THE Cub Report, 10.29.2012, Version- Paid Pundit/International Man of Mystery
To start off with, a friend of ours over at RPM is dealing with a fairly serious illness right now. Richard might not be cool with me making people aware that he is sick, but myself and the entire staff here at BigSquidRC hope he gets back to full healthy quickly. If you have a few extra minutes this week shoot a “get well soon” card his way, I’m sure it would put a smile on his face.
On a different note…
What’s bigger news, Traxxas putting out a purpose built shelf queen or Associated releasing a basher line? Humm…. I’ll start with Traxxas. 🙂
If you were to go out and ask core Traxxas users what the name “Traxxas” means to them you’d hear a lot of responses like “A tough truck that takes a beating”, or “An affordable truck to beat on”. What you would not hear is anything involving the words “shelf queen”. Everything jumps the shark sooner or later, tv shows, rock bands, heck even entire countries, so you just knew sooner or later Traxxas would do the same thing. Some may argue that Traxxas jumped the shark at the Revo, others might argue at the XO-1, but IMO when they announced their dedicated shelf-queen-drag-car-static-display model that was the time. The Traxxas name has been long related to tough basher trucks, a static model drag car is about as far away from that as I can possibly imagine.
With Traxxas’s “jumping of the shark” comes the alienation of their core audience, and quite frankly, the apogee of their popularity, no different than what happened to “Happy Days” after Fonzie donned those water skis. If Traxxas is spending the time and cash to develop a shelf queen, they aren’t spending those resources updating their aging truck/car line-ups, the vehicles that put them on top to start with. You can already see it from cruising the Traxxxas forums that their hardcore users are not amused as their favorite platforms keep getting more and more dated, while Traxxas puts out new products (like the XO-1 and drag car) that they couldn’t care less about.
Traxxas jumping the shark is great news to the other basher chassis manufactures. They have seen all the things Traxxas has done with their success (mainstream acceptance, tv commercials, race series, etc), and they want it bad. Now is the time more than ever for them to make their big push- to go big with their marketing plans and to manufacture more new innovative platforms. Traxxas can’t/won’t be on top forever, and I know how hungry the other companies are, they have an opening now, will they go for the throat?
As I’m sure you’ve already seen Team Associated announced their first “Qualifier Series” truck last week, a 4×4 SCT. It was interesting to see many of the forums guys scratching their heads wondering just why in the heck AE needed a second 4×4 SCT in their product line-ups. When AE used the words “sport” and “fun” and “low cost” to describe their qualifier series all I read was “Basher Series”. So… bashers who are AE loyalists should rejoice, they’ve just gotten what they’ve long been wishing for- AE putting out a basher series of trucks. Now before all you hardcore AE racers guys go into full meltdown mode about a new basher line just remember- bashers foot the bills for all the uber trick racer stuff coming down the pike, so the more they sell, the sooner (and more esoteric) your future race gear is going to be. To boil it down, props to AE for looking at the masses and making something for them. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to drive something from AE, the qualifier series has just changed that.
We started reviewing/driving the new HPI Ken Block car last week… unfortunately it suffered a major malfunction less than 2 minutes into the testing. I have the feeling that review is not going to end well…
That’s it for this week folks, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter
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