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Posts Tagged ‘hobbico

Hobbico at HobbyTown USA Convention
Industry leader Hobbico had a large suite showcasing their product lines at the 2013 HobbyTown USA convention. Among their featured lines were Duratrax, Futaba, and Axial, among many others.

One of the highlights of the Hobbico booth was their AirCore technology for airplanes. AirCore is basically a power cartridge that can quickly be popped in and out of various planes. The power cartridge contains a brushless motor, esc, receiver, and 3 digital servos and takes about 2 seconds to pop into an AirCore airplane.

We would like to thank the good folks at Hobbico for allowing us to use some of their gear during our demo at the HobbyTown USA show. I was driving a demonstration, jumping/bashing a Thunder Tiger MT-4 monster truck and Duratrax 835E buggy, while Brian was using an HPI Blitz to hold a “pit stop” contest for the HobbyTown USA dealers. Our gear from Hobbico put on a great show and helped add to the fun for all the dealers.

For more information on everything that Hobbico offers simply hit THIS LINK. To see more Hobbico news here on BigSquidRC THIS is the link you want.

America's Best RC Sale 2013
The crew over at Hobbico have announced their annual BestRC Sale. This is a sale where a bunch of products from the vast Hobbico family are discounted until June 30th, perfect timing as the weather warms up. Also of note, the discounts are available from local hobby shops, click HERE to find the one nearest you.

There are sale items from Team Durango, TrakPower, Axial, Duratrax, Futaba, and a whole bunch of more manufactures, hit THIS LINK to view some of the specials or view the video below for more information.

Want to read our last Axial review? If so, hit THIS LINK.

Hobbico Booth Weak Signals Toledo 2013
One of the highlights of the 2013 Weak Signals Toledo RC Expo was the huge booth from Hobbico. Inside were all of Hobbico’s product lines like Futaba, O.S. Engines, Aquacraft, Heli-Max, Flyzone and Tactic.

Perhaps the biggest news in the booth was the announcement of the new Heli-Max 1SQ mini-quad with on-board camera. There are several neat features about the camera- you can adjust its angle, and even cooler, you can snap stills and turn the video on/off from your transmitter. Once done flying you simply load the video on to your computer and relive the action. Price? Around $25 more than the standard 1SQ. We can’t wait to get our hands on one (or two, or five!) of these.

Hobbico was also showing off a number of their latest planes and boats. The Mini-Switch, the ERaze, the P-38 Lightning, and the Rifle 1M were some of the new planes pulling in the crowds. For boats the latest from Aquacraft were on display, including the new Rescue 17 Fireboat that has been creating so much buzz.

For more information on everything Hobbico, HERE is the link to their website.

Check out THIS link for more Weak Signals 2013 show coverage right here on BigSquidRC.

duratrax_nissan_01

So a certain squid was hanging out in Champaign Il. this week with the Hobbico gang while they were working on some photo shoots for some upcoming press stuff. Looks like he had a good time! He’s been in the Axial before, but this may be the first time he’s been in a nitro Duratrax Nissan or a Aquacraft Boat! I know he’s been dying to get his hands on that Thunder Tiger eMTA!

Thanks to the awesome people at Hobbico for letting Squiddy hang out during the shoots!

Hobbico/Great Planes Exclusive Distributor for HPI Racing

We were the first to break the news a few weeks ago on our Google Plus show, Cubby then talked a little about all the details we had. Then again when all the other websites were claiming HPI was bought, we assured people that it wasn’t the case. HPI has now confirmed what we have been saying all along since we broke the news.

Here is the official announcement from HPI Racing about their exclusive distribution deal with Hobbico/Great Planes.

“In light of recent media speculation, HPI would like to confirm that it has appointed Hobbico/Great Planes Model Distributors as their exclusive distributor for HPI RC Cars in North America. This distribution partnership is a further extension of the HPI’s exclusive distribution network that is operating very successfully throughout the rest of the world.

We would like to be clear that Hobbico has not purchased HPI, HPI’s assets or the rights to any HPI products. Hobbico/Great Planes Model Distributors have simply purchased the necessary product inventory to enable them to provide the service levels required from an exclusive distributor in such a large market area. Their comprehensive distribution facilities will ensure fast and effective supply of the entire HPI product line.

As the exclusive North American distributor, Hobbico will also be providing first-class customer services utilizing their extensive facilities and knowledgeable staff at their headquarters in Champaign, Illinois. The customer service facility will be operational for the HPI product range beginning March 1st, 2013.

HPI USA will retain its headquarters in California, where we will continue to develop market-leading products and maintain relationships with our high-profile corporate partners. HPI Europe will handle centralized purchasing and logistics operations, resulting in more efficient accessibility of global product demand. These combined efforts will enable North American shops and customers better and faster access to HPI’s kits, spares and support.

This exciting partnership will enhance HPI’s presence within North America by giving both companies the opportunity to concentrate their efforts on their own specialized areas of the business.

HPI’s dedication to product development, marketing collaborations and our distribution partners will ensure HPI will remain the front runner in the worldwide RC market.”

So there you have it folks, expect big from HPI and Great Planes in the years to come. For more information on all of HPI’s fine products HERE is the link to their official website.

Another week has flown by and is in the books, why not give your luck a try on a TGIF Mystery Link?

Hobbico just posted a great video covering highlights from the eFest 2013 show. If you watch closely, you will even see a small cameo by yours truly.

Click this link for all of the Big Squid RC eFest News.

THE Cub Report QuadcopterHey guys, welcome to THE Cub Report, your weekly dose of rc bench racing and shoot’n the rc bull.

25 days, 1 hour and 42 minutes until the cars roll off in Melbourne, “sigh”. It seems like it takes forever for the F1 season to get started.

The “big” story from Dallas last night (Saturday) was why rookie Honda/Geico rider Zach Bell was allowed to race after literally crashing his brain out in his qualifier. Bell’s crash in his qual was one of the worst crashes I’ve ever seen (massive face plant after a triple), and from my big-screen it looked like he was knocked unconscious. Yes, racing is important, but not as important as actually breathing, remembering your name, etc. Seeing crashes like that (and Bell’s other big crash in the main) makes me feel good that I’m only climbing drivers stands now days, not swing’n a leg over a 450.

And on to rc…

WireGate 2013 rages on, last week Jeff from Fantom sent out another response to the ROAR banning of Trinity D3.5 based 17.5 motors. It seems Fantom sent out a wire sample to an independent lab who used a Smart Scope MVP OGP and it was determined the diameter of the wire was .031556″ (.8015 mm). ROAR posted a now infamous pic showing they measured .84173 mm. One of the two doesn’t know how to measure the diameter of a piece of wire, and at this point it doesn’t really matter who, Trinity is the big winner here regardless of how thick the wire might or might not be. Congrats ROAR, the exposure you’ve given Trinity on this one is priceless.

In more rc news…

It seems a lot of consumers believe that the Champaign based behemoth Hobbico has “bought” HPI USA. We first “broke” the news a few weeks ago during one of our Google+ LIVE shows, but the news is that Hobbico/Great Planes is the exclusive distributor for HPI in North America, not that they own the entire HPI USA company. We’ve spoken to multiple Hobbico people at length (in person) on the subject and they assure us they did NOT buy HPI USA, they simply bought up their inventory and got exclusive distribution rights. It sounded like HPI USA was having some financial ills so Hobbico stepped in and bought their inventory to shore them back up. That is the official word right now folks, but we can expect to learn more on March 1st when the “official” PR goes out.

Also…

Last week we posted our BigSquidRC Transmitter Shootout #2. If you haven’t checked it out HERE is the link. We certainly dig shootouts as we feel they are the best way of truly finding out how a product stacks up. Who won? The Futaba? One of the Turnigy’s? The Spektrum? Hit the link!

We’ve been working on a Quadcopter Shootout for some time now. We grabbed the Traxxas, HeliMax and Ares quads and have been bashing them like escaped mental patients (all in the name of science of course, LOL). We finished up our testing at Slot and Wing Hobbies in Champaign Illinois on Saturday. Our categories were- 1. Price, 2. Looks, 3. Durability, 4. Payload, 5. Ease of Flying, 6. Run-time, and 7. Features. The quadcopter shootout goes up Tuesday February 26th, even if you are a surface guy you’ll have a blast reading this one.

Lastly…

Another big week here on BigSquidRC, we’ll be posting our review of the Vaterra Kalahari and TrakPower DPS power supply (plus another surprise review), we’ll be posting all sorts of cool rc news during the week, and of course we’ll be talk’n the rc smack on our BigSquidRC LIVE Google+ show at 9 pm CST on Wednesday night.

That’s it for this week guys, have a fantastic week and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when you can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

Airplanes of eFest 2013
Of course the main attraction at eFest was the airplanes. We have gathered up some of the pictures we took last weekend to give our readers a glimpse at some of the planes that were on display. They came in all shapes and sizes, some very basic, some very complex, some very slow, some insanely fast. Click the “read more” button to see all 6 galleries.

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

READ MORE

cubby with torc spoke-modelHello everyone, I hope you all got your rc-on over the weekend, whether it was burn’n tires bald in your sub-division, jump’n off the old shed out back, or play’n airplane demo derby with 40 of your closest new found friends at eFest. We all work our butts into the ground Mon-Fri to earn the right to blow off some steam with our toys on the weekend. Happy Monday to you all, dig in deep, kick butt all week, and see ya at the bash ground this weekend.

Rockstar Suzuki rider Davi Millsaps won again Saturday night to extend his lead in the 2013 Supercross series. Every week that passes it becomes less of a surprise and more about a man who is finally reaping the rewards of all his hard work. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Bubba’s knee is a wreck, Reedy keeps putting it on the ground, and the Ryan’s have been having issues. It’s a long series no doubt, watch Speed live again this Saturday night to see how this fairy tail story unfolds.

I am soooo not an airplane guy, but as you all know we’ve started doing airplane and boat coverage this year, so I was recruited to check out some of the action at an event called eFest held in Champaign Illinois. Now, I’ve been to, lets say, a half dozen air events over my rc career (a lot more if you include trade shows) and this was actually my third time attending eFest, but previously I used air events for work reasons, not to actually pay any attention to what was going on. So… in this Cub Report I’ll be trying to describe how an indoor air event compares to an indoor car race.

First off the biggest difference was the stress level, there just wasn’t any at eFest. You can attend a local rc car race and see guys totally flip’n out from the moment they walk in the door. They flip out if they don’t get a good pit spot, they flip out if the track is over-watered, they flip out if there are short course trucks out on the track during practice, they flip out if short course trucks aren’t allowed during practice, and the stress just builds over the day. At eFest all the flyers seemed ridiculously mellow. They were just kinda hang’n in their pits chill’n, bench race’n, and smiling an awful lot. Needless to say I was having a hard time wrapping my head around this. And… it wasn’t just the flyers having a good time, all the industry types were especially mellow too. Yes, it’s a full on nuclear war between Hobbico and Horizon on the sales floor Mon-Sun, but eFest almost felt like a big dual company bbq. You could be sitting at a table enhaling a couple hot dogs with brass from both companies and they were having a genuinely good time talking about their kids volleyball teams, how the Illinois basketball team was doing, etc. At most trade shows they don’t seem to mingle much, at eFest it was one big good ole’ time.

Another big difference was the pits themselves, at a car event everyone is constantly spinning wrenches, at the air show it looked like a guy might bust out a hobby knife once every couple hours, but that was about it. Back in the day I actually enjoyed wrenching on my cars, now days I find it a total nuisance, I kinda like how these airplane guys operate. I’d enjoy car racing much more if I could spend 8 hours bench racing instead of gluing tires, re-building diffs, and changing shock oil.

The eFest show had a lot of spectators, something you won’t find at most car gigs. Watching rc cars go around a 30 second laptime track is about as much fun as watching paint dry for most muggles (and even for the hardcore racing guys), but the novelty of watching an rc airplane fly doesn’t wear off as quickly. For example, there are just so many different types of planes to watch, and at any moment they could very well make a major mistake, wad it up, and total that sucker completely out, and that compels you to keep watching. Also, you sorta gotta keep watching because one of those planes just might end up in your lap. I saw a couple planes land/crash in the pit area, one about 20 feet from me. Any which way, I could watch planes for an hour without totally being bored, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about cars (no matter how much I like driving them).

eFest featured an event called “combat” which is the direct equivalent to demo-derby (and it was easily the most anticipated event of the weekend). This says a couple things to me- 1. these guys aren’t afraid to bash, and 2. thus they are my kind of people. If you play demo-derby with an rc car you might very well break an a-arm that costs $6 and some car guys are “ok” with that, but if you play demo derby with your plane you could very well total it out, and there are veryyyy few surface guys that would even fathom of doing that to their baby. No doubt, I’ve got a new found respect for the bashing ability of the air crowd after watching them play “combat”.

One of the events at eFest was a type of night fly, they turned out the lights and let planes fly around that were all lit up with LED lights. I simply can’t imagine a track turning off the lights and just letting the guys drive around just for fun with their LED’s on. The night flying was really very pretty cool, and an event done strictly for fun. I think that was the biggest thing I came away from eFest with- it really was about fun, something that was seemingly lost in rc racing decades ago. No doubt there are still surface events held strictly for fun, our Bash-A-Palooza events are proof of that, but it should be noted that the biggest indoor flying event in the world revolved around fun, not tenths of a second in lap times.

On a different note..

As it always seems to be, we are lined up for another busy week around the BSRC offices. We’ve been bashing the Vanterra cars, look for our un-boxing pics and reviews to start being posted this week. Google+ made some changes (enhancements? LOL) last week so we had some technical difficulties in our LIVE show, but this week at least one of you guys is joining in the fun with us. And of course we’ll be posting all the news that’s worth knowing up on the front page.

That’s it for this week guys, thanks for reading and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when you can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

people of efest 2013 volume 2
Pictured above with the BSRC crew is Kevin Hisel, a man you might recognize from that big thick Tower Hobbies catalog you get every few months. Kevin is VP at Tower and was one of the many industry people that made eFest a very special event. eFest was a great place to actually talk with the people that have made and shaped our hobby, just as it was for talking to people that drove 8 hours just to enjoy flying their plane indoors and hang out with their fellow hobbyists. Check out the galleries below to see even more happy hobbyists, and hit up THIS link for more eFest 2013 coverage.

people of efest 2013
To give you a better feel for eFest 2013 here are some random pictures from the event. eFest had a great turn-out this year, from industry people, to all the people flying, to Higher Plane Productions beautiful spokes-model Svetlana O’Hara, it was the people that made eFest 2013 such a success. Enjoy all the pictures in the gallery below, and hit up THIS link for all of our eFest coverage.

Hobbico Booth eFest 2013
Hobbico is the title sponsor of the eFest 2013 event and it certainly shows. We had a great time touring their booth which has all kinds of great flying gear on display. There was plenty of new Futaba, OS Motors, Thunder Tiger, Heli-Max, and Tactic gear out for show goers to check out. From the most esoteric of high-end gear, to equipment for your very first flight, the Hobbico booth had it covered.

For more information on all of Hobbico’s fine products check out their Official Website and to check out more eFest coverage THIS is the link you want.

Cubby iHobby Truck Give awayThe AMA Supercross series is 4 races deep and Davi Millsaps is still sporting the red plate, who would have guessed that before the season began? Dungey visited the LCQ again Saturday night but went on to win the main, Speedy Reedy has become a first lap human torpedo, RV2 is the fastest guy on the track but 4th in points, and Bubba’s knee is a mess but he looked faster than he has in the last two years. Bam-Bam’s sx season is over points wise, but he put it on the podium, Shorty is a riding a bike off the showroom and beat a bunch of factory talent, and Canard’s early season speed seems to have gone missing. Yes my friends, supercross is awfully good this season.

On to rc…

First up a couple of reminders. This coming Saturday, February 9th, the BigSquidRC Bash Crew will be doing special coverage of the world’s largest indoor flying event, eFest, from Champaign Illinois. Expect news posts and a live video feed (as much as the net will allow) from the event floor. If you can’t join us in person keep an eye on our front page to see exactly what we come up with.

Last week we posted three reviews- the Axial Jeep Wrangler, iMaxRC X200 charger, and Radiant Reaktor brushless system. This week we’ll be posting reviews on Pro-Line Pro-2 performance upgrades, TrakPower DPS power supply and VR-1 dual charger, Atomik 8th scale Deegan SCT, and the electric Thunder Tiger Mini Cooper. Yes, another huge week for reviews here on BigSquidRC. Btw, shoot us an email on how you are liking our new A/B/C/D grading system, we’d like to know if you like it better than our old 1-10 system.

Also… try and catch our Wednesday night Google+ LIVE show. This week we just might be breaking more big news (like we did last week, more on that later), and we will once again be inviting you, yes you, to join us live in the Google+ Hangout live video feed. To be able to join in with us, you’ll need to have a G+ account plus a webcam and mic already set-up. More details on Wednesday…

Also in rc news…

The Nuremberg Toy Fair was huge last week, so huge it put a serious hurt’n on us media outlets. It’s pretty rare when we simply can’t keep up with all the new products being introduced. In fact, I think last week was the first time ever. Congrats to the big German show, and congrats to the industry for its continued growth.

What was the biggest news from the Toy Fair? You’d have to have been living on Mars to have not heard about Vaterra yet. Horizon has been teasing about an all new brand for months now and they did the official unveiling at Nuremberg. It was a nicely done introduction- a big reveal at the Toy Fair, the Vaterra dot com and FB page went live with perfect timing, and they even sent out some pretty sweet press kits to the media.

It’s quite obvious someone over at Horizon has been eating/breathing/shit’n Vaterra for the last 6 months. For example- the unveil was amazing, all the pics of the new vehicles were incredibly well done, all the videos were amazing, and all the products look to be solid inside and out. I have the feeling a bunch of midnight oil got burnt by the Horizon crew the last few months, but it turned out awesome and hopefully those guys are finally able to get some much needed sleep.

The actual Vaterra product looks incredible, to the point of being legit shelf queens that you can actually drive. As a hobby grade rc’er it was burnt in my brain from the start that you can either have a high performance hobby grade rc, or you can have an incredibly detailed scale looking body, but you can’t have both. Vaterra is the first entire line (off and on-road) in our industry that shows that yes you can, you can have your performance cake and incredible scale looking icing too.

Horizon already had two solid line-ups, the legendary Losi line, and the upstart ECX line of surface vehicles. Was there a need for a third? Some industry types will say definitely, the third brand name helps put even more Horizon product on LHS shelves to help push other brands off. Then other industry types know how long (and how much money) it takes to get a new brand off the ground. Certainly it takes years for a new brand to earn its keep on LHS shelves, and certainly it takes millions of marketing dollars to firmly plant the name into consumers heads.

Vaterra is certainly off to a stellar start. Everything they’ve done thus far has been top notch, certainly a testament to the rc passion of the staff over at Horizon. 2012 was very quiet for them, but thus far Horizon owns 2013. Now it’s a matter of waiting to test the actual product. Does the performance and reliability of the new Vaterra gear stack up to all the marketing hype and incredible scale looks? We’ll find out soon enough, and should the actual platforms be rock solid, Vaterra has a long prosperous future in rc. In fact, the Vaterra line might go down as a real game changer, the line that proved that us rc’ers can finally have machines that look as good as they perform.

On a different note…

We broke some pretty big news on our Wednesday night Google+ LIVE show last week. We broke the news that HPI will soon be exclusively distributed by Hobbico/Great Planes. In the past HPI was distributed by Great Planes, HRP and Horizon, starting later this year they will only be available from GP. No doubt Great Planes is the premier distributor of rc products in the entire world, they’ve got their act together, and they should be able to take HPI to new heights. Rumors have been floating around for years about the financial status of HPI, hopefully exclusive distribution by GP will fix any ills that might be going on over there. Look for the official announcement to be made March 1st.

Speaking of HPI, they once again had their Octane gas engines on display at Nuremberg. If there is one thing that can put HPI on top of the heap it would be their Octane powered vehicles taking over the market. If the Octane works as advertised, HPI is staring directly at a sales floor success like they’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, and I know first hand, that there is at least one other “big” name that is getting close to announcing their own gas power-plant for smaller scales. I hope HPI’s decision to announce their gas platform well over a year before it could hit shelves does not come back to haunt them.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of rc fanatics. Thanks for reading, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter