Top Ten Products of 2017

Top Ten Products of 2017

Everyone loves lists, right? I'm pretty sure there are entire websites built on that concept. Well, we love lists too, and so it's time to go over our Top Ten Products of 2016! Like every year, the list is devised using margin dollars, so the list isn't all car parts, glue, and paint — and while the words accompanying the products are opinion, how they placed isn't something we change. What follows are the Top Ten Products we sold this year.

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6 Terrible Things that Happened in 2017 (In the Hobby Industry)

6 Terrible Things that Happened in 2017 (In the Hobby Industry)

Well, thankfully that's over with. 2017's in the books, and, well, there's no mincing words here: it was a God-awful year. In fact, it was so bad that we couldn't think of a single stand-out hit this year - so we settled on six misses instead. Make no mistake, 2017 will go down as one of the worst years for the hobby industry in decades — and particularly so for small hobby shops like ours.

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A Critical Look: Vanishing Margins

A Critical Look: Vanishing Margins

If you've ever seen Pawn Stars, you basically know how retail works: a retailer purchases a product from someone, usually a distributor or manufacturer, and resells it to you, the consumer, for a higher price. The retailer uses that money to pay his supplier for the product, and takes what is left over and uses it to pay his staff, the electric bill, or any other such necessities. Anything left over after that is usually reinvested into the business or invested elsewhere.

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TRX-4 Impressions From a Crawling Enthusiast

TRX-4 Impressions From a Crawling Enthusiast

Over Memorial Day weekend, we lent out our demo TRX-4 to Matt Bedtelyon of RC4X4, a manufacturer of crawler links here in Mid-Michigan. As we don't have anyone on staff that is into crawling, getting Matt's perspective was crucial to understanding Traxxas' new platform well enough to sell it. What follows are Matt's thoughts and words after his extended weekend with Traxxas' new TRX-4 crawler.

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A Critical Look: Traxxas' Connector Crisis

A Critical Look: Traxxas' Connector Crisis

For the last thirty plus years, the hobby industry has been largely built around the concept of openness — that any, say, speed control, from any manufacturer, can work with any motor, or receiver, or vehicle that the user wants. This has lead to a lot of hodge-podging, but it also fostered competition and drove down prices, because no single company cornered the market on anything.

Today, I want to talk about how that foundation for our industry is being jeopardized. It will likely start the hobby industry down the road leading to higher prices, fewer choices, and, eventually, a series of "walled gardens" between which nothing can be interchanged. This future is now, and the first shot fired in the revolution centers around a surprising and seemingly innocuous component: the humble battery connector.

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A Critical Look: Toledo Fails to Impress

A Critical Look: Toledo Fails to Impress

When I walked into the SeaGate Center in downtown Toledo, the first thing I noticed was the lack of elbows in my ribs. The entire convention center had fewer people than I’ve ever seen at a Toledo show. A few people commented to us that the aisles were wider, but that turned out to be false; the aisles appeared wider because there weren’t enough people to fill them.

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A Critical Look: End of an Era?

A Critical Look: End of an Era?

It's been awhile since I talked about the state of the industry as I see it here, in Saginaw. Much has changed since that last blog post many years ago, and unfortunately, not all of those changes were for the better. While there were some positive changes in the industry (more like a lot, actually), I find it more helpful to discuss those things that require change to better the hobby world. Talking about success isn't without merit, but talk of failure is crucial to prevent past mistakes repeated.

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Top Ten Products of 2016

Top Ten Products of 2016

Everyone loves lists, right? I'm pretty sure there are entire websites built on that concept. Well, we love lists too, and so it's time to go over our Top Ten Products of 2016! Like every year, the list is devised using margin dollars, so the list isn't all car parts, glue, and paint — and while the words accompanying the products are opinion, how they placed isn't something we change. What follows are the Top Ten Products we sold this year.

Read More