What an awesome Supercross race Saturday night! James “Bubba” Stewart is proving he needs some serious time with a sports psychologist. Bubba crashes more than the BSRC servers, and when he’s not busy crashing he’s not even close to his former “Fastest Man on the Planet” status. Speedy Reedy rode a smart race for points, it’s still early in the series, early enough he’s not punting his main comp to the ground. RV2 showed he’s the man to beat this season riding from nearly last to the podium. Old’ man K-Dub rode a solid main and nearly put his Honda 450 on the podium. Shorty showed speed while he’s still healing up, and ditto can be said for Canard. Lil’ Hanny is keep’n it real for the H & H team and is a solid 10th in points after two rounds. But the HUGE news was Ryan Dungey standing on top of the box giving KTM its first win in the big boy pants class in America. Seriously, KTM bikes have been awesome for years, but RD’s win Saturday night will finally add the authenticity needed to help move a lot of orange bikes off salesroom floors this summer. Huge Kudos to the entire KTM/Red Bull team for a well deserved win in the premier class of American Supercross, it’s been a hell of a long time coming.
In rc racing news… the first “big” race of the year went off over the weekend. “Most” of the big names in the sport showed up for electric week at CRCRC with Tebo taking arguably the premier class win in short course truck with his Kyosho, with Associateds RyCav and Ryan Maifield taking the old’ school UFO classes. Next up, another week at CRCRC for some nitro race’n.
The hottest water cooler talk of the week? Easy- Hobbico buying up Axial, Durango and ARRMA. I realize a lot of noobs read the site, so I’ll try to boil it down for you and why you should care. First off, if you’re a noob you might not know who Hobbico is- they are the biggest hobby name on American soil and owners of Great Planes Distributing and Tower Hobbies, oh and, they are based out of the mecca of rc, Champaign Illinois. If you are a super noob you might not know who ARRMA is- ARRMA is a new brand on the market (having only been out a few months in America) and they are basically Durango’s “basher” line-up of buggies and trucks. If you don’t know who Durango is you’ve seriously been hiding in a trash can full of broken parts in Bill’s garage, but- Durango is an uber high end lineup of racing vehicles. And lastly, if you haven’t heard of Axial I’d suspect you have suffered from massive brain damage at some point in your life, but needless to say Axial is the leader in the crawling/scale appearance genre of rc. Axial/Durango/ARRMA were all owned by a company named KingStar out of Asia, KingStar is an OEM best known for the work they have done for HPI.
So… KingStar was look’n to sell and Hobbico got 3 great names on the cheap. So what’s this mean to you and I? I am the worst predictor of the future ever, but I’ll just say this- Hobbico is the king of the rc hill and now they’ve got 3 great brand names under their umbrella to use as they see fit.
ARRMA is so new it has yet to get much of a reputation, good or bad. There are a lot of smart minds around the Hobbico offices in Champaign, should they focus their effort at knocking off the kings of the hill in the bashing market (read- Traxxas), I have no doubt they could accomplish that task. Traxxas has proven the bashing market is the place to be, having a good name to focus right at the bashing crowd is of the utmost importance. ARRMA already has a great basher foundation laid as we’ve already tested two of their units and thought they rocked, here’s to hoping Hobbico picks up this ball and gives the big name bash companies a run for their money by putting out superior product.
Axial is HOT HOT HOT right now as scale realism and crawling has freak’n blown up. The coming years are going to be all about scale appearance, making Axial perhaps the best “brand” name to possibly having in a stable of vehicles. As long as Hobbico/Axial continues to put out well designed uber looking scale vehicles this line-up is going to flourish (not to mention fill up some bank accounts).
Durango, being an uber high end racing line-up (the type that makes Associated and Losi look like toys) will never be an ultra high volume line-up, but what it can do is give Hobbico a lot of street cred from the hard-core racing crowd. That’s not an easy task to do with such a fickle crowd, but Hobbico has the people and resources to take Durango places it could have never have reached before.
To boil it down, getting these three brand names is a golden opportunity for the Champaign giant Hobbico. Bashing, scale, or high end racing, Hobbico now owns arguably the best name in each category. Time will tell how this story ends, but I can say from talking to people at their competitors that they’ve got some people shaking in the boots. If there ever were a time for Hobbico to make a truly huge push in the surface market it’s right here, right now.
On a different note- come meet up with the BigSquid Bash Crew February 12th at E-Fest in Champaign IL. Yes, I know it’s a flying event but Brian, “Wrench” Bill, 3D Bill and Tim “The Racer Guy” will be there checking out the festivities. Get complete info HERE.
And one last note- our Tuesday review this week features the first truck we’ve ever given an overall score of ZERO out of ten. Ya, you might want to check it out, it’s all sorts of ugly.
That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter