View Full Version : R/c Hobby Going Down?

05-07-2004, 01:46 AM
Is the Hobby of r/c better or worse then what it was 10 years ago? If its worse will it ever recover? National races are down businesses are closing what is next for this hobby?

05-07-2004, 01:53 AM
10 years ago was 1993/94...that was a really dead time for RC.

I think the RC scene is on a high level right now.

05-07-2004, 02:20 AM
I can't say I know what the r/c scene was like 10 years ago, but I do know that overall, the sport is growing. However, I do hear of a lot of stores closing and a lot of instability within the hobby. Like the Micro racing for example. That was the big thing for a little while, but then a ton of people got out of it and stores and tracks closed like crazy. I'm no expert at all, and I haven't seen a broad enough picture of the industry to come up w/ a reliable theory, but my guess is that a lot of the people in the industry failed to follow the first rule of the stock market. DIVERSIFY. I think a lot of companies, tracks, and shops jumped on the bandwagon w/ the Micro stuff, and I'm sure even more have jumped on the bandwagon w/ the Monster stuff, but if that starts to go down, I think a lot of companies are going to find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Just my view on the situation.

05-07-2004, 02:23 AM
Of course it's going up. You can't have the attitude of it going downhill man. Be positive and with people positive about is what helps it grow. Why even think about it going down? We can't let it.

05-07-2004, 02:33 AM
Oh I dont want it to go down, I love racing oval cars, I want to be able to open my own track one day. But all I have ever seen is more and more stores closing. I dont want to get rich of this but I would like to have it be stable so I can put all my efforts to the racers.

05-07-2004, 02:40 AM
Over here I have seen the hobby grow. Just last month a new hobby shop opened up. I have seen more people using rcs and when ever i talk about them I get attention from people who are intersted.

05-07-2004, 07:38 AM
About 15 years ago when I first got started. I remember back then it was a arm and leg for a nitro. It was slowly being introduced and so was the pistol remote along with the electronic speed controls. I have seen it all with this hobby. The reason business opens and closes all the time is because of poor management control. People have 20 years experience then open a store but have no idea or only a small scale of what it takes to run a business.
Back then HPI did not exist along with Traxa** ( oops). Since they were introduced, kids and people with a low budget bought those up like a storm and think that is what kicked off the hobby big time. From what I have seen

I'm going to stop now.

05-07-2004, 08:47 AM
i know that the hobbyshop that i go to hobbytown usa in plaistow nh is always packed with people. the nitro cars and trucks just fly out of there.

05-07-2004, 09:27 AM
Well yeah now days. Back 15 years ago it was only for the knowledage Rc person. Now kids and users are buying nitro as there first car. And plus when they started comming out with RTR kits ohh man. It's about business business,

05-07-2004, 12:00 PM
Well as stated above, a bit problem for the industry is going with what seems to be big at the time. If a store stocked parts for all of the different areas they'd probably last a bit longer

However, I do think the hobby is growing. I just recruited 2 more people. One is getting a buggy to race with me and one is getting an MT to bash with me. I think the problem is that they love the sound and power of nitro, but are scared away by the price. We just have to show them that the less expensive cars/trucks aren't nessecarily bad. We need to take time to talk to people when they stop and ask and show them what they can do. If they live in the area offer to help them out when they need it. I've recruited a total of 5 people in my 8 years of nitro without ever going to a track. Just finding random areas to bash. It may be more but there are 5 guys in my area that jumped on.

It's just that the usual American idea is work as much as possible and make as much as possible and they don't leave much leasiure time.

05-07-2004, 12:16 PM
Economy does have something to do with it, but most R/C shops close because of poor management. I worked for 6 months at an LHS that has been around for 30 years, and the owner told me most other shop owners just want to 'work on cars all day'. It's a lot of work to keep a shop going. There have been no less than 3 local shops that have closed in the last 5 years, and you could really see the difference between those and the survivor.

The biggest problem with those shops was their focus: They basically ran to support their tracks. Basically NOBODY in this hobby races. Now I know, I know, you get 20-30-40-whatever drivers at your track on race nights. Now ask your shop how many cars and trucks overall they have sold. Compare that with how many cars show up on race nights. Even with a popular race night, a hobby shop couldn't sustain itself just on that alone.

While they are popular, I think the new RTR nitro cars and trucks are way too expensive to get as many people into the hobby as they could. I think there should be more cars and trucks available for about $250.00 or less. You can convince a parent that $250 is comprable to a PS2 or XBox and some games, but $300-400 and up is really a stretch. Electric is also the way to go, nitro is still fightening to many people.

05-07-2004, 12:18 PM
I've been around the hobby for about 12-13 years now,and it's always been up and down,right now it's probably as big as it's ever been but in a small slump due to the economy and so many people being out of work.I personally see it getting better as the economy gets better and from what I'm seeing it's on it's way back.Let's just hope we don't have another 9-11.

05-07-2004, 12:20 PM
Only problem I found with recruiting people to electric is the brush maint. Sure the nitro is a lot of maint due to cleaning, after-run oil etc. But I found elec to be even more maint. Most of the guys that first get into the hobby want the fastest car they can get, and a stock motor isn't going to satisfy them. If they run a mod motor it's going to cost them A LOT to keep it in running shape. Trueing the com ever few runs, chaning the brushes every few runs etc...let alone buying batteries.

05-07-2004, 01:03 PM
It's not a issue of electric vs nitro! a lot of people nowadays want instant gratificaton and RC in general is a lot of work no matter what you run.

05-07-2004, 01:18 PM
I recently left my hobby shop a few months ago after working there for approximatly a year. All I can say is that the hobby store is being supported by the customers and they keep coming back for more. When I used to work there we basically sold atleast one or two kits a day. Now that for a hobby shop is decent bussiness. We also have our on and off days but customers keep coming back. Returning customers is a main importance. It keeps the hobby alive and keeps it moving. Also a hobby shop opened up last year within 10-15mins of us. We now have 3 hobby stores within a 15 mile radius. So what does that tell you? The hobby is growing but all depends on location and managment most importantly of hobby stores. If you have strong skills in managing a business then that will help th hobby lead to a stronger future.....

05-11-2004, 10:26 AM
I'm just getting into the hobby as a 31 year old adult, it was too expensive for me years ago. There is a new hobby shop that stocks tons of RC stuff, parts and everything. They opened 2 years ago, so far so good.

Racer Rob
05-11-2004, 06:19 PM
I have been into the hobby since 1985, and its growing for sure. BUT, I would say the internet and places like Stormer, Tower, etc are whats hurting the hobby shops that don't understand what it takes to make it now a days.

crank throw wei
05-12-2004, 12:47 AM
I think there is and ebb and flow in the hobby,or peaks and valleys,if you will.In recent times,I think there was an explosion when Traxxas brought out the T-Maxx.Then all the others came out with their MTs.It creates a predictable result-some will stay,and some will find it too much trouble,or too much of a commitment,either time or money.From my view,it's in a valley right now.I think another T-Maxx like explosion could happen,but I'm not sure any more ground breaking concepts are left.Like SteveK said,the next hurdle is probably price.

05-12-2004, 08:17 AM
Well there is the REVO. I personally would say that's pretty ground breaking. WE'll see how many people jump on that. THe biggest thing I've found when recruiting people is that they don't feel like wrenching on their car...or paying the $30-$40 for a set of tires after you bake them in a race or a nice bash session. R/C is an EXPENSIVE hobby no matter how much the actual kit costs and that's what the newbies don't understand. It's not cheap to maintain them either.

05-12-2004, 12:34 PM
The hobby is definitely going up. Take it from a store owner. The reason shops are closing is they are trying to dive right in and make a huge inventory and buy tons of the most expensive stuff to sit on the shelf, then they don't have the money to pay the bills. Profit comes and goes with the RC industry. Some months are huge others are not, when they are not you can't afford to have 1 million dollars in items sitting on your shelf tying up all of your cash. You have to go slow and build your inventory with profit which is easily done. My shop has been open for 4 years and our inventory is pretty big for a 30000 pop. town. There are hobbytown usa's in two directions less than an hour away and most people will drive to me for the simple fact that everybody I have working for me knows there stuff and hobbytown just hires any person to work for them. When you go in to ask for a part, it is a guarantee that they have to look it up on an exploded view and then look it up in there computer system to see if they have it. Now some guys that work there are pretty good so I will give them props. But back to the subject, it is definitely on the up swing.

05-12-2004, 09:46 PM
the hobby shops around me stay in business fairly well....The one i used to go to i was spending atleast $300 a month in on all kinds of stuff.... The new one i go to i dont spend as much at and he says i am one of his better customers, and there is never anyone there