The real big time for RC was in the mid-late 1980s... when every weekend, you'd be sure to find kiddies on the suburban courts/streets playing with their Metro Jet Hoppers... just waiting for the luckier guys to come trash them with their REAL Tamiya Frog. Oooh, maybe even Hotshot (awe!).
When the next best thing was Galaxian II on the Apple ][e... hmm
These days with PS2, xBox etc only the diehards are still in real RC. Heck, can buy RC simulators for your PC and various console games too.
Real RC need fixin' and don't have a 'reset' key.
There's still heaps of guys that muck around, usually around the large carparks (all TCs now, no more offroaders) or construction sites for the monster bashers.
But somehow I doubt if it'll ever get as popular as back 20 yrs ago.
I was one of those kids that came a long with a Fox, my mate had a
Frog and my brother as usual got lucky and got the Hotshot....
Would be awesome to see days like those again, i would love an old
buggy in working order
But to me it seems there is a bit of a resurgance around the traps, a
few people in car clubs i am in are getting into it... but as you say
maybe its more a reminecence of ones childhood or something...
Well for starters im pretty new to this so can't give you too much in
depth info on the past in my area (ACT) but I think thats what is
happening and has happened to the RC scene is very reflective of how
society and the way people interact is evolving.
Sure people aren't out on their street strapping their cars like days
of old, but enthusiasts are using tools like this website and others
like it to communicate. You don't need to have your best friend and the
rest of the kids in the street having a car to have a good time with
them. Sure the numbers of kids taking up the hobby seems on the decline
(although im told by local RC shops the invent of mini RC and 1/18th
scale has brought a lot more younger people in to the hobby) but you
can get most of what was good about 'the oldschool days' from
communities such as this ie. people to talk to about RC, build
friendship groups, discuss whats happening in the 'scene' it just
represents itself in a different way.
I think choice also has a lot to do with it, I remember when I was
younger there would be one 'must have' toy/game that everyone would
want and get and then move on, im talking go-go balls, teenage mutant
ninja turtles, garbage gang cards etc. These 'fads' although prevelant
still today seem to be moving to a younger audience and kids 'grow out'
of this phase early and go on and make their own choices about what is
'in'. Also at the peak of RC which you are talking about it was more
than likely when RC cars were the 'must have' toy, and the people
following the 'fad' joined the genuinely interested for a time period
and then moved on.
Another thing with 'toys' (sorry if people don't like me calling them
that) is that kids and teenagers need more evolution and adaption in
their products to maintain their focus on them. Lego is an excellent
example here as well, to keep the interest of buyers they have had to
go to massive lengths to by licenses from people like the NBA, NHL,
Harry Potter etc just to get kids to buy and play with the stuff and
this is generally because kids have a much shorter attention span now
because of their options. Unless the genre is constantly adapting and
evolving people get bored and move on. Im sure a lot of people who were
once into RC are moving back into it because they have the 'wow, this
has come a long way since I had an RC car' mentality, so to them it is
interesting and new all over again.
Another thing which I think is restricting people joining in to the RC
fun is cost. Cost is still up there for a lot of people and I have only
just got into RC (after thinking about it since I was about 10) because
I know I can afford it. Like was mentioned above, XBOX and PS2 sell for
about $300 (or even less) and can 'constantly evolve' by way of new
games and software so it is seen as a good long term investment. RC's
don't really have this 'parent friendly, sound financial decision' air
about them and more than likely aren't seen as a good investment by the
parents of the next potential RC generation (the people with the money).
The last point I have is about the elitest community problem which I
have dealt with a bit in the last month or so trying to get my foot in
the door and learn about this stuff. Until I found this website I found
community in my area was fairly restrictive and in my area alone there
are 3 seperate clubs with what, to a new RC fan are very daunting
rules. I can honestly say that after reading some of the rules I start
feeling inadequate for club meets and half the information to me means
nothing. I am interested in racing at a social level but the avenues to
do this all seem to be 'jump in head first and hold you own' which im
sure is intimidating to new starters. There is 'first time is free'
which is inviting but I think a 'get to know us' social day would get
more of a bite from me, knowing im not going to go into a race and piss
someone off for doing the wrong thing.
Thats it from a newbie perspective, I am going to follow up local clubs
so don't think im going to judge them on what ive read, im mearly
saying that im finding it a hard community to 'break in' to.
P.S. this is all just my experience, so don't take it as gospel
Well said matey, i dont think anyone could have said it better...
im only a young "grasshopper" as some would say.....and ive gotten in to RC due to when i got a $300 pay advance..woohoot!
i now have had over 13 different cars over one year since i
started.....i fond one of the most appealing aspects of RC is the huge
community over the net, i have NOT BOUGHT one new kit, apart from one
which was in a trade...
i allso dont like the car groups down here...they sorta donr like to
see a newbie come along, and also if you dont have top of the line car,
they literly point and laugh....
im going down to Hobart to cheack out the STMCC club, and they have a
class just for TL01's, so maybe i wont get laughed at again..!!
price is a big thing aswell, id rather pay say $14 a pair for longer
lasting tyres to bash around yard with then pay up to $70 for super
soft grippy short lasting ones..
Glad you agree with the community stuff nismo, and its not just me being oversensitive here.
The 'point and laugh' is not only what I fear from clubs but what I
have experienced when buying at model shops. I find there you deal
first hand with the hardcore enthusiast that has more carbon fibre on
his car than NASA used for their last space mission. You then ask this
guy for tg10 bits and he tries to keep a straight face.
There is a key thing mentioned in what RC/FREAK posted (he must have
posted while I was typing my essay) and that is the fact that others in
his street are purchasing cars after experiencing them first hand
(driving up and down his street).
The thing that pushed me over the edge was Final Battle in Sydney (car
show), that I was up at to see a club member that was entered. At final
battle they had about 20 electric cars running and I stood there for at
least half an hour watching them which was my first hand experience.
From this I learnt that these things were quick, there was a decent
range of aftermarket parts and there were still people racing them. If
I had not have had this first hand experience (not driving one, just
seeing it in the flesh) I doubt I would have been driven to go and
purchase one, pure and simple.
Its this 'first hand experience' that people should be able to get from
local club social days where people are invited to come and check it
out that will start getting people back into it. Guys I work with are
amazed at the community on sites like this and the complexity of this
hobby when I show them. They are all then keen to check out my car
first hand and potentially buy one based on the questions I can answer
Anyway, I have a tuned pipe to figure out now, im a sucker for upselling
I think another good question is
'if the rc scene continues as it currently is will it survive?'
I'm interested to know what the hardest part for people getting in to
the hobby was, financial, community, information.. maybe I should start
a new thread
I would be one of those that are coming back to it. HAd been wanting to for a long time (last had a Tamiya Avante about 15?? years ago. And it is amazing how the technology has changed. Tyre warmers, tyre gluers, speed meters, speed controllers with brakes in them, and computerised lap counters/race controllersand so forth, I never saw anything like this before!! Let me just say it helped influence my decision to get back in.
We used to race to a tape of Axel F and when the song finished so did the race. A colored flag of electrical tape on the antenna and a guy pushed a button on the corresponding counter for your car.
As for the money, back then I was at school and all my pocketmoney went on the R/C cars. I couldnt afford the flash Optimas, RC10s or Cats, just cheap Tamiyas for me. Funny how things dont change that much and now with a mortgage and car loan and wedding coming I still cant afford a flash car.
But to me that is not the real important thing, its more a fun and social thing.
Flash megabuck cars are great if you can get one, but these are the cars that pretty much destroyed the club I raced my buggy with... It started out pretty much being a "race what you brung" scene but then it became cheque book racing and whoever had the latest and greatest won. It took the fun out of it.
as for the local ep club, the stmcc, I rolled up there 2 meets ago, and stood around watching. A couple of older members started to talk to me and I asked a few questions,, watched some races, went got the mrs, came and watched some more then begged her to let me get one
They were friendly and helpful, I didnt feel like they didnt want to know me. There was even a few people from the old buggy club there
I went along to the next meet and they even let me go in a race with the club car, a beaten old TL01 that was slooooooooooooow, but they let me do it so i could try it out, which was nice
I think both times I was there, the class with the most participants was TL01
Little off topic but I notice in your sig you drive a MY99 WRX. Exactly 13 months ago I parted with mine (Silver MY99 WRX)- have been driving a 2000 Honda Civic ever since. Have to say it was a lot of fun, but I now have aHonda and ahouse renovation about to start so it was probably a fair swap.... I always get to drive the family4wd when the Honda gets to me....
looks like ill fit right right in the TL01 class then....
i guess it will be down to driving skill for them......
also i find alot of LHS are pushy towards what you get!!, like i need
some dogbones a while ago..they said i HAD TO HAVE tamiya replacements,
so i asked him if i could see the dogbones.....had a look at the one i
took, matched em up and walked out with solid steel non tamiya bones
also ive heard alot off bullsh!t from LHS owners...., i once heard him
say that a stock TL01 will reach speeds of up to 50km/h , this i know
is NOT true, id be lucky to be pushing 55k's with a 16x2t motor....
what ever happened to too just meeting up with some mates and having a bash at a carpark, ?????.
The only racing here in perth is either miles south or north of here. (perth) A current hobby shop here (which will remain nameless) is in the process of setting up a offroad, onroad, monster truck climbing and slot car track here in bibra lake which is like 10 minutes away from where i live.
I'm sure rc's will take off when the track is completed. work on the track is slow and council approval for nitros has not been granted yet which is odd considering the area the track is located is a industrial area.
Honestly... if anybody really wants a track in their area, one should find out who else is interested in the area then band together to start a petition.
Get enough signatures and then make an application to the local council for funding or support- usually they'll be interested in promoting social activities like this.
Their support could come in the form of giving permission to use some council turf to build your track, or even contributing a few $$ towards the construction if you're really really lucky (haha, maybe tie in with local councillor elections or something).
Yes, you'll have to contribute a lot of blood/sweat/tears/$$ to get it into motion - keep dreaming if you think it all comes free. Then AFTER its built, you'll also have to administer the venue... who's gunna run it, clean it, keep it maintained etc.
Do you want it hard enough?? Are you up to the task?
Well, it can be done, its not impossible.
what ever happened to too just meeting up with some mates and having a bash at a carpark, ?????.
Depending on how deep your mates' pockets are, running with friends can be more expensive than racing modifieds... that 'friendly' race is true "no rules" racing.
Imagine... one week you beat them, next week they come back with a hotter motor, you counter with a 7-cell battery, they return with bigger wheels or higher gearing, then even higher voltage batteries, even crazier motors etc etc.