Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

As the new year quickly approaches, I’ve been reflecting back on the days now behind us. It seems like only a moment ago that we were ringing in 2010, full of hope for the new year and a fresh start. For some, the promise of new beginnings was fulfilled. For many others, 2010 is a year wrought with disappointments, job loss, and debt. But as a country, I think we’ve picked ourselves up off the floor, dusted ourselves off, and rolled up our sleeves. It’s time to get to work rebuilding our economy, piece by piece.

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1/16 Summit VXL Review

1/16 Summit VXL Review

Let me start off by saying that I’ve been on record as have never been a big fan of anything smaller than 1/10 scale vehicles. I have many reasons for this, but the most relevant one is terrain - or more to the point, the lack of terrain options that smaller vehicles have. They don’t have the ground clearance to do most of the off-road options (grass being the biggest issue). Historically, if you look at the smaller R/C vehicles, starting with the Team Losi Mini-T, which started the trend, they are strictly dirt, gravel, and pavement (or carpet, if you’re indoors) cars. And since the vast majority of our customers tend to run around in the backyard, this can be problem.

I say this because you need to understand why I think the newest addition to the Traxxas 1/16th scale lineup is so cool. Even though it has the moniker of 1/16, it does not act like one. It is 1/10 scale through and through, and handled some of the roughest terrain I never thought it would.

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State of the Industry

State of the Industry


It’s been a few days since the iHobby Expo ended for me. While the show continued on until Sunday, I left halfway through the day on Friday. In that time, I was able to accomplish everything there I wanted to accomplish. I was able to chat with Traxxas representatives (for nearly two combined hours), see the new items Horizon Hobby had to offer, and see every booth that had an impact on my segment of the store’s business (meaning that I, being the R/C department head, wasn’t really concerned with trains or plastic models).

Contrasting it with my experience nine years ago (the last time we attended the show before this year), it was a small show with minimal attendance. It isn’t a usual thing at a trade show to command anyone’s attention for two hours, but I was able to do that at Traxxas’ booth of all places. While I am pleased that Roger and I were able to attend the show this year, I am dismayed at the abysmal decrease in attendance that the economy as wrought on the show.

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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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Electrix "Circuit" Review (2010 Version)

Electrix "Circuit" Review (2010 Version)

A few months ago, when Horizon Hobby told me that they wanted to re-invent the electric R/C truck market,  I was more than a little skeptical. When they said they wanted to do to electric R/C trucks what they did with electric helicopters (the Blade Heli line), I all but laughed. And when we got the first of their new product line here in the store, I realized I was wrong.

While the brand name (“Electrix”) and truck name (“Circuit”) may be more than a little goofy, the product itself is no joke. It’s built like a tank, and has a number of features I imagine will be copied from here on out. But there is much on the truck that is familiar as well - in some areas, it more than borrows from Traxxas and Team Associated, as well as it’s cousin, Team Losi. But this isn’t a bad thing.

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