THE Cub Report, Version 12.15.09, Your Week In RC
Don’t you just love the rumor mill? I sure do. 🙂
Biggest rumor of the week-
That a Traxxas 8th scale buggy is on the way in the summer of 2010. Traxxas isn’t about racing, they are about making money, and the 8th scale market is one of the few that they do not dominate. I really have no idea what a Traxxas 8th scale might be like, but I would love to see their interpretation of an 8th scale buggy. An interpretation not intended strictly for track use, but one that might drive well on a track, yet own the local bash spot. Perhaps an 8th scale with slightly more ground clearance, featuring some of Traxxas’s uber refined CAD/CAM design work, and of course, tough enough to be Basher-Approved. Don’t hold your breathe, as this is still just a rumor, but there is plenty of money to be made in that market segment, and Traxxas isn’t the type of company to leave cash just sitting on the table.
Second biggest rumor of the week-
Yet another rc mag is in the works. I can’t figure this one out, the marketplace is already spilling over the sides with 4 monthly print mags. Is there really room, or even a need for a 5th rc mag? I still can’t understand how a hobby as small as rc is can support 4 mags, and most industry peeps agree with me on that one. RCCA is still considered the standard, although in recent months they’ve hit all new lows, including way too much coverage of boats and planes. The name of their mag is CAR Action, not boat/plane/anything else we can get our lazy hands on Action. Hell, RCCA is even throwing in scantily clad chics, which is fine if that’s what you do, but looks like utter desperation for them. Xtreme has had the hot chic portion of our hobby covered for years, and they put out a decent looking mag catering to a slightly older crowd. RC Car has been the tiny “unknown” mag in the hobby for years, but has really turned it around, not only in content, but with shear number of pages since Bess came on board. RC Driver is the mag that covers cars/trucks/boats/planes in our hobby, has a very talented staff, but could use a cosmetic makeover and better photography to put it into the 2000’s. So just where is there room for a 5th mag? Just what rc magazine niche is not being filled right now? None that I can think of. Lots hope this rumor doesn’t actually work out. Seeing someone start an rc mag in this economy, against all the other mags, during a time when most people are ditching mags and reading the internet, is just begging for failure.
Everything goes in cycles. Electric dominated from the late 80’s till 2000. Then nitro took over for nearly a decade, and now we are in full swing back to electric. Last week, I asked several industry legends on just what is going to turn the tide back to nitro, because oh yes, the world will be all about nitro again before we know it. It all boils down to making a nitro based engine run most consistently. You come up with an affordable nitro engine that starts easily every time, never flames out, is good for 5 gallons of fuel, and makes decent power, and you are bound to make a LOT of money in this hobby. Up to this point, no company has invested the money needed to make the next leap in nitro engine technology, but it will happen. Once again, my money is on Traxxas for this one, they’ve got a few extra bucks to spend, and they’ve already proven they will go above and beyond to put out a better mouse trap. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit for them to fund the R&D needed to come up with the next gen nitro engine. I’m as hard core of an electric guy as there is, but if you come up with a MUCH improved nitro engine, even I will be driving one. You just can’t beat the sound and smell of fuel powered for realism. And according to the industry peeps I talked with, they were almost unanimous in saying that the next gen engine will likely be a 4 stroke. Time will tell.
That’s it for this week folks. Support your sport, hit your local hobby shops, tracks, and bash spots!
Your Cub Reporter