September 24, 2013

Worth the hype?

Worth the hype?

This week saw two pretty major events.  The first, the release of new software for a well-known mobile phone.  The second, the continued build up to the 2013 Electric Off-Road Worlds. OK, so those are somewhat different events, and the first likely one attracted slightly more world-wide interest than the second.  But, I believe there are actually a number of very strong comparisons we can make.  One of the big elements of the build up for the Worlds are the rumours surrounding the new 4-wheel drive cars from HB and TLR.  In a similar way to Apple’s latest Software release, all we’ve seen so far have been a few ‘teaser’ pictures, and some results from one of the cars in the hands of their expert driver.

But this week should be the time when we finally get to find out a little more about the new designs, quite probably seeing them in all their non-white bodyshell glory.  The week has been full of discussion at tracks around on the world, on social media and through the popular internet forums of what everyone “thinks they’ve heard” someone saying will be on the cars, or what they’d like to see.

Those two manufacturers have managed to create a huge level of interest in their up-coming releases, again in a similar way to Apple’s releases.  What I’m sure it will mean is drivers from across the world will be awaiting the results from the event and be scouring the internet to wait for the first site to post some pictures of the brand new chassis.  Even stalwarts of rival manufacturers will be just as eager to get the first glimpse of the car, to see perhaps if it is exciting enough for them to consider changing allegiance, or at the very least to understand the direction the ‘competition’ are going.  I’m also pretty confident it won’t just be privateer drivers keen to see the latest releases – the interest generated by Ty Tessmann dominating the ROAR Nationals with the prototype of his car, or the rumoured lap times the TLR team were able to achieve in their private testing, will have rival manufacturers also wanting to figure out what they may be having to beat in not only this event, but in future races.

It certainly appears to me that there are very few cars and releases in the R/C world which are able to create such a high level of hype about them.  Some manufacturers release an ‘updated’ car every year and, whilst those always attract interest, the new HB and TLR buggies are certainly more than just ‘updates’!  In the case of TLR, it’s been over a decade since their previous 4 wheel drive buggy release and I believe 5 years since HB’s previous D4 buggy.  These companies have certainly managed the releases very well, keeping their testing and car pictures successfully hidden until the main event.  What we will have to wait and see, of course, is whether it has all been worth it and they can release the car in the best way possible – with a win at our sports World Championship event.

Oh, and you can add me to the list of people who will be glued to their screens this week awaiting pictures and news!

Have an opinion on the topics discussed? Leave them in the comments below.

Oli Meggitt is a race organiser, announcer, RC racer and has also been known to stand and talk in front of a camera. Now a columnist for Red RC you can read his thoughts, insights and ramblings fortnightly.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.


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