THE Cubby iHobby Special Report
As part of our extended show coverage, Brian asked me to write a few of my observations from The Show. So here’s the scoop as I saw it from my viewpoint…
The Up Sides-
Traxxas– Traxxas absolutely nailed the show. I’m not a huge fan, but I have to admire where they are sitting right now. They had an uber booth, then they had the Traxxas-Try-Me track, then also a large area showcasing their full scale 18 wheeler and one of their uber full scale TORC trucks, and lastly they put on some incredible demo’s on the BigSquid race track. Traxxas had race announcer to the stars Scotty Ernst on the mic, and even some celeb drivers like Joel Johnson wheel’n their new product around the track. Lastly, they saved a few cool new products to introduce at The Show. Props to Traxxas, they are living large, deservedly so.
Hobbico/Great Planes– Hobbico had an uber new booth this year, which was much better suited for consumers and dealers than the walled in unit they’d been using the last few years. As usual, they put a lot of time and effort into the expo, and it showed. They have a reputation for going the extra mile for their customers, showing up large at The Show means a lot not only to end consumers, but especially to their dealers.
Horizon– Horizon went bigger this year than usual, having a huge booth, and adding a try-me track and flight cage. They also brought in nearly an army of their employees to help out. Unfortunately for them, our BigSquid booth babes found their try-me track and absolutely wreaked havoc on it. Our girls would go full speed into one of their walls, only to go WFO directly backwards into another. The BigSquid booth babes must have been amazing to watch if you were a bi-stander, but had to be brutal on your patience if you were one of the Horizon guys work’n the track. Sorry guys, we’ll try to get booth babes that can wheel next year. 🙂
Tekin– Jim has pulled that company from the depths of oblivion into a true mover and shaker. Their booth this year wasn’t anything huge, but their product certainly turned heads. Props to the crew at Tekin for showing they are back arguably bigger and better than ever before.
MaxAmps– MaxAmps didn’t have a booth, but their new marketing guru Brandon Wilcox was chill’n at the show, and we had their uber new power supply in OUR booth. Look for a full review on the new MaxAmps 24 volt/47 amp power supply in the next week or so on our main page.
Pro Line– Pro Line has been the leader in tires and bodies seemingly since day one. They were out in full force showcasing all their uber wares. Everything these guys do is cool, wish I knew their secret for never putting out a dud.
HiTec– Not only did HiTec have a cool looking booth, but hands down they had the coolest “display” at the show. The HiTec crew had a sealed lexan water tank that they used to display their new waterproof servos. These servos are not water resistant, they are truly water proof, and the HiTec rep went into great detail explain the specific criteria these servos met. HiTec has the best product in their segment, combined with some of the best people in the industry, and add perhaps the best customer service, put them all together to make HiTec one of the elite companies in the biz today.
Castle Creations– The Oletha Kansas based powerhouse had a good show. They had a bunch of their affable and super knowledgeable employees on site, as well as their state of the art 5th scale speedos and motors. Even their owner Patrick came in for a day of the show, and I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with him. Sounds like the whole Castle crew is loving their new 65,000 sq ft facility, and Patrick is working on something truly uber for next spring. From the sound of it, the best things come in small packages, and the surface rc guys are gonna be in for a real treat.
Rc Monster– Some people truly love this hobby, the Rc Monster crew is an example of such. They had some of the trickest buggies/trucks on display I’ve ever seen, and they definitely know their gear.
Speed Passion– One of the top 3 coolest things at The Show was the new Speed Passion speedo that connects via BlueTooth to your iPhone. Gotta love the tech our hobby is right on the edge of.
Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies– So if the Speed Passion speedo was one of the top three coolest things at the show, what was the number 1? Easy, the hydrogen fuel cell for rc cars these guys had on display. This is as esoteric as it gets in our hobby folks. If you are into tech, into green, or simply want to have something in your car that nobody else has, their hydrogen fuel cell should be on the top of your x-mas list. Oh and yes, we have one in hand and are testing it right now. Look for a full write up in the next couple weeks.
AKA– The new guys on the tire scene are making a big push, and part of get’n to the front goes directly through iHobby. Good to see their crew out supporting The Show. Cool holding their uber new 8th scale rims in hand, and shoot’n the bull with Jr and double J.
RC Car mag– They had their usual crew on scene, and like always, talking to them proves they are working their asses off to break out of the typical mag stereotype of kissing all the manufactures a$$es. Good peeps over there, and if you are gonna lay down 5 hard earned bucks, it’s best spent on Bess and his crew. Also of note, I think a couple of our booth babes were crush’n hard on Waldo, hence the reason they couldn’t keep their hands (or BSRC stickers) off him.
Bob Smith Industries– Some people are really into their CA glue, and I’m a freak like that. I don’t know what it is, but I can nearly appreciate a fine bottle of CA as much as a fine bottle of Dom. The Bob Smith booth is a CA glue heaven. Good to see them at The Show every year.
Du-Bro Products– Yet another staple of the hobby industry. Their booth filled with nic-nacs is literally heaven to me. If you are core into our hobby, you can’t help but love the Du-Bro booth.
Consumer Attendance– While not record breaking like last year, Saturday attendance was solid, and Sunday was steady. Consumers love supporting the show, huge props to them for coming out every year.
BigSquidRC– Yes, of course I’m biased on this one, but I think most industry types would agree BSRC killed it at the show. Thanks to the hard work of our entire crew, if we didn’t kill it, we at least give it our very best shot. We are just average-Joe-Smoes sharing our experiences with all you guys, I hope it came across as such.
Exhibitor Attendance– Attendance among manufactures was down this year. The Show peeps did a great job of rearranging the floor plan to make the place seem full, but it was pretty obvious you could walk the entire show in just a couple of hours. The guys cut’n the checks at Hobbico, Traxxas and Horizon, the three big names in our industry know their marketing money is well spent at the show, if it wasn’t, they’d be the first ones to use that money elsewhere. It should say a lot to you consumers when Traxxas shows up to iHobby, and Associated does not. Anyways, I think the media as a whole did a much better job of covering The Show this year, hopefully that will help entice manufactures back next year. The more coverage we can give the show and its exhibitors, the more it’s worth it for the manufactures to show up.
Dealer Attendance– On Thurs-Friday it was, let’s say, appalling. I’ve been going to this show for over a decade, and Thursday of this year was simply a ghost town. But it’s easy to see why it was such, if you are a dealer and half the companies you want to talk to weren’t there, it’s not worth your time or money to make the trip.
Ok folks, I’ve rambled on long enough. As always, thanks for reading, and perhaps I’ll have a “Cubby’s RCX Special Report” for you in March. 🙂
YOUR Cub Reporter