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  Hobbico (Revell, Estes) bankruptcy, to be sold

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Author Topic:   Hobbico (Revell, Estes) bankruptcy, to be sold
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38749
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-11-2018 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hobbico of Champaign, Illinois, one of the largest hobby product distributors in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday (Jan. 10) and is looking for a buyer.
"Despite Hobbico's core strengths, our business has faced a number of challenges in the last few years, and we have taken steps to ensure all available options to restore the stability of the company have been exhausted," said Louis Brownstone, Hobbico's president. "However, while these efforts were taken to rebuild revenue and profitability, they did not sufficiently address our challenges, and we decided to pursue a Chapter 11 reorganization and attempt to attract new capital investment."
Among the brands that Hobbico owns are Estes Rockets, Hasegawa Model Kits and Revell.

ejectr
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Posts: 1665
From: Spring Hill, FL
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-11-2018 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Give the kids today a model kit of a cell phone and see how fast it sells.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38749
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-11-2018 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it goes deeper than that. Setting aside the trend towards digital content, there is a growing "maker" movement that encourages scratch building over kits (the scratch including 3D printing, too).

I don't think we'll see the disappearance of Revell or Estes (or the other Hobbico brands). But it may require a fresh approach to re-position them within the hobby market.

Ronpur
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Posts: 1131
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 01-15-2018 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I doubt we will see a Revell kit of Orion in the future now. Not to mention SLS.

jimsz
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Posts: 576
From:
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 01-15-2018 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For Estes rockets the problem is is not kids being plugged in or having no interest. I work with boys 6-18 and "Rockets" are always received with enthusiasm.

The problem has become ridiculous costs. A very basic rocket with cardboard fins, cardboard tube without an engine is $17 and up. A medium sized rocked is $30.

The smallest engines are $3/ea. A handheld launcher is $22, launchpad $15.

This past October we had a "Rocket Day" and our cost was hundreds of dollars for each boy to launch his rocket 2 or 3 times.

Kids and families can't afford these hobbies.

JBoe
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Posts: 869
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-15-2018 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree about the costs, I think they could be possibly lower. I tend to get as many engines when on sale or use Michaels or AC Moore coupons to save a few bucks.

p51
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Posts: 1519
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 01-15-2018 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Model rockets were never cheap.

I shot them off in high school, for my Air Force Junior ROTC model rocket badge (looks like a USAF missileer badge, and I still have it), and those things weren't cheap in 1980s bucks back then...

There's also the issue of legality of shooting them. Back when I was a teen, nobody questioned what you were doing and most thought it was a cool (but geeky) way to pass the time. These days, a bunch of teens with a rocket, I bet someone would wanna call the cops thinking you're going to shoot it horizontally.

sev8n
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Posts: 212
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 01-26-2018 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think Hobbico "owns" Hasegawa. They might own the USA distribution rights, but not the original Japanese company.

I still have an old Estes catalog (circa 1969?) with the photo of a (real) Saturn V launch on the cover.

All times are CT (US)

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