the history of the hobby.

A lot of casual consumers do not realize just how important a good battery connector is. They don’t realize how much more reliable a good connector is, nor how much unwanted resistance a bad connector will throw into the power chain. A connector shootout has never really been done before, and I think the timing is perfect for one now. Thanks for shooting us your idea, hopefully we can bust this one out. It would be a shootout that could benefit pretty much every hobbyist out there.

Now for a couple of quick reminders….
1. Our Duratrax truck give away is going down New Years Eve! Stay tuned for the drawing!
2. Have you done sales in the rc hobby before? Do you know all the marketing guys in the rc industry? You have and you do? Then hit us up, we are adding a new sales position for 2011 and you could make some decent bank.

That’s it for this week, we dig getting your questions, suggestions, hate filled rants, and passionately regurgitated web-jocky mis-information, so send it all to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

What's new: Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

golden horizons lipo golden horizons lipo

New from GH Racing are a few new Lipo Accessories. They have a new LiPo Protection Bag to help sack those batteries and keep them safe! They also have a new Lipo Voltage Checker. Ever since I started using a lipo voltage checker, I have been a big fan. It’s just nice to have a quick way to tell what pack in the sack has the most juice.
Head over to the official GH Racing site for more info on both products.

golden horizons 5t New from GH Racing are these Aluminum front body mounts for your HPI Baja 5T! These are replacement parts for the stock HPI85417 part. If you have been busting your stock ones, I’m guessing these will help!

Head over to the official GH Racing site for details.

golden horizons traxxas Good news from GH Racing for those Traxxas Slash 4×4 and Stampede 4×4 fans. They have a new Aluminum Motor Mount designed with a larger bearing (10x19x5) that can handle those high rpm’s from a brushless motor plus add some durability.

If you are looking to add some bling and some strength to your Traxxas 4×4 vehicle head over to the official GH Racing site!

What's new: Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Geezus, one minute I am polishing off some very snappy Dom 98′ to ring in 2010 (followed by a Very strong La Flora Dominicana Chisel), and suddenly I look up and I’m writing the last Cub Report of the year. My oh my does time fly when you are pwn’n the rc media world.

Because I’m a creature of habit, I always like to do some sort of year in review. This year is no different except I’ve decided to simply do a “best of” and “worst of”. Also, to be different than previous years I contacted most of the BSRC contributors asking them for their personal comments/thoughts on what they felt was the “best rc product of 2010″ and what was the “worst rc product” of 2010. So, to start this year end party off I’ll post what our BSRC contributors had to say…….

Bill The Wrench Guy- Bill’s pick for “best of” 2010 was the upcoming HPI 5SC. It seems that truck is straight up 20 mg Cialis to his libido even though it hasn’t hit hobby shelves yet. Wrench Guy’s pick for “worst of” 2010? The HPI Mini-Trophy Truck, which makes perfect sense to anyone wrenching as much as Bill does. See the HPI MTT is quite possibly the hardest to work on truck ever to reach market (also hardest to change a battery, hardest to set gear mesh, and it makes motors run hotter than anything this side of a Losi XX-4).

Craig The Crazy Ramp Builder Guy- “Best of” from the king of “balls to the wall big air” went to the Castle Creations HPI 5B electric conversion, while his “worst of” vote got planted solidly on the much maligned Losi Strike short course truck (which Horizon still can’t give away to blind people).

Hawaiian Chris- Chris’s vote went to the Traxxas Slash 4×4 Ultimate Edition for “best of”, while in the “worst of” category the venerable Losi Strike once again got the nod. The Strike was a dud for sure, not only was it too large for competition, but it broke far too easily, and is considered one step lower than junk by many a bashaphile.

Jam’n Jimmy The Electronics Guru Dude- Jim’s “best of” nod also went to the Traxxas Slash 4×4, not only a great looking truck, but it drives great and is extremely durable. His “worst of”? To all the “fugly” cab forward body designs that are turning up in nearly every market segment. (Btw, the “hot” rumor this week is we’ll be seeing an uber new “cab foward” short course body released to the public by the end of January, YUK!)

Chunky Jason- Jason was nice enough to give his “best of” for multiple categories, including…. Best Race Ride- Losi 22, Best Basher- HPI 5SC, Best Mini- Traxxas VXL Rally, Best Crawler- Axial XR10, and Best ESC- Novak M2 Dig. Jason must have run some pretty uber gear this year as I couldn’t even get an answer out of him for any “worst of’s”.

Trent The Super Marshal- Our homie Trent had two “best of’s” for 2010, the Traxxas Ken Block rally car and the Axial scale crawler. Trent’s “worst of’s” went to the Losi 22 (why release an uber new car for a dead class?), watching his local short course class die off due to too many stupid rules, the uber fugly JConcepts BAJR body (all party in the front, all crazy out back, woot woot!), and lastly, the influx of ridiculous cab forward bodies.

Jeff The Web Guy- Jeff had a lot to say about the best and worst of’s… “My best of 2010 is the apparent revival of the real, old school Team Losi under the TL Racing banner. Not just because the new 22 buggy is a completely new platform in a stagnant market sector, but also because it’s available as a kit. As a long time Losi fan, I’ve been disappointed by Horizon’s attempt to form another Traxxas. I’m hopeful that Horizon taking this step will put the hobby as a whole onto a different track that’s friendly to both beginners and longtime hobbyists. I’m tired of RTRs and “rollers.”

For worst of Jeff added…… “Worst of 2010, is the Traxxas 1/16 Summit. It’s a 1/16 E-Revo with a different body. There was so much more they could have done with it, like make it have some of the same features as the 1/10 Summit. But nope, Traxxas took the easy road to cash in.”

Finally I asked our Editor Brian for his comments on his best and worst of…. “Big Squid RC booth at iHobby was the best of 2010! IMHO. Having all our people from all over the fricking country gather in one place for 4 days of RC was amazing!” Brian also added for best of… “RC on TV in 2010? There was a TON of that. RC really breaking into the mainstream this year on television.. maybe Traxxas Torc Series? The support Traxxas has done for the industry?” was all great stuff for 2010!

Brian’s worst of??? “Worst of 2010, nothing mind blowing new. We thought realism would be king, but not too many have jumped on that bandwagon yet. Car Action calling a motorcycle car of the year? Disappointed no big release from Associated this year.”

So that’s what our crew had to say. Now it’s my turn, ahem…

Best rc product of 2010- Well, I spend a lot of time at tracks, too damn much time in fact, so my opinion is typically far skewed from what Mr Average Consumer might think. With that said, my vote would still have to go to the Traxxas Slash 4×4. Why? Because it’s realistic looking, a blast to drive (also easy to wheel fast), and very durable (perfect for keeping noobs in our hobby). Many of the “racer types” love to say it’s not a “racer”, but (and there is always a but) who cares if it was intended for racing, it was intended to be a damn good truck and it delivers.

Worst rc product of 2010
- Ya, I gotta say it is every single “cab forward” body. The cab forward trend will go down in history much like the mullet hair style. Even when it was “cool” to wear a mullet you just knew you were eventually gonna hate yourself for sport’n one. Seriously, 5 years from now we are going to look back and say “WTF were we thinking running those ugly ass bodies?”.

Best Trend of 2010- Head’n for the mainstream baby! Never, ever, in the history of our hobby have we gotten more mainstream exposure than in 2010. HUGE props go out to Traxxas for their support of the TORC series (and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team), AE for their support of the Lucas Oil series, and Losi for their support in cross marketing to the masses. All this cross marketing is making our hobby seem less like “those dorks in the city park” to “look at how uber and fast those things are!” to the general population.

Worst Trend of 2010- Every jerk-weed at a local track that runs off the noobs attracted by all that cross marketing. Traxxas, AE, Losi and others spent millions upon MILLIONS of dollars last year bringing people into our hobby while some jacka$$ racers and track directors do everything they can to run them away. Remember, the most important person at your local track is not you, it is THE NEW GUY. Keep on pulling all your normal bullsh!% and I can promise you there won’t be anyone to curse or throw your transmitter at a few years from now.

Worst Take It in the Butt of 2010- Every single Associated owner who’s local hobby shop only gets parts from Horizon. Yes indeed, I feel the pain for any Associated driver who doesn’t have a hobby shop that buys from GP. Why? Because Horizon no longer distributes Associated kits/rtr’s/parts. So for instance, if you live in chit-kicker Idaho and your LHS only buys from Horizon, not only will they not be stocking any AE kits/parts, they won’t even be able to order them in for you. Will this force a lot of LHS’s to sign on board with GP (Great Planes distributing)? Yes. Will this force a lot of AE pilots to switch over to Losi? Maybe to highly doubtful… If Horizon no longer distributed Traxxas would they sell more Losi? Humm….

See, I knew you could make it through another year of rc’s best opinion/sarcastic/rumor-mill/bullsh!% column- THE Cub Report. Mucho hugo thanks to all our readers, and if you like/hate THE Cub Report now, you are gonna love/hate it even MORE in 2011! See ya next week but till then, support your LHS, local tracks and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

DarkSoul still has the Christmas spirit.  Until January 1st, the Chino competition crawler chassis kit for the Losi Mini Rock Crawler is available directly for only $50.  This kit includes an all new chassis with plenty of tuning options that is formed out of one piece of aluminum.  You’ll also get a new set of titanium links, new rod ends, and aluminum chassis spacers, plus all the new hardware to put it all together.  And just because they’re feeling nice, they’re also going to throw in a DarkSoul Inboard Shock Mount kit.  If you’ve been looking for a way to make your Mini Rock Crawler more competitive, this might be the ideal solution for you.

Also up on the sale block is DarkSoul’s 1.9″ billet bead lock wheels.  They’re available in a set of 4 for $50 or a set of 5 (for you scalers that need a spare tire) for $63.  The billet wheels come with inner and outer bead lock rings plus all the screws you need to hold them together.  These wheels are drilled to accept up to 24 pin weights to help add much  needed traction to your ride.  With all the weights, tires, and foams these wheels weigh in at about 7.5 oz each.

These deals are only available directly from this forum thread on RC through PayPal.  For more info about DarkSoul Racing, hit up their web site.

What's new: Monday, December 27th, 2010

As this winter storm of epic proportions keeps moving across the states, I’m sure some of you are stuck indoors for the time being.  So put that time to good use and go build yourself an R/C snow blower like this guy did.  Check out the RoBo Blower web site for all the stats and a ton more photos of this man-eating monster looking contraption.  Also check out the video below to see it in action  This is definitely something we could use around the Big Squid offices, it just needs a FPV system mounted to it so all our plowing could be done from the comfort of our heated massage leather office chairs.

Tip o’ the hat to Michael at About R/C Vehicles and Hack N Mod for the find.

In all the flurry and hubbub of the holiday weekend we kind of missed this bit of news from the Twitterverse that GH Racing is extending their holiday sale through New Year’s Eve.  Until then everything in the GH Racing online shop is marked down 15%.  So if you just got a brand new Traxxas Slash 4×4 or maybe a 1/16 E-Revo or any number of other r/c kits, check out the GH Racing web site for a bunch of excellent aluminum hop-ups.