If you fly RC airplanes, then ParkZone is a very familiar name for you. An Illinois-based plant that has been in the market for decades, did you notice? Did your calls get turned down from their support center too?
It’s alright, we’re aware of what you’re feeling. But, we may have some idea about it.
So, what happened to ParkZone?
Parkzone was closing its services in Europe due to poor sales figures. Deteriorating customer service and subpar management has left the RC enthusiasts enraged. This led the company to face financial trouble and made it hard for them to aim for a new brand makeover.
Want to know more? We’ve got a spread for you that talks about what might have happened.
Let’s jump right in!
Brief History Behind ParkZone
Parkzone was an RC hobby brand. They were known to specialize in various RC airplanes, like amazing floatplanes. They were a fan-favorite brand for RC airplane enthusiasts. Their products were produced by Horizon Hobby, a company based in Illinois.
ParkZone was famous for its versatile planes like the F27 Stryker as well as the Slow-V. Along with them, fans adored many of their RTF planes among their other makes and models.
They gained a great following with their customers and became a trusty hobby brand over the decades. ParkZone also won a couple of awards for being the Best Hobby Brand that gave them more recognition.
For a brand celebrated by its fans, it was shocking to see them vanish. That too, without any proper notice or announcement. Although Horizon Hobby does still produce Spektrum transmitters for RC planes.
However, this was a multi-variable issue, so let’s investigate.
What Went Wrong With ParkZone?
Parkzone seemed to have disappeared slowly and steadily. However, customers of ParkZone noticed signs of the brand shutting operations.
Let’s look at these signs one at a time.
Offices Closing Down In UK And France
It all started when customers became furious when ParkZone would not return their calls. Many had sent their planes for servicing purposes. But they never received an update or an ETA for delivery.
Matters became more suspicious when people found out about the support center. The ParkZone support center in the UK was removed followed by their UK offices closing.
As people reached out to one another, ParkZone lovers in France noted the same pattern. Customers reported that the office in France shut down too.
This confirmed to European Parkzone fans and customers that their operations were closing. But at this point, they still had no clue where ParkZone could end up going.
But, what happened to Parkzone in their home country? Was Parkzone suffering in the US too?
Low Sales In The US
Turns out, with newer and relatively budget-friendly RC airplanes entering the market, ParkZone faced losses. A lot of these planes were also good quality, so they had a lot of buyers.
This came as a shock because Parkzone had a cult following. So, their sales declining after being a trusted hobby brand for decades was not something that sat right with the customers.
With sales declining, customers speculated that maybe ParkZone would close like it did in Europe. However, no such information was found. Even though many customers complained about not getting calls regarding servicing.
So, does this mean ParkZone had other trouble? Something must have been at the core.
With offices closing and sales declining, it was easy to assume that ParkZone was going bankrupt. Many customers also assumed that maybe they were bought by another company.
What did not help was the way Parkzone was replaced by E-flite. Now, ParkZone had relatively expensive RC planes, especially a decade ago. E-flite didn’t change that.
Essentially, Eflite sold the same types of makes and models of Parkzone but at the same price. Furthermore, they also kept supplies like glue for foam planes. But E-flite didn’t help ParkZone boost sales either.
And just like that, ParkZone had met its end.
Does ParkZone Have A New Owner?
It is speculated that ParkZone invested in a new venture. This new venture is a German subsidiary named Staufanbiel.
Staufanbiel is an RC parts manufacturer that also makes parts for RC airplanes.
When customers checked online, they saw Horizon Hobby, the manufacturer for Parkzone had a German website. This website stocked the products of Staufanbiel.
Therefore, people found it safe to assume that Parkzone had ceased operations in Europe. This way, they could invest in operations in Germany.
It’s almost as if ParkZone had dismantled itself into different ventures that their fans did not anticipate. No announcements were made by ParkZone about their operations which kept fans in the dark.
Well, now that ParkZone is gone, it begs to ask, where should fans go now?
Where Should ParkZone Fans Go Now?
This can be a little tricky to place. E-Flite is supposedly the alternative to ParkZone. So ParkZone fans can go to E-Flite for their RC plane needs. The price range and the models of their airplanes are on par with what Parkzone sold.
Apart from that, if fans are in need of specific RC plane parts, they can always look up the websites for Staufanbiel or the German website of Horizon Hobby to know more.
Since no proper statement was released from ParkZone, these are the best bets for fans now. Although, there are other options for those who fly RC planes as a hobby.
Question: Did ParkZone go out of business?
Answer: No ParkZone did not go out of business entirely. ParkZone got split into many small ventures and they invested in a foreign subsidiary. While they closed operations in places, they were still in the market and in business.
Question: Who owns ParkZone?
Answer: An American manufacturer called Horizon Hobby owns ParkZone. Located in Illinois, Horizon Hobby is responsible for the production and distribution of ParkZone goods.
Question: Who replaced ParkZone?
Answer: ParkZone was replaced by E-Flite. They sell RC planes with similar makes and models like ParkZone. The price range is also similar to ParkZone.
Well, that’s all the gossip we had for you this time. What a surprise right?
Now you know what happened to ParkZone. Leave us a comment down below if you saw this coming!
Till then, take care and don’t be disheartened.