Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > Questions and Answers
Reload this Page >

What happened to all the Top Flite Kits at Tower Hobbies?

Questions and Answers If you have general RC questions or answers discuss it here.

What happened to all the Top Flite Kits at Tower Hobbies?

Reply

Old 06-26-2018, 05:56 PM
  #1  
FrankRC1
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (5)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Indpls, IN
Posts: 154
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default What happened to all the Top Flite Kits at Tower Hobbies?

I havenít been on Tower Hobbies website in a while and Top Flits kits are almost completely gone.
FrankRC1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2018, 03:45 AM
  #2  
RCFlyerDan
My Feedback: (51)
 
RCFlyerDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Cape Coral
Posts: 1,467
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

The answer is ARF's. A very small percentage of hobbyist truly build anymore, so I guess Horizon Hobbies decided to NOT keep in stock what doesn't sell. If you didn't know, Horizon Hobbies bought Hobbico, Tower's Parent company. If you ever noticed, HH never really had true kits to build. Just ARF's. It doesn't make sense to keep inventory that rarely sells. Builder's kits are going away just as glow engines are going away. Technology moves forward.
RCFlyerDan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 04:43 AM
  #3  
Steve Percifield
My Feedback: (14)
 
Steve Percifield's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 1,501
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

In the sale of Hobbico, Horizon did not buy, Top Flight, Dynaflight, Goldberg, and so far, no one else has either. So those brands and products are virtually gone after stock runs out
Steve Percifield is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 05:32 AM
  #4  
BarracudaHockey
My Feedback: (11)
 
BarracudaHockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 23,302
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Tower, Top Flight, and Axial were all part of the purchase.
BarracudaHockey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 03:28 AM
  #5  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

LOL,, it truly amazes me how confidently guys spew out false information on these forums
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2018, 01:53 PM
  #6  
DavidAgar
My Feedback: (107)
 
DavidAgar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Posts: 5,018
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Horizon has their name all over the Top Flite web site.....
DavidAgar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2018, 04:15 PM
  #7  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Well,, since the bought the brand,,, why wouldn't they?...
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2018, 04:20 PM
  #8  
JCOKEEFE
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Fairfield Glade, TN
Posts: 549
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Originally Posted by RCFlyerDan View Post
The answer is ARF's. A very small percentage of hobbyist truly build anymore, so I guess Horizon Hobbies decided to NOT keep in stock what doesn't sell. If you didn't know, Horizon Hobbies bought Hobbico, Tower's Parent company. If you ever noticed, HH never really had true kits to build. Just ARF's. It doesn't make sense to keep inventory that rarely sells. Builder's kits are going away just as glow engines are going away. Technology moves forward.
You can label it "technology moving forward". I call it a very sad state of affairs. Fortunately for me, I was involved in the hobby/sport in what I will label its' hayday. Many kits available and many builders/flyers eager to build and fly!! I have yet to purchase an arf and never will. When the time arrives when no more kits are available, that is when I leave the hobby/sport.

Last edited by JCOKEEFE; 07-04-2018 at 04:04 PM.
JCOKEEFE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2018, 08:33 AM
  #9  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

The arf vs build argument sure is getting old,,, Bottom line,,, Do what you like and have fun with it,, it's a hobby
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 07:14 AM
  #10  
jester_s1
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,666
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Agreed. ARFs are perfectly good flying planes. Not quite as good as a well built kit, but there is nothing wrong with them. They are popular because people want to spend their time flying instead of building. And there is nothing wrong with that.
jester_s1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2018, 05:47 AM
  #11  
chip_MG
My Feedback: (14)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: austin, TX
Posts: 140
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

We are witnessing the slow DEATH of the hobby thanks to ARFS. Where I live, in the 80`s our club had over 500 members, today less than 120 and most are not active. Soon we will be losing our flying field as the city see there are not enough members to justify the land use.
chip_MG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2018, 07:08 PM
  #12  
jester_s1
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,666
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Oh please. ARFs and RTF planes have proliferated because people wanted them. They've kept the hobby alive if anything as the instant generation took an interest. There are many threads on RCU about the decline of the hobby. What it boils down to really is that it's not new or cutting edge anymore, therefore kids don't care about it as much. It has gentrified, and like any organization that does that flying clubs will have to reinvent themselves in order to survive.
jester_s1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 09:08 AM
  #13  
chip_MG
My Feedback: (14)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: austin, TX
Posts: 140
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Right. And look at the questions ask by the folks in the ARF world. they know very little about how to even set up an ARF. And forget about simple repairs.
The hobby is now just a toy box for cry babies.
chip_MG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 09:15 AM
  #14  
BarracudaHockey
My Feedback: (11)
 
BarracudaHockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 23,302
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

So instead of educating them we can just call them names and run them out of the hobby?
BarracudaHockey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 07:25 AM
  #15  
Hemikiller
My Feedback: (125)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Killingworth, CT
Posts: 694
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
So instead of educating them we can just call them names and run them out of the hobby?
Hey, but that's the GOF way of doing thing!

Change is hard, people don't like change. I guess the FF and CL guys lost their minds too when RC started becoming popular.

ARFs have been around since the late 60's. If you pick up any magazine of the vintage, you see ads for them.

Let's also not forget that a "kit" is a convenience item as well. All of the wood is precut, most of the hardware is included and you have plans and an instruction booklet. Many mfr's touted the level or "prefabrication" in their kits. I remember threads of guys who had only built GP and TF kits trying to put together an old school kit from one of the smaller companies which supplied only a crummy photocopied page of general assembly methods.
Hemikiller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 03:01 PM
  #16  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I stopped by a neighboring club to visit today,, talking with the guys there, they are down to 40 members after having over 100 a few years back,,, I thought we had problems at 75 members, we had over a 100 a 2-3 years ago too, I'd say well over 90% of our membership fly ARFs exclusively ,,, Pushing away newbie guys who fly ARFs is a good formula for flying by your snooty, snob, elitist self all alone out in the desert,, have fun with that.
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 05:58 PM
  #17  
chip_MG
My Feedback: (14)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: austin, TX
Posts: 140
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

From what I have seen in my club is ARF flyers only stay in the hobby for a short time, like wam bam thank you I am done. Done that now on to the next thing to get instant gratification. If they had to learn to build a plane from a kit to get involved in the first place they probably would not have even tried, too much work for them. The problem is that all the ARF planes requiring no real talent or investment needed to participate makes many folks with skills to drop out. I believe that is why the lower and lower club member count.
chip_MG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 05:13 AM
  #18  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

OK,, so how does calling people cry babies help boost your club membership? You think somehow ARF-shaming them is going to keep them in the hobby longer? I learned long ago,, being a jerk to people is not an effective way to motivate them to my way of thinking or doing,,

Take what the ARF only newbie guys have to offer, an be thankful,, it's not 30 years ago and it will never be again
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 05:51 AM
  #19  
chip_MG
My Feedback: (14)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: austin, TX
Posts: 140
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Who said anything about scamming people? only you assume that. Just pointing out what is happening in clubs and why. Myself, yeah I been building models since I was a 10 yo boy. I like to build and create more than to fly, I have been building from plans for years and will continue to do so regardless of what others are doing. Ya see I like the entire hobby just not a piece of it.
chip_MG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 01:16 PM
  #20  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Originally Posted by chip_MG View Post
Who said anything about scamming people? only you assume that. Just pointing out what is happening in clubs and why. Myself, yeah I been building models since I was a 10 yo boy. I like to build and create more than to fly, I have been building from plans for years and will continue to do so regardless of what others are doing. Ya see I like the entire hobby just not a piece of it.



Ya see I like the entire hobby just not a piece of it
That's a head scratchier right there
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 02:58 PM
  #21  
speedracerntrixie
My Feedback: (29)
 
speedracerntrixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,736
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I take the phrase " entire hobby " to mean building and flying as opposed to assembling and flying. I would place myself into that category as well but will also add designing to that as well. Although I don't much care for ARFs either I have owned a few over the years. They flew fine but IMO they were not as durable as something I would have built myself. At the end of the day ARFs are just not for me unless they are of the composite variety. I however do not think the invasion of ARFs are to blame for the decrease of popularity in our hobby. In fact I think our numbers would be even lower if it were not for ARFs. What I do feel is suffering due to the popularity of ARFs is the knowledge to properly set up and trim an airplane. I end up spending a great deal of time working with guys in my club on these issues. Most times the club member in question has already made the determination that the airplane is a " bad design " just to find out that with some adjustments to CG, aileron throws/differential, thrust angles etc. After a few of these adjustments the airplane would then fly in a much more acceptable manner. IMO the best we can do is educate our fellow modeler regardless of what type of construction their airplane is.
speedracerntrixie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 04:28 PM
  #22  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I take the phrase " entire hobby " to mean building and flying as opposed to assembling and flying
LOL, What's wrong with assembling?,,, Isn't assembling and flying also part of the "entire hobby"? You can't say you like the entire hobby without liking the entire hobby

Years ago well before ARFs were prevalent I had a flying friend the would bash some other guy's kit builds because the weren't scale enough like Royal kits for example,, he was an elitist snob too,,I knew other guys would bash the guys who covered using monokote vs glass/paint,, more elitist snobbery aka "the way I build is better than your way" BS behavior. Some things never change.
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 05:06 PM
  #23  
speedracerntrixie
My Feedback: (29)
 
speedracerntrixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,736
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I didn't think that I implied at all that I had an issue with assembling ARFs as opposed to building kits. Just that my preference was to build my own airplanes the same that one could draw the conclusion that your preference would be for scale models. The main point to my post was to embrace all aspects and help one another out when we are able to do so.
speedracerntrixie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 03:04 AM
  #24  
scale only 4 me
My Feedback: (158)
 
scale only 4 me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Posts: 9,891
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Well Shawn,, you jump into the thread with the comment
bla bla bla,, I would place myself into that category as well,,, bla bla bla
to defend a guy calling people cry babies for flying ARFs,, Words mean things bro,,
scale only 4 me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 03:25 PM
  #25  
speedracerntrixie
My Feedback: (29)
 
speedracerntrixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,736
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default


Yes words do have meaning, most agreed. However take a snippet out of a post and quote it out of context and the perceived meaning could be far different then intended.

Truthfully I thought the sentence below would be much more worthy of a quote.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
IMO the best we can do is educate our fellow modeler regardless of what type of construction their airplane is.
As to the original thread topic. I would have to say it is a waiting game. Horizon has three options IMO. Continue production where GP left off or with some improvements like quality fiberglass parts instead of the ABS plastic, sell the brand off to someone else who will resume production or just let the brand die. Only time will tell. I have noticed a trend with small volume kit cutters springing up including Peter Goldsmith who was at one time a Horizon team leader. I certainly hope that Horizon see's this as well and will realize that the market for kits is still a viable one.
speedracerntrixie is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service