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Helion 10SCv2 Unboxing Pictures
About a month ago, the crew over at Helion RC announced a successor to their popular 10SC short course truck, the 10SCv2. The version 2 truck has a bunch of differences from the original, with the biggest change being the addition of a Radient Reaktor brushless power system. Street price is $289, making it quite affordable for a brushless 4wd short course truck.

Below are a bunch of unboxing pictures of the 10SCv2 so you can see what it looks like when you open one up. The first thing we noticed when we got the truck out of the box was its bright graphics, then we saw its new plastic chassis. The chassis isn’t a traditional “lcg”, it actually sits a bit higher for better ground clearance. We also noticed a nifty clear plastic cover over the pinion/spur area that makes it easy to see the gears.

Our full review goes up next week, until then you can hit up This Link for more Helion news on BigSquidRC.

Hit the “Read More” button to view 2 more Helion 10SCv2 unboxing galleries.
READ MORE

The video is now up of the Helion Volition SCT to go along with the Volition Review we recently posted. We bashed in snow, on a carpet indoor track, and all sorts of other crazy condition.

Don’t forget to watch it in HD. Enjoy.

Uh oh.. it’s Friday, that means I need a Mystery Link

Ares Ethos QX 130
There are quadcopters, then there are quads with loads of options. The Ares Ethos QX 130 just might be kind of the hill for cool add on accessories.

The QX 130 is a bit larger than the micro quads you are used to seeing. It has a length (including rotor blades) of 12.2″. The QX 130 comes completely RTF, ready to fly right out of the box. It also comes with an LED light package and automatic flip mode. Where the QX 130 really gets fun are the add on accessories (available separately)-

* On-board digital camera
* Water blaster
* Bubble machine
* Rocket launcher
* Winch unit

Brian is biting at the bit to get his hands on the bubble machine and fly around the office, while Adam “The Intern” is more of a winch type of guy. Personally, I want the rocket launcher, I have a score to settle with Cubby. :)

The part number for the Ethos QX 130 is #AZSH1300, it has a street price of $99, and it should start hitting your local HobbyTown USA later this month. Hit up This Link for more information.

Click Here for another TGIF mystery link.

Helion Volition SCT
The latest release from Helion is the Volition short course truck. The Volition is a brushed 2wd ready for a beginner or a day of fun at the local bash spot. To save you time the Volition comes RTR, it’s ready to drive right out of the box. Some of its other features and specifications include-

* 12 turn 550 size brushed motor
* Capable of 30+ mph with stock set-up
* 2.4Ghz radio system
* Oil filled shocks
* Comes with 7 cell, 3000mAh NiMH pack
* Lipo compatible 30 amp ESC
* Full bearings
* Waterproof

The Volition is priced at $225 and you can hit up This Link for more information.

Click Here for more Helion news on BigSquidRC.

helion_criterion_1

We recently received the new 1/10th scale 2WD buggy from Helion called the Criterion. We have already been banging on it for the review, as well as checking out the speeds under the radar gun since they have been claiming it’s one of the fastest RTR buggys on the market.

For now, enjoy the unboxing photos.

If you are looking for more information on the Criterion click THIS LINK. To get even more Helion news, check THIS LINK right here on BigSquidRC.

Helion Criterion 2wd RTR Buggy
The 2wd buggy class has seen quite a resurgence in the last couple of years. The latest 2wd buggy to hit the scene comes from Helion with their Criterion RTR. The Criterion should make a great bash machine with its low price, waterproofing, and sturdy design. Some of the features and specifications of the Criterion include-

* 12 turn brushed motor
* 2.4 GHz radio system
* Full ball bearing set
* Metric 30 amp speed controller
* 3000 mah 7 cell Ni-MH battery
* 1 amp wall charger
* Length: 15.21″
* Width: 9.8″
* Wheelbase: 11.14″

The part number for the Helion Criterion is #HLNA0301, they have a street price of just $189, and you will only be able to find them at your friendly local HobbyTown USA location.

Want more information on 2wd buggies? Simply Click This Link for more right here on BigSquidRC.

Helion Criterion
We have finally made it back home and can start posting everything we saw at the 2013 HobbyTown USA Convention in Lincoln Nebraska.

Firelands Group is sold exclusively at HobbyTown USA. Their Helion Invictus has been a big hit with bashers this summer, and the Helion product line just keeps getting bigger. Helion premiered their new Criterion 10th scale 2wd buggy at the HobbyTown show. It’s 2wd and comes completely RTR with a 7 cell Ni-MH pack and brushed power system. The price point is $189.

On the air side of things, the biggest news was the Ares Ethos QX 130 quadcopter. This is a bigger brother to the Ares that won our quadcopter shootout and comes with advanced flight control, the ability to do 360 degree flips, and some really cool accessories like water blaster, rocket launcher, winch, and bubble machine.

Hit your local Hobbytown USA dealer to see Helion and Ares products in person, or hit THIS LINK to view all their products on-line.

Have you read our Quadcopter shootout? If not, you can view it HERE.

 IFT™ Evolve 300 CX Crash Avoidance Helicopter
The crew over at Innovative Flight Technologies (IFT) have just introduced their new helicopter, the Evolve 300 CX. What makes the 300 CX so cool is its Collision Avoidance Technology (CAT), meaning it uses ultrasonic sensors to keep from smashing into walls, furniture, or basically any other large object. If you are flying full speed towards a wall it will stop itself and not hit it. How cool is that? Some of the Evolve 300 CX’s primary features and specifications include-

* Length: 18.3 in (465mm)
* Height: 10.4 in (265mm)
* Main Rotor Diameter: 18.0 in (460mm)
* Weight with Battery: 16.0 oz (455g)
* Main Motor: 370 (2 installed)
* Battery: 800mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* Charger: 3S 11.1V LiPo DC balancing and AC adapter (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* Transmitter: 5-channel 2.4GHz (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* On-Board Electronics: Receiver (installed in RTF, required for RFR), 3-in-1 control unit with 2 ESCs/mixer/gyro, Collision Avoidance Technology module and sensors (installed in RTF and RFR)
* Part #IFLH1300 (RTF) and #IFLH1302 (RFR- ready for receiver)

The IFT Evolve 300 CX should be available any day now from your local HobbyTown USA dealer with a street price of $220 for the RTF and $150 for the RFR. For more information hit up the official IFT Website.

Looking for more air news? Check out THIS link right here on BigSquidRC.

THE Weekly RC Cub ReportHey guys, happy Monday, and welcome to yet another funk-a-licious edition of THE Cub Report. Put your head down, charge forward, and before you know it we’ll be sitting at the weekend.

That wacky carnival also known as the AMA Supercross series went through Phoenix on Saturday night. Dungey couldn’t beat Jimmy Albertson in the LCQ, Bubba smoked the qual but looked like his bike was stuck in second during the main, RV2 hit the dirt again, Speedy Reedy is keeping it real (real conservative), Canard continues to impress, Bam-Bam got his first big boy pants win, and Davi left the stadium with his points lead. Overall, one heck of an evening of racing. Oh ya, and Traxxas was once again all over the place with their cross-advertising, props to them.

So… last week I was a bit preoccupied, but this week is all about the future, more specifically what lies ahead for BigSquidRC, and for you, our readers, in 2013. First up for “changes” would have to be our announcement that BigSquidRC is not just doing car/truck coverage anymore, we are now covering the entire hobby grade spectrum- cars/trucks/heli’s/planes/quads/boats etc.

And here’s why- because that’s where the market is heading. While the mainstream media sources may still be telling you it’s bad to mix and mingle, and that you should only get into smaller and smaller niches, there are two pretty important factions going the opposite direction. 1. The manufactures have been pushing broader product catalogs for quite some time (Traxxas and Firelands Group adding air products are recent examples of this), and 2. the average Joe-Blow consumer is increasingly ignoring all the hype and has been buying whatever strikes their fancy, whether it be air, sea, or land. 3. Younger consumers, those who grew up on the internet, tend to be more global (as in, not confined to just surface or air) buyers.

For certain contributors here at BigSquidRC, covering all the major groups of the hobby grade rc market is quite simple. For example, perhaps the majority of the contributors here have been surface guys, but they have also been into boats and also played with planes and heli’s whenever they found one they liked. Other contributors here are completely the opposite- they have been programmed hard by the media sources to only like one segment of the hobby (cars/trucks) while ignoring others (like air and water) as useless and uninteresting. Today you can still see the mainstream media sources preaching this theme, to only like this or that, and to get into smaller and smaller niches. For example, these media sources will preach “just do surface”, and the flavor of the week is “scale crawling”, so just do that because everything else sucks. Then surely enough, 6 months later, forget about scale crawling, “rally cars” are the only thing you should be interested in. We aim to cover everything the best we can and let you guys and your various tastes make the smart decision on what you eventually spend your cash on.

Now I’ve been as bad as anyone at pushing one thing or another over the years, perhaps the only thing I have stayed consistent on is not being resistant to change, especially when it’s for the overall good of the hobby. Yes indeed, I’ve railed on the air and boat scene just because I never had an interest in them, and railed on mainstream media with the word “car” in their title when they touched a boat or an aircraft (luckily BSRC doesn’t contain any such limiting words), but even I can realize where our hobby is heading.

To boil it down, we’ve already seen a lot of synergy between air, sea and ground, on both the manufacturing and consumer levels, and it’s going to do nothing but grow, so BigSquidRC is going to broaden its coverage. We’ll remain surface heavy of course, but we’ll be covering what most “basher types” would find interesting in the air and water markets as well.

Big change number 2 for 2013- the words “live interactive content” has been extremely mis-used over the years, but we’ll finally be taking it to a level where it’ll be worthwhile. For instance- BigSquidRC will be covering a big indoor flight event, E-Fest in Champaign Illinois, about a month from now. Yes, we’ll be posting our normal coverage, but in addition, we’ll be doing a live G+ feed, where not only can you view the event live (and see what we are doing live), but you’ll be able to jump in on the feed, live on your own camera and mic. This will not only give you an unprecedented live look at an event that you’ve probably never seen before, but you’ll be able to talk with the BSRC staff in real time while we are there, and the world can catch a glimpse of you and hear your comments live.

Now certainly, this is virgin territory for us, and there are a lot of bugs to get worked out, and it will certainly be quite a learning process, but you will be able to come along with us, every step of the way. Our weekly Wednesday night G+ Live shows will become increasingly focused on more involvement from you guys, and we’ll be doing more and more G+ Live segments from every event we attend. The emphasis being, you may be stuck in a cubicle in Cedar Rapids, or a dorm room in Denver, yet you’ll be able to be able to be a part of all the live action from an rc show we are covering in Toledo, or an unboxing we are doing at the BSRC offices, or even be right there with us while we are testing a new truck down at the local track.

Yes, we’ve bit off a lot for 2013 my friends, and we might just be crazy enough to pull it off. Enjoy the ride, it should be a wild one.

That’s it for now guys, have a great week and be sure to support your local hobby shops and bash spots.

YOUR Cub Reporter

cubbysquidBeing the last day of the year it’s only fitting that I write up my annual year in review. I not only looked back over the last 94 pages of posts here on BigSquidRC, but also called some of my industry homies to “boil down” how the year 2012 will go down in the rc history books. Lets dive in shall we?

Biggest news of the year- There was tons of “big” news in 2012, but the biggest of the big was the announcement that Traxxas was entering the air market with their QR-1 quad and DR-1 heli. Announced late in the year Traxxas was still able to get these on LHS shelves before X-mas, and speaking to shop owners they sold very well. However, hard-core Traxxas loyalists were left in disbelief, not understanding why Traxxas would jump into the air market while so much of their surface line is in desperate need of updating.

While the air gear was their biggest news, Traxxas kept themselves in the limelight all year long. The XO-1 Supercar was announced late in 11′, but shipping in Feb 12′, and you couldn’t get away from the hype machine around it. A couple months later came the widely publicized but poorly received Traxxas drag car. Throw in their new Rally car and LCG Slash 4×4 and Traxxas had yet another year at the top of the buzz (and sales) charts.

Second biggest news- Early in the year it was announced that the Champaign behemoth Hobbico had made a deal to acquire Axial, Durango, and ARRMA. This was some serious eye popping news to many industry peeps, they knew Hobbico has the cubic cash and market savvy to use those lines to take their world domination to a completely new level. Axial was already a hot name brand in America, but during the year you would have to blind not see how Durango and ARRMA climbing the sales charts here in the USA.

Biggest dropping of the ball- It was August 2011 when HPI first announced that they were attempting to put gas (not nitro) engines in regular 10th/8th scale rc vehicles. A few months later in February 12′ at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, HPI had multiple models on display all showing off their “Xtreme/Octane” series engine. While HPI did tease us once again a few weeks ago in mid December, we’ve yet so see one come to fruition. We really just want to drive one.

Biggest head-scratcher of the year- When the announcement came off the wire that HPI was now the exclusive distributor for Hobao in North America we weren’t the only ones scratching our heads.

Euro gear coming in style- You may or may not still consider Durango a European name, but alas, companies like X-Ray, Serpent and Schumacher also made positive strides in America. Many industry types make claims like the Euro’s are just trying harder right now, they are more focused, pushing harder, the internet is changing the game, etc, and I think you can look for more European brands to start making waves in the American market in the next 12 months.

Product trends of the year- 2012 will go down as the year that saw the emergence of the Rally car, quadcopters, scale off road buggies, nitro powered SCT’s, an uber battery charger war, and of the 8th scale roller “XO-1″ killers.

Rally has never been “so cool” here in America, and both Traxxas and HPI capitalized on this by putting out new rally style cars.

Quads which were once considered $19 stocking stuffers by true hobbyists, but they became a hot item after Traxxas announced their QR-1.

For scale buggies, Axial got their EXO Terra Buggy to the market, the HPI Apache hit (and missed), and even Associated threw their hat in the ring with the SC10B.

Associated made the news again with their SC10GT, Losi announced their Nitro Ten SCT, and finally Traxxas showed their hand and entered the nitro SCT market with their Nitro 2wd Slash. New offerings for the nitro crowd have been minimal in recent years, but the nitro SCT’s of 2012 gave fuel burners something new to play with.

After years of brushless/Lipo dominance, the battery charger companies went balls to the wall in 12′. Everywhere you turned was another company putting out some uber mega high current charger. Venom put out a charger with built in speakers, iCharger put out a charger you can probably weld with, and TrakPower put out one of the most esoteric chargers the market has ever seen. And.. uber chargers weren’t only about putting out ridiculously huge amounts of power, they were also about doing so on multiple channels. Reading some of the specs now days reminds me of the old car stereo days- 4 channels, bridgeable, mono-block, 500 watts, etc.

Why pay over a grand for a Traxxas XO-1 when you’ve already got all the electronics sitting in your garage? Late 2012 showed multiple brands putting out 8th scale roller on-road cars ready to bust out triple digit mph numbers once you’ve slammed in your own electronic goodies. Going crazy fast on-road should continue to be a big trend in 13′.

Accessory companies blowing up- Pro-line is no stranger to having huge years, but a number of other accessory companies put their dent on the scene in 12′ as well.

Pro-Line was everywhere in 12′. Their product line-up exploded with items for not just racers, but also for scalers and bashers. Pro-Line also went WFO on the 2wd Slash, now offering nearly a complete truck of their own in replacement parts. Also of note was the staggering amount of product give-aways that Pro-Line did over the course of the year. 2012 was Pro-lines 30th anniversary and they certain did it up the right way.

JConcepts made their waves too. They are living the dream, getting bigger and bigger and 12′ was a banner year for them. From spur gears for the Slash, to a high speed Traxxas truck body, to tons of racer gear, to sponsoring tons of races across the country, JConcepts was pushing it hard all year long.

RPM ventured out to numerous new models in 2012 and put out perhaps their most involved product yet- a tranny case and metal motor mount for Traxxas 2wd trucks. Consumers have been asking RPM to branch out a bit for years, in 12′ they arguably branches out more than ever before.

MIP, who has been a player in the rc game for years, saw a fresh resurgence in 2012. Their Pro4mance kit for the Losi SCTE and uber shock pistons got the ball rolling early in the year, and they are looking more solid than ever going into 13′.

RDRP blew up on the accessory scene in 12′. A little known Euro company a few months ago, they are now one of the “hot” brands to have in your pit at the local track.

Exotek was once a tiny company making a few 18th scale parts, in 2012 they really expanded their product catalog and market share.

You can’t talk about upgrade parts without talking about STRC. They landed a big deal with Great Planes and keep putting out more and more parts for nearly every vehicle (worth owning) on the market, plus their LCG Chassis for 2WD and 4WD Slash Vehicles!

Other significant happenings-

Thunder Tiger was once a joke in the American market. Today, with distribution from Great Planes, they are one of the biggest names in the bashing market. After multiple new releases in Q4 of 12′, expect their market share to keep on growing in 13′.

Firelands Group is making some waves. From Anza hop-up parts, to Helion, to Radient, to Ares, they might just be the model company of the future.

Venom Group had a big year. From putting out loads of innovative products, to changing their name to Atomik (and seemingly failing, everyone still calls them Venom), to inking a deal to sell Brian Deegan/Metal Mulisha gear, Venom is working their way towards the front of the pack.

Associated made the news here and there, the introduction of their SC10B was huge news, as was their announcement of their new “Qualifier Series” basher line-up.

ECX also had a big year. Sales were solid and they ventured into uncharted territory with their new 8th scales, one electric, and one nitro. Expect to see more big things from ECX in 2013.

Kyosho made a push in 12′ with loads of new products (the Scorpion XXL Ve for example) and a solid marketing push. Unfortunately their distribution blows here in the states and most consumers only saw the new stuff on the web, not in their LHS.

Oh ya, BigSquidRC had pretty good year too, thanks to you guys-

Our March Bash-Ness contest was huge again, and it sported a controversial winner, the Helion Dominus. We did a great job of busting out juicy Traxxas news in good time and our “chat with us in the forums” morphed into our live Google Plus show. We also had solid coverage of not only iHobby, but of RCX SoCal, Nuremberg, and the HobbyTown USA show. And lastly… traffic was once again way up, for that we must salute you guys out there!

That’s it for this week ya’ll, next week will be my also annual “looking forward to the coming year” Cub Report, till then, support your local hobby shops and bash spots!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Radient RC Origin Battery Charger
With Santa delivering a lot of RTR cars and trucks for Christmas there is a need for an easy to use Ni-MH charger. The crew over at Radient have come up with just that, their new Origin Ni-MH charger makes battery charging simple at an affordable price. Some of its features and specs include-

* Charges up to 4 amps on AC or DC
* Charges 1-8 cell Ni-MH
* Charges Ni-MH and NiCd type of cells
* Single button interface
* Uses LED to show charge status
* Slim design to save space
* Part #RDNA0014

The Radient Origin has a street price of $35 and they are available right now at your local HobbyTown USA dealer.

Want to read one of our previous Radient battery charger reviews? HERE is the link you want.

Have I mentioned to yall how much I love the Aluminum Bling? Well I was tickled a bit when Brian asked me to toss on all the Hop Ups just released for the Dominus 10SC and the soon to be released sibling the 10TR. As a relatively new name in the RC World I was anxious to see what benefit these hop ups would offer the entry level market this truck is geared towards. Keep reading to find out…

READ MORE

Gil Losi Jr You might remember Gil Losi Jr from his days with Team Losi, but newer hobbyists probably know him from companies like AKA Products and Firelands Group (Helion, Anza, Radient). Gil is a legend in the rc industry and we were lucky enough to get an interview with him.

BigSquidRC: What trends do you see coming for the rc basher market?

Gil: I think there will be a bigger push for more value for the dollar. That is why we at Firelands and HobbyTown have been focused on creating a product and sales strategy to bring entry level products to market that have incredible value and service support.

BigSquidRC: Gil, you are a living legend in our hobby and an IFMAR world champion to boot. What changes would you like to see made to modern rc racing?

Gil: I would like to see fewer classes. There are so many classes now that it dilutes the value to both the industry and the winners of the important classes. It’s become too easy to win a National level race if you cherry pick the easy classes.

BigSquidRC: Of all the current big name factory racers, which one do you feel is the best ambassador for the hobby?

Gil: Michael Losi of course! (I may be a little biased).

BigSquidRC: Your thoughts on the scale realism trend in rc now days?

Gil: I am a big fan of scale looking cars. It has always been a big challenge to keep a class looking scale. We as racers always look to push rules as far as possible to improve performance. If there are not strong rules in place before the pros get involved scale classes tend to be short lived. We have seen how popular scale classes can be (1/10 2wd buggies of the early 80′s, Touring cars of the 2000′s and now Crawling and Short Course). Hopefully we will be smarter in the future and write stronger rules to keep the scale look when classes are young.

BigSquidRC: Has Traxxas grown too big for their britches and forgotten their core enthusiasts?

Gil: Traxxas did a good job changing the industry. I for one was very slow to react to the RTR world they created. Only time will tell where the Basher enthusiast will find their next thrills.

BigSquidRC: What would it take to get you back to designing and producing complete high-end rc race cars?

Gil: I’m not sure right now. It is an interesting challenge to learn the general enthusiast market. My current hope is to build our current Firelands brands into industry leaders. Once we have accomplished that maybe there will be time to work on something racing again.

BigSquidRC: The Anza RC hop-up parts were awesome but we haven’t seen anything new from them in a while. Has the Anza line worked out as expect and are there more goodies on the way?

Gil: We are proud of the success we had with the Anza line so far. We almost put a Anza outfitted Traxxas Slash on the podium (4th place) at the Roar Nats last year. I think it’s been a while since a Traxxas car was that competitive at a major race!

BigSquidRC: Helion has a short course truck and a truggy version in both 1/18th and 1/10th scale. Is there a plan to jump to another scale, or will we see a new vehicle on one of those two scales?

Gil: All the above! We have more ideas than time to build them.

BigSquidRC: It seems that the HobbyTown exclusive deal has worked pretty well for the Helion RC line. I know all of our local HT’s move a good amount of product. Will the Helion RC line always be exclusive to HobbyTown USA’s?

Gil: We have enjoyed a great relationship with HT thus far. We are able to work together to provide value product with good parts and customer support that customers have been very happy with.

BigSquidRC: We are all going outside to do some bashing and we know you want to come after your incredible display of bashing skills at our demo at the HobbyTown convention over the summer. What vehicle do you bring (You can only take 1) and why?

Gil: I would take the Dominus TR Brushless. Where else can you find that much fun for less than $260?