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  #21  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGleason
Good stuff, Bob!

Can't wait for the next episode.

Greg



Understatement.
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2012, 08:04 PM
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Default Estes

When Estes had a display at the Chicago RCHTA/iHobby Show (Now the Cleveland iHobby Show) during the Barry Tunick years, the company pulled out all the stops. Usually a 20' x 20' walled booth with 20-30 staff and a rent-a-cop at the entrance to keep the 'undesireables' out (Like me ). This provided lots of coverage and gave the staff plenty of time to get out, look around, get something to eat, etc.

The LA RCHTA Show was completely different. It was a 5' x 10' space with a backdrop and table and chair at the aisleway. It had a staff of one.

That one staff member was a fellow named Bill Dillman.

Bill was the (Western) Regional Sales Manager for Estes until he retired a few years ago. He was/is a friendly and pleasant person. He didn't care much for the way Tunick ran things and was heard to say, "I don't care what Barry thinks".

As time went on, his comments became, "Don't let Barry know I said that" or "Don't let Barry find out I let you in the booth to take pictures".

Even with Bill having to watch his back, he still was a straight-upfront guy. If you asked him a question he would answer it. At the 1992 LA RCHTA Show, I asked Bill about the "Composite Engines Coming Soon" sign seen in the booth. It was the same sign seen at the Chicago RCHTA Show six months earlier. "Bob", Bill said, "They just sent me the sign and said to show it in the booth. I don't know anything else". I later learned he was being truthful, as the management in Penrose did not know at the time what they were going to do about making composite motors.

I don't know if all trade shows have this rule but at RCHTA Shows the booth contract stated that each booth must be staffed by a representative of the exhibiting company at all times during show hours. If a booth was discovered not to be staffed, that company would loose the right to exhibit at the next show. This was never a concern for AeroTech as we had between two to five staff at the Show at any given time. For Bill, he would ask one of the members of a local rocket club to watch his booth while he took a break.

This did not always happen for Bill.

It's the Saturday of the 1992 LA RCHTA Show. Weekends were the public days and there was a lot of foot traffic in the building. I was out of the AeroTech booth, walking around the exhibit hall checking out all the neat hobby stuff.

"Bob", I heard a voice call out.

I looked around and saw Bill motioning to me from his booth.

I walked over to the Estes booth.

ME: "Hi, Bill. What's up?"

BD: "Bob, can you watch my booth for a few miutes?"

Mind you, I'm wearing AeroTech logo clothing.

ME: "Uh, I don't know Bill. If Barry found out I was in your booth it might cause you trouble..."

BD: "Bob! I GOT TO GO!!!! "

ME: "Okay!"

Bill disappeared into the crowd.

All right then.

(To be continued)
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2012, 08:29 PM
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Default Estes continued

So now.

Bill had run off to take care of 'business'.

I was now in charge of the Estes booth.

What should I do?

"Catalogs! Get your free 1992 Estes model rocket catalogs", I called out to the crowd.

People would stop to pick up a catalog, ask questions about Estes products, etc.

At no time did anyone say anything about the fact I was wearing AeroTech clothing.

I had been helping out in the Estes booth for about ten minutes when Bob Parks came by. He, also, was out of the AeroTech booth walking around the exhibit hall looking at the exhibits and taking pictures.

I explained to Parky what had happened and why I was in the Estes booth. He wanted in to the booth to get a close-up look at the Estes products so I let him in. Both of us were very interested in the AstroBlaster R/C glider which had yet to hit the store shelves. We decided to remove the glider from it's mounting and look it over. The two of us spent several minutes inspecting the AstroBlaster and determined it was just a mockup/prototype and re-mounted it.

Parky walked out in front of the booth and said, "Bob, how about I get a few pictures of you in the Estes booth?"

Why not?

Parky then proceeded to take pictures of me in the booth, holding an Impulse rocket display model and handing out catalogs to Show attendees. After that, Parky moved on.

Bill was gone 20-25 minutes before he returned. He seemed much more relaxed, less stressed.

I told him what had happened while he had been gone (I left out the part about Parky). He thanked me for watching the booth and I returned to my exploration of the other exhibits.

A few weeks later, Parky sent me copies of the pictures he had taken of me in the Estes booth. These pictures have never been seen outside of my picture album.

Until now.

(Stay tuned for the Estes reaction to AeroTech).
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Name:  LAR92-07 Bob Sanford with Impulse rocket in the Estes Booth.jpg
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Name:  LAR92-08 Bob Sanford hands out Estes catalogs.jpg
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  #24  
Old 01-14-2012, 11:04 PM
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This is truly, "Bill and Bob's Most Estes Adventure".

Those pictures are now a priceless part of the "interesting" history of consumer rocketry.

Amazing stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to post it, Bob.

Greg
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  #25  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
A few weeks later, Parky sent me copies of the pictures he had taken of me in the Estes booth. These pictures have never been seen outside of my picture album.

Until now.

(Stay tuned for the Estes reaction to AeroTech).

This is great stuff, Bob! Thank you for sharing it with us.
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  #26  
Old 01-16-2012, 09:24 AM
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Hilarious pics.
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  #27  
Old 01-17-2012, 09:25 AM
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The Estes story reminded me of my first Ihobby show. I was on the other side of the wall from LOC and Aerotech. The person next to them didn't show so we asked MGT. if I could move my booth. We had a mini rocket row. My wife made chocolet chip cookies (lucky it was a large batch). A few dealers asked "arn't you saposed to be at booth ####?" But I did pick up my second distributor, and I was on another couple distributors raidar. and picked up dozens of new dealers.
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  #28  
Old 01-19-2012, 06:17 PM
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Default Estes Reaction

AeroTech had a very successful 1992 LA RCHTA Show.

New catalog and new products. Not a company having problems that were affecting other hobby manufacturers at that time.

This was not what Barry Tunick was expecting.

At the conclusion of the 1992 LA RCHTA Show, Bill Dillman came over to the AeroTech booth and said his goodbyes to us. Bill was asked what he thought of the new AeroTech catalog.

Said Bill, "I put it in an Fedex overnight envelope to Penrose. They'll have it Monday morning".

The catalog reached Penrose the following Monday.

Tunick reviewed the catalog.

According to someone who was present in the room when Tunick finished looking at the the catalog (And I quote)...

"Barry had a cow!"

Tunick could not believe what he was seeing. All his efforts to put AeroTech out of buisness had, appartently, failed.

A new catalog.

New kits.

But what really got Tunick's attention was the announcement of 'B' & 'C' reloads for the RMS system priced comparable to what Estes was charging (Of course, a rocketeer still had to spend $40 for the RMS-18/20 casing).

To Tunick, this was a direct attack at Estes main revenue producing product. The C6-5 model rocket motor ousells all other 18mm model rocket motors. Now, AeroTech was offering C6-5 motors along with C6-3, C6-7, B6-4, etc.

First Quest, now AeroTech.

It was too much.

Tunick increased the activities to put AeroTech down by spreading negative rumors to hobby distributors/hobby shops, create issues for AeroTech with government agencies and the NFPA and even tried to get the NAR to ban reloadable motors.

As for me, I had to get all these new products into production!

(To be continued)
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  #29  
Old 01-19-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
AeroTech had a very successful 1992 LA RCHTA Show.

New catalog and new products. Not a company having problems that were affecting other hobby manufacturers at that time.

This was not what Barry Tunick was expecting.

At the conclusion of the 1992 LA RCHTA Show, Bill Dillman came over to the AeroTech booth and said his goodbyes to us. Bill was asked what he thought of the new AeroTech catalog.

Said Bill, "I put it in an Fedex overnight envelope to Penrose. They'll have it Monday morning".

The catalog reached Penrose the following Monday.

Tunick reviewed the catalog.

According to someone who was present in the room when Tunick finished looking at the the catalog (And I quote)...

"Barry had a cow!"

Tunick could not believe what he was seeing. All his efforts to put AeroTech out of buisness had, appartently, failed.

A new catalog.

New kits.

But what really got Tunick's attention was the announcement of 'B' & 'C' reloads for the RMS system priced comparable to what Estes was charging (Of course, a rocketeer still had to spend $40 for the RMS-18/20 casing).

To Tunick, this was a direct attack at Estes main revenue producing product. The C6-5 model rocket motor ousells all other 18mm model rocket motors. Now, AeroTech was offering C6-5 motors along with C6-3, C6-7, B6-4, etc.

First Quest, now AeroTech.

It was too much.

Tunick increased the activities to put AeroTech down by spreading negative rumors to hobby distributors/hobby shops, create issues for AeroTech with government agencies and the NFPA and even tried to get the NAR to ban reloadable motors.

As for me, I had to get all these new products into production!

(To be continued)


Gees, what a Richard!

Just abbreviate it.
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  #30  
Old 01-20-2012, 11:27 AM
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Just one more installment describing a POS dirtbag...not surprising though. It would be really funny to hear an honest candid commentary/evaluation of this person and how he ran the company by Vern. That would be entertaining no matter the outcome.

Remember kiddies, just say NO to $$$ from plastic toy so-called executives.
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