With Traxxas engineers pumping out new models seemingly every week and awesome upgrades seemingly every other week it leaves one to wonder what the likes of HPI, Team Associated, and Losi will do to keep up if they wish to get any share of the mainstream market. It’s no news that Traxxas dominates the local hobby shops in terms of model selection and parts availability but what will the others do should they wish to get a little share of those shelves.
Some will say they they might not care, they may be more interested in owning the hardcore racers, dealing in quality not quantity but that seems unlikely. Why would they come out with ready to run models if they were not interested in the entry level market? Why would team associated roll out their brushless ready to run edition of the SC10 if they didn’t wish to compete with the Slash kits flying off the shelves.
In the past few months alone Traxxas rolled out the following models:
- Slash 2WD VXL
- Ken Block Edition Street Racer
- Stampede 4X4 VXL
- 1/16 Summit VXL
- Traxxas Rally
Each RC in a different class, and each a large upgrade from its former, or an awesome new model. If you take a look across to the other major manufacturer’s you’ll find a lot of stagnation. Sure you could argue that they put more time and thought into their releases and I think you could find examples of that. The real question is what can HPI, Team Associates, and Losi do to stop the run away train that is Traxxas. I am certainly no genius but there are a few things I can think of that may help.
If HPI, Team Associated, and Losi wish to keep up with Traxxas in terms of the consumer market then they must simply release upgrades and newer models a little more quickly. I realize that takes a lot of time and money but releasing a few new models per year, around Christmas time couldn’t hurt things.
One thing I think could help is to leak a little more information. To answer the questions so many people are asking. If everyone is clamoring for a 4X4 short course truck then put out a release on it, tell people if you are going to release one or not. Let people know what you are in fact working on so people can begin to anticipate your releases. This is really a problem across all RC companies. If you let people wonder then they will often make up their own stories and that is almost never good.
Lower Price Points:
One thing people love about Traxxas is the low price point to get into it. Team losi has tried to stay affordable and in terms of short course trucks most manufacturers stay right around the same price. In order to compete with Traxxas however, they need to be consistently the same or lower in terms of price points.
More Ready To Run Models:
One big thing Traxxas does really well is the ready to run models. Every single model they sell is available in ready to run. Almost anyone regardless of skill can walk into their local hobby store and be outside and running within a few hours. If the other RC companies wish to appeal to more people on the consumer side of things they will have to offer more options in the ready to run style.
Sure none of these things are all that earth shattering in terms of complexity and if HPI, Team Associated, or Losi really wanted to do them they could it’s just my perspective that they must totally commit to one side or the other. If they are not careful they may lose the local hobby shops all together.