Hobbico Bankruptcy

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by chrisudy, Jan 10, 2018.

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  1. Jan 10, 2018 #1

    chrisudy

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  2. Jan 10, 2018 #2

    Cl(VII)

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    Oh, that is very bad on a variety of levels.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  3. Jan 10, 2018 #3

    wefly2

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  4. Jan 10, 2018 #4

    Bat-mite

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    What do we blame this on? Cell phones? Video games? Amazon.com? Why are hobbies dying?
     
  5. Jan 10, 2018 #5

    aerostadt

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    That does not sound good. It looks like Hobbico owns Tower Hobbies. I have been ordering things from Tower Hobbies for years.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2018 #6

    dhbarr

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    Millennials, I think we're blaming them for everything now. They're working two part time jobs and a side gig, no time to defend themselves.
     
  7. Jan 10, 2018 #7

    chrisudy

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    Besides Tower Hobbies, Hobbico owns Estes/Centuri/Cox, Great Planes, Top Flight, and more...
     
  8. Jan 10, 2018 #8

    Bat-mite

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    Didn't know that. Wow.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2018 #9

    qquake2k

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    Definitely not good news for model rocketry.
     
  10. Jan 10, 2018 #10

    neil_w

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    *gulp*

    Will be watching this closely and keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  11. Jan 10, 2018 #11

    ksaves2

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    It's simple, they couldn't compete with the online, overseas manufacturers. I used to fly a lot of R/C in the 90's but lost interest after I lost access to a nice field. I diddled with heli's and those cost a heck of a lot with one crash.
    Tower got a lot of my money back then and since they were right next door to me relatively speaking, (130 miles) shipping was fast. I had nothing against them, just lost interest and don't have time to go back to R/C.
    I actually liked sailplanes a lot and trying to catch thermals for extended flights. Flew an Electro-UHU, the one with the nose mounted motor for over an hour with thunderstorms blasting to the east of me with clear sun in my area.
    The motor and electrics were so danged heavy that I slung the thing up on a high-start that was about 600 feet extended. I would turn the motor on once it got off the tow. I hit rising air after a little motor run and kept flying and flying.
    Plane was so heavy I couldn't throw it hard enough and manipulate the radio at the same time so had to use the tow. When a cloud came over and blocked the sun I was able to get the ship down. I timed the motor run after I landed and
    had 3.5 minutes left on a 5.5 minute Nicad pack. Man those were the days. Kurt
     
  12. Jan 10, 2018 #12

    ksaves2

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    I don't think so, I think people don't have time for hobbies much anymore. The ones they participate in they are very particular. R/C is "old school" like Ham radio. The vast majority are flying drones and electrics now. Gas/glow motors are falling way out
    of favor I'm told though gas/glow still has a pretty good power to weight ratio for fire breathing aerobatics in large models. Kurt
     
  13. Jan 10, 2018 #13

    rcktnut

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    Baby Boomers are getting old. From my observations, recent at that with the holidays just past I would say cell phones. With 8 grand children in their teens 19 being the oldest I'm better off trying to start a conversation with the family pets. Even my kids, the youngest 29 can't lay the damn phones down for an hour or so. Seemed a little better this year than last though. I don't say a thing about the situation, although I surely would like to.

    They even have ads on TV now about having a device free dinner, etc. Unbelievable!!!
     
  14. Jan 10, 2018 #14

    dhbarr

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    The irony of me reading this question on my phone is not lost on me.
     
  15. Jan 10, 2018 #15

    Steven

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    I won't tolerate having a phone surgically attached to my skull and have IT run my life. Since I've been going to the coffee shop in March of last year, I've taken it with me only twice because it has a clock and the establishment doesn't. I'd say the demise of hobbies is a direct result of instant gratification. One expects lightening fast results found on their PCs nowadays and even become impatient when service 'slows' down. Building models that may not survive their first flight is a turn off, building a layout for trains takes a life time, even plastic display models take more 'energy' for today's minds. Personally, I love all these aspects of model building and have the patience for it. Still have a Z scale layout tucked under our bed for now till the bug bites again.
     
  16. Jan 10, 2018 #16

    jsdemar

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    It's Chapter 11, not Chapter 7. They will get a judge to decide which creditors get paid at a markdown. And sell off portions of the company's assets. They'll reorganize with a subset of brands. So, Estes will be on the auction block, most likely. This isn't the first this has happened.
     
  17. Jan 10, 2018 #17

    jeff2space

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    What Top Flight are you referring to?
     
  18. Jan 10, 2018 #18

    chrisudy

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    They make some nice RC airplanes, Monokote covering, etc. not the golf company.


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  19. Jan 10, 2018 #19

    Steven

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    They've been around since at least the 60's as I remember. They've done wooden flying models in U-control and RC for several decades now. It's actually "Top Flite". I have their Giant scale 1/5th P-51 Mustang with a second one still in it's box. These are both kits and not that ARF stuff. I like to build. Had their .60 size Zero as well complete with metal rivets made from using a pair of nail cutters and cutting the heads off of pins.
     
  20. Jan 10, 2018 #20

    jsdemar

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  21. Jan 10, 2018 #21

    ECayemberg

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    Top Flite. Spelling is important, here.
     
  22. Jan 10, 2018 #22

    chrisudy

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    Autocorrect...


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  23. Jan 10, 2018 #23

    burkefj

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    That's a real bummer, I get several of my rc rg kit components from Tower which keeps the prices low. I used to buy a lot from tower maybe 10 years ago, but since the major move to electric and spread spektrum radios they were just not able to keep up with competetive products. Horizon has spektrum and eflite which are two of the more popular brands in rc, Tower and great planes just never had the products at the same performance/price/quality level. That and it's hard to compete with an entity like Hobbyking with direct from china manufacturing/sales.

    BTW, this is the top flite he is talking about. https://www.top-flite.com/

    Frank
     
  24. Jan 10, 2018 #24

    cerving

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    Maybe all the TRF'ers should crowd-fund a purchase of Estes/Centuri/Cox...
     
  25. Jan 10, 2018 #25

    James Duffy

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    Hobbies are not dying, people today have more hobby choices than ever before. What is changing is that traditional craft hobbies are declining in popularity when measured against other leisure choices out there

    There are more people buying and flying radio control flying "things" than at any point in hobby history. I suspect that Hobbico failed to capitalize on two massive shifts in their core market:

    1) The massive popularity of multicopter drones. Their current offerings look cheap compared to the 800-lb. gorilla in that space, DJI.

    2) Horizon Hobby kicked Hobbico's ass on the shift from analog radio control systems to 2.4GHz systems. I don't know how it is where you live, but I see ten Spektrum (Horizon) RC systems for every one Futaba or Tower (Hobbico) RC system I see in the wild. My local HobbyTown store doesn't even sell Futaba products any more.

    I further suspect that Estes is relatively healthy, and one of the bright spots in the Hobbico portfolio of brands. The core of their business is sales to youth groups and schools, and that is probably a healthy cash generator (sales types refer to this as "annuity business"), making Estes ripe for sale.

    EDIT: If Hobbico slips beneath the waves, a LOT of local hobby shops will be negatively impacted. Look for mass closings in that event.

    James
     
  26. Jan 10, 2018 #26

    Q-Aero

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    I would not like so Great Planes disappear from the market, I build 1 or 2 of their kits every year O.S engines will be also a huge lost.
     
  27. Jan 11, 2018 #27

    RoyAtl

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    No, but the next owner of Estes might not be as sympathetic to the hobby as Hobbico has been.


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  28. Jan 11, 2018 #28

    dpower

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    My Local Hobby Shop is already suffering from this, can't get much of anything from Great Planes. That was his only distributor still carrying Aerotech. He is the only brick and mortar in the whole metro area that carries AT, and he wants to continue carrying the full MPR line. His shop is healthy, but if he can't stock his shelves...
     
  29. Jan 11, 2018 #29

    Rob702Martinez

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    We used to have 2 Hobby People stores and 3 Hobby town USA. We have 1 Hobby town now, that hasnt ordered any inventory in a long time with bare shelves. Sucks.
     
  30. Jan 11, 2018 #30

    Zeus-cat

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    From what I have heard Hobbico has been trying to sell Estes for a while. Supposedly Estes is healthy and they have been trying to sell it to get the cash.
     

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