iHobby 2012: Where Are All the People?

iHobby 2012: Where Are All the People?

The hobby industry is a strange one. Nearly everything we have is begged, borrowed, or stolen from other industries. And everyone pretty much knows each other, company to company. It’s like a small town in Arkansas: turns out everybody knows everybody, and most of them sleep together, and some are even related.

Which makes it all the more sad that the iHobby show was incredibly poorly attended this year, not just by retailers and buyers, but also exhibitors – some of who are very heavy-hitters in the hobby world. The rumor is that Great Planes (who owns Duratrax, Electri-Fly, Axial, ARRMA, Team Durango, Estes Rockets, and Revell models to name a few) is boycotting the show, due to the relocation to Cleveland from Chicago. If that rumor holds some truth, it’s a sad reflection of the pettiness Great Planes can be accused of. If there were other reasons that they pulled out of the show (which they actually sponsored), then those reasons haven’t been brought to light.

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iHobby 2012 Impressions, Day One

iHobby 2012 Impressions, Day One

As Roger and I walked into the IX Center, our jaws dropped. Not because of the sea of people before us, but because there wasn’t one. But the second, larger shock was yet to come.

Upon walking onto the floor of the convention center, the first thing we saw was Horizon Hobby’s impressive booth. They had a dirt track with the new ECX Revenge Type-E buggy running, and a vertical netted-in area for helicopter flying. It looked clean and efficient – and, with the exception of the dirt track, exactly the same as it had been two years ago (the last time we attended the iHobby Expo). More on Horizon later, though.

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10 Things I Want to See at iHobby 2012

10 Things I Want to See at iHobby 2012

As I have previously announced, Roger and I will be travelling to Cleveland, Ohio for the iHobby Expo next week. I always love going to these events. The last time we were there, we got to see the unveiling of the Stampede 4x4 by Traxxas, which has since proven to be a staple in our R/C car line up.

So this will be a list of things I’d like to see at this year’s iHobby. It will be a bit of conjecture, rumor, and confirmed products, but all should be interesting!

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Day 1 at iHobby

It’s the end of our first day at the iHobby Expo in Chicago, IL. It has been a long day, but a productive one as well.

It started out with breakfast at our hotel, where we happened to run into Mark Cleveland, the CEO of Hobby-Lobby International. We sat and chatted about the industry over our morning meal. It’s not every day you get to sit down and chat candidly with a CEO of a major player in the hobby world, and it was an enjoyable chat we had with him.

Afterwards, we hurried to get to the convention center. As soon as we got to the show floor, three major booths were right there: Great Planes, Horizon, and Traxxas. Which means that we didn’t get any further until after lunch.

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