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The 800 pound gorilla

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On 1/11/2021 at 12:24 AM, Mechanic AH said:

I personally don’t know any kid, young person, or someone new to the hobby in my circle who wants to sit down and meticulously build an RC. 


My six year old begs to differ. I have to tell him to quit "working" on his Sand Dragon and not to "fix" my buggies, either.

Then again, my wife runs our home as if she were the Komendant of a maximum security children's prison. No TV, no computers, smartphones, consoles, electronics, etc.. Loads of books. No candy, no fast food, chips, salt, sugar,.etc.. Health food only. Lots of outdoor "Family 'Fun'" activities that mean the kids spend more time outdoors than Tarzan.

A family friend says she would put my wife up against any Palo Alto tiger mommy. The friend is an Indian doctor who lived in Palo and knows whereof she speaks.


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This is a great topic OP!

I bought my first Traxxas truck about a month ago.

I always poo-pooed the idea of an RTR vehicle, but I wanted something to race around the yard with my 8 year old that I wouldn't have a panic attack over if it hit the trash can. I bought a $195 Slash. It handles just like an old American muscle car - fast as all get out in a straight line, but wallows in the corners. All of this is adjustable, of course, but I have no real interest in that with this truck - it's a toy. A tough toy, but a toy nonetheless. It's a toy because it was instantly gratifying - there were no hours of poring over instructions, digging through the carpet looking for the miniscule e-clip you dropped, or choosing your custom color scheme. There was zero time invested other than waiting for the battery to charge. And that is exactly what I wanted with this vehicle. Is it fun? You bet it is. Is it fast? Way faster than anything Tamiya ever offered/s. Does it handle? Not a lick at speed, but it is fantastic over rough terrain. Is it tough?* Yep. Is it easy to fix? Yep. Easy to get parts? Like a Kyosho guy could only wish for. Are they rare? Not in the least. Do they have a wow factor to them like a Super Shot? Lol. Does the average Joe fix it when it breaks? Maaaayyybbbeee....?

So that asterisk up there. I smacked the front end of the truck into my daughter's go cart at near full speed because I didn't know it was there. Hit it at JUST the right angle to miss the bumper and hit the a-arm square on. Broke the upright shock mount and the main (for lack of a better term) front clip mount. That's it. If that was my Boomerang that I bought in 1987, it would have looked like a yard sale. Would've destroyed it. Instead it was a $14 fix from the local store - out the door - and it was stupid easy to repair.

That speaks wonders to parts availability, Traxxas' marketing and distribution, and their online presence and also really, really good customer service. Something that Tamiya used to have, as pointed out by many others, and that Kyosho still needs to work on. And their plastic/polymer/whatever they build their vehicles out of is really strong stuff.

Traxxas, Arrma, Laegendary, Red Cat are all appealing to folks who just want to drive and not build. They have their place in the hobby, but it's not the same place that is occupied by Tamiya, Kyosho, Associated, etc. Just another old guy's 2 cents.

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by chance a short documentary on Traxxis appeared in my YouTube feed yesterday. Very different formation and growth than Tamiya and I can see the appeal they have and their very different marketing strategy. Legal issues aside, they seem to be on a winner and they know their market and who their customer is very well. RTR is here to stay, and it's just the way things have evolved, and if it gets people into the hobby, it's probably for the better. With so much on offer for people in terms of hobbies and recreation, I can see that the appeal to build RC cars is probably only going to be for the minority these days. But I don't think that means people are lazy or not interested, just browse YouTube for a couple of minutes to see how many how to do videos with lots of views there are. And back when a lot of us started, RC was the latest craze.

I must admit a couple of vehicles did appeal to me, but in the whole, I thought the offering was rather bland. They all looked generic! I think that is probably one area, especially in Tamiya's back catalogue, is that at least they have a variety of interesting vehicles. And its probably a driver for the Tamtech, Comical Frog etc. I'd be hard pressed to see the likes of Traxxis making buggies like that, I don't think their market would buy into to.

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