2014 was at the same time a more impressive and less interesting year than the last. 2014 saw the introduction of MAP pricing from Traxxas, the release of Blade's main competitor to the DJI Phantom (the 350QX AP2), new vehicles (and quadcopters) from Dromida, a price drop on the popular Proto X quadcopter, and many more. It was hard to narrow down the list to just these six items, but here they are. 2014's Biggest Hits and Misses.Read More
Another year has come to a close. 2015 is a welcome sight for us weary of the past year. But 2015 can't come to pass without a look back at our top products of the year.
As always, we devise this list by profit dollars, so it does skew the list toward more expensive items - this way, the list isn't all glue, glow plugs, and paint brushes. However, that doesn't mean we take liberties with the placement of the products on the list; the words are opinion, but the placing is stone-cold fact. So let's get to our Top 10 Products of 2014 countdown.Read More
Going through some old papers, I found our list of best sellers from 2009. Now, it wasn't formulated on the 31st of December, but it's the best picture of what that year was like, and what products did well that year. ANd while it's not really relevant data for today, I found it to be an interesting time capsule and look into the world before it was dominated by electric R/C trucks and quadcopters.
As always, we devise this list by profit dollars, so it does skew the list toward more expensive items - this way, the list isn't all CA glue, glow plugs, and shock fluid. However, that doesn't mean we take liberties with the placement of the products on the list; the words are opinion, but the placing is stone-cold fact. So let's get to our Top 10 Products of 2009 countdown.Read More
About a year ago, Dromida was just releasing their very first R/C cars. We didn't take them seriously. But they sold well enough that we had to take a second look, and we've been carrying them ever since. The line has proven to be popular with consumers and retailers alike. Now, Dromida has expanded their selection to include quadcopters as well as their surface vehicles. Enter the Dromida Ominus.
Will Dromida do as well in the air as they have on the ground? How does the Ominus stand up against the already-crowded quadcopter market and the competition therein? Let's find out.Read More
Before Roger's Hobby Center existed, before Roger had even thought about opening his own shop, Dan Robinson opened Robby's Hobbys in Bay City, MI. Thirty-six years later, his endeavour is at its end. Robby's Hobbys is closed.Read More
Choosing the right radio controlled product can be tough. Whether your interests lie in airplanes, helicopters, boats, cars or trucks, deciding which vehicle from which brand can be a very difficult thing to do for any beginner. This task is made even harder with the plethora of toy manufacturers that would have you believe their products are on par with hobby products. How can you tell the good from the bad? What’s the difference between a toy and a hobby product?Read More
The brand formerly known as Electrix has a short and storied past. Horizon Hobby, ECX's parent company, wanted to do for the R/C Surface category what their Blade line had done for R/C helicopters: make them affordable and open to anyone. A lofty goal to be sure, but one not so far out of reach as to be unbelievable. I believed in them.
ECX now boasts ten different vehicles (thirteen if you count the discontinued Nitro Revenge and the brushless variants of the 2WD Torment and Ruckus), yet few hop-ups exist for these vehicles. To their credit, the Revenge Type-E did receive a good selection of aluminium optional parts. But their 2WD platform has practically nothing. It's been a point of contention between myself and ECX for sometime.
That having been said, I hope ECX will rectify their situation soon. I look to them to be the competition Traxxas needs to further innovation and drive down consumer prices - and they can only do that if they begin to pull even with Traxxas in sales and after-market support. The new four-wheel-drive vehicles area a good place to start, so let's take a look at this new platform.Read More
It’s been a year since I last travelled the rows of vendors at the SeaGate Center in Toledo, OH. Though I’ve come to the Weak Signals show for the majority of the last 20 years, for some reason it’s as if I am walking through the doors for the first time, every time. I don’t know why I forget what it feels like, but in a way, I’m glad that I do. It feels like discovering something for the first time, again.
Way back in 2012 (seems like forever ago, doesn't it?), Traxxas announced not one, but two helicopters would be their entrance into the radio controlled helicopter market. I, for one, was pretty excited about Traxxas' arrival in the R/C heli world; we've had such good luck carrying their R/C cars and trucks, and that success seemed destined to carry over to the helicopter world. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way, and we had some bad experiences with Traxxas' quadcopters when they came out. And when Traxxas announced the LaTrax Alias, we hesitated on it. Blade was coming out with their Blade 180QX HD, a similarly-sized quadcopter that came equipped with a camera. And while the new Blade quadcopter was a bit pricier than the Alias, we felt that Blade had a better track record, and opted toward them.
We had the Blade 180QX HD for a while (and still do - you can see our first hands-on video here), and it became obvious that the higher price point was preventing some people from purchasing it. Other features were lacking as well, namely navigation lights. And so we decided to give the Alias another look, to see if Traxxas had stepped up and fixed the issues that plagued our first batch of helicopters. Here's what we found.Read More