THE Cub Report, 06.24.2013, Version- Just a Normal RC Column (On Synthol)
Hey it’s Monday morning, or at least you are reading this on a Monday morning, I am writing this on Sunday. I’m on my way back home from a few wonderful days (insert sarcasm tags here) in the Guangdong Province, but seriously, I can’t wait to get back home and hit the DVR to see what happened at the AMA Motocross Budds Creek National. Hopefully someone, anyone, other than RV2 pulled out the OA. Please no texts or emails, I hate spoilers.
I always learn a lot from my trips to Asia, it is of course the epicenter of manufacturing for the rc industry. The manufacturing processes are of course quite interesting, but to me it’s way more about the personal interaction. The relationships between us Americans and overseas manufactures is like a complex game of Chinese Go, each trying to gain a strategic advantage in territory.
On a different topic of sorts…
Ever notice all the “special/collector/limited edition” video games? They are crazy hot among the gaming community. How about all the “Uber edition of the week” high end sneakers? Did you see that there is a $50 “Mega Ticket” that includes a poster, 3-D glasses, and digital download for Brad Pitt’s latest movie World War Z? I could go on and on here, but you get the point, many different types of products have gone to “special/limited/uber edition” models to help move even more product and generate more revenue.
How does this have anything at all to do with rc? Well… rc hasn’t been especially affected by “special edition” models, there have been a few here and there, but you can certainly expect to see a lot more of them coming. What this means to you as Mr Joe Blow RC Consumer is that you’ll end paying more money for the car/truck/buggy you really want because it’s going be to stamped with a “special”, “limited”, or a “collectors” tag. Hey, the tactic has proven to work ridiculously well for other products, and the rc manufactures aren’t dumb, they know it’ll work for rc as well. There will always be “suckers” out there that will pay an extra $100 for a “limited edition only 2000 made” Happy Flower SCT.
Don’t think it will happen in rc? Do you remember the “Limited Edition” HPI Savage from last summer? Did you not see all the press around the “Limited Edition” old school RC10 announced a couple of weeks ago?
From talking face to face with the HPI people they were ecstatic how quickly their LE Savage sold out. And while I haven’t inquired about how many pre-orders have been put on the “new” gold tub AE, I’d guess I would be shocked. One thing is for sure, doing a limited edition is a great way of getting people to crack open their wallets for some rather ordinary product.
Now I’m not against our industry increasing sales, hell, if this industry goes belly-up I’m out of a job too. But… what I hate seeing is the rc industry following the lead of so many others and using the “limited edition” tag to make “quick money” without adding much “real value” to their products. IMO, going old school, spending the extra resources to come out with new-from-the-ground-up products is the way to rake in the bucks today, and long down the road, all the while doing what is right for consumers.
I think the manufactures have to look at it like this- do they want to make money long term with stellar product lines that help advance our hobby/industry and provide real value to consumers, or is making the quick buck with LE models worth the loss of revenue down the road?
That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter