THE Cub Report, Version- Abacab
Ya know, just minutes after I wrapped up writing THE Cub Report last week, the official PR came across the wire that Novak had decided to pull the plug. Much has already been written across the net about our hobby losing such an iconic name. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a long boring story about how their Cyclone, Super Rooster, etc was the best ESC, EVA! And yes, just like everyone else on the planet, I drove Novak for years too. Bright orange Novak ESCs adored pretty much every buggy/car/ST that I owned from the mid 80s until 2004’ish. And yes, they were good times, but they were nothing like today…
There is a reason I haven’t used Novak ESCs since the early 2000s, and there is a reason that I probably haven’t mentioned the name Novak in THE Cub Report for over a half decade (I know by saying that that one of you nut jobs will go through them all just to prove me wrong, so GO!). Novak certainly made quality products and at times were light years ahead of their competition. However, they had a tough time transitioning into the new era of rc where throwaway RTRs rule the roost. Most ESC companies, along with companies that sell upgrade transmitters, servos, and chargers, have also had to adapt to this new environment. You old schoolers know exactly what it was like to start shopping for a new kit- at the very same time you pretty much had to start shopping for a whole new set of electronics. It just doesn’t work that way anymore, or at least not on the large scale that it used to.
While Novak did do a bit of OEM work (like the early E-Maxx), in today’s RTR environment it almost becomes a necessity that electronic companies make product for RTRs to keep the doors open. You can look at companies like Castle who have done OEM work for HPI, AE, and Traxxas, or even a Horizon “in-house” name like Spektrum who’s transmitters come with thousands upon thousands of RTRs as examples of this. While many people don’t agree with it, or can even believe it’s true, it has just become another sign of the times- RTRs rule the market and if your product isn’t in there, you are severely limiting your sales.
However, I can see a day when kits become all the rage again. Geezus, if bell bottom jeans and vinyl records can do it, so can kits. The only real question to me is, years down the road when this happens, will there be any separate electronics to put in them?
So there it is, yet another Cub Report is a wrap. Each week when I say this I hope you all know how sincere it is- Please support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can!
YOUR Cub Reporter