This year’s Toledo Show Bus Trip started off great. Every one of our 47 passengers was at their pickup locations early, which set the tone for the day. Almost 1/3 of the attendees were first time passengers on the bus, and their enthusiasm was infectious. It was truly a great group of people, and I thank them for their participation in our trip.
But enough about the bus trip. Let’s talk about the show.
I came into this year's Toledo Show with high expectations, mostly of my own making. I have left with most of those expectations lying broken on the floor. That's not to say that it was a bad show; it wasn't. I had nice conversations with many manufacturers and distributors. But most of the products I was hoping to see (really, hoping to exist), didn't make the show. I love coming to talk to people I see maybe once a year, but this year was light on new releases that I cared about.
This year was unique in that we picked up two new lines of products at the show. First off is Red Baron Adhesives, makers of CA and epoxy. Their prices are competitive with our existing lines, and their location means quicker restocks when we are out of glue. Interestingly, they actually make all of their glues in the USA, and most is made on site in Illinois. That will keep costs down, which is great for consumers. We're hoping to have a great relationship with Red Baron.
The other line we’re picking up is KDBB, a manufacturer of rotor blades for R/C helicopters. They make blades for many sizes of helicopters, but we’ll be carrying the ones they make for the smaller Blade collective pitch helis, specifically the Blade mCPX, mCXP BL, Nano CPX, and the 130X. Since KBDD doesn’t require a minimum order, special orders of their other products won’t be an issue. We’re looking forward to working with KBDD to bring their brand into our market.
Other than these two announcements, there wasn’t really anything there to get exited about. Horizon showcased their two new airplanes and three new gasoline Evolution engines, but there wasn’t anything mind blowing – and these products from Horizon had been announced the day before the show, so they weren’t unexpected.
What I didn’t see there was any of my predictions. I have a feeling I was a bit early on some of them (the mCX3, the AS3X-equipped 120 heli, and the DX6s), but I was probably completely wrong on others. The only prediction that somewhat held was the new BNF airplanes; the new E-Flite Inverza almost fits that bill, but not quite. So I’ll have to continue to wait for my predictions to come true, if they ever do.
Show attendance seemed good, about as good as the year before. It doesn’t seem like the consistently slow economy is affecting the show too much, which is a good sign.
The Toledo Show is always an interesting show to go to. As a dealer, it’s nice to see the enthusiasm our customers (and the general public at the show) have for the hobby and the products. We get ideas from them, and it makes our store better for it. So to those who joined us this year, thank you. We look forward to seeing you all on the bus next year!