Top 10 Products of 2015

Top 10 Products of 2015

It's my favorite time of year! It's always fun to go back and look at the products in the store that out-performed everything else, and this year is no different, though there does seem to be a theme to this year's list...

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. This year, however, had so many iterations of previous products release, that we felt it was fair to combine some products together, so long as one was a direct replacement of the other on our shelf — meaning that you'll see a few items get dual-billing. That having been said, let's get to our Top 10 Products of 2015 countdown!

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Year in Review: 2015

Year in Review: 2015

Wow. It's already the end of 2015. Seems like only yesterday we were counting down the ball in Times Square to ring in 2015, and here we go again. This last rotation of the Earth certainly feels like it went like a flash. Every year, I look back to try an remember everything that happened in the past 365 days. What did 2015 look like, and what can it tell us about where we're going?

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2015: Top Hits & Misses

2015: Top Hits & Misses

2015 was the year that not much happened in the hobby world. Many products from 2015 didn't seem to have a lot of sticking power; most came in and went away without anyone noticing. That's why this year was the hardest year so far to figure out the hits and misses - while there weren't many huge hits, there also weren't a ton of large misses, either. Let's dive into them.

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FAA's Registration Requirement Overview

FAA's Registration Requirement Overview

Back in November, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced their intent to see a Unmanned Aerial Systems registration requirement. It would require all unmanned aircraft (including drones, quadcopter, multi-rotors, and airplanes) be registered with the federal government. The system was intended to educate the public on the safe way to enjoy these types of aircraft, and enforce accountability on those that don't comply with those safety procedures and requirements.

On December 14th, that intent became reality when the FAA formally announced the final regulation.

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Today We May Have Prevented Fraud

Today We May Have Prevented Fraud

Today we declined a potential fraudulent credit card sale.

A potential customer called us today, asking about our 4K camera drone, the Chroma. He wanted one in a bad way, and insisted that he needed it the next day. Problem was, he was from out of town, and needed it shipped next-day. Except he was in town on business but couldn't come by and pick it up. Or something. See, the entire thing felt kind of sketchy from the start. The gentleman on the other end of the phone was nice enough, but couldn't seem to keep his story straight. Still, the credit card information he provided all lined up, and we went about getting the Chroma ready to ship.

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Make-N-Take Success; 4M Club Starts Mentoring

Author's Note: this piece originally appeared in our eNewsletter on November 8th, 2015,
and has been re-posted here to reach those not on the mailing list.

Yesterday, from 11am until 2pm, we sponsored a Make-N-Take event in the store where kids of all ages could come in, build a plastic model and take it home with them, all for free. We advertised it widely, even made a radio ad about the event, and all that work paid off, as we increased the number of models built by 50%!

A huge shout-out to the Mid-Michigan Model Makers Club, or the 4M Club as they are commonly referred to, for their members coming out and donating their time and expertise helping these kids assemble their models. I know we appreciate their assistance very much, and I'm sure the kids that built models yesterday do as well.

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Blade Chroma Review

Blade Chroma Review

Horizon Hobby and Blade have been consistently pushing their aerial photography platforms forward. It was only 2 years ago when the first Blade 350QX launched, and in the time since, we've seen two additional releases from that line. The Blade Chroma's launch marks a departure from Horizon's two year convention, breaking free from the clumsy naming standard and into a new era of consumer-friendly monikers.

The question, however, is whether the Chroma is a worthy successor to the popular 350QX line of products. Can the Chroma bring Horizon forward in the crowded camera-equipped drone market? Can, as their tag-line goes, the Chroma make epic easy? Let's find out.

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Toledo Trip 2015 Wrap Up

Toledo Trip 2015 Wrap Up

Sometimes our Toledo bus trip is largely uninteresting for me. Sometimes it’s fascinating. One thing this Weak Signals Toledo Trip was not, however, is uneventful.

Our group of R/C enthusiasts dwindled before we left the parking lot. A full four people were forced to bow out, either due to illness or tardiness. That attrition set the tone for the trip, as a number of strange occurrences would become the defining moments of this Toledo Bus Trip.

At about 11:30am, while Roger, Joe and I were about one-quarter through our initial trip through the convention center, the lights flickered, came back, flickered once more, and then the entire place went pitch black.

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FAA's Drone Regulation Reaction

FAA's Drone Regulation Reaction

Hobby Watch is a new editorial about the hobby industry, from radio control cars and helicopters to the model train world to puzzles and everything in between. Hobby Watch is an opinion piece, and thus the opinions contained within belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions held by Roger's Hobby Center, Inc.

In the first installment of my Hobby Watch article, I talk about the FAA's drone regulations proposed last month - and what that means for any companies that want to use quadcopter technology for filming or photography purposes.

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ARRMA Kraton Review

ARRMA Kraton Review

Big trucks are part of R/C culture. From the Clodbuster to the E-Revo, monster trucks have been with the hobby for a long, long time. ARRMA is honoring that tradition with the introduction of the Kraton. While the vehicle came out a few months ago, they've been on backorder and we were unable to get our hands on one. Until now. Will the Kraton stand up to the stiff competition? That's what we're here to find out.

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Hobby Watch 2015: What Will It Look Like?

Hobby Watch 2015: What Will It Look Like?

It's a new year. Last year was a ride, to be sure. We broke store records not once, but twice. We had a huge slow-down during the polar vortex. We had immense success with the Estes Proto X quadcopter, and other products didn't fare so well. But this editorial isn't about looking back; it's all about looking ahead to the new year and seeing what I hope it will look like. Will 2015 look like years past, or is it destined to be vastly different?

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