THE Cub Report, Version- Uglier Than Jeffrey Herling’s Pinky Finger
Wow, sometimes the rc news gets me all riled up. Ok, pretty much anything/everything can light off a firestorm in my head, but last week my ears started smoking even more than usual.
First off… JQRacing (along with perhaps one of their drivers???) started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to get a “Top 25” driver on their team. Wow, just wow do I see all sorts of wrong with that. For starters… doesn’t anyone over at JQ talk to any of the top drivers at the races? If they did, they would already know that some, mostly drivers with IFMAR world titles, can command a decent paycheck, but the others, many of which that can put it in the A at any event on the planet are making peanuts (literally). In fact, I’ve known multiple drivers who made the A final at an IFMAR 8th scale worlds there weren’t getting paid cash at all by the company they were driving for. They were getting free kits (and not many of them) and that was it. If JQ can’t find one of those guys on the cheap then they (JQ) have issues, or if they simply can’t afford to shovel one of those guys a couple kits a month, they shouldn’t even be making them.
Also… as a kit manufacturer, JQ shouldn’t be asking for handouts, they should be earning their way via moving mass quantities of product. I have driven one of their buggies before and it wasn’t bad, so their product isn’t terrible, and I also like most of what little marketing they do. But… if they really want to make it in this biz, they have to earn their own way and stop looking for free handouts. And of course they could certainly make their own way, but they really need to step up their marketing and distribution. There are thousands upon thousands of rc’ers out there that don’t even know JQ exists, and if they do, have no idea where to buy one. Fix those two problems and they would have the cash on hand to get any driver they want.
Next up… I don’t know Bob Stellflue all that well, but he had a quote over on Neobuggy that left quite the face-palm print on my face after I read it. When talking about the Associated RC8B3 he said “This is the biggest, most important project in Team Associated history.”. Another wow, just wow moment. I know Bob from his on-road racing, he is extremely smart and has worked on some decent projects while being an engineer over at AE. And yes, I can believe it when he says the RC8B3 was the most important project to ever come out from AE to him. However… for every other sane person on the planet, that just isn’t the case.
The most important project in the history of AE was the… wait for it… you know it already… the original RC10. The gold pan RC10 took the entire world by storm, bashers loved it, racers loved it, heck, even your dog loved it. They sold a zillion of them and revolutionized the rc world with it. The RC8B3… well… its first strike is that it’s nitro, which isn’t selling worth a dern right now, and it doesn’t have anything truly revolutionary that sets it apart from the other 2 dozen + 8th scale buggies that are already on the market. Basher aren’t going to buy it because they consider AE a brand that doesn’t want their business and high end racers won’t buy it simply because it’s AE and they’ve never won the IFMAR worlds in 8th scale off-road.
But… if Bob and the AE crew wanted to truly do a big/important project, they could get out of the box and think high-end/high-tech/uber-basher. Why? Because rc is a circus of revolving noobs. In fact, it’s startling to me just how many new noobs end up in rc every month, it’s like there is a never ending supply of them. But that’s the problem, rc has a good chunk of old timers (like me) that got in hardcore during the original gold tub RC10 days, then we have a few from the T-Maxx era, but most of the other people that have gotten into rc have faded away, leaving only noobs that seem to only stick around a few months (at best). There are thousands of new rc’ers each year that get their feet wet with an ARRMA or ECX, but they don’t really have anywhere to go after that (the notable exception is the Pro-Line PRO-MT). If someone (cough, cough, AE) would put out a line of cars/buggies/trucks that are a solid step up from entry level to help keep noobs in the hobby for another year or so until they have built up their skills enough to race at the local level, I think it could be actually revolutionary for them. But I am not them and they seem to be immune to thinking outside the box, and their product share will continue to slide like it has for years now.
Ok, I’ve said quite enough for this week, get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots if ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter