THE Cub Report, Version- On The Verge
Yes indeed my friends, it is that time of year. What time is that? Well yes, indoor season is on the horizon, but mostly for us people in the industry, it is time for all the Christmas time product announcements. The announcement of all the new products that will hit at Christmas time is a big dealio. Let’s face it, a solid Christmas season can make, or break, the entire year for many companies.
The guys (and gals!) over at Pro-Line may have just fired the first big shot with the announcement of their new 1/24th scale RTR crawler called the Ambush. It has a low price point (sub $200), the scale crawling market is still hot, and it will be hitting the market when most of our country is starting to get really cold outside- perfect conditions for a small scaler. So… it has all the makings of a sales hit. The Ambush will be joining the 1/18th RC4WD Gelande II, the Vaterra 1/18th Slickrock, and the ECX 1/24th Temper in the small scale rock crawling segment.
Myself, along with a lot of other people in the hobby, are very interested to see if small crawlers become a permanent part of our hobby. The RC4WD model has nearly always been sold out since its introduction and we have a feeling that will also be the case for the P-L Ambush. And while many hardcore scale crawler drivers have no problem breaking out their 10th scale gear in sub 30 degree temps, “mainstream/casual” crawlers like me would much rather be inside soaking up the heat. Small scale crawlers make it easy to set up a course in an extra room or garage, I look forward to sitting around this winter watching Supercross while pulling trigger on a small crawler. Hummmm… which one to buy? Suddenly there are so many choices.
But… if crawling isn’t your thing have no fear, in the next few weeks there will be a flood of other new products, all with hopes of hitting hobby shops by Black Friday and making a bunch of cash for their manufacturer. 2016 has been somewhat slow for the surface industry, it could certainly use a solid Christmas season. While I would love to leak some cool news here, those pesky NDAs don’t allow that anymore, but I can certainly say there are a couple of EXTRA cool trucks that are soon to be announced. To boil this down, yes, you certainly need to spend some cash on the family for Christmas, but you’ve been working your rear off all year, you might want to stash a few hundy in the emergency RC fund for what is soon to be announced.
One seriously kick arse truck that probably won’t be hitting hobby shops by Christmas is the HPI Venture FJ Cruiser. I have been fortunate enough to actually be able to inspect one in person and can’t wait to do a full review, but the last I heard (face to face) with the new HPI folks is that it won’t ship until Q1 of 17. Still, it is insanely trick, cool enough that the wait will be worth it.
On a different note…
Joseph Quagraine from JQ Racing decided to post an epic rant on the state of 8th scale racing/cars/manufacturers. You can view it At This Link. His rant does have some solid points, with the main one being there are wayyyyy too many manufacturers, resulting in nobody actually making any money. Yes, rc racing is broken. Yes, local racing is screwed. Yes, hobby shops are dying off. Yes, we’ve all made mistakes that helped make it that way. Yes, it can be fixed, but it is going to take some cooperation between the powers that be, some better marketing, and some wiser decisions by consumers. For example, just because you are some Joe Schmo down at the local track doesn’t mean you should be sticking your hand out asking for a sponsorship. Furthermore… when some itty bitty company keeps handing out 20% “sponsorships” like candy, consumers need to realize they aren’t being rewarded for on the track results, they are just being used to buy more gear. Oooofaaahh, just like Joseph, I could go on, and on, and on, about this subject…
But… I have to bring this Cub Report to a close. Like always, support your local bash spots and hobby shops when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter