Big Squid RC – News, Reviews, Videos, and More!

For Bashers, By Bashers!
Recent Reviews
Desktop Calendar
Big Squid RC Calendar
Like us on Facebook
Big Squid RC Channel
Big Squid RC YouTube Channel

Posts Tagged ‘hobbico

Great Planes HobbyTown USA
What was new in the Great Planes room? A whole lot!

Starting on the surface side, the Axial Yeti was in the room and getting tons of love. You’ve seen our review and soon you’ll be seeing them flying off the shelves of your LHS.

There was also a sighting of the new ARRMA Typhon 8th scale buggy. It was cool to get a chance to look it over first hand, and if it lives up to the hype of being a buggy made for hardcore bashing, it should be a great seller. We were told that its release date has been moved to sometime around the beginning of August.

The brother of the Typhon, the Kraton monster truck, did not make it in time for the show and we were told it is set to release about a month after the buggy.

Speaking of ARRMA, the brushed Mega series was also in the room and we hear they are just weeks away from hitting dealer showrooms. A lot of people have been waiting for these to drop, including us.

The 18th scale Dromida line-up were strong sellers last winter and have continued to be in high demand due to their low price point and high fun factor. Being such a success, the line has received a bunch of new products. There is a Desert Truck version headed to the market, as well as a version of the rest of the line being released with pre-installed brushless power systems.

The Dromida line-up will also soon be taking to the air with their new Ominus and Kodo (with video) quadcopter/drones. They look like a lot of fun and are street priced at $80 and $60 respectively.

Want to learn more about Great Planes? Click Here to visit their official website.

Read more HobbyTown Convention Coverage at This Link on BigSquidRC.

Estes Proto X New Colors
The mighty little Estes Proto-X has become a huge phenomenon. With their low price point and huge fun factor, everyone (and their Uncle, and their Uncle’s dog) bought one. However, if you’ve flown your Proto-X as much as we have, you already know they do eventually wear out.

For all you guys needing a new Proto-X, Estes has announced that you can now get them in Six Different Colors. The colors are the original black, plus green, purple, red, white and yellow. But that isn’t the only thing different on the new Proto-Xs, they now come with an Auto-Upright Stability feature that makes hand launching a breeze.

The part numbers are #ESTE48** and the price stays the same at just $39. To be the first person on your block to have a Proto-X in one of the new colors, hit up This Link over on the Tower Hobbies website to get yours on pre-order.

Click Here to read more Proto-X news on BigSquidRC.

RC Monster TruckHello rc world, it’s Monday and that means yet another funtabulious edition of THE Cub Report.

A couple of months ago when hitting up my local hobby shop, I was quite alarmed when the owner of the shop told me that 2014 was the worst sales year he has seen in the 30+ years his shop has been open. In fact, he went so far to say that 2014 was “Apocalypticly bad” for sales, and that he couldn’t wait for his lease to run out so he could close up shop. Now certainly LHSs are getting hit hard by internet sales, so it is understandable has his sales could be down, but were sales just down at his LHS, or at most hobby shops across the country? What about sales overall? Were the internet places having a bad year too? What about the manufacturers, are sales down for them too?

During my constant travels since then, I’ve made it a point to ask every rc company I’ve visited, from LHSs to manufacturers, just how their year was going. Now… I knew some of the people I asked were always going to say “Sales are at all time highs!!!!” regardless of what the real numbers were. For those people I pretty much zoned out during their answers, but I’ve also gotten the chance to talk to over a dozen people I truly trust, the types of people who aren’t going to just yank my chain. And… yes, it sounds like sales are slow across the board. Most of them were not in full blown panic mode like my LHS owner, but virtually all of them had no problem admitting to me that 2014 has been a stinker thus far for sales.

Why do I bring this up? Because many people in our industry, whether they work at an LHS or at the largest of the manufacturers, don’t often get the chance to honestly talk numbers with people from other companies. And…. because THE Cub Report is read by loads of industry types, I can help spread some information they might be interested in, such as 2014 looks to be a down year. To boil it down, 2014 looks to be a tough one for our industry, but everything works in cycles, lets hope this dip doesn’t last long and gives way to higher sales in the very near future.

If you are a consumer, what does this mean to you? Chances are if you are in the hobby right now you are already spending plenty, however, you can still help spread the word about rc. You can place an rc related sticker on your full size whip, you can do some bashing at the local park to show others how cool it is (in a responsible manner of course, don’t run over any kids with your 5th scale), and of course by just keeping on supporting your LHS or wherever you get your gear from.

On an unrelated note…

We posted a screenshot over the weekend from Tower Hobbies’s website showing Kyosho product on their “Just Announced” section. It’s been several years (a decade???) since the two had a falling out, and if in fact Kyosho is back with Hobbico it should be great for both of them. It gives Hobbico yet another awesome line to sell, and finally gives Kyosho the big distribution they need to excel in the American market. No, I don’t have any inside info on this one, but I’ll be in Champaign later this week and will try to get the scoop face to face.

That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can!

YOUR Cub Reporter

Kyosho Great Planes Hobbico

Will we be seeing Kyosho being sold again at Great Planes & Tower Hobbies this summer?

Father's Day Header

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and what better way to put a smile on their face than getting them that RC flying machine he’s been looking for. Better yet, get him a ‘drone’ and he’ll be part of the hottest RC craze this year. Either way, I thought that a nice list of fun flying gifts for the Dad (or Dad-like person) in your life would be the best way to save the hassle in finding the perfect gift! Read More to see what makes the list in this year’s guide!

READ MORE

Great Planes RC4WD
There is some big news out of Champaign Illinois that Great Planes is now distributing RC4WD products. This arrangement makes it easier for GP dealers to stock RC4WD products. On the consumer side, it means more local hobby shops will have your favorite RC4WD scale parts on the shelf, or if not in stock, they will be easier to order in for you.

For more information on Great Planes simply Click This Link and you can hit This Link to visit RC4WD’s official website.

Hobbico end of the month specials
The folks over at Hobbico are getting the word out that they’ve got some specials going on until the end of the month. Until February 28th you can save some bank on various surface and air products. Some of the more notable specials include-

* $100 off the Duratrax Nissan GTR Nitro 4wd RTR
* $40 off the 2013 ARRMA Fury SCT RTR
* $30 off the Axial Jeep Wrangler Wraith-Poison Spyder 4WD RTR and SCX10 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4WD Kit
* $30 off the Futaba 4PK Super R

There are many other items on sale, to view them all simply click This Link that takes you over to the sale page on the Best RC website.

Catch up on more Hobbico news right here on BigSquidRC by clicking This Link.

Hobbico E-Fest 2014
The BigSquidRC Bash Crew had a great time on Saturday attending E-Fest 2014 presented by Hobbico. We learned a lot by visiting all the exhibitors booths, and were in awe of the flying skills of the pilots. To give you a sense of what it was like to be there in person, please take a look at the 6 galleries below.

We would like to give a special thanks to everyone at Hobbico for their hospitality, and to all the people we met that made our stay so much fun. We had a blast and can’t wait to be at the event again next year.

Click Here to visit the official E-Fest website, and hit This Link to see all the products that Hobbico offers.

Click the “Read More” button to view 4 more galleries from E-Fest.

READ MORE

Hobbico E-Fest 2014
Over the weekend we had the pleasure of attending one of the largest indoor flying events in the country, E-Fest in Champaign Illinois. E-Fest is put on by the nice folks at Hobbico as a way of promoting the hobby during the cold winter months. Hobbyists from all over the Midwest drive in to get some flying time and spend time with other hobbyists.

While flying is the biggest part of E-Fest, they also have booths from various manufacturers. We spent some time in the Hobbico booth to get some pictures and check out their latest gear. The Hobbico booth featured products from Futaba, Heli-Max, AirCore, Tactic, Thunder Tiger and Flyzone. Whether you were into rc airplanes, helicopters, or multi-rotors, the Hobbico booth had something for you. No new products were announced at the show, but you can take a look at the pictures below to get a feel for what they had on display. To get more information on everything Hobbico, simply Click This Link.

Hobbico PulseTec
Our friends from Hobbico showed a new line-up of battery chargers at the Toy Fair in Germany a couple of weeks ago. The new line is called PulseTec and there were three different models on display.

The 2006D pictured above is a dual port charger capable of 100 watts of power per channel. PulseTec also has a touch screen model, the 906, which is capable of a 10 amp charge rate. Also on display was a more basic model, the 354. The 354 has a maximum charge rate of 3 amps and a maximum cell count of 4S LiPo. More information on the PulseTec line is coming soon, until then you can click This Link to visit the official Hobbico website.

Want to learn more about battery chargers? Hit up This Link which takes you to more battery charger news right here on BigSquidRC.

the cub report helion rc boatHola everyone, I hope you had a great Christmas, and welcome to the last Cub Report of the year.

First up- BigSquidRC notes. This Saturday we’ll be finishing up our latest and greatest quadcopter shootout at a track in Paxton Illinois. If you are a reader or a member of the industry and want to check out our shootout process, or just want to hang out with the bash crew, you are officially invited. For more details hit the contact us link and shoot Brian an email for the specifics.

We’ll be naming our “2013 Bash Vehicle of the Year” tomorrow. We tested a bunch of kick ass vehicles this year so we still haven’t decided the winner, but right now the top three are the Pro-Line PRO-2 short course truck, the ARRMA Granite BLX monster truck, and the Duratrax 835E buggy. The Pro-Line is super trick, tough, and flies around a track. The ARRMA Granite was our vehicle of the year last time around, the BLX version is even better. And… the Duratrax 835E is a tough 8th scale buggy that handles well and takes a solid beating. Check out our front page sometime on Tuesday to find out who we end up picking.

And yes, the BigSquidRC Bash Crew are the only people with a say in our “Bash Vehicle of the Year”, but you guys get your chance to have your voices heard when March Bashness rolls back around.

We’ve got a couple of reviews coming your way this week, the Durango DEX408 V2 buggy and a Helion Lagos boat. I’m not for sure exactly which day they will hit, but both will go up this week. Also of note, we should have a very sic video of the Durango to go along with the review, we were certainly hucking it sadistic style.

On an F1 note, if you have not heard, Michael Schumacher is said to be “fighting for his life” today after a head injury suffered while skiing in France. I only worship two people, God and Michael Schumacher, and not necessarily in that order. Here’s to hoping Schumi pulls out of this one just fine…

So… 2013 is nearly in the books, and what a year it was for rc. We saw various big names change hands, we’ve been told by an LHS owner that the hobby is in a state of “terror”, and depending on who you talk to, 2013 was either a banner year or a huge flop.

Traxxas- If anything, Traxxas had a wild year. On the product side of things they didn’t release anything crazy, although they did dust off the LaTrax name and stuck it on some low end rally cars. They are rumored to have gotten rid of a bunch of people in August, they don’t look to be a part of the TORC series next year, and it is rumored that a divorce is changing the landscape for the big Texas company. Some industry types will tell you that Traxxas has singlehandedly kept the hobby afloat since the T-Maxx, and if they are to falter, it would have huge ramifications throughout the hobby. For 2014 I can only hope they get back to doing what they do best, putting out affordable bash vehicles.

Hobbico- If there has been one rock solid company in rc over the decades, it has been Hobbico, and in 2013 they once again proved why they are number one. Solid marketing, people who have their heads screwed on right, and a commitment to the hobby have kept Hobbico/Great Planes/Tower on point. For 2014 I think you can expect more of the same. They’ve turned around their in-house Duratrax line, and with the scale scene being white hot Axial is a great showroom performer. Durango keeps getting better, ARRMA is a hit with the bash crowd, and when you throw in exclusives with Futaba, HPI, and Thunder Tiger, good ole’ Hobbico is looking mighty good for next year.

Horizon- They also had wild 2013. Vaterra, their uber slick looking scale/basher line-up, is still new and growing. Their entry level ECX line-up also continues to grow and is quickly making its way into more and more basher’s hands. Going into the new year Horizon is in the process of changing hands, which many an industry type thinks is filled with doom and gloom, but I am one of the people that thinks it will work out for the best. Time will tell, but they have a lot of good people in place and some solid product lines.

HPI- So 2013 was definitely a wild ride for HPI. While we’ve heard some of the details of their exclusive Hobbico distribution deal, there are still people out there that think they were bought out completely. They didn’t put out much new product in 2013, and their yet to materialize “Octane” series gas powered vehicles have become the punch line in many an industry joke. Alas, 2014 could be their year, they are great at scale and that genre is super hot, and their Octane stuff could turn the industry on its ear. However, do they have the capital and marketing prowess to pull it off? I see 2014 as a make it or break it year for HPI.

Associated- Ya know, I am a big Associated fan and I have driven 2wd AE buggies more than anything else during all my time in the hobby. Therefore… I have been anxiously waiting for the B5 just like many of you. Sadly, when the B5 and B5M were announced all I could think was “facepalm”. Yes, AE is much different now days, and have been since being acquired by Thunder Tiger, but I still can’t wrap my head around how far behind they get sometimes. When people think Associated, they think 10th scale buggy, and the B5 is yet another “catch-up” vehicle. Long gone are the days where AE was leading the world of rc innovation, these days AE seem to be all about hitting the showroom 2-5 years late. The B5 could have been a bold new statement that they are still capable of industry leading innovation, instead it fell short. I have desperately been wanting AE to give me a good reason to bust open my wallet on some of their product, I want to give them my money, but they still haven’t put out anything innovative enough for me to pull the trigger. “Sigh”. I hope for 2014 they skip the “catch up” products and start funding “way ahead of the curve”.

Pro-Line- The King of all the aftermarket companies pulled the trigger on their very first full vehicle in 2013, which was a huge statement piece and sounds like it has been a good seller for them. Like always, they’ve got their act together, they are dialed with their marketing, and 2014 should be huge for them. More and more companies jump into the tires/body market each year, but Pro-Line always finds a way to stay on top, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the hobby in ’14.

So…

What will be the trends in 2014? From talking with multiple industry insider types, I think the biggest trend I heard was “less, less, less”, instead of “more, more, more”. Instead of you seeing a bunch of new company names in ’14, you will see less and less. And where companies used to put out boatloads of new products each month, several industry types think that will downtrend. For example, if Happy Flower car company put out 15 new cars in 2013, you might only see 5 or 10 from them this year. The trend of putting out a huge variety of product (with a short shelf life) might just be replaced by fewer products marketed to stay at the top of peoples wish lists for a longer time span.

Happy New Years to you all, thanks for reading BigSquidRC, support your local hobby shops and bash spots, and see ya next year.

YOUR Cub Reporter

LRP America
LRP over in Europe announced 3 new additions to their S10 Blast line-up today, an MT 2 monster truck, a BX 2 buggy, and a TX 2 stadium type truck. These look like cool basher vehicles (see the gallery below) so we gave the folks over at LRP America a ring to see what the chances are of these machines ever hitting American shores.

Right now LRP America products are distributed by Hobbico and HRP here in the states, but the product line is limited to ESCs and other light electronics like what was formerly being distributed by Team Associated. LRP America definitely sounds interested in bringing over their entire line and already have plans to bring over a limited selection of additional products.

At this time it sounds like they are still feeling things out whether or not the entire line will end up being sold here in America. LRP in Europe has an extensive surface and air line-up that includes many units that would fit right in with the bash crowd here in America, we hope at some point they make it over.

Click Here for more LRP news on BigSquidRC.

ARRMA Vorteks BLX Speed Tips Video
The crew over at Hobbico have released a new video that shows exactly what it takes to bust out 65+ mph with the ARRMA Vorteks BLX stadium truck. Watch below to see Scott Cramer walk you through the modification process, then watch see the Vorteks go 66 mph on the famous “Speed Run Road” in Champaign Illinois.

To get more information on the ARRMA Vorteks BLX simply click This Link, for more ARRMA news on BigSquidRC just Click Here.