About the Store
How big is your store? What do you carry?
Our store is 3,000 square feet of hobby goodness, including radio controlled cars, trucks, boats, helicopters, airplanes and accessories. We also carry plastic and wood models, model trains, art supplies, science kits, model rocketry supplies, dollhouse miniatures, beanie babies, puzzles, coin and stamp collecting supplies, slot cars, and sundry other items.
Why should I buy from you!? You're too expensive! I can find this thing cheaper online!
I'm sure you can. But we think shopping with us has value that you just can't get online. Here's some more information on the subject, and why we think you should shop with us!
What is your return policy?
You can find our return policy here.
It's been awhile since I've been in. Did you redecorate or something?
You probably aren't aware that we moved back in 2011, and that's probably what you mean by 'redecorated'. If you mean something else, I have no idea what you're talking about. Sorry.
I'd like to write you a check for my purchase. Is that okay?
Nope. We don't take checks anymore. We've been burned once too many times on checks. We're happy to accept all major credit cards, debit cards, and, of course, cash. We apologise for the inconvenience, but be mad the dude (who's name escapes me) that took area businesses for more than $100,000 in check fraud, not us.
About the Website
You have a really nice website.
That's not a question, but thank you!
Why don't you sell things on your website?
We've thought about it, to be sure. But we felt that there are so many places to purchase hobby products from online that we would be lost in the ether. And on a similar note, since we don't warehouse products (meaning what you see on our store shelves is what we have), our turnaround time for online sales would be too slow. If it's an item we don't have in stock, we'd have to order it in and then box it up to ship to our customers. While we do that on request in the store, to run an entire online business that way wouldn't be very productive, for us or our customers.
It really comes down to that fact that we don't think we can bring anything new to the online game, and if we can't give consumers online a compelling reason to buy from us, we're better off focusing on the things we can do well.
Why don't you list everything on the website?
It's simply too difficult to list all the items we carry on the website. We are a small store, and we only have one person (namely, me) that works on our website. So with nearly 10,000 SKUs in our inventory, it would be pretty much impossible to list them all, especially since some departments, like plastic models and model trains, tend to change on a regular basis.
We'd rather focus our efforts on great content and help guides that can be of use to many people. If you want to know if we have something, please just give us a call or stop in!
Radio Control: General
What's better: electric or nitro?
It all depends on what's important to you! We tend to side with electric, because it's easier to people to use and understand. And with the new brushless motor technology and LiPo batteries, electric can be just as fun as nitro. But there's just something special about the sound and smell of nitro fuel that keeps some people coming back for more.
It's true that many more people run electric vehicles than do nitro now. This is really evident in R/C cars, trucks, boats, and helicopters, but we're seeing the change happen airplanes too - just a bit slower than in the other disciplines. As I said above, electric-powered vehicles are generally easier to use, meaning the barrier to entry is much lower. But there are things to learn, like how LiPo batteries work, so it's not all play and no work. But given the enormous disproportion of electric users, we decided a few years ago to stop carrying nitro-powered vehicles (though we still carry all the supplies to make them work).
Truth be told, neither one is really better than the other. Both have their pros and cons, and you have to weigh them out to decide what makes sense for you.
Why don't you carry [insert R/C brand here]? They're the best!
We can't carry all the brands in R/C. In fact, there isn't a company on the planet that deals with every R/C brand under the sun. We have to pick and choose what we think are the best of the best that we can get. We determine that based on quality of the products, the quality of customer service, and the overall bang for the buck. We're focused on quality products from quality brands.
So we might not carry that awesome R/C truck or helicopter or airplane you found online really cheap, but we probably have something similar, and chances are, you'll be happier with something we carry than with something only available online.
Why Don't You Have More R/C Racing Stuff?
As the hobby has progressed over the years, we've transitioned out of stocking items that racers want/use/need. Reasons? First, from a business perspective, there aren't enough racers to support a hobby shop, locally speaking. Second, racers' needs are far too varied, whereas most bashers all want the same things (within reason, of course). It's far easier to have the part or upgrade a basher is looking for, and far too difficult to please the racing crowd - not because they are picky, but because no one wants the same two items. This is the same reason we have trouble stocking rock-crawler items - we don't have enough room, money, and demand for any one individual product.
Will you repair my [insert object here]?
We can probably try, but no promises. And you're best off to call us on an individual basis for this question.
The blue thing (ESC) on my Traxxas truck is blinking green really fast. What's that mean?
That LED code means the throttle trim is not at neutral. Traxxas requires the trim to be centered (or at least whatever the speed control thinks is centered, before initializing the speed control. This prevents the truck from taking off on you when you first turn it on. Just move your trim until the light goes solid green (for LiPo batteries) or red (for NiMH batteries). You should be fine from there.
Why don't you tune nitro engines anymore?
There are a few of reasons we decided, back in 2010, to stop working on nitro engines.
1) People that know the ins and outs of nitro engines understand that the tuning of an engine is dependent on the weather. Temperature, humidity, and pressure all affect the way a nitro engine runs. But people that dropped their vehicles off for us to tune didn't/wouldn't understand this. It was often that someone would pick up their nitro truck a week after we tuned it, go home, and call back complaining that it wasn't running right. We had to calmly explain that it was tuned a week ago - the weather changed in that time, so the tuning would be off. It got to be such a problem that we decided to discontinue all engine tuning services.
2) Owning a nitro-powered truck is a hobby. Hobbies are not all play and no work. Bringing a nitro truck into us every time it needed to be tuned doesn't help the owner learn how to take care of it. Right before the big swing to electric, people wanted to own a nitro truck but didn't want to take care of it. We felt like offering tuning services allowed people to be lazy, and didn't want to feed that mentality. Obviously not everyone was irresponsible with their trucks, but enough were that we decided to call it quits.
3) Nitro just isn't as popular anymore. With so few people purchasing nitro trucks (at least, from us), our staff has focused on learning other things, and we don't have the experience with nitro engines that we once did. So there is only a couple of us on staff that have actually tuned a nitro engine before.