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Author Topic: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy  (Read 2200 times)

Offline BillCalkins

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Offline Crist Rigotti

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 04:24:54 PM »
I feel sorry for the employees ESOP.  What a shame.
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Online Steve Fitton

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 04:30:03 PM »
Thats going to kill Estes, Tower Hobbies and alot of other stuff.  Just brilliant.
Steve

Offline George Grossardt

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 04:59:12 PM »
So how long does this hobby have?  Many of us are getting older, few young people getting into the hobby, local hobby shops closing, etc.  I order almost everything from small operators. Sometimes those folks get sick, go on vacation, etc.  The fact of the matter is we need to enjoy what we have as this is a hobby in decline. 

Online Motorman

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 05:12:51 PM »
My hoard of Cox 1702 glow plugs is finally justified.

There will be a sunny day and we will fly our airplanes.

Offline Dan Berry

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 05:17:33 PM »
So how long does this hobby have?  Many of us are getting older, few young people getting into the hobby, local hobby shops closing, etc.  I order almost everything from small operators. Sometimes those folks get sick, go on vacation, etc.  The fact of the matter is we need to enjoy what we have as this is a hobby in decline.

Ten years.

Offline Dennis Toth

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 05:19:50 PM »
If you have a Tower Hobbies gift card or certificate you should use it now. Once they get into the proceedings they may not honor them.

Best,    DennisT

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 05:32:27 PM »

 Just the tip of the iceberg I'd say.
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Offline Peter Mazur

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 07:50:25 PM »
My guess is that the “challenges” are mostly spelled “Hobby King” and perhaps other direct marketing Chinese companies.
Pete

Online mike londke

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 07:58:19 PM »
Glad I've already spent my $100 Christmas gift card. My items arrived 2 days ago.
AMA 48913  USPA D-19580  NRA Life Member  "Don't let the planet sneak up on you"

Offline Tim Chenevert

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 03:49:36 AM »
What a way to start your day! I hope Hobbico can stay open. Downsize the company and limit some products but online shopping has got to be hurting them. Control line flying is fun and challenging and we all need to be ambassadors for this hobby for it to grow! Tim
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Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 05:26:49 AM »
I have used them a lot over the past 30 years ; mostly for R/C products. At first,  I was concerned and to an extent, still am about what it means for  the hobby. But then I thought about how it was in the early 60s  and how we all got by with just a small hobby shop,kits,  wood, etc. Glad that I'm back to U-control where our needs are less.

Offline Rusty

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 07:06:25 AM »
This is interesting.  I have watched how Hobbico destroyed the hobby by one by one buying great companies, like Bridi Enterprises, Marks Models, Estes (Sterling), Craftaire, Top Flite, Carl Goldberg, etc AND then discontinuing the products!   I talked to Joe Bridi in the 1990's.  He said Hobbico would not allow him to even give away parts or plans to the kits he designed. 

In a way, it makes me happy to see the epitome of capitalism fall on its own sword.   They only entered the business to make money even though it destroyed a very good hobby.

The bully is going down. 

Online Dane Martin

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 08:11:44 AM »
Rusty, I understand what you're saying, but now I wonder if those lines will have a way to continue? Topflite is who produces monokote, right? If they were to go under I'd have to go with another brand. I'm a little nervous about this BK.

Offline 11290

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 08:20:12 AM »
Copied this from the Champagne newspaper article and wondered what this part was about. Had not read anything about this until now. Anyone know who these companies are:

"Two of its leading product lines also filed for bankruptcy in 2016, which led to "a double-digit sales decrease."
It also faces a legal dispute with a major supplier "that considerably impacted our product supply and sales volume."
Evansville, IN & Orlando, FL

Offline dennis lipsett

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 09:18:26 AM »
Advertised as an employee owned company. Apparently they didn't have any say in the running of the company.

A side effect will be who will continue to import OS engines and parts if they shutter the business for good with no buyer taking up the challenge .

Offline Rusty

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 10:53:22 AM »
Dane, that is good thought to consider.  Hopefully, somebody can buy some these quality kits lines (and engines) to start making them again.  FWIW, I have about 70 rolls of monokote stashed.  (old - good stuff)

I called my local hobby shop and asked him what was he going to do.  He said that he has a couple of smaller suppliers for the store, but they are not in the same league as Hobbico is. 

It is not looking good.  Last year Hobby People, Macs, Ron's Helis, and Heliprozs went under. 

Offline Tim Chenevert

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 10:55:40 AM »
This is a real bummer because I am getting back into this after 45 years of not flying C/L! Maybe someone can buy them out and continue their product lines? Tim
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Offline pat king

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 11:37:38 AM »
I hope they can pull it out. That being said, how many local Hobby Shops have gone out of business because they couldn't compete with the mail order houses? I know that I would not be offering Laser cut C/l kits if the mail order/online vendors were supplying what the market wanted.

Pat
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Offline Russell Shaffer

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2018, 12:29:19 PM »
Horizon Hobbies has a fair amount of stuff.  Of course, they are geared towards RC but there is quite a bit that applies to us.

https://www.horizonhobby.com/
Russell Shaffer
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Offline katana

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2018, 01:00:36 PM »
From what I read elsewhere they are running a business with liabilities ten times the value of their assets - its a totally unsustainable business model! Having a potential 1000 creditors i'd be surprised if those poor souls see 5c on the $ and if it was employee owned they must have been running it with their heads up 'where the sun don't shine!

Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2018, 01:03:47 PM »
My local hobby shop has been in business since 1933.  That's 84 years!

One of the most complete hobby shops I've seen.  They are not likely to fail anytime soon.
"Growing old is easy.
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Offline Lyle Spiegel

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2018, 02:43:23 PM »
Given what is going on, we should all be appreciative and supportive of those who are running their own business, such as Randy, Pat, Mike, Mr. Brodak, Eric Rule, Len, MEOCA, Bob Hunt, John Duncan  others I have missed. I miss the days of Americas Hobby Shop, Brownies ( in Staten Isld), Browns ( Van Cortland Park), Fordham Hobby (Bronx, NY),
Lyle Spiegel AMA 19775

Offline Lyle Spiegel

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2018, 02:47:20 PM »
I hit "post" too soon, meant to also mention Sparky "Stunt Hangar Hobbies" , and Joe from Barnspeed in Lee, Mass
Lyle Spiegel AMA 19775

Offline Lyle Spiegel

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 02:53:37 PM »
Also Tom Dixon, Walter Umland ,Al Rabe should be part of my listing above.
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Offline Warren Wagner

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 04:03:37 PM »
Gulp !!!!

This link to a Hobbico web page shows those various companies that fall
under the Hobbico umbrella:

     https://www.hobbico.com/brands.php

It's scary when that list includes OS, Futaba, Top Flite, Great Plains, Super Tigre, etc.

I can't believe the amount of debt that they have incurred.  Why do they
let the debt get this large before they do something.  Maybe they wait
until the debt reaches a certain amount, THEN they can declare
bankruptcy.  Had to be some very poor management there some where.
Almost sounds like a 'government run' program !!!

Cheers,

Warren Wagner
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Offline Rusty

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 04:09:20 PM »
I am lucky my dad bought me some comet kits when I was a kid.  The parts had to be cut out and sanded.  That taught me how to scratch build.   I really don't need a kit for myself. The craftsman part of model flying is almost dead already.  CL is the only branch that builds that I know of. 

I wonder if maybe amazon might buy it?  I don't see mecoa buying it. 

I am going to hoard some os parts now that I have been warned.

Long Iive stunt hangar hobbies.


Offline Mike Scholtes

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 04:56:26 PM »
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing the "number of creditors" and "range of debt" are boxes that are filled in on one of the forms that are filed to open the case. It is not the actual number of creditors and amount of debt. Chapter 11 is used often by companies that do come back and prosper, like Chrysler Corp and many other large and now-successful businesses. The losers tend to be workers, whose union contracts and benefits can be modified or even eliminated. It is a "business reorganization" variety of bankruptcy under which creditor claims can be deferred or modified and lots of other actions taken to keep a business running if at all possible. I have to say however that the outlook is not good based on statements by the company reps.

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 05:58:53 PM »
My local hobby shop has been in business since 1933.  That's 84 years!

One of the most complete hobby shops I've seen.  They are not likely to fail anytime soon.

 Unless their suppliers dry up.  :(
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline Chad Hill

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2018, 06:12:41 PM »
Chapter 11 is indeed very unpleasant for the workers. I managed to survive my company's near bankruptcy after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by forfeiting 30% of my pay for the next decade in exchange for a promise that my retirement would be left intact. That promise was broken some 9 years later when they did enter Chapter 11, and it cost me more than one-third of my retirement.

I extend my best hopes to the employees of Hobbico and Tower Hobbies. It is unfortunately likely that they will suffer greatly for mistakes of poor planning and bad judgement that they themselves did not make.

Offline Garf

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2018, 06:21:22 PM »
I hope John Brodak has planned for when he finally packs it in or we will be in bad shape.

Offline Garf

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2018, 06:25:40 PM »
My local hobby shop has been in business since 1933.  That's 84 years!

One of the most complete hobby shops I've seen.  They are not likely to fail anytime soon.
That's what I thought about about Orange Blossom Hobbies till the owner died and his incompetent son destroyed the company.

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2018, 07:41:05 PM »
Well I guess this kind of explains so many "out of stock" items in Towers online catalog.  I never like to hear news like this.

Mike

Offline Steve Hines

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2018, 11:59:57 PM »
when we were at the team trials a guy at the hobby shop said that horizon all most went out of business last year. he named a company that I never heard of that was a suppler that did not ship parts to finish up products. they could not finish kits, cars, and other things. He said that it should have hurt tower but have not heard anything. may be this is part of this. He also said that the control line evo 40 never came out the 60 was discontinued, and a take apart sv11 was never made. I talked to Randy about the SV11 he put a lot of work in to it.

Steve 

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2018, 02:51:39 AM »
Chapter 11 in the US is similar to our 'Receivership' situations in the UK in that it gives false hope to the workers that although the company is on a downward slippery slope their jobs are safe.......for the present. They rarely are and the administrators brought in to run the company will systematically run the company down, whilst 'trying to find a buyer' whilst of course taking a large fee from any money actually generated before paying creditors! Its A CON people - if the business fails - it fails and it generally fails due to outside forces, so unlike Gordon Gecko - Greed IS NOT good!
I would love to know the true debt burden of the top 100 national companies?, lets say they declare a $100 million profit for the year but that they've just purchased another company for $10 Billion? Isn't that a loss? Doesn't that make them $9.9 billion in debt? Oh - its a $10 billion asset ...... that itself is actually worth $3Bn with earnings potential...... see the con?
If I could be president of the world i'd insist on Shareholders, Directors, CE's & CEO's of any company making financial decisions for that company be personally liable for the debts first if they declare bankruptcy!  R%%%%

Offline Perry Rose

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2018, 05:13:28 AM »
A country boy can survive. Overcome and adapt.
I wouldn't take her to a dog fight even if she had a chance to win.

Offline peabody

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 07:39:50 AM »
Most of the companies that they vend are in fairly good shape. The smart ones have direct (web) marketing arms that will allow them to carry on...

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2018, 09:01:09 AM »
If you go to Tower's website.  You will find a lot of items say On order or order pending or out of stock.  I just looked at OS engine section and APC props and they have mostly nothing.  Obviously they are having problems.

Mike

Offline Rusty

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 09:15:05 AM »
In a way this is the same as Sears.  I have been trying to exchange broken Craftsman tools for over a year.  They never have them.  The salesman always says, the truck is on the way.  (Yea, right)

Then I ran across a story where it said Sear's tool manufacturer in China was not shipping anymore tools until Sears paid their bill.  The debt is in the millions. 

I bet that suppliers will stop giving Hobbico credit now and the inventory will be less and less, resulting is less and less sales.

I always thought GP, Hobbico and Tower were responsible people.  Shows how wrong I can be. 

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2018, 09:47:32 AM »
Most of the companies that they vend are in fairly good shape. The smart ones have direct (web) marketing arms that will allow them to carry on...

   In fact, they might be in better shape if Tower goes away. Tower is/was the 800 lb gorilla, trying to more or less corner the market, and I am sure they are squeezing the suppliers to low-ball everything, because they could. Prices may go up as the individual companies have to both raise prices/profits to keep going, and also having to market directly instead of through Tower, but they may well be better off.

    The one cautionary note with that sort of reasoning is that part of the purpose to filing bankruptcy is to relieve them of some of their commitments. That undoubtedly includes payments that suppliers are owed, which now may be 10 cents on the dollar, or never paid at all. That could conceivably put them out of business, depending on their state otherwise, and how much Tower managed to dodge.

      As noted above, Chapter 11 companies frequently come back in some form or another (and some companies use it as part of a business model), so you can't be sure what is going to happen.

     As far as stunt goes, aside from OS20FP and 25LA engine parts, I have managed to get by for nearly the entire history of Tower's existence without needing anything of consequence from them. We have cottage industries to supply what we need, and there are other sources. Buy-and-fly/Sport RC fliers might be in trouble, and not to belittle the problem for them, but I can probably live very well with 50% of them gone.

     Brett

Offline Randy Cuberly

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2018, 11:15:09 AM »
It's even possible that this could be a "Boon" to CL flying since we are primarily supported by "Cottage Industries".

R/C may have a problem and my guess is that the quad copter industry is going to feel the pain!  I even wonder if that's what caused the big "bust"!

Randy Cuberly
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Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2018, 11:32:49 AM »
It's logical to assume that the RTF industry in China will find other outlets for their "drones" and all those RTF R/C models.  They don't seem to be slowing down in the RTF market.  We could end up buying direct from the manufacturer for some of our items formerly sold by Tower, and the others.  That's OK, but would end up with higher cost.
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Online George Albo

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2018, 12:25:26 PM »
That's what I thought about about Orange Blossom Hobbies till the owner died and his incompetent son destroyed the company.

Ditto...I miss the place
All things come to those that wait. If you want it any faster, you'd better move!:)

Online Bobs your Uncle

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2018, 01:46:04 PM »
Chapter 11 in the US is similar to our 'Receivership' situations in the UK

No it is not.

Receivership is not the same as what you are explaining as Administration.

Offline Chad Hill

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2018, 01:58:00 PM »
...We could end up buying direct from the manufacturer for some of our items formerly sold by Tower...

I just placed an order directly with Master Airscrew for some props. The website was very easy to use. Their prices match Tower's, and shipping is free for orders over $25. I was told that if you order by 2:30 p.m. (west coast time) it will ship the same day.

www.masterairscrew.com

Offline Crist Rigotti

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2018, 02:30:38 PM »
I'm guessing that a lot of suppliers will, if they haven't already, sign up with Amazon.  And with Amazon Prime there will be no shipping costs.  Things are changing on how we will be conducting business with suppliers. 
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Offline Mike Scholtes

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2018, 02:43:08 PM »
Not to get too wonky, but Chapter 11 bankruptcy is extremely complex compared to other forms of bankruptcy and while the current owners/managers of the business get to continue to make decisions, they are under a severe regimen and must produce monthly financial reports to the court and creditors, normally must make minimum payments approved by the court to creditors, and the plan of action is ultimately voted on by a committee from the 20 largest creditors. The creditors can also ask the court to remove the current managers and replace them with a trustee. Every step is scrutinized by the lawyers for the creditors. This is by no means a free ride and nobody gets away with hiding the money. The United States Trustee, essentially bankruptcy police, is also closely monitoring the case. If there is any hope for Hobico to survive it will.

I would choke on my own vomit if I had to buy APC props from Jeff Bezos.

Offline Mark Mc

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2018, 03:46:31 PM »
If you go to Tower's website.  You will find a lot of items say On order or order pending or out of stock.  I just looked at OS engine section and APC props and they have mostly nothing.  Obviously they are having problems.

Mike

Yeah, I just made a large order direct from APC yesterday after I logged into Tower's website and all but one size of prop I was looking for was "Out of Stock - due mid-January".

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2018, 12:15:22 PM »
Quite a few things in the last 5 years had me suspecting Tower and Hobbico were in trouble.... increasing "back order" or "order pending" on several common lines...most notably Top Flite and Super Tiger...

Bill Baxter of Hobbico on RC Universe has been claiming for over three years the deal with Super Tiger and a new China production facility was still in negotiation but engines and parts should been back into production "soon".... I think ST is shut and never will return to production

On the top flite line...I like Luster Cote spray can Dope... Tower out of stock on all but white...TopFlite web site all but white Unavailable...for about a year now

SigMgf is also in trouble I suspect as there are numerous lines they carry out of stock and delayed shipping.... balsa, fuel and several other items

Noted above is the problem with many suppliers not getting paid by Hobbico...   most I assume very niche market producers with very low profit margins...

We all knew decades ago the giant mail order marketing Gorrilla were killing Mom n Pop...but we frugal folk bough anyway
My excuse.....mostly Army over seas... NO LHS  so I did a lot of AHS and Early Tower catalog buying

I do not particularly like the Monopoly Amazon is headed for but as a prime member I save a ton on all sorts of stuff we need...very occasionally I do find a better deal on e-bay or WalMart

The biggest problem I have with Amazon, WalMart, E-bay is a reliable search for what I am looking for and then the cross check with all the usual suspect sellers to find best Tax, shipping, and product price

I am very rural... wife Sewing/Quilting hobby and my gun, car, airplane, Ham radio hobbies... USPS, FedEx, UPS all visit us several time each month

90 mile round trip to Waco Hobby shop for meager selection is out of the question

So bottom line is... I do not look forward to Brodak, Tower or any other mail order source shutting....

and I too think to some extent Hobby king....now with good USA warehoused has a lot to do with the situation.....

I initially hated Hobby King because the shipping was killer for some very great deals on stuff I wanted

BUT I have to wonder.... Is the HK Orange RX RC 6 channel 2.4Ghz radio for $9.75 Vs the Spectrum same product for $39.95~$48.95 .... well I guess what I am asking is there really any value added in the Spectrum part... I have both and they both work in my application identically

so did I get hosed with the first three I got from Spectrum?

Phrugal Phred
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline YakNine

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Re: Hobbico files for Bamlru[ptcy
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2018, 01:01:53 PM »
What a way to start your day! I hope Hobbico can stay open. Downsize the company and limit some products but online shopping has got to be hurting them. Control line flying is fun and challenging and we all need to be ambassadors for this hobby for it to grow! Tim
I hate to say it but enjoy it while it lasts I don't see any way to grow this further beyond retreads and people coming.back for a break from R/C people want to be entertained without any effort on their behalf support the vendors we have left and enjoy it the fat lady is practicing her song it only a matter of time. T J
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