Everyone is OCD in some way, shape or form, I’m OCD about market trends.
As much as I’d like to think the same as an “average consumer” does, I know because of my involvement in the industry that I don’t, my views/thoughts etc are epically skewed. Unfortunately for me, my job requires that I am spot-on with market trends. With that in mind, my uncontrollable repetitive behavior pops up whenever I’m at a hobby shop, or at a track- I ask a million questions of the people standing around to attempt to gather data on market trends from average hobbyists. At hobby shops it’s usually something about “What’s the hot seller this month?” to the guy behind the counter, and at tracks my questions range from “What brand of tires have you been running lately?” to “Do you remember who won the ROAR nats last year?”.
Arguably the most important rc race to be held in America this year went off last week in Beaumont California- the ROAR 8th scale nitro off road nats. Even though most of the normal world has switched over to electric, the 8th scale nitro buggy class still seems to have the most prestige. This year JT ended up TQ’d buggy and truggy with his Kyoshos, with Ry-Cav putting TT/AE on top of the hour long buggy main, and TT/AE teammate Ryan Maifield stood atop the podium in truggy. Mega congrats to both of the Ryans for their wins, and to AE for sweeping both classes, nice to see all their hard work pay off.
Most rc’ers have no idea just how much work, time, and money was put in by the teams at the ROAR nats. But even worse, most don’t even care. Back in the day virtually ever rc’er kept up to date on race results and it mattered to them which chassis was on top. Now days, when the ROAR nats get the same amount of media coverage as a local Ground Hogs Day trophy race, many average consumers have simply quit caring who wins what, as it’s virtually impossible to differentiate the truly important race wins from the ones that don’t really mean diddly squat. And on top of that, average consumers used to pride themselves on owning the latest uber chassis, now days they wouldn’t be caught dead driving what’s cool with the snobby race crowd. So while Associateds RC8 platform dominated the ROAR nats last week, average consumer types are still sticking tight with their “intended for bashing” Traxxas and HPI models.
IMO, our hobby is very lucky the chassis manufactures continue to dedicate as much money to their race teams as they do. Back in the late 80′s and 90′s, if you won on Sunday it sold on Monday. Now, because of the deep divide between the race crowd and the mass populous of bashers, that is not the case. If you win on Sunday, you will sell to the small race crowd on Monday, but the vast majority of buyers, the bashers, really don’t care who won last weekend.
Oh ya, back to my form of OCD. So when I ask average Joes (racers and bashers) at a local track “Do you remember who won the ROAR nats last year?” their responses vary wildly. Some say “Is Kinwald still winning?”, others say “Probably Drake cause he’s the best.”, but the guys somewhat in the know respond with, “Which ROAR race are you asking about?”, which is a good reply, as there are a half dozen different ROAR nat races held each year, with dozens of classes. Needless to say that when I specify exactly which ROAR race, the answers are typically wrong a vast majority of the time. Sometimes I think the only people that remember who won last year are the actual winners themselves.
So why is there such a harsh division between the race and bash crowds now days? Is it stoked from the eternal flame wars between the anonymous masses on the message boards? Were too many “casual” hobbyists treated like crap at their local tracks by the uber race crowd? Was it fueled by the jealousy of those not willing to empty their bank accounts on the hobby, or the jealousy of those born without major driving skills? I really don’t know, but it makes me sad to know that it exists and the divide is so wide. It’s such a waste, people who love driving rc cars hating other people who love rc cars. I know it’s quite cliche to say, but “Can’t we all just get along?”. Can’t everyone at least respect the right to enjoy the hobby in any way that makes them happy?
Yes we’ve been slack’n lately on our shootouts. It seems we are always busy with other things, but after a phone call with Brian tonight we are making it a priority. If you are a battery company and want to be in on our next shootout, give Brian an email at Brian at BigSquidRC dot com.
We put on a jump contest last weekend in the epicenter of the rc universe, Champaign Illinois. Huge props to everyone that hucked their pride and joy off the ginormous ramp. Special props to Craig “The Ramp Builder Guy”, Brian, Wrench, Jammin’ Jimmy, Tim and Adam “The Intern” for going big. We had jumps ranging from 60 feet to just under 200, it was an insane day with lots of carnage (read- TONS of fun!). Next up on the BSRC calender is our Chicago Old School bash coming up in two weeks.
We’ve got our Firelands Group Helion Animus in hand and ready for testing. This is an 18th scale short course truck that is being sold exclusively through the HobbyTown USA chain, look for a complete review in a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see if Gil Jr, Mike Gillette and Jason Carole’s new product is as good as you’d expect it to be.
That’s it for this week. Support your hobby, visit your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots! Oh and, take it easy on each other out there, we are all in this hobby for the same reason, to have fun via rc cars!
YOUR Cub Reporter