The RC Racing Market Is Broken – And it’s my fault…

Over the past few years, I have realised more and more that something is wrong with this market. The market for racing cars, and more precisely 1:8th scale offroad buggies is really quite small. It is a worldwide market, but it is a niche within a niche. As much as I want to see RC Racing grow and the products improve, it’s not going to happen as long as two things keep happening. Due to too many brands, leading to a fragmentation of the already small market, no one gets enough of a share. Brands tend to sponsor everyone and anyone. Hey I want to start racing RC cars, sponsor me. Ok you’re on the team. It’s the only way to get a market share it seems. It’s killing hobby shops, and along with that tracks. Basically we are killing our own hobby. The other thing, the race to the bottom, lower and lower prices in an attempt to sell. The cars are too cheap! And get this, I am doing BOTH of these things. And I fucking hate it. But I have a choice, quit, or play the game. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. The root of all these issues is the fact that the Asian manufacturers made it too easy for any idiot (including me) to make their own brand. So a lot of people did, instead of supporting the already existing ones. Here I take a look at the brands in the market at the moment as far as 1:8th scale buggies are concerned, and give my opinion on if they are good for RC or bad. Remember that this is my opinion right now. As with everything in life, including opinions (although some people haven’t learned this), these are flexible, and as time goes on, brands can change their strategy, or create one, and as such their status may change. So just because I think your favourite brand has a negative impact, it doesn’t mean it will be that way forever.



Let’s start with an easy one. One of the pioneers of the modern 1:8th scale buggy. They have more championships than anyone, and a benchmark when it comes to 1:8th scale buggy performance, at least when it comes to handling. Kanai loves Ferrari’s and I think it was Neobuggy that called Kyosho the Ferrari F1 Team of RC. I can see that.

Net effect: Positive


2. Mugen

Still warming up here, going for a slow ball, Mugen. Quality, prestige, similar to Kyosho, but less successful. The benchmark when it comes to balls. The rival to Kyosho, the much needed 2nd option. Mugen is very focused, a racing brand with racing cars. I like it. They are clearly into RC because they love racing. Quality products and a long history. If there is something negative to say about Mugen, it is the role they play in the destruction of the market, offering team deals to anyone with a pulse, at least in America. HOWEVER, I believe Mugen to be a victim of the market, and I doubt they would do this if they didn’t feel like they have to. More about that later.

Net effect: Positive


3. Xray

Xray have done something incredible, built up an empire in RC from scratch. Not only do they have a competitive 1:8th scale chassis, they have tracks and manufacturing facilities in Europe. They support races and race series, and are heavily invested in the sport. A no brainer.

Net effect: Positive


4. TLR

A powerhouse, big backing, big team of racers, supporting race series and races, their “own platform” as far as their car goes. Even though pretty much no one from the old “Losi” is there, (maybe Todd Hodge?), it’s still a classic brand and definitely part of RC history. Also, when they first entered 1:8th, they did so with a bang, changing the game.

Net effect: Positive


5. Associated

It’s really hard to separate 1:8th scale from Team Associated as a whole. I have great respect for the brand and their accomplishments, it’s absolutely incredible how many WC they have in electric, and what a big impact they have had on our sport. But purely looking at 1:8th, it’s a complete mess. Basically they just copied a Mugen (even people within the company say so themselves). Not a fan. With all the resources they have they made two cars that they ended up scrapping because they didn’t get them to work. I just don’t get it. I don’t. I just feel like if you aren’t interested enough to make an effort, then stick to electric. At least now they have Dan Hissam doing the 1:8th scale program, so maybe they will take it seriously.

Net effect: Undecided


6. HB Racing

Even though they stole my name (I’m joking, you will have plenty to be mad about later, relax), HB is a good one. It seemed like it started off as a rich man’s hobby, spending money with very little effort being placed on recouping it. Well at some point that had to get old. Now with new ownership the powerhouse team will continue, but more emphasis will be on sales too. That’s bad for me, and others of course, but when you take a look at results, and notice that HB are double world champions, and you see that they employ two of the worlds best drivers, you can see that they have a place in this sport. The car is it’s own car itself too, and is being developed by an accomplished designer and feedback from two of the worlds best drivers.

Net effect: Positive


7. Serpent

There’s no easy or polite way to say this, so I will just say it. I think they should have stuck to on road. Serpent in on road is legendary. Top class, champions, innovation, I feel like if they aren’t going to bring that to off road, what’s the point? Where is the value to the industry in having Serpent making off road cars? I don’t see it in anything they do for off road.

Net effect: Negative


8. Shepherd

Let’s just put this one here. Stick to on road. Why? Why release a Team C as a Shepherd? No one cares because there is nothing to care about.

Net effect: Negative


9. Team C

Since we are on the subject, Team C. Let’s make a generic car, and sell it cheaper than everyone else. Ok that will definitely be a valuable addition to the market.

Net effect: Negative


10. Agama

Let’s get back on track here. I feel like Agama would be in the same boat with Team C if it wasn’t for Nemo Racing. Does anyone care about Agama? No. Do people care about Nemo? Yes. That’s the feeling I get. Maybe there is a country somewhere where Agama is a big name on it’s own, I’m sorry but I haven’t noticed it in that case. As for Nemo, they seem to be one of the pioneers of everyone’s a team driver here in Europe. You want to race cars, ok here’s your discount, on everything! Hey, more power to them, if it is working out. I don’t know the truth, I don’t know if it’s a profitable business, or if it is a tax write off for the main business, I don’t know if they are clever business men or just out to have a good time racing. But there are a lot of Agama cars in the countries they are active in, and they take their support seriously, for anyone and everyone running with their products. So for their competition, be it other brands, or hobby shops they are negative, but for racers they are positive. A bit of a mixed bag, so I will go for:

Agama: Negative

Nemo Racing: Positive

11. Tekno

Even though after my messy divorce with Ilias last year (I still love you why did you block me everywhere), and them hiring said divorcee, I have to attempt to look at Tekno as objectively as I can. I think Tekno is very much in the same boat with me. From what I have heard they have had a tad more money backing their efforts, but the core of their operation, their function and their place in RC is very similar. They are doing their thing, they love what they do, and they want everyone around them to enjoy themselves too. They are the little guy who have made the journey from making conversion kits, to making cars now, a sit down and take notice sort of brand. And there is nothing wrong with that. They go their own way as far as design is concerned, they got it right with the truggy, not quite so with the buggy. One day they undoubtedly will….even though they are super ugly. (Had to squeeze something negative in there)

Net effect: Neg…Positive


12. SWorkz

If there were only 5 brands in the market, fine, add SWorkz. But there aren’t just 5 brands, there are at least 34. That’s how many I remembered. So I’m sorry but releasing a bad copy of an existing car, anodising parts differently, paying some driver to race it, not giving anyone any reason to truly care for the brand, it just doesn’t cut it. You are just taking a slice of an already saturated market, and that slice isn’t even big enough to justify your own work. So why bother?

Net effect: Negative



When it was made in Italy, and when it was the best car on European tracks (RS03). Oh my was that car good! Back then it had a point. It had a place. Now? Meeeehhhh. Ok for Italians yes, keep it up. But the shine has gone. Because of how good it used to be, I will give Radiosistemi the benefit of the doubt.

Net effect: Undecided


14. Durango

Serious About RTRs.

Net effect: Irrelevant

15. Hong Nor & Hobao, Ishima, O’Donnell, Bergonzoni, Sportwerks, Piktor, OCM, RB, LRP, Nanda, Tamiya, CEN


16. SOAR, Intech, Ming Yang, Pro Speed Optima, SH, Caster.

Along with the other negatives on the list, this is what I think. Since they aren’t adding value to the 1:8th offroad scene, with innovation, employment for drivers, support for multiple races and race series, advice and informative material, introducing new people to the industry, or in some other way increasing the enjoyment to people in general,  I don’t see a point to their existence. They most likely aren’t making enough sales to make it worthwhile to be in 1:8th off road even for themselves. Instead create more and ever increasing lower level team drivers, and stealing away dealers/distributors and customers from the rest. This is unsustainable.


17. JQRacing

Based on the above, I should pack up, I am just another small brand, taking away dealers, sponsoring everyone, and at times selling at low prices. But it’s not because I want to, it’s because I would have been out of business already, if I didn’t! I don’t want to do it this way.

I won’t quit because I have a vision and a goal that I am working towards and if I succeed I believe it will leave a positive mark on 1:8th scale off road racing. I want to develop the best car, and create the most professional and successful race team. I want to have at least one big outside sponsor, I want to create cool, creative and informative video content, I want to support JQ Racers better than any other company out there. I want to create more opportunities for kids who truly want to race RC cars to learn, improve and get to travel the world in this fun sport, while at the same time acquiring experiences that will help them in later life.

My setup advice content, be it blog posts or videos are already viewed by tens of thousands of people, most of whom don’t run my car. I have been thanked numerous times for the easy to understand and helpful style of advice. I keep being asked questions about setup on FB, and I reply, but the funny thing is the people asking are often running other brand cars. I have begun asking, why don’t you ask the brand you are running? It seems like I am at least adding some value already, even though my true goals are still far from achieved. It pisses me off when some no name no vision brand comes in, sponsors some no name drivers who used to buy their cars from the local hobby shop, they mess around for a while, not adding any value whatsoever, then then quit, only for the next no name brand to replace them. I wish more people and dealers would stick to supporting the brands that add value.

I challenge every brand to think of a way they can add value to 1:8th scale buggy racing, and if they can’t, maybe do something else.


Net effect: You decide

59 thoughts on “The RC Racing Market Is Broken – And it’s my fault…

  1. Roy says:

    i am a fan of 1/8 scale racing ..i wanted to have one that will satisfy me to be able to be as close as the Pro drivers..but all those nice racing buggies are way too expensive ..and here comes the Generics,which has the almost the same specs. of a racing quality for a lot less price, I cannot afford a competition brand that starts from- $600 excluding the heart of engine / no tuned pipes / no wheels and to complete it will cost me another $600,so the competition are the cheap version of it just to enjoy the hobby,it has the same features but in a lower end..hey ! i’m not into Pro racing anyway..i just want something similar. Your JQ the Car is good deal for the price of it..but still there is another one that drops another hundred bucks to have a racing kind 1/8 scale…i settle for it coz i’m not a Pro driver..
    More power to JQ products !

    • Diego VV says:

      It may sound hard but…I you can not spend 600 $ in a car, probably you can not afford racing rc cars. I run 1/8 on road because i can not afford full scale racing and I don’t blame on Porsche because they don’t have popular prices and they don’t support me. Things cost what they cost. An rc car (put here also engine, radio, etc…) is a precission made machine, made with the best available materials, with long hours of design and test behind…and you are expecting get it for 300$. …whh not 150? That’s simply unsustainable.

      Too many brands, too many different scales and categories and few and poorer racers….that’s a petfect mix for the disaster.

  2. Darren Parker says:

    i totally disagree on all levels. all makes, all companies have an equal right to make and produce what they see fit. its down to the buyer to decide what they race/buy/like.
    \its not for any manufacturer to decide what is right or wrong on the race or club or basher scene. Everyone has the same rights to produce and sell.
    I feel that the best will be at the top. the rest will just manage and the crap will fail.
    simple economics, quality and customer service.
    simple. my opinion only…………………………… out.

    • jqproducts says:

      No one is saying they don’t have a right to produce and sell. I am saying that certain brands add no value, and help destroy the market.

      • kenmtb says:

        Not entirely true. Some people will turn to used products before buying new. Cost is what keeps the sport from growing. You will be hard pressed to find someone with a family that can throw down $600 just on a car. These folks will either stick with bashing or quit racing. If cost is too high, then people will stay away. BTW why would someone pay an overly bloated price for a pair of little plastic arms. Does it really cost 20$+ to make them?

      • jqproducts says:

        Does it cost $1000 to make an iPhone?

      • Ed O says:

        I love this… I don’t think people know the true cost of manufacturing. No, the arms do not cost $20 to make, but do you have any idea of what the mold costs? 10’s of thousand depending on the size and quality. Then you have to account for research and development for the initial product, the rollover that goes into future research and development, and then finally some profit so the guy can make a living.

        There is a boat load of cash sitting in just the molds, making parts for a car in a niche market. If he were making 50,000 sets of arms a month, that would drive the price of the parts down. Conversely, if he were making 50,000 sets of arms a month, that would because they are too easy to break… and then we’d hear whining about that. Pick your poison.

  3. Stewy Black says:

    Some fine points made Joseph, our sport IS dying in 1/8, so is club numbers, Yes it is Sponsor related for sure!! Putting local hobby shops on the back foot, forcing them to carry the cheaper brands, as they cant afford to hold stock that Wont sell. Yes I am contributing to the problem myself as I am sponsored, for tyres, fuel, and engines, you are correct in saying- its NOT a full sponsorship, as I PAY!! Its a win win for the average joe, but the local hobby shop still needs to see you Every month. Just like myself, there would be PLENTY who are in the same boat, however I DO support our local shops too, sharing my hard earned money with them ALL. Its a pity more don’t do the same here in AU. Keep your good work going JQ, your reviews, setup’s, and advice are the CLEAREST going to date. In South Australia your product has come along way at our club, I would say for that exact reason- Parts available, advice right there, and car that performs- Well done ! See you in 2018 for the Worlds 🙂

    • Ed O says:

      I don’t really think it’s the sponsored drivers. Well, maybe a little… but ultimately it’s because of huge online distributors. I’ll use Horizon Hobby as an example. A good friend of mine owns a hobby shop. Horizon is a distributor, but they also sell direct. Hobby shops are often competing with their own distributor. Horizon will offer free shipping and the customer pays no sales tax. So here in my state in the US, the customer saves over 7% by shopping online.

      In another example, Horizon had a deal on a radial airplane engine. They offered for a limited time a $500 coupon to customers which brought the cost below what dealer cost was. Dealers were ineligible to any additional discounts, despite the customer being able to get it at a price better than he could.

      Let’s talk Amain Hobbies. Another distributor who also competes with its dealers. No sales tax to its customers…. has every part in production. How is any hobby shop supposed to compete with that? They operate under the guise that they are doing their part to preserve the market by only opening dealer account for brick and motor store, which is really a joke because they only want to preserve their own business. They operate a single store (to say they follow their own rules) but 99.9% of their business in through their online shop. Joke. This leads to my final reason….

      There are too many SKUs out there. No hobby shop can carry everything, and the first time a customer walks in and can’t get the part they need, they go right to the internet. Never wanting to waste his time driving to the store to find out that they only have 5 out of the 10 parts he needs, he’ll just order all 10 parts from the same place online. I ran into this myself. I tried to support my local 1/10 track the best I could. During race day I broke a part and went to the shop at the track to buy it.. didn’t have it. So now I’m out race fees and burned a day. So now I bring 3 of those parts so I never have to waste money after a crash-out, which I bought online because he didn’t have them. Now I have so many parts in my bag I’ll never have to buy from the track again. It’s a compounding issue. It takes a ton of capital to run a successful store/track….. and most don’t have it.

  4. Jim Hess says:

    I think this is a great article. You bring up many good points . However, I think at least some of the companies you mentioned do bring positives to the table. I thought the SH buggies were very unique and innovative. I’m very sorry that they did not take off in the U.S. the main problem was an underfunded distributor and a crappy team here. I thought they had sommthing truly unique. Anytime someone lays it out there with their own true design I feel it’s a good thing. They had their own cars, tires, and they produced their own engines. As well as most everyone else else’s engines. I just appreciate what they did. They tried and failed miserably. That is sad in my opinion. Just my two cents though. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your commentary.

  5. Jukka Vatanen says:

    lot of what you say is true, but the perspective is not. You leave out 2 main factors: internet and the vast and all conquering desire of the far east players to fill the world with stuff they think is good, but not good enough. 2 of the leading brands are Japanese a d based on quality. that is what YOU should strive forward too. Get a general manager to run the business and concentrate on the car and developing it and the team yourself. Two world class drivers to help you . that is the TEAM…All others pay money-real money, for a product that is as good as Kyosho/Mugen

    • jqproducts says:

      That’s not true. I think your perspective is wrong. There are other cars on the market too with equal quality. In the past, yes this was true, not anymore. Yes that is what I am striving for, it’s not like I haven’t said it a million times. Get a general manager, please show me where I can just get one. Thanks

      • Jukka Vatanen says:

        I would love the job, because i am a finn, and surely have the experience. but sadly too old…You have to find someone that likes RACING, loves to be in races, has the connections..Also knows difference of “interesting” versus bullshit…

  6. Wong says:

    Hi JQ,
    I understood you said you hate copy….copy…..copy….
    But can you explain why the front Ç-hub, knuckle and rear hub of JQ TheCar are soooooooooooooo similar to MP9?

    • jqproducts says:

      Yes I can. It’s a good c hub design, that’s why it is very similar. Don’t worry, it’s not the same, it’s similar. And as time goes on the car will drift further from it’s influences. It would be irrational to expect to make something very different to all the other cars and expect it to be better immediately. Developing a great car takes time, and when you rely on sales of that product you can’t take too big risks as you find your way. Be patient.

  7. jqproducts says:

    Oh, and the two world class drivers too. Thanks

  8. Nigel says:

    In the RIP box you forgot LARO and TAG, brands in the 1990 that were doing well in Europe. LARO even won the 1998 ROAR Nats in the hands of Derek Furutani.
    I am with you in what you say and it can be said for all sizes and formats of RC racing. Be it 1/8 or 1/10th on- or offroad. Brands are fighting over market share and by doing so are killing themselves while they are at it.
    If people like Darren think this is good, they don’t see the bigger, long term picture. As in the end it’s the consumer that pays for this with products that are outdated quickly and become obsolete due to the lack of spare parts. As a result these owners will get pi§§ed of at the hobby/sport and leave altogether. Thus hurting the producers of the quality products that are in the game to develop the sport and inovate.

  9. Aaron Bullock says:

    AE might have better’d the Mugen design with a few tweaks, or by applying top shelf drivers, but apparently couldn’t duplicate the quality. Got V2 diffs?

  10. Jaap D says:

    About Xray:
    The factory is paid by the European Union in 2005. They don’t have any financial pressure to perform and they don’t have to be price-competative. They can invest in models and innovation without any boundries…

    ” XRAY products and strategy have gained the faith and trust not only of customers, but also of the government of the European Union. XRAY has applied for co-financing of the new XRAY Millenium RC Factory thanks its huge contribution to the industry, and its proven track record of extensive engineering excellence, know-how, and professional dedication. ”

  11. Stephane says:

    I’m 46 years old and drive 1/8 buggy since 37 years, yes, I’m a dinosaur !!!
    For me, the RC is a leisure but , since 6 years, I’m the owner of a small online shop in France.
    I created this shop to give an alternative for the leisure and racing drivers who dont want or cant put all their money in this hobby.
    For me this is a secondary activity because I understood since a long time that it’s difficult to become rich with this hobby.
    I understand that the price of car kits are justified by the R&D, etc… but since few years, the prices of lot of kit cars are more and more expensive and lot of driver chooses another hobby for this reason.
    I knew the conditions and prices of the big brands and distributors, a reason why I decided to works directly with small brands…
    I think the small brands with not lot of R&D and a low prices have their place in this market because the drivers who buy it will not buy the too expensive cars.
    I’ve worked with INTECH, works now with Global Hobbies ( PROSPEED, JS engine, K-II tires ), WEIKEN, WFLY, etc… and maybe with Ming Yang in near future.
    I had few deceptions but good surprises too and I can say you that some companies or guys are profesionals and have a real passion for this hobby.
    Since a long time, we asked at Taïwanese and Chinese nanucfacturers to produce our products, it’s natural that some of it think they can have their own brand.
    Nobody is shocked if five engine brands manufactured by one italian company with practically the same specifications but big difference prices come on market but this is a problem for the cars from Asia, I don’t understand !
    I think all brands have a place with different levels for different levels of customers.
    The prices of the big brands become too expensive even if it’s justified by the R&D, there is too much intermediaries before end users.
    Some brands forget the shops and sell directly at the drivers and accept a sponsorship with everybody but lot of these drivers are not good, just “parasites”.
    For all these reasons, I will continue to work with these “unsustainable” brands and help regional drivers and enthusiast guys and manufacturers…even I’m agree with you on some points.
    About THE CAR, when I heard that you work on your own car, I thought you was crazy and when this car was on the way for the market, it was the confirmation that you are crazy but you are here yet and that’s great !!!
    By the way, you should try the K-II tires from Global Hobbies … this is the best “unsustainable” tires 😉

  12. The hobby is dying for 3 reasons.
    1. The ‘hobby’ is focused on selling the newest item to hoarders as fast as they can, instead of focusing on competition racing of toy cars.
    2. The only thing beginner friendly in the hobby is Traxxas, everything else (racers, companies, prices, speeds of cars, etc) hurts new people (especially kids) from entering the hobby.
    3. Owning a track does not make enough money for the owner to buy his family a nice house, a nice car, take his family on vacations, or send his children to college.

    • jqproducts says:

      Pretty much agree with 1 and 2. Number 3 is solved as it is in Europe. Tracks aren’t for profit. BUT, in Europe we do have the problem of lack of permanent indoor facilities.

      • Mark Westerfield says:

        Indoor tracks do not have the visibility or appeal of outdoor tracks, which brings in less new racers.

  13. ted says:

    Ultimately jq cars are total lemons which is why you have to give them away, Winning world championships means nothing. S works yes a poor copy… soar yep why bother.. just like jq in my opinion

  14. Alex says:

    You obviously know 1/8th inside out and I can see the same in 1/10th off road. I see so many people being sponsored by the same uk manufacturer in 1/10th (you can guess which one) its got to be bad for uk shops, I know of atleast 3 that have shut in the last 5 years, it doesn’t help they release option parts every 30 seconds and the actual top guys all have different spec cars. It’s totally wrong if you ask me, make a car, race it for a year, develop it into the next car behind closed doors and release it the next year. On the other hand if the original design was the bj4, I think it’s about I time to go back to the drawing board

  15. Robert Tannenbaum says:

    Enjoyed the truth an your opinion on the 1/8 world how you see it an its true the 1/8 class is being degraded an it seems people rather run junk an call it racing an you are very out spoken an i can an have to respect that you keep it going an maybe you should start charging for the information you give to people it might work an you can see where you stand cause most bashers&racers are not loyal to nothing but price an the cheaper it can be found thats what they use however im know pro but i run os motors only an futaba remote an servos this is what i choose an i run tki3 kyosho

  16. Nicolas says:

    The thing is you think like a competitor, you think if a car is great and innovative, won championnship and it will get massive sellings. You complains about copy, and regional competitor asks for sponsorship, and think it kills local dealer and whole industries.
    1. If you think about full scale, Renault make competition in formula one for their image to sell more clio, no to sell formula one chassis.
    2. Rc hobby to get more popular need to have a good media coverage. I don’t know how many rc car were sell due to inspector harry rc scene, but for sure more than any ifmar tittle.
    Rc media coverage is on you tube (race video are nice, but not professionnal filming with multi camera) and on internet (forum) not in any popular media like press or tv.
    3. If you think about the cost to practice rc compare to popular sport like tennis or football, it is an issue. For practicing electric, you needs to invest 1000 eu, average month salaries in France is 1600 eu. Cost should be an issue for big potential market like china.
    4. Local dealer, since rc maket concerns 10 to 45 year old people, it is the internet generation, so people buy on internet and get advice on forum.
    5.infrastructure: here in France, most of track are in countryside, not accessible by metro train or bus for younger people.
    6. Competition, I think it will be important to make a distinction between professionnal and amator driver (like in full scale) Pro are paid for race, am pay for race. You can not let racing pro and am together, because at one moment am will be fed up to get 1 lap by the pro, not get his cup at the end of the week end.
    7. Innovation is great for image, but if manufacturer make a new car each year, at one momenr competitor could be fed up to buy a new car each year.

    I was racing in electric in nineties, I have been working as an engineer in full scale single seater manufacturer for 6 years. My though is competition is a confidential and thiny market by itself, competition to get image and sell ‘leisure’ market could be a normal market.

    • Miguel Spain says:

      2. It’s true. YouTube is full of home made videos. It seems a seedy hobby.
      3. Sure. I just buy by internet.
      6. (My friend, in the downtown is not possible to place an Off-Road track)
      6. THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT. People like me (forty-something) would like to attend races, but even in the smallest village championship you may see pro drivers sponsored… In terms of business this a stupid strategy because my generation is able to spend more money, instead of this the brands force to us to drive alone in Sunday morning… the results is clear, few time later, we prefer to play paddle leaving the RC.

  17. Rob Pom says:

    This hobby is dying because of one reason only big fat “greed” simple as……

    How about creating a $600 kit with only a 10/15% profit margin, not 50%+.

    Its always interesting to see the true value of a kit when they need to move old stock. don’t forget these dealers are still making a profit selling them at half price.

    Where has all the innovation gone, everyone complains innovation is about time and money, but the true problem is everyone is greedy for profit simple as.
    Everyone complains about copying the other’s, when actually it the lack of imagination and innovation that creates this. why not over step the norm, ‘create” because that’s all it takes.
    If all the kit companies were not focused on the profit and only focused on the innovation we might actually see some amazing but different 1/8 scale buggies.
    The norm is boring and as consumers we have no choice but to buy in, because we have nothing else.
    Not one of the buggy companies listed above have anything new to bring, they all just want a piece of the cake(profit). let hope China doesn’t figure out they are already producing the quality we want.

    • Luis Freitas says:

      You are absolutly erong and you don’t know anything about RC business. Maybe in Neverland the manufacturers or the distributors or even the retail shops can make 50%profit. No my friend never. Actually to sell a buggy with 15% profit is a big business. When we sold out old unities we make low price, usually less 20, 30% than the original price. Yes, it’s true. But is only to make some money and do not loose everything, because nobody buys old models. So please don’t say things you don’t know anything about.

  18. Larry says:

    I think jq is doing a great job , they support there racers , they give you parts that you can try and make the car better. They are an under dog to other manufacturers, the problem isn’t the car , the problem is there different , people don’t like different , it’s in life in general , if your different you don’t get the respect . Jq is a dream that someone has of trying to build a car that works for you, the club racer, the local racer . I say don’t give up jq , keep trying

  19. Tony Evdoka says:

    Joseph – I love the way you are so outspoken – many are not. BUT……When you are in the UK – come over with Jess for lunch at my place (you’ve been here before). Then I will take you to the local track so you can use my SRX8 Serpent – You can then revise your opinion with your according apologies – Love you lots, Tony Evdoka

    • jqproducts says:

      I didn’t say anything about the performance of the car itself, the new one looks pretty standard, should be ok. It’s more the other stuff they clearly have in on road that they haven’t applied to offroad. The passion isn’t there.

  20. Troy Gutterridge says:

    JQ Keep up the fight and do not stop speaking your mind. You are so correct about the hobby and what is occurring. Like wise others in this thread are correct also. Everyone is looking to make a profit and by a house and car in short order from this hobby. People sponsor everyone, and that removes profit from the hobby shops.

    I think if the manufactures would put all their sponsorship money’s towards working with Parks departments to build racing facilities, it would better serve the hobby. Right now they are asking top dollar for products that require you to travel vast distances to race. Not everyone is going to travel. If you had more tracks supported by parks departments and places to race, or just drive, you would increase the amount of people that can participate.

    The rock crawlers and Traxxas have figured this out, and hence have a great setting within the industry. They promote bashing and specialized driving that do not require facilities. If manufactures could pull together and work with government organizations to develop places to drive, it would help the hobby, hobby shops, and the industry. Loose the club racing, and you loose your hobby.

  21. Robert Thomas Lee says:

    Your company is new and I ahve been talking to my local hobby shops about putting your product in their stores to let people see and know what a good brand and a tank of a car you make it love my JQ 8 scale and would not trade it for any other brands which I have had the opportunity to have a lot of them over the 10 years I’ve been racing some good some not I agreeon alot of what your saying and I’m saying to you keep up the great work

  22. I love my JQ Ebuggy wouldn’t trade her for any other brands out their and Inot my 10 years of racing iv had a lot of the popular brands I have not this kind of innovation in a rc car in a long time simple but yet effective great platform awsome race car iv been trying to get local hobby shops to get your products out there to the people that would love your product me being one of the many iv since I’ve had my JQ 8th scale iv been telling all my racing buddies about it and let them put it to the test against their brand and it definitely got them thinking JQ before they were like who and what is Jq products now they know and it puts a smile on my face Keppra up the great work on your awsome products and thanks for a great car

  23. Drago Lackovic says:

    JQ thanks for your view of the 1/8 offroad RC market.

    I share a lot of your views, but would like to point out that Tekno (although their 48.3 buggy is geometry vise a little bit off) is currently the only 1/8 offroad company trying really new things.
    Also as a byproduct of my business I visited few RC producers (part factories) in China and can say that they have great idea’s and know-how but unfortunately the economy (lack of volume) makes RC unattractive to try new ideas. So when talking with your suppliers ask them if they have ideas what to improve/change on the parts they make for you.

    Finally my thought on JQ is that racing part of your businesses is just fine, maybe invest in new sales web page that will combine in one place all of your current content (quagrane, stories, guides, setup sheets, etc..).
    Where you are currently lacking is club level racers since most of them run electric (more convenient, can race as one man team) and you release electric versions with huge delay (i know there is a conversion kit but that add XXX USD/EUR to the total price). So please release nitro/electric versions at the same time.

  24. jeff says:

    You should start. JQ “The Magazine”

  25. Luis says:

    Sup Joseph, very good reading material. I think you’re right in a lot of ways. But my view on sponsored drivers is as follows: Sponsored drivers are good for the business only if they become good brand embassadors and support the local hobby shop or distributor that sells your product. You dont so anything by sponsoring a driver that sits by himself and wins races. A sponsored driver can be really good for the local hobby shop if he or she sits down with the track and hobby shop owner and plan out ways to get people in the hobby. A sponsored driver has a job to do, and its not only to win races.

    Also, a brand is only as good as the local distributor. If your distributor is a total asshole, your product wont have the right image. if youre distributor sells 5 o 6 brands, then he will only focus on that one that gives him more return on his investment.

    The problem with the hobby is that track owners and hobby shop owners arent making money. So there is not enough room for advertisement, and after almost 50 years of offroad racing, People still dont know this amazing sport exists.

    Also, the whole “sponsored driver” thing is being poorly handled. If you become a sponsored driver lets say for Kyosho… This person SHOULD NOT buy directly from kyosho. Kyosho shouls give the local hobby shop an allowence to support the local sponsored driver, and the hobby shop should report to head quarters the ins and outs of that specific driver. A Sponsored driver should be an extension of the local reseller or dist.

    As for the brands, too many yes, but people will buy whatever the reseller offers. So again with my first point, a brand is as good as its local distributor or reseller. Thanks

    • Roman Michael Evans says:

      Now I like what he said about Sponsored drivers and that’s why now I feel like I have a good team cause I didn’t go after the best drivers I went after salesman that drive. Makes more since!

  26. Janos Nagy says:

    Good worlds m8!Finally someone telling the true.Well done !

  27. Sergio says:

    You still forgot Hobbytech (alive) and some others already dead.

  28. Roman Michael Evans says:

    Wow, most of this very true so I guess I can vent a little of my frustration since I have been in the hobby for over twenty years. Now not going to call the company out on this page but here we go. If your a rc manufacturer of a product and already don’t stock enough and I mean crap for over two months I have been trying to get a certain model of something why on earth would you make a nobody a dealer of your product. I mean a man with no business background in the sport. His RC experience is less than a year and half and you make him a dealer of your product that you never have enough stock of. Heck I have 3000 dollars to spend because people need a certain product so I have to go spend it with a competitor because your always out of stock. Now you lost that 3000 plus wait a minute oh yeah you made a nobody a dealer of a product that you never have any stock of. Now that makes since. Now on top of that if I mentioned who it was then everyone would be blowing up your phone saying can you make me a dealer to because you made him a dealer and he is a nobody. Damn is this business hurting so bad that we now want to ruin our reputation to have someone that doesn’t have any product knowledge. On top of that you sponsor everyone and maybe even their grandmothers. I don’t even see your product in shops anymore and your so well know but again I can’t spend my money with you cause you never have anything. Results is how much longer can you last and all your doing is forcing me to carry other product and move your customer base to other product which is fine. I am a salesman and that’s my job.

  29. James says:

    I started Rc 1/8 scale racing with nitro erevo. Some argue it’s not 1/8 but 1/10 which it’s sold as. Regardless the suspension on it is revolutionary. Instead of using A frame they “invented” the rockers that allow springs to be mounted horizontally. With lots of adjustments and 3 sets of rocker arms ( progressive 1 , 2, long travel) I quickly realized I have something here. I started experimenting with different setup ups. Some setups, shock travel, oil weight, I was able to keep up with kyosho and Mugen. So I’m curious were e revo/revo fits in with 1/8th racers? It was until I bought a ZD Racing ERB-1 electric true 1/8th scale race buggy for $80 with a broken wheel hub in the front. I later found out the company no longer makes parts and it seems zd Racing no longer exists but still there’s new cheap cars being sold. If anyone knows the story behind zd Racing I would be interested to know. After long research into 1/8th scale cars I found most brands share same chassis and almost all parts are interchangeable between different brands. So I bought a hub from the exceed brand oddly enough it was the same wheel hub and then looking a bought from another cheep brand and it was also the same. I installed it, bought Racing proline tires installed a hobbywing rx8 plus with a hobbywing sensored motor with a 4s battery , And I made corners and jump landing just as good as the expensive brand 1/8th cars. It’s been a year and I had rough landings and flips, and have not had to replace any parts yet. So why sell the cars for $1000 when you can go cheaper with same parts?

  30. […] 3rd Place – The RC Racing Market is Broken and it’s my Fault […]

  31. Jukka vatanen says:

    Joseph: It is now the beginnng of 2018 and you can see “RC corpses” piling around us.. Latest is Hobbico in USA. LRP, Thunder Tiger and Durango also. It is a general Up & down thing very much the normal Capitalist thing… Those that can overlive the transition period, with very tight budget and careful look at the expenses ( Drivers, traveling, returns etc.) will be the winners. not necessarily those that win races. As i am now pulling out of hobby ( Those “old school ideas DID work..) I wish you all the luck and patience… Rad.

  32. Martin Nielsen says:

    Very interesting to read your articles. I come from 5th scale and we are a niche withing a niche within etc. I think you could use us as a case study because we are not overrun by brands, people absolutely love the scale, it turns heads even on people who are not into RC.

    The initial price can be scary but you can get reasonable builds from guys like King and Yomo and there is nothing wrong with these kits they are just not up to par with Losi, Elcon, Meca etc. And used they are dirt cheap and will last you because they are build to tolerate a lot of abuse.

    But even with all this, we find it hard to attract new people. Noise issues used to be a problem in terms of tracks but we can comfortably convert to E now (which makes the price to though the roof tho compared to weedwhacker engines) as the technology is strong enough in this relatively speaking, small scale. It is not just 1/8th that has a problem. RC has a problem as more than a basher hobby which is wholly owned by Traxxas and Horizon.

    They are the only brands that actually reach into the mainstream. The ball is with them. They need to make RC a sport again but they are more interested in RTR and whatever the latest fad is. Drones and crawlers are all the rage but the new found love for all thing desert racer/Baja build has potential. The cars are cool, they are fast, they are 8 to 6th scale, they are fairly reasonably priced. I really hope these two giants pick up the ball here. The desert racers/Baja’s have a huge shot at exposing new people to RC as a whole and creating a whole new style of racing

  33. ben says:

    Its a great hobby and sport. But time flies.
    – Kids are not interested.
    – cheaper and cheaper competition.
    – expensive and hostile race tracks

    Big issue is all tracks are geared towards “RACING”. There is almost no just to play tracks, try out anything track. Unlike planes and helis, people can just go and fly, anything, without being pressured to race.

    Result, everyone one is trying to make a buck. It may look reasonable cost to start, but once started seriously, the cost is a mountain. One can’t blame the product suppliers as they need to survive, but things like tyre costs… wow (and the deliberate attempts to get you buy more tyres but certain race rules, that keeps changing to push you buy more). Time, money, ton of hardwork building and rebuilding; and get hostile companionships at races. It is a competitive game, but it needs to attract members hobbiests is a nicer way, somehow. Or else, it is cut throat to every brand.

  34. Don Smith says:

    Sorry guys, this has all been said for decades. But, we are still here racing rc cars. I’ve been racing rc cars off and on for almost 30 years. Even had a company that made oval pan cars. I’ve heard it all before. Just enjoy racing and hanging out with your friends.

  35. mike says:

    I am not sure your considering all the options.
    sure the 1/8 buggy market is crowded with quite a large lot to pick, but when was the last time you bought a car?
    sponsors may not have the best intentions, and that’s always evolving, so let time solve this, as it always has. Its sad that you consider serpent brand in such a way. They aren’t an overnight, pop up idea that floods the market with low cost goods. Serpent is a old school rc company that been around because of the efforts and quality they provide. After being out of the hobby for 20 years, i recently got back in, and, you guessed it – got a serpent buggy. associated was my fav brand for a long time, and i still think they have the drive to be a top team, but when i did my research for a 1/8 buggy, the SRX8e fit the bill quite nice. it wasn’t easy to pick, as i happen to have quite a few kyosho’s and they are still the top level for this class. serpents buggy shows all that they have learned from on-road, and follows the quality over quantity mentality. Xray is a impressive buggy, and its also worth its weight as well, but the serpent and their methods, seem to handle hits and crashes with less damage. ( to me at least )
    If you like company A over B, that’s fine, but this hobby is filled with endless choices from every corner of the world, and considering serpent has been around for quite some time, i think its safe to say, they have good intentions to stay around by producing high quality rc kits. ( even if they are overbuilt )

    want to help or save this hobby? dont say your bad, because your making X cars,
    instead, help get more tracks built. every passing day, RC tracks are disappearing, to never return. RC racing has the golden moment in time right now, and yet, not a single person or place has taken advantage of it.
    build a rc indoor OFFROAD track, and set up a full FPV experience for the general public. Sit down style type like the old arcades of the past. people want to gather and race, and a FULL FPV/wheel -gas pedal offers the best of both worlds.

    movie theaters exist because of this, even with 80+ inch TV’s at home. imagine how cool it would be to gather your friends and go racing, REAL racing at 1/8 scale……


  36. guy says:

    we all understand what you want to say, but I can not agree about the smaller brands being unnecessary and not interesting.. When I attend the race or tracks Kyosho, Mugen, Losi or associated cars don’t interest me a bit and so if they were the only ones on the market , I would quit the hobby … some small car manufacturers, like JQ, definatly have good cars and their own ideas too, and create a lot of joy with debutant and w.e. drivers, who don’t want to pay 649 euro for a chassis and even with a small brand car you can drive great…the Soar(ex-OCM) f.e. is a very good car and could have been a contender , but the ceo doesn’t want to be involve in the sales and business aso, which is necesarry…The Prospeed is a beautifull car with nice ideas in it…Many drivers in Teamc like the cars a lot and had plenty of plaisure with it..but they are stuck now as sales are insuffisant …so in the end , you get right, the small brands seem not to cope and disappear, but as I said , luckly there is Jq because the other big brands really don’t offer any excitement to me because they are Always the same during years

    • guy says:

      In fact, sales of small brands, like JQ, are insufficient , as real race drivers prefer the big brands them being more reliable as brand in their mind, and better distributed everywhere, and ofcourse offering many sponsorships, so in the end, they are the ones winning races too and people prefer to buy the so-called winners cars once more… So all comes to guys being really involved with the products, a small brand with the good people behind for years, can survive, like JQ or nemo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: