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Hobbico files for bankruptcy

Old 01-11-2018, 01:50 PM
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Stay Quiet
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Default Hobbico files for bankruptcy

This doesn't look good for the hobby:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/loc...offs-next.html
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:53 PM
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pizzano
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Sign of the times...

Hobbico had been one of the first to introduce entry level, inexpensive heli's to the marketplace with it's Helimax product line. But had trouble competing with the likes of Esky and Walkera.

They also introduced the Life battery into the industry and had been selling lower cost LIPO's like Onyx, Flight Power for years,

They ventured into the multi-rotor arena with their Proto, Vusion (Rise) and Fit (CME) quads with little success. Most of the those had video quality issues and parts were nowhere to be found.

Their Dromida series of ground pounder trucks and cars had some popularity in the early 2005/10 years but came to a halt due to lack of customer service and replacement part availability.

With only one real quality RC product like their Great Planes fixed wing models (which they purchased from the original manufacture), the vast majority of their RC aerial products became more or less throw-away toys that could not reach the masses due to pricing competition and lack of product support due to the lack of ability to maintain a parts inventory, since they had stretched themselves out so thin trying to keep up with the competitions growing intervention and overseas manufacturing restrictions.

A little over 5yrs ago, while still in the Master's program, we researched Hobbico's business model (along with a few others like Horizon) and wondered then how long it would take before "both shoes would fall off" since talk of financial restructuring was in the wind at that time as well.........Shame, lots of kids who are now in their late 20's, early 30's got started in RC with Hobbico products.......my kids included.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:08 AM
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I wonder how this will effect Tower Hobbies, Hobbico's main retail/wholesale distributor....?

Tower has been around since 1971, merged with Great Planes and purchased the Revell Models products/manufacturing (been around since 1943). They even had a product line of self propelled (rubber band) models that were real popular with the kids in the 60's.

Along came the Atkins Group (Clint Atkins) a real estate enterprise, which combined Great Planes, Revell and Tower Hobbies (circa 1984) into what became Hobbico as we know it today.

Maybe all of that diversification caught up with them.......Hobbico had an actual R & D department that employed Professional Engineers and Manufacturing Resourcing Guru's here in the US.........eventually outsourcing product manufacturing overseas.

With over a $100 to 500million in liability and another, who knows what, tied up as the sole US importer of Futaba O/S for years......poor Tower Hobby may be the next catalog/internet retailer to board up it's windows.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I wonder how this will effect Tower Hobbies, Hobbico's main retail/wholesale distributor....?

Tower has been around since 1971, merged with Great Planes and purchased the Revell Models products/manufacturing (been around since 1943). They even had a product line of self propelled (rubber band) models that were real popular with the kids in the 60's.

Along came the Atkins Group (Clint Atkins) a real estate enterprise, which combined Great Planes, Revell and Tower Hobbies (circa 1984) into what became Hobbico as we know it today.

Maybe all of that diversification caught up with them.......Hobbico had an actual R & D department that employed Professional Engineers and Manufacturing Resourcing Guru's here in the US.........eventually outsourcing product manufacturing overseas.

With over a $100 to 500million in liability and another, who knows what, tied up as the sole US importer of Futaba O/S for years......poor Tower Hobby may be the next catalog/internet retailer to board up it's windows.
Tower Hobbies has been my "hobby shop" since I moved here, because there aren't any brick and mortar shops in the area. If they close, I'd be hard pressed to find all the small bits and pieces I need to complete my planes, since all of mine are scratch builds. Plus, I use Futaba radio gear. If that happens, I'll start looking for another hobby.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I wonder how this will effect Tower Hobbies, Hobbico's main retail/wholesale distributor....?
My understanding is that Tower Hobbies is part of Hobbico, it's just Hobbico's retail arm. So they are very much part of this bankruptcy. That doesnt necessarily mean they will close because the receivers might find a buyer for the business as a 'going concern', but in today's hobby business climate it doesnt look too good I'd say.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:54 AM
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As often happens - business combos get broken up and choice bits sold off - rest collapses.

I may not be US based - but I remember Tower well from my time working in USA 80's into 90's ... but even then - Tower may have had glossy Mail Order catalogues - but word was it struggled then.

Nigel
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