THE Cub Report, Version 02.20.09
For crying sakes, this has been one horrifically slow week in rc news. Ya, we got a half dozen press releases or so, but nothing that is certain to turn the planet upside down.
Inside the industry, it’s still a muckfest. Simply amazing how every company you talk to says they are doing well, while they’ll freely tell you all their competitors are hours away from closing shop. Gotta love it.
When the insiders haven’t been talking about how bad their competition sucks or what company is going bankrupt, they’ve been talking about how the hobby show RCX is on it’s deathbed, while the “Radio Control Motorsport Experience” at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 19th) is stealing the show. Makes sense to me. Why? While I’m a rabid F1 fan and hate “Indy” racing with a passion, I do want to see the sport grow. It only makes sense to put on an RC demo/expo at a venue where there will already be thousands upon thousands of race car enthusiast. Can’t afford to race full size? Don’t want to get killed while racing? RC racing is the answer!
On the industry side of the “Radio Control Motorsport Experience” this is the scoop. Several large manufactures pulled out of RCCA’s RCX hobby show. Then they hopped on the “Radio Control Motorsport Experience” bandwagon, putting their support (read- money) there. These large companies still have a substantial marketing budget they need to use. In these economic times, they are just like everyone else, they are looking to get maximum “bang for the buck”. At RCX, they’ld be showing to ten thousand rc enthusiast. At the “Radio Control Motorsport Experience” at the Long Beach Indy car race, they’ll be showing to nearly one hundred thousand non-rc people, but people that are definitely into cars and racing. They’ll essentially be showing to “new blood”, something the sport Desperately needs if you are looking for sales to grow. Bring in the new blood please! I want a couple million mainstream idiots buying RTR’s so my favorite companies can release more high-end race kits for me to enjoy off of all that mainstream revenue!
This whole “RCX vs. Radio Control Motorsport Experience” also has roots in the rc industry’s print rag wars. If you haven’t been in the sport long, or don’t get to talk to many people inside the industry, perhaps you don’t know, but RCCA and Driver are mortal enemies. Ya, ya, ask them directly now days and they’ll say otherwise, but the bad blood is there, and always has been. This hobby expo war is just an extension of that. Personally, I could care less about which show ends up surviving, all I care about is that our beloved sport continues to grow, and right now, holding a hobby demo/expo during an IRL race just makes better sense.
This will probably get edited out (unless the Editor doesn’t proof-read, hopefully he’s too busy this morning), but our own BigSquidRC has been getting some ‘buyout’ interest. Seems one of the mainstream print rags is having a serious look at buying it/us. Why? Because, BigSquidRC gets more hits than most of the print rag websites, AND, it gives a potential print rag buyer a forum where they could essentially “print” real news, views, and opinion pieces without it being tied directly to their current advertisers (just like real journalism!!). If print rag “X” were to honestly point out how badly the new “Happy Flower” truggy sucks on their formal website, that company would pull their advertising in their print rag and on-line site. With a BigSquidRC, they’ll be getting more hits than their formal site from day one, plus, their writers can actually voice honest opinions- good, bad, or indifferent, something the general public admires, loves to read, and thus sends hits through the roof. If the new “Happy Flower XF-6000 Race Truggy” won’t start out of the box and the front a-arm broke the first time it was laid down on the track, that news can actually be relayed to the reader on BigSquidRC, where as stating such a thing in print would be suicide for the ad department.
That’s it for this week. Go visit the friendly folks at your local hobby shops and tracks, they’ll be glad to see you I promise.
Your Cub Reporter