By Aaron Waldron
As is the case with The Onion and the metric tons of clickbait that's scattered across social media these days, the more far-fetched the idea, the more people will fall for it. This year, a handful of companies pulled off pranks with varying degrees of success.
Right - because those four small props are going to lift an adult hanging from a chin strap. With the press release, Hobbico included a link to a hilarious 7-second "spy" video uploaded to a brand new YouTube user account under the name "Abby J" - if you haven't seen it, click the link above.
This was my favorite of this year's April Fools jokes because it was absolutely beyond absurd. Even if the product WAS possible, can you imagine the liability? And yet people still felt the need to point out that they saw right through it. The top comment on the video is "This is an April Fools Joke."
File this one under "strikingly plausible," though most of this joke's believability to the incredible photoshop work. With RC companies churning out all sorts of "RC-specific" products like gloves, tools, luggage, and other wearables, a pair of shoes doesn't seem too far out of the realm of possibility. Still, can you imagine turn-marshalling on a dusty outdoor track with MC-compound Prime soles? You'd end up on your backside faster than you could untie them.
What made me laugh the most about RDRP's "Square Pin" tire was that the pins themselves are round! The press release itself was full of plainly obvious giveaways, especially about trying to design a tire that would provide "unrivaled stand balance." RDRP founder Michael Vollmer even joked about how racers will run anything, no matter how silly it looks, as long as they think it'll make them faster. Someone on our Facebook page event commented how, if a square tire actually was used, the only part that would touch the ground if it was spinning would be the corners - and that's the one part of the Square Pin's outer border that doesn't have pins. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or shake my head, so I did both.
I cackled maniacally the entire time I was typing this story, but there's no way I could've guessed that as many people would take it as seriously as they did. I've known for years that a large plurality of online readers, and especially those in the RC community, won't read past the headline, but I thought for sure that I had made it sound ridiculous enough for no one to take it seriously - the first "quote" included from a totally made-up source ended in "y'all."
Even as many people who knew better chimed in with the truth in the Facebook comment stream, those who hoped it was true kept posting their support. We may never know just how competitive Traxxas could be in today's RC racing environment, but there sure are people that'd be curious to find out!