THE Cub Report, Version- Aftermarket Remorse
Hello and happy Labor Day to everyone out in rc land. Ok, if you are an American you are stoked, Labor Day means a three day weekend. If you live outside the states, Labor Day is a day that American’s use to eat loads of BBQ, drink a lot of rot-gut beer, and get one last swim in the pool before it gets too cold.
Speaking of American’s…. we absolutely pwn’ed the world’s best at the Motocross GP held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday. Eli Tomac has been in a rut all season but unleashed his wrath at the USGP, going 1-1 for the 450 OA. Another two ‘Merican’s, Cooper Webb and Missouri’s own Austin Forkner, showed the field that the Euro’s “don’t want none” in the 250 class. But seriously, getting to watch freshly crowned champs Jeffrey Herlings and Tim Gasjer in person was phenomenal, they are both absolute beasts that can give anyone on this planet a run for the money. Oh and, did you see the Traxxas banners at the USGP? Yup, they were up in Charlotte, hit up the USGP at Glen Helen this coming weekend and see if they are there too.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled rc programming…
Last week I did a small mention on aftermarket hop-up companies, this week I would like to bring them back up. Why would that be? Because they are of vital importance to our hobby, yet there doesn’t seem to be as many hop-up companies as there used to be. That… is a huge problem. Here’s why…
So where do I start? I keep being told to write THE Cub Report to noobs, so here is an obligatory sentence or two for noobies. Why does our hobby need a lot of hop-up companies? Because… selling an rc car is just step one in the hobby, the second step, the one that often “cements” people into the hobby, is to hop-up the car they just bought. If there are no hop-ups for a car, then step two is missing, which leads to more people bailing on the hobby early.
Also for you noobs… the absolute apogee for hop-up companies was during the Traxxas T-Maxx revolution (around the year 2000). If you are indeed a noob, there is nothing that happens today in rc like those days. There was literally a brand new T-Maxx hop-up company being created every day. There seemed to be hundreds of small companies selling T-Maxx hop-up parts, yet even that wasn’t enough! The thirst from the buying public was unquenchable, once a person started to hop-up a T-Maxx they often didn’t stop until every single part had been replaced once in aluminum, then once again in titanium, then with a single .21 engine, then by a pair. Yes, indeed, those were some INSANE glory days of rc, and a HUGE part the phenomenon taking off like it did was the abundance of hop-up parts. Even better…. a huge bunch of hobbyists that first got their feet wet with a T-Maxx are still with us today.
So… here is the problem, it doesn’t work like that anymore. For example, the other day Steve Wang over at STRC put out a press release on making a slew of aluminum goodies for the 1/10th scale ARRMA line-up. That is freak’n awesome. ARRMA has sold a zillion tenth scalers, most of which are totally loved by their owners. Owners in turn that would love to upgrade them to the max, whether it be for durability or just straight up bling-factor. And… those ARRMA owners that go ahead and start bolting on upgrades are investing more time and money into the hobby, making them more likely to stay in the hobby for months/years, instead of a few weeks.
Good on Steve for making up the ARRMA goodies, but we just don’t see that from enough manufacturers now days. ECX has also sold a zillion buggies/trucks, but there aren’t many hop-ups out there for them. The same can be said for other huge sellers like the TT MT4 G3, etc. And… while a noob might have a bunch of fun driving his new car or truck for a few weeks, after that he needs to grow in the hobby to stay interested. For T-Maxx owners, they had an endless supply of uber parts to pick & grow from, for a typical car owner now days, not so much, and for many there are Zero aftermarket parts.
To boil it down… making a bunch of new cars is great for first getting people into the hobby, making a bunch of hop-up parts for them to put on their first car is a great way of keeping them in.
There ya have it folks, another Cub Report is in the bank. Have a Fantastic Labor Day and be sure to visit your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter