Hobbico unveils a major innovation in
power plug design
October 8, 2014
When new FlightPower FP Series LiPo batteries arrive in stores soon, modelers will notice that they include a new style of polarized power plug. Called the “Star Plug,” it was developed by Hobbico’s electronics R&D team and is immediately distinguished by a star embossed on the plug body. It also represents a major innovation in how power plugs are designed.
For example, the Star Plug is easier to grip and pull apart than other plugs. But the connection remains tight and secure in even extreme conditions and after hundreds of uses.
Another notable feature is that no heat shrink is needed to cover the solder joint. Only the Star Plug has a rear cap that separates from the main plug body. Before soldering, a modeler slides the rear cap up over the wire lead. After soldering, the cap is pushed back down and snapped tightly onto the plug body, covering the joint. A center isolator in the cap effectively prevents terminals from shorting out.
Capable of handling massive current loads, the Star Plug offers so many advantages that it could become the new industry standard in high-efficiency power plugs. It will be featured on new Hobbico products and is compatible with the most common polarized plug currently being used. For complete details, see the Star Plug web site at rcstarplug.com.
Tessman takes IFMAR World Champion title!
October 1, 2014
After the past two months, HPI/Hot Bodies team driver Ty Tessmann may need to build an addition onto his trophy room. His latest victory came at the 2014 IFMAR 1/8 Scale Off-Road World Championships, held September 20-28 in Messina, Italy. Driving a Hot Bodies D812 equipped with the new O.S. Speed B2101 engine, Ty went all the way...straight to the top spot on the podium!
After a somewhat slow start, Ty and his crew — often described as one of the hardest-working teams in R/C racing — kept their cool and ultimately lapped the entire field. It was a dominating performance that paid off in a prestigious World Championship win. Ty had also TQ’d, making this the first time that any IFMAR competitor had been both the Top Qualifier and winning driver.
This latest victory came on the heels of a very successful summer for Ty, who scored three first-place finishes in August action: at the ROAR 1/10 Scale Electric Off-Road Nationals in Florida; in 1/8 Buggy Pro at the Medicine Hat Shootout in Alberta; and in Pro Buggy at the Calgary Nitro Stampede, also in Alberta.
In addition to driving for HPI/Hot Bodies since 2004, Ty is also sponsored by O.S. Engines. He did both manufacturers proud with an impressive showing on an international stage.
Hobbico also congratulates O.S.- and Futaba-sponsored driver Carson Wernimont, who battled to third place in a field filled with the world’s very best racers. When great drivers compete using great equipment, great things happen!.
Lutz Triples at Futaba E-Challenge!
September 17, 2014
It’s unlikely that Ryan Lutz will forget this year’s Futaba Electric Challenge any time soon. He went to the Leisure Hours Raceway in Joliet, Illinois hoping to do well ─ and left with three first place finishes and a cash prize.
The event, which took place September 5-7, treated the crowd to one day each of indoor and competition. And when the dust settled, Ryan walked away with TQ and first place honors in the 1/8 scale 4WD Modified and E-Buggy mains, a win in the 2WD Modified “Dash for Cash” and a second place finish in 1/10 scale 2WD Modified.
Ryan’s brought a trio of perfectly setup Team Durango vehicles for the events: the DEX210V2 for 2WD, the DEX410V4 for 4WD Modified and the DEX408V2 for E-Buggy. And he ran them all with his go-to racing radio: the Futaba 4PX.
It’s 30% faster than the 4PKS-R it replaces, with even more to offer competitive drivers.
It adds a full-color TFT display to programming conveniences, telemetry (and the option to listen to the data via synthesized voice), plus a button the driver can assign to any
function and activate simply by bumping it against his body.
Congratulations to Ryan on his winning performance, and for choosing the radio brand racers trust most: Futaba.
Team Futaba Sweeps F3A Nationals.
September 10, 2014
Team Futaba dominated this year’s Scale Nats in Muncie, IN, winning seven of
the top eight spots in the finals. And all eight finalists shared something beyond
world-class flying skills: they all competed with equipment from the most trusted name in radio control: Futaba!
Andrew Jesky had a banner day, winning all four final rounds and the F3A Nats
Championship crown. He was followed by Jason Schulman, who overcame early
difficulties with a team-best performance to take second. Brett Wickizer came in third,
through consistency and near-perfect flights.
What’s more, their wins automatically make Andrew, Jason and Brett the pilots who will represent the United States at the 2015 F3A Championships in Switzerland.
Congratulations to Andrew, Jason and Brett on their double distinctions and to the
eight finalists who put their trust in Futaba equipment.
1. Andrew Jesky (18MZ)
2. Jason Schulman (14MZ)
3. Brett Wickizer (18MZ)
4. Chad Northeast (18MZ)
5. Chip Hyde (18MZ)
6. A.C. Glenn (18MZ)
7. Matt Stringer (18MZ)
8. Matthew Kimbro (18MZ)
8th Annual Futaba/O.S.® Nitro
Challenge the biggest yet!
September 3, 2014
The 8th Annual Futaba/O.S. Nitro Challenge was run at the Dirt Burners track on July 24-27, and both Futaba and team drivers emerging as the big winners.
Despite 100-degree heat and rain on Friday, the event drew a record 310 competitors to St. Louis and treated an appreciative crowd to a huge amount of skills and thrills.
Team Futaba member Ryan Lutz drove well, taking home the top spot in Electric Buggy Class. Josh Wheeler, a member of both the Futaba and O.S. Racing teams, combined his driving skills, Futaba 4PKS-R and O. S. 21XZ-B Speed into a sweep of 3 events, winning the “Dash for Cash” as well as the Pro Buggy and Truggy classes. Futaba corporation also enjoyed a winning weekend, with the top three finishers in most classes using Futaba systems.
Plans for next year’s include a return to the popular Dirt Burner’s facility in 2015.
Our Company, Our Hobby, Our Passion
Hobbico Employee-Owners and their families have fun at
the first-ever Hobbico RC Fest!
August 27, 2014
It was a hot Friday afternoon in Champaign, Illinois but Hobbico employee-owners got a chance to beat the heat by chilling with awesome Hobbico products, snow cones and cool prizes. Turnout was good for the first RC fest, with over 200 employee-owners and family members in attendance. Participants saw demonstrations of Flyzone aircraft, raced the new Dromida vehicles around the track, could try their hand at building a Revell model, or get a cute dolphin painted on by Hobbico’s resident face painters, Kathy Hylla and Jeannie Herring.
Many lucky winners of the day’s raffle got to take home a Dromida vehicle, a quadcopter, one of a dozen detailed model kits, or other great essentials of summer. Everyone got a free meal with hot dogs, chips, cookies, popcorn, and snow cones courtesy of Hobbico!
Hobbico was happy to facilitate a day of fun and family with our RC Fest. We’re looking forward to even better things next summer!
Hobbico Helps Local Community “Celebrate Summer at the Pines”
August 20, 2014
On June 14, 2014, Hobbico joined with the Atkins Group — a Champaign, Illinois, based real estate developer — and over a dozen area retailers to present a free, community-wide festival called “Celebrate Summer at the Pines”. Hobbico supplied a variety of Dromida 1/18 scale radio-control vehicles for attendees to race, assisted by some of Hobbico’s best staff drivers.
The “try me” R/C racing demonstration featured the popular Dromida BX4.18 4WD buggy, MT4.18 4WD monster truck, and SC4.18 4WD short course truck. For over four hours, interested drivers young and old enjoyed testing their control skills while Hobbico pros helped to show them the ropes.
Other activities at “Celebrate Summer at the Pines” included a dunk tank, bounce house, balloon artists, face painters and much more.
The late Clint Atkins, founder of the Atkins Group, played a pivotal role in the history of Hobbico. In January of 1986, he took two independent companies that he had acquired — Tower Hobbies, an R/C product retailer, and Great Planes Model Distributors, a hobby wholesaler — and combined them into one. The new entity was then christened “Hobbico”.
Now employee-owned, Hobbico is pleased to have had this opportunity to show its appreciation and respect for Mr. Atkins by lending its products and services to “Celebrate Summer at the Pines”.
Adam Wellman Wins 2014 IMPBA Nitro Nationals Champion Title
August 13, 2014
Hobbico Lead Support Technician Adam Wellman and AquaCraft Models combined forces for a spectacular showing at the 2014 IMPBA (International Model Power Boat Association) Nitro Nationals, held June 18-21 in Evansville, Indiana.
Wellman entered the B Sport Outboard and B Outboard Classes with an AquaCraft Top Speed 3 tunnel hull powered by an O.S. 21XM marine outboard engine and O.S. #8 glow plug. His model also featured Futaba S3003 throttle and S3010 steering servos and a GrimRacer 40x52 3-blade metal prop. Wellman ran GrimRacer 50% boat fuel.
This setup — combined with Wellman’s control skills at the wheel of a Tactic TTX240 2-channel radio — resulted in his taking the Champion title in B Sport Outboard and third place in Outboard. Wellman also raced in the RTR class, piloting the AquaCraft Miss Vegas Deuce hydro. He again finished strong, landing inside the Top Ten at sixth place.
The IMPBA Nitro Nationals were sponsored by the River City Racing Club. Hobbico congratulates Adam for his impressive wins!
At AirVenture 2014, Team Futaba presents R/C aviation at its best.
Pictured left to right: Wayne Layne, Darwin Barrie, Brian O’Meara, Bob Benson, Bonnie O’Meara, Ryan Haldenwanger, Frank Noll, Will Berninger, Brian Sanik and
Mike Barbee. Not shown: Matt Chapman, Marian Berninger.
August 6, 2014
History was made July 28-August 3 when model aircraft took their place on the biggest aviation stage in the world — the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. About 500,000 people attend AirVenture each year. That gave Team Futaba the perfect opportunity to use their sparking personalities and incredible flying skills to make R/C aviation shine.
They succeeded brilliantly! Members of Team Futaba, led by Matt Chapman and Frank Noll, performed during the main air show on two different days. Chapman and Noll flew in formation — Chapman in the cockpit of his full-size CAP Eagle 580 and Noll at the controls of his 43% Extra model plane. Team members Will Berninger, Mike Barbee and Brian O’Meara then took up their beautiful giant scale models after Chapman and Noll finished their formation flight.
Each of these modelers understood how important this AirVenture show was to model aviation. Each of them put their trust in the Futaba 18MZ. Team Futaba Manager Frank Noll said it best: “This was the most pressure I’ve felt since my first TOC. But I was confident that my radio would perform flawlessly, and it did.”
The reaction from the crowds of aviation enthusiasts to the models was incredible. During the performances, veteran air show announcer Danny Clisham expertly described the merits of model aviation. He reminded the audience that many aerospace legends — Neil Armstrong, Hoot Gibson, Burt Rutan and others — got their start by flying models.
At this year’s EAA AirVenture, the world was treated to spectacular flights that showed what model aviation is truly about! Congratulations to Team Futaba for being such outstanding ambassadors for the hobby!
Model Aviation to be showcased at
EAA's AirVenture Air Show!
July 23, 2014
Air shows at EAA’s AirVenture put performers on the world’s largest stage for aviation. More than 500,000 people from over 60 countries will attend AirVenture this year. For the first time, model aviation will be showcased during the main air show on two separate days at AirVenture!
Matt Chapman, a well-known air show performer, will be flying his incredible CAP Eagle 580. Matt is also a member of Team Futaba and flies a large variety of model aircraft. This year, Matt will perform as a solo act, as a member of the 4-plane 4CE formation aerobatic team and in formation with Team Futaba manager Frank Noll and his 40% Extra model aircraft.
Joining Matt and Frank will be Team Futaba’s Will Berninger flying a 1/2 scale clipped-wing Piper Cub, Mike Barbee flying a beautiful 138” span T-34-B Mentor, Brian O’Meara flying his incredible 1/3 scale P-47 Sleepy Jean and Paul LeTourneau flying his 118” span twin-turbine powered A-10. The flights will take place during the main air show on Wednesday, July 30 and Friday, August 1. Please check the official schedule at EAA.org for further details.
Futaba 4PLS earns "Basher Approved"
Honors for Hobbico
June 19, 2014
The Futaba 4PLS has been awarded the prestigious “Basher Approved” award by BigSquidRC. The popular web site — created “for bashers, by bashers” — provides its followers with how-to’s, R/C news and reviews of industry products. It honors truly exceptional products with the “Basher Approved” distinction. According to the web site, the award is given only to products that: 1) can truly take a beating; 2) offer easy or low maintenance, and 3) are worth their weight in gold.
The 4PLS is a frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum system with telemetry. It allows drivers to monitor temperature, rpm, receiver voltage and external voltage in real time, or record data at user-settable intervals for later review.
Not coincidentally, the 4PLS also offers the same affordability and most of the features of the first radio ever to win the “Basher Approved” award — the 4PLS’s predecessor, the Futaba 4PL.
Onyx 245 Receives 2014 Reader’s Choice Award
May 19, 2014
R/C Car Action magazine, a publication of Air Age Media, recently picked the Duratrax Onyx 245 to receive the Editor’s Choice Award for 2014. The award and trophy were presented at the RCX Banquet on Saturday May 19th, 2014. Consumers — not industry insiders — pick the Reader’s Choice Award winners, which tells manufacturers that they’re getting the right products to the right people!
This is the seventh win for Duratrax, and it’s easy to see why the Onyx 245 kept the streak alive. It handles all LiPo, LiFe, NiCD and NiMH batteries and features built-in balancing to maximize battery life and performance. With so many of modelers’ most-wanted features, it’s no surprise that the Duratrax Onyx 245 charger earned this prestigious award.
BLACK HAWK Named 2014 Editor’s Choice Award Winner
May 19, 2014
Model Airplane News magazine, a publication of Air Age Media, recently selected the Helimax BLACK HAWK 1/43 scale, ready-to-fly helicopter to receive the Editor’s Choice Award for 2014. The trophy was presented at the RCX Banquet on Saturday, May 19th, 2014. Because this award is considered an important benchmark for industry performance and customer satisfaction, Helimax is proud to receive it.
Attention to detail, powerful performance and iconic looks paid off for the BLACK HAWK — it earned the coveted Editor’s Choice Award in its first year on the market. This compact, one-of-a-kind heli includes a four-blade rotor head, torque-tube driven tail rotor and incredibly powerful brushless motor. It’s no surprise it was the Editor’s Choice for 2014!
Hobbico Bridges Toy and Hobby Markets with New Dromida Brand
November 9, 2013
Hobbico recently launched Dromida, a new brand developed specifically to help brick-and-mortar hobby dealers compete with department store radio-control toys. Though very affordable, Dromida products offer advantages that R/C toys do not - including superior performance and easy access to parts and product support. As a result, Dromida builds new repeat business while also providing dealers with an excellent profit margin on every sale.
The timing for Dromida could not be better. It gives dealers an important tool for improving their bottom line during the 2013 holiday season. Economic indicators suggest that gift buyers will remain budget-conscious and demand extra value for the money they spend. The premier Dromida releases - a trio of fully equipped 1/18 scale vehicles - fit that description perfectly. They're unusually sturdy, capable of 20+ mph speeds, and strategically priced at only $99 retail.
Hobbico invested intense research into the creation of Dromida. The hobby market needed "bridge" products - models that not only attracted new customers but also held their interest while they experienced the rewards of staying involved. Dromida, shortened from Andromeda, evoked images of infinite adventure. Popular with focus groups, it was chosen as the new brand's name and forms the foundation of its easy-to-recall dromida.com web domain.
Dromida packaging, like the product inside, has been created to appeal to a wide range of customers. Bold, dynamic, action-oriented graphics turn each box into a powerful merchandising aid. The aggressive artwork is complemented by simple, clear language that customers of all ages understand. It gives them confidence that they will succeed.
At the heart of it all is Dromida product - complete, ready-to-run models built from hobby-grade materials and technology, priced low enough to be the obvious choice for any first-timer. Add such dealer incentives as higher-than-average margins and the service support of Great Planes Model Distributors, and Dromida opens up new worlds of opportunity in the radio-control hobby for everyone.
Future Dromida products will explore other best-selling categories, such as airplanes, boats and quadcopters. Although Hobbico expects Dromida to have broad appeal, customers are encouraged to look for Dromida products in better hobby shops everywhere.
New Hobbico Logo Represents Renewed Commitment to Serving Hobbyists Worldwide
For over a quarter century, hobbyists have turned to brands owned and/or distributed by Hobbico Corporation for innovation and dependable high quality at affordable prices. In recent years Hobbico has increased its development of product lines and markets across the globe. To reflect that international growth, Hobbico now unveils a new, modern logo — representing a renewed commitment to delivering the very finest products to its hobby customers throughout the world.
Hobbico was formed in 1986 with customer satisfaction as its guiding principle and highest priority. The company quickly became established as the industry's leading source for radio-control and general hobby merchandise. Hobbico now oversees 40 of modelers' favorite brands — including Revell®, Estes®, Great Planes®, Flyzone™, AquaCraft®, Heli-Max™ and Futaba®— and backs them all with award-winning service and support.
Hobbico's most recent additions include Revell® of Germany, ARRMA Durango® of the United Kingdom, and California-based Axial®. Using its well-established distribution networks, Hobbico has been able to make products from these manufacturers available to a wider base of customers than ever before. And, by taking advantage of global marketing channels used by its newly acquired European brands, Hobbico can now expand the reach of its other product lines into many more countries.
The new company logo that accompanies these changes bears similarities to its predecessor, maintaining an important connection to Hobbico's rich heritage. But Hobbico is on the move, and the updated look represents a company that is poised to become a more important resource than ever before to hobbyists around the world.
When modelers see the Hobbico logo, they can rest assured that they will enjoy the best quality for the lowest possible price. That has been Hobbico's mission for the past three decades, and will remain its aim for the future.
Hobbico Acquires Revell Germany
February 15, 2012
Revell brand again united under one owner.
Hobbico, Inc. of Champaign, IL announced today that it has acquired Revell Germany.
Revell Germany will continue to operate from its headquarters in Bünde, located near Hannover, Germany and will be led by Hans Remfert, President of Revell Germany.
Established in 1956, Revell is the European market leader in the plastic model building segment. For the last four years, Revell has also been a key player in toy radio control vehicles in the European toy market. Several new product lines were just announced at this year's Nuremberg Toy Fair.
Hobbico is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of model hobby products, including radio controlled models, plastic model kits, flying model rockets and other hobby and toy products. The 100% employee-owned company sells products through several subsidiaries including Revell, Estes, Great Planes Model Distributors and Tower Hobbies. Since 2007, Hobbico has owned the U.S. Revell operation. Just prior in 2006, Revell Germany was spun off as a separate company.
After starting the original U.S. company in 1945, Revell founder Lou Glaser established the German operation in 1956. Since then, Revell Germany has been known as the European leader in plastic model kits as well as paints, tools and accessories. In 2008, the "Revell Control" line of radio controlled vehicles was introduced and successfully gained a strong position in the European toy market. In 2011, Revell introduced the award-winning Orbis children's airbrush system.
"Hobbico's acquisition of Revell Germany creates an enormous opportunity for our company and our employees", said Hans Remfert, President of Revell Germany. "With the support of Hobbico as a strong parent company, we have a great opportunity to expand our entry into the RC hobby segment of the European market. Hobbico has experience and know-how in this area as well as a strong assortment of product with worldwide recognition which we will integrate according to the European market conditions."
"We are pleased to reunite the Revell brand under one owner," said Wayne Hemming, President of Hobbico. "Now, Revell can proceed with a worldwide strategy for growth of the core plastic model business."
Hobbico was started in 1986 through the combination of Tower Hobbies and Great Planes Model Distributors, founded in 1971 and 1973, respectively. In 2001, Hobbico acquired United Model, a leading hobby products distributor founded in 1959. Hobbico acquired the Revell-Monogram plastic model kit lines in 2007 and Estes-Cox in 2010. In January of this year, Hobbico announced the acquisition of three hobby R/C car brands: Axial, ARRMA and Team Durango.
For further information or graphics, contact:
Ms. Carol Pesch, Publicity Coordinator, Hobbico
Telephone (217) 398-3630 • email@example.com
Hobbico Acquires R/C Car Lines:
Axial, Team Durango & ARRMA
January 9, 2012
Hobbico, Inc. announced today that it has acquired several R/C car product lines: Axial, Team Durango and ARRMA.
Founded in 2005, Axial offers industry-leading R/C vehicles, focused on rock crawling and rock racing products. With excellent design features and a high level of detail, Axial specializes in highly realistic ready-to-run vehicles including the recently released EXO Terra Buggy and the popular Wraith Rock Racer.
Established in 2009, Team Durango is known for state-of-the-art race vehicles in 1/10 and 1/8 scale including the revolutionary and patented DEX210 2WD buggy and the fastest 4WD competition SC truck, the DESC410R. Team Durango holds world and national championship titles around the globe.
ARRMA is a new product line introduced in 2011, offering a selection of vehicles with advanced features, unique designs and parts compatibility. The Raider Buggy and Fury Short Course Truck are popular items from ARRMA. The acquisition also includes the dBoots brand of R/C tires which specialize in off-road tires for multi-surface indoor and outdoor tracks.
Hobbico is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of model hobby products, including radio controlled models, plastic model kits, rockets and other hobby products. The employee-owned company manufactures and distributes many famous hobby brands such as Duratrax, TrakPower, O'Donnell Racing Fuel, Revell, Estes, Great Planes, HeliMax, MonoKote, Real Flight, Top Flite, SuperTigre, Aquacraft, and others.
Axial will continue to operate as an independent company from its facility in Irvine, California. Team Durango and ARRMA will also continue independently from their current offices in Ashby, Leicestershire, UK. The product lines will continue to be available through a worldwide network of distributors.
"We're proud to bring these strong product lines into the Hobbico family," said Wayne Hemming, President of Hobbico. "I'm particularly happy to welcome the teams of talented professionals at Axial, Team Durango and ARRMA and look forward to the innovative products that they are developing."
"I'm excited about this new affiliation with Hobbico," said Jeff Johns, General Manager of Axial R/C Inc., "This will give Axial additional resources to continue our rapid growth."
"I look forward to working with Durango and ARRMA staff as well as those within Hobbico to continue to introduce innovative and successful products. This is an exciting step which we are sure will help take us to the next level" said Jason Dearden, Managing Director of ARRMA Durango, Ltd.
For further information or graphics, contact:
Ms. Carol Pesch, Publicity Coordinator, Hobbico
Telephone (217) 398-3630 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Jeff Johns, General Manager, Axial R/C Inc.
Telephone (949) 600-8642 • email@example.com
Mr. Jason Dearden, Managing Director, ARRMA Durango, Ltd.
Telephone (UK) 44-1530-412352 • firstname.lastname@example.org