The Week N RC Version 10.05.08
The biggest news this week turns out to be about one of our sports most elite racers, Jared Tebo. When you think of the biggest drivers in our sport right now, it typically boils down to this- if you are a “Losi” guy, you think Drake, if you are an “Associated” guy, you think Tebo. Jared is arguably the best known driver in our sport right now.
Well, this week, one of Jared’s many sponsors decided to issue a press release letting the whole wide world know they were letting Jared go. Now, in the racing world, that is simply bad form. If someone burns down your building, goes on a shooting rampage and kills half your employees, or gets busted smoking Salvia at a male bath house, then yes, a press release is in order. Otherwise, the press release is an embarrassment for both Tebo and his former sponsor.
So, of course in this internet age, the rumor mill went berzerk, equally bad for both parties involved. Did his former sponsor not have enough money to keep paying him? Was the former sponsor getting rid of a driver that diss’ed on product too much? Did Tebo affiliate too closely with the boyz at Kyosho? Lot’s of speculation with no “winner” in sight. Now certainly Jared won’t have Any problem getting a new 8th scale chassis sponsor. His former sponsor won’t have a hard time coming up with another driver to fill the vacated spot. But, Jared’s name recognition is worth a lot. A win by Jared on Sunday means sales on Monday, and Jared is one of a very small handful of men walking this planet right now who earned an IFMAR world championship trophy. Even during these tough economic times, Jared will find another sponsor willing to cough up “Tebo” money, but the chances of his old sponsor coming up with a driver even close to his talent and name recognition is virtually zero. So who wins now?
When one had thought the crawling world was dropping off, along comes more fresh blood in crawling chassis. The big K (Kyosho), seem unable to come up with a “must have” car or truck, but they did announce their new 2.2 crawler last week, and it doesn’t seem to be a “must have” either. Some props have to go out to them for offering a somewhat different design for a crawling set-up, but I’m still disappointed that even with their “Dream Team” of American talent, they can’t come up the next T-Maxx or Slash. Their new crawler is dubbed the “Rock Force“, and looks to borrow some 8th scale technology to make it extra durable. But, as we all know, anything 8th scale costs more money, and in this economy, too high of a price point can absolutely kill sales.
On the opposite side of the crawling groove, Traxxas released a teaser this week of their upcoming crawler. Traxxas, once the red-headed stepchild of rc, is now the Crown Prince (heck, maybe even the King!). Two things you count on from Traxxas for their new crawler- it’s going to be cool, and it’s not going to break the bank. Also, seeing as how they released a teaser, it might not be based off another platform of theirs, it might be new from the ground up. If that is the case, look for them to pwn the crawling market with something that oozes “well designed” and “great value”. I feel funny giving such props to Traxxas, as I still remember some of their ugly years during the 90’s, but they have totally got their act together, arguably more so than any other rc chassis manufacture right now.
One last note for this week. The BigSquid booth at I-Hobby is simply going to be gnarly! Props have to go out to Brian for all his hard work, which is going to result in perhaps one of the most impressive first showings at a trade show ever. He’s lined up tons of track time, hot babes, and tons of cool gear for the show (even some cool swag I hear?). He will be the talk of the show. For manufactures, he’ll be offering “show special” ad rates, along with loads of data showing how each of your limited ad dollars go further with BigSquid than the other poser E-zine sites. I will also be at the show on Sunday, ready to receive that earful of pure anger that has been festering up in most of the industries belly.
Till next week, read your BigSquid daily, support your LHS, and visit that lonely local track of yours.