THE Cub Report – Well Hello There 2019!
WOW, 2018 will go down as arguably the craziest year ever for the rc industry! From start to finish, 2018 was filled with awesome highs, and absolutely terrible lows. I won’t beat around the bush here, 2018 will mostly be known as the year that industry leader Hobbico was snatched up by long time rival Horizon Hobby, but there were also many high points.
To get the “big” one checked off the list, in March Horizon Hobby filed to buy struggling Hobbico. Hobbico had been having a tough go of it for several years, in late 2017 things were getting BAD, so most people in the industry knew that they weren’t long for this world. That end came in Q2 when Horizon was officially able to take over the ARRMA and Axial lines, and they acquired the giant Hobbico offices/shipping buildings as well. And while Horizon has a BUNCH of great employees on staff, the acquisition of Hobbico left them banging off the overtime rev-limiter for much of the year. Buying Hobbico was a huge leap for Horizon, and while it may have made for one incredibly tough 18′, it leaves them sitting in a great position for next year. They have great lines, they have great people, Horizon is fully primed for a stellar 2019.
How about Traxxas? I have to put Traxxas down as having a solid 2018. They released multiple new trucks (UDR anyone?), and their TRX-4 crawler line-up just keeps on selling. I haven’t heard much teasing out of their camp for 2019 (it is Really hard to Anything out of those guys early), but I would expect more scale realism, upon scale realism, upon scale realism, but we’ll have to see. Oh ya, in 2018 Traxxas made a number of changes to the way their product is being distributed, something most knew was coming years ago, but those changes seemed to have come to fruition in 2018.
So how about HRP? Hobby Recreation Products has amassed one heck of a scale/crawler line-up. They have been a distributor for Gmade for years and year, but now they’ve picked up Cross (Holy cow did they have a good year!) to go along with Carisma, and HPI Racing. I think HRP started to get the ball rolling in 18′, but are definitely a company to watch on the upward trend for 19′.
Have you noticed just how many products Pro-Line has put out in the last two months? I don’t know what their record is for one month, but they must have crushed it, LOL. Todd and his crew had a great 2018 for all you bashing fans out there. They put out more cool looking bodies than I can even count, but more importantly, they put out their new Bash Armor body line-up, a series of bodies that will probably change bashing forever. Years ago Pro-Line was mostly known for one thing- racing. Now days I am stoked to see Pro-Line putting out uber-high-end products for nearly every genre of rc.
Oh yes, 2018 was all about scale realism and the folks over at RC4WD crushed it. I remember a few years ago I just couldn’t wrap my head around RC4WD. They weren’t going through “traditional” distribution channels, they were not making their parts from plastic, but instead from real metal (who wants to pay for that?), and I had no idea why anyone would ever want one of their products. Hey, it took me a while as an old school racer guy to hop on the RC4WD bandwagon, but now I can see what they’ve done is truly amazing. All those ridiculously scale realistic parts and trucks that they put out, well, most industry people thought it just couldn’t work (that includes me). Well guess what, it has, and RC4WD has been doing quite well. The big question is, just how much higher can/will they climb in 19′? I am betting a longggg ways.
I know I don’t talk about MaxAmps much here in THE Cub Report, but Austin and his crew are still in it to win it. 2018 saw them release a number of innovative new products, can’t wait to see what they have in store for us 19′.
Another company that I want to give some props to before the end of the year would be Hitec. My goodness have those guys been hard at it year after year putting out some truly outstanding products. They’ve been crushing the servo market for years now, can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next year too!
OK, I could go on and on about every company on the planet, but you know me, this is New Year’s Eve. My Dom is already chilled, the flutes are spotless, cheers to everyone on 2019 being the year that we need it to be!
YOUR Cub Reporter