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HelicopterMain Discussion › I Hobby Expo - Rant
10-24-2009 02:42 AM  8 years agoPost 1
2tall

rrVeteran

Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

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The International "I Hobby Expo 2009" is underway near Chicago. This show is billed as the US equivalent to the annual Toy Fair in Germany. On Thursday and Friday the show is open only to "The Trade". Manufacturers and distributors pay high prices for space dedicated to convincing the hobby and toy retailers how to spend their inventory dollars (Saturday and Sunday the general public can attend and even make purchases).

The company I help manage has exhibited at the Expo for the last five years. We are focused on model railroading. Each of those years I have taken every possible opportunity to roam the aisles in search of the latest and greatest advancements in my real passion, RC Helicopters. This year was a complete disappointment. There were exhibits featuring JR Vibe (Horizon Hobby), Hirobo (MRC), Align scattered at a few booths, but absolutely nothing new. No new mechanics, no new scale fuselages, not even a hint from all the rumors we keep absorbing (Perhaps an Rex 700E, or a nitro Rex 250 kidding on that one). No new electronics. Even Gaui's booth seemed less innovative than it did last year. Where was Miniature Aircraft (wake up Heliproz), Vario, Airstar International, did I forget the absence of anything new from Thunder Tiger?

Aggravating the scene is the total dominance of coaxial, palm sized and up, indestructible, unflyable heli land-fill candidates. I guess cheap is in.

This is just my rant, my need to vent weeks of optimism punctuated by two days of total let down. I can only hope that it is a temporary reflection of the global economy, and not a glimpse of where our hobby is headed.

No need to respond. This is just my opinion, and I could be wrong.

"Pay attention...lest the ground rise up and smite thee."

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10-24-2009 02:58 AM  8 years agoPost 2
Dr.Ben

rrMaster

Richmond, VA, USA

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There's nothing new here. These trade shows cost companies a small fortune to attend, the return on investment gets smaller with each passing year, and IHobby has always been one of the costliest of the lot. Though nothing beats fondling a new product, the vast majority of the modeling public anymore is content to learn about new product via forums such as these. WRT you comment about new electronics and so forth, it is NOT the general practice of many of the Asian manufacturers to release many new product in the fall. They save that for spring.

I will almost guarantee you that you'll see a similar thread to this started next spring after Toledo. It happens every year.

Ben Minor

Team Synergy Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA
Progressive RC

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10-24-2009 03:10 AM  8 years agoPost 3
holzback

rrKey Veteran

noblesville IN United States

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Aggravating the scene is the total dominance of coaxial, palm sized and up, indestructible, unflyable heli land-fill candidates. I guess cheap is in.
that is where the money is. there is thousands of kids who have parents to buy for them, compared to one nice heli for one guy like us.

you aint crashin you aint learnin

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10-24-2009 03:17 AM  8 years agoPost 4
2tall

rrVeteran

Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

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Ben, I agree. It just seems that if an exhibitor is going to pay the extraordinary prices it takes to be there, that an effort would be made to trot out something that wasn't there last year and the year before that. Those who pay to walk the aisles expect us to make it worth their effort. I guess once no one attends we will all stop exhibiting. Trade shows will eventually suffer the same fate is local hobby shops. With a high speed internet connection, who needs them.

"Pay attention...lest the ground rise up and smite thee."

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10-24-2009 03:27 AM  8 years agoPost 5
Dood

rrProfessor

Wescanson

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So then the exhibitors are doing it to themselves.
The show is only what the exhibitors make it.

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10-24-2009 03:42 AM  8 years agoPost 6
2tall

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Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

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I have to add that there was no shortage of new stuff from the RC car and truck side of the hobby - it was everywhere. Even the plankers had a lot of new eye candy from Horizon and Great Planes. I don't follow those addictions close enough to know what may have been "unveiled" at this show, but I know that at least on the plank side very little, if any, was displayed at last year's Expo - it was all fresh.

"Pay attention...lest the ground rise up and smite thee."

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10-24-2009 01:09 PM  8 years agoPost 7
bosshoss

rrVeteran

Chicago, IL

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I Hobby Local

2Tall you described every I Hobby at Rosemont since it's inception. period.

However, as a local who only lives 2 miles from the Rosemont Expo center, and the President of the local flying field/club closest to the Expo center , I love it.

Why,?

Because on Sunday at 4:00 pm the vendors who have to travel with unsold merchandise fire sale all the display stuff. A wise and wary shopper can make a killing. I have quite a few times.

Helicopters are usually the least represented faction of the hobbies.

So, a narrow focused heli-hobbyist might not be happy there, true.

I buy my wife puzzles, from the puzzle vendor, plastic models for my nephews, and on Sunday anything that flies and is pennies on the dollar!!! I watch the wannabe's fly in the cage, the robot wars, and fly the latest sims. I collect the freebies given out for outhouse reading material in the Northwoods. I bump into people that I fly with at other fields, and of course, have a good time.

It is what you make of it.

Why Hover a Yak, when a Heli does it better?

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10-24-2009 01:39 PM  8 years agoPost 8
F1 Rocket

rrKey Veteran

Melbourne, Florida USA

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We are here :)

We are at the show and have the new A2 Pro line of scale helicopters. I do agree with the OP. Other than A2 Pro, there is nothing new here.

Danny

Danny - DemonAero Support Team

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10-24-2009 02:15 PM  8 years agoPost 9
Gyronut

rrProfessor

Martinsville In.

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Mr. Tall

All too often I have visited the Toledo model show only to be totally disapointed with the lack of anything new or spiffy.

Very depressing to say the least.

I feel your frustration.

Rick

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10-24-2009 02:31 PM  8 years agoPost 10
hootowl

rrProfessor

Garnet Valley, Pa.

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Sad part is the trend that communication is taking on our lives. Real human interface and eye to eye interaction. We will miss this in the future as everything becomes remote. Pretty soon we'll be flying our models from the comfort of our armchairs.

Wolves don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep

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10-24-2009 05:21 PM  8 years agoPost 11
DaveESPI

rrNovice

Latham, NY

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I used to do sculpture and toy design ( action figures and resin models) and It is indeed very expensive to do shows. Years ago ( like 10) there was not huge expanse that on-line markets are now.

As to HIROBO/ MRC not having anything new.... Im dissapointed. I had word a small electric CP version liek the Quark was comming out in November. Maybe its too soon?

But I do know that there is a bunch of mods and even a PnP lighting kit for the quark that Im stoked about !

Maybe it just isn't a HELI year as there indeed is wayyyyyy too much eye candy for peeps like me who also fly planks. the EDF and Thrust Vectoring is the latest greatest thing, Im super stoked that companies are hopping on this as it opens up entire new avenues for flight !

Fly it like its a Sim, Crash it like yer Rich !

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10-24-2009 05:26 PM  8 years agoPost 12
w.pasman

rrElite Veteran

Netherlands

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Pretty soon we'll be flying our models from the comfort of our armchairs.
I don't think so. We already have the sim for that. And I don't think there are many people flying only sim, in fact most are bored almost instantly with the sim

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10-24-2009 05:55 PM  8 years agoPost 13
reddragon

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Brooklyn, N.Y.

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A wise and wary shopper can make a killing. I have quite a few times.
I've always looked for deals but they were few and far between especially now in this ugly world economy. A few years back the vendors wouldn't even sell to you on the floor and they told you to go to the shops that they had near the entrance. I stopped going after 2007 as it wasn't the same, some manufacturers just stopped coming since it was costing them so much money to do the show. My Uncle who lives nearby fills me in now. I don't feel like I'm missing much.

Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!

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10-24-2009 06:07 PM  8 years agoPost 14
ampex456

rrApprentice

La Verne, CA

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After all the years I went to work the Chicago show, Helis were never a focuse due to their "limited" market back then. Of course over the last few years that has changed but many of the innovators and players learned that there were more cost effective and overall beneficial ways to get the "new" stuff in eyes and hands faster and more cost effective. Hence why they are gone. Some of those vendors do pay a small fortune to be there so maximizing exposure for the highest volume departments is a priority. Lets face it other than the micro coaxials and derivatives, the others are not for a Chicago type show when return is a concern. Helis in general like what we play with are one of the smallest portions of our hobby. The category also grew the most .

This year we, HeliWholesaler, would have been there with Align bodies, new stuff, MA stuff, etc. but move timing along with other commitments did not allow us to be there. (Also this was not a Heliproz problem , not their call). Next year we are planning on attending. BUT like Dr. Ben Pointed out, the bulk of our new stuff will be debuted and shown at Toledo. Then shown at consequent heli related events through the summer. Then whatever is new by Chicago time next year will be there for your hands to oogle over.

Internet is fine, but oogling and drooling over it in person is the better thing when showing a new widget etc.

Sorry if Chicago was disappointing this year, but for RR, plastic models, etc, I am sure it was pretty nice.

Also keep in mind what happened this past year. The economy did affect alot of hobbies companies (thank God, not ours).

Things will improve. They "big" guys will work their way back into a show like Rosemont, but for now Toledo will have to be something to look forward to. I know I am.

TTYL
Jeff G
HeliWholesaler

Still no problems, only solutions, governed by MARSHALL AMPLIFICATION. I'm a HIROBO Fan, R U?

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10-25-2009 12:52 AM  8 years agoPost 15
2tall

rrVeteran

Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

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Saturday Upate

Just finished a grueling day at the Expo. The convention center was packed with Dad's and kids of all ages. Expo organizers do a great job of providing a massive visual experience for everyone. Highly skilled, caged, flying competition for the Phoenix Cup is but one example. The aisles were jammed from 9 AM until show-close.

Probably by design, the show in an adjoining hall featured jewelery on an equal scale. That makes it an all day family destination with something for all sexes, under one huge roof. The real winners are the parking vendors.

Hey - even Wrigley Field is sold out every game. The Expo motto, at least for RC Helis mirrors that of the Cubbies: "Wait until next year!"

"Pay attention...lest the ground rise up and smite thee."

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10-25-2009 01:20 AM  8 years agoPost 16
2tall

rrVeteran

Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

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For HootOwl

Just had a chance to read your post in this thread regarding the migration away from personal business communications. You are right on. Not sure how many of you will remember this, but many years ago there was a very effective TV commercial for United Airlines. Picture an elderly (like me) family business owner handing out tickets to his staff. His admonishment was that they had lost touch with their client base because too much communication was handled via FAX or phone (The terms "email" and "text" did not even exist at the time.) The staff is instructed to fly off and visit with the core clients, and to do so with a smile and a handshake. They were going back to the business model that had made them successful to begin with. What a novel concept.

"Pay attention...lest the ground rise up and smite thee."

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10-25-2009 05:43 AM  8 years agoPost 17
ram008

rrNovice

Champaign, IL

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All new helicopter products in the Horizon booth...

All of these are new helicopter products that were in the Horizon booth...many of the helicopter companies like to announce new product at IRCHA in August when they are in front of a heli-only audience.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Product...rodID=JRPG2703D - JR G270 gyro for 500-class (and smaller) helicopters

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Product...odID=JRPS8917HV - JR 8917HV Ultra Speed Servo for cyclic on .50-size and larger helicopters

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Product...rodID=SPMSH5000 - Spektrum H5000 Mini Heli Servo

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Product...rodID=SPMSH6040 - H6040 Spektrum Digital Heli Servo

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Product...ProdID=EFLH2500 - Blade Tandem Rescue Heli (RTF and BNF)

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