Interview with President of Hobbico, Ken Cutler
The following is an interview with Ken Cutler, President of Hobbico, and the Revell brand, an official licensee of the Boy Scouts of America.
Licensing Insider: What does Hobbico make?
Headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, Hobbico is a dynamic, multi faceted company which is also 100% employee owned. Hobbico was founded in 1971 and employs over 700 people in various locations in the US and China. It is made up of retail, wholesale, proprietary products and manufacturing divisions.
Hobbico is the world leader in the Radio Control Hobby Industry with over 36 proprietary and exclusive brands consisting of products ranging from airplanes and helicopters to cars, trucks & motorcycles to tanks and boats as well as all of the parts and accessories that support those categories. We have extensive in house and off shore product development capabilities including designers and aeronautical, mechanical & electrical engineers.
Licensing Insider: Where are its products distributed and how does Revell fit into this mix?
Great Planes Model Distributors, a Hobbico company, is the largest distributor to the Industries' hobby shop trade offering over 60,000 items for sale. Product offerings include the remote-control categories mentioned earlier, as well as general hobby categories such as plastic & die cast model kits, all scales of model trains, road race, model rockets, kites, puzzles, science kits, and all of the support products like paint, tools and glue, to help complete any type of modeling project.
Our mass market divisions, Revell/Monogram Models and Estes Model Rockets are both Industry leaders in their particular area of concentration. Revell and Monogram are iconic brands that began operations in the early 1940's and are undisputed leaders in the plastic model category today. Their product development and engineering teams are world renowned for the accuracy and attention to detail in all of their model kits. Revell manufactures and supplies models to national chain stores, specialty outlets and hobby shops throughout North America as well as exporting to many countries around the world.
In addition to plastic models, Revell also produces other product categories under the Revell brand. These include the Pinewood Derby® lines licensed from the Boy Scouts of America and Missions of California, a complete line of craft and hobby project wood and a hobby tool line.
Licensing Insider: Who are Revell consumers?
Revell sells to hobbyists of all types and ages, from all walks of life. The average model-builder usually begins at age 8-10-years-old with many continuing the love for modeling for their entire life. Many modelers have specific categories that they tend to focus on, whether their passion is for hot rods, muscle cars, exotic autos, WWI or WWII era military, or more modern aircraft or armor. Their area of interest may also be with accurate miniatures or movie licensed products or just related to historic events like Revell's replica of the Titanic, the first Wright Bros airplane or Lindberg's "Spirit of St Louis".
Licensing Insider: How has licensing with the Boy Scouts of America helped Revell grow?
Ken: The Pinewood Derby is an iconic project and event that most every boy and many girls have grown up with. Everyone knows what a Pinewood Derby is and how significant it is in the life of young scouts. The skills young scouts develop, such as following instructions, organization of a project, creativity, the concept of building, and hand to eye coordination are all attributes that go hand in hand with the skills needed for and developed from building Revell's products.
Licensing Insider: How does Revell keep innovating in the model business?
Plastic models are exact, to scale replicas of the real world thing. In effect, our design and development is almost totally driven by what is developed in the real world. When Ford designs a hot new Mustang, we make a replica of it. If there is a new military vehicle from anywhere around the world, there are consumers who want it and we make an exact replica. If it is a popular product that was made at any time in history, we can design and develop and exact replica for sale.
Licensing Insider: What is the most important ingredient in Hobbico's culture that contributes to its overall success?
As I mentioned earlier, Hobbico and all of its divisions including Revell, are 100% employee owned. As owners of the company, every employee has the ability to effect how well we perform as a company. Our people care deeply about our company, take responsibility for the part each of them play in the company's success and are dedicated to excellence.
Lionel Pinewood Derby® Flat Car with Pinewood Derby® Kit
Lionel has introduced a novel concept with a Lionel traditional O gauge BSA® Pinewood Derby® Flat Car complete with an official BSA® Pinewood Derby® car kit included on the deck of the flat car.
Consumers can build their own Pinewood Derby® car with one block of pinewood and a complete set of official wheels and axles.
This flat car features:
To purchase this set online or to locate a dealer near you, visit lionel.com.
- Die-cast metal sprung trucks and operating couplers
- Bulkheads and stakes on flatcar
- Official BSA® Pinewood Derby® car kit on deck
- Length: 11 inches
Best Glide Be Prepared® Survival Kit Available
Best Glide has introduced the Be Prepared® Pocket Survival Kit.
Items included are:
The Be Prepared® Pocket Survival Kit meets or exceeds the needs of one person in a survival situation lasting 1 -3 days. Made in the USA.
For more information or to purchase this product, please visit bestglide.com.
- weather resistant tin container
- adventurer button compass
- all weather survival matches
- derma safe razor knife
- sewing kit with 6 safety pins
- MP1 water purification tablets
- rapid rescue survival whistle
- mini survival fishing kit
- vinyl tape
- type 1A utility cord
- brass snare wire
- emergency signal mirror
- beeswax candles
- compact flint fire starter w/striker
- fire starter tinder tabs
- adventurer Fresnel lens fire starter
- band aids/butterfly bandages
- pocket wire saw
- water bag
- survival instructions
- silica gel desiccant
- survival instruction labels