Why don't you see reviews of really bad products. - Page 5 - RC Groups
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Aug 23, 2003, 04:07 AM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar

From a newbie reviewers point of view....

I've had several reviews published in the mags (and versions of some of the same published on the E Zone) over the last year or so.

There appear to be two types or reviewer;

1. The 'pro' who regularly gets presented with a kit to build in time for the next issue. As mags seem to get these kits supplied from their advertisers, there is of course a vested interest in making this product look good.

2. The 'enthusiast' (me!) who buys a model with his own money, writes the review and then submits it to a mag to hopefully defer his own costs. As I'm spending my own cash I only buy a kit that I personally really want; to this end (like any other modeller), I tend to buy a model that I know will fly well - either from seeing it in the flesh at the field, or sometimes sight-unseen if it gets enough positive postings on these here forums.

It seems to me that in either case, any review is liable to be fairly favourable, especially since any submitted review is liable to be 'adjusted' by the politically motivated editor after it leaves the reviewers hands.

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Aug 23, 2003, 02:43 PM
Balsa to the Wall
Chuck's Avatar
And we can't forget the dreaded litigation angle. No one wants to be sued.
Recently, Consumer Reports tested several SUV's and rated one as the most likely to roll over in a sharp turn. Well, guess what? The SUV manufacturer is suing them and now they have to spend the money to defend themselves.
I'm sure the attorneys for these mags have set some stringent guidlines for what they can say in reviews.

Aug 23, 2003, 10:18 PM
Registered User
Consumer Reports is being sued by GM, of all people for a review of a jap toy vehicle about 98 or 99
Aug 24, 2003, 04:47 AM
Formerly of mcba fame
Matthew Allen's Avatar
It wasn't designed to just hover...it was designed to be an aerobatic 3D plane that could do a wide range of manuvers...including hovering.

I've never seen Dereck fly...but I've been told he's actually quite accomplished on the sticks....therefore....an aerobatic plane like the E3D would fit the bill for him.

Now....all in all...I get your point...that's just not a good example.
I never said he isn't good pilot (he must be pretty good if he has the confidence to fly a giant scale Cub). But it is pretty clear that he is against non "real" maneuvers.

If you read Gary Wright's (E3D designer) threads he makes it clear that the E3D will do ordinary aeros but it is specially designed for hovering and other 'on the prop' aerobatics.

Not convinced? The telling point is that he has since SOLD his E3D!

Aug 24, 2003, 10:34 AM
Lookin' Good. Real Good.
larsy87's Avatar
The reviews )electric) that I have found funny are the ones like.."with the stock set up it flew ok[i.e it sucked] but when upgraded to a brushelss, it flew like it was supposed to." CRRRRRAP!!!

I also think the sueing part plays a role as well.

Aug 24, 2003, 09:47 PM
Permanently Banned
I sincerely doubt that suing has anything at all do do with this. It's just about advertising dollars.
Consumer Reports and GM are in a different league here, that's big bucks at stake.
Aug 24, 2003, 10:55 PM
Balsa to the Wall
Chuck's Avatar
A lawsuit is an expensive nuisance for a company like GM. It could put a magazine out of business.
Aug 24, 2003, 11:09 PM
Permanently Banned
I've never heard of any relating to model airplane reviews. And I doubt it would put CR out of business, either. They have Errors and Omissions insurance in case they really flub something.
Aug 25, 2003, 10:17 AM
Balsa to the Wall
Chuck's Avatar
Originally posted by easytiger
I've never heard of any relating to model airplane reviews.
Just goes to show How careful they are.

I'm sure CR can stand the heat, also. I'm not too sure the smaller mags want to go thru that though.
Guess what it comes down to, we can speculate 'till the cows come home, but only the guys in the main office have the answer, and it looks like they ain't telling.

Aug 25, 2003, 10:40 AM
Permanently Banned
Again, I just don't think that's really a factor in model airplane reviews, but anyway...
Actually, many magazine editors are pretty straightforward. I spoke to Bill Effinger and Bill Winter some years back, they would say pretty blandly that if they run bad reviews, they will lose advertising dollars. Sooooo...if they review a bad item, they just don't publish the review! Nobody is getting rich publishing model airplane magazines, they cannot afford that kind of controversy.
Frankly, I will take a blanded over magazine rather than NO magazine at all!
Again...I refer people to several of teh British magazines, which publish reviews with a bit more candor than most of the American ones.
Aug 25, 2003, 10:48 AM
Striving to Rip the Bring
raptor22's Avatar
The answer is on the authors page of the ezone. It explicityly says that you can make a review sound like the airplane is disappointing, but yopu need to make it fly and find some sort of bright side so that you don't get sued.

Plus, alot of people do reviews for a free plane. Why request a free plane and do all the work if its not a winner and you'll end up with a peice of **** anyway?

Aug 25, 2003, 04:49 PM
Balsa to the Wall
Chuck's Avatar
This is a direct quote from E-zone Review Policy

" If you want to turn in a review of a bad product, then please see to it that it has a happy ending. Most planes will fly with some modifications. Our readers will want to hear how to make the bad plane fly, not 3000 words about how "it stinks". Publishing strongly negative reviews is unprofessional and a legal risk for our small company, so we will be unlikely to entertain publication of a strongly negative review unless there is a very good reason (e.g. safety)."

'nuff said on that subject.

Aug 25, 2003, 06:20 PM
Fixed Wing Fanatic
Jim Walker's Avatar
This topic has come up several times and the consensus is always the same. The magazine is at the mercy of the manufacturers. This seems to have been proven conclusively yet again in this latest thread, so why keep beating a dead horse? The only potential victims of misleading/rose colored reviews are the rank beginners looking for advice on those first couple of planes. If they really want to fly models they'll start reading on the zone just like we have and not get burned again or they'll quit the hobby......

As for that quote from ezone's review policy, I think that is a fair statement on it's face with no hidden agendas. Like I said in my earlier post, no one wants to read about failures, why waste time and effort printing such material. Indeed, anything can me made to fly with enough power, even bricks The question is do you want to make a brick fly??? If a guy does a realistic review telling how he basically had to install afterburners to make the review plane fly at all then anyone reading with just a dash of common sense can decide they'd rather buy something else that doesn't require a Hacker B40-8s on 30 cells to attain mediocre flight.
Last edited by Jim Walker; Aug 25, 2003 at 06:23 PM.
Aug 25, 2003, 11:09 PM
Permanently Banned
According to the author's guidelines right here on this site, it's absolutely no different here, the reviews, than in any magazine. Same agenda. Why people think online reviews at a major site are any more valid than a magazine is beyond me.