It is a great pleasure to present this interview with a person considered as a reference in its class. Mau created Maugrafix and put all his talent and all his creativity (and a few drinks!) to beautify our RC cars. Thanks Mau and Evlin for kindly agreed to do this interview. Grazie amici!
Circus RC News: Tell us a about yourself Mau.
Maugrafix: I’m Maurizio Fantinel, better known as “Mau”, 42 years old next February.
Circus RC News: How did you get started in the world of RC?
Maugrafix: I was a pretty good motocross racer back in 97/98, then I had a bad crash and I told myself that if I could still walk I would have stopped to race. I’m still walking. Back then the smell of engines and the need for adrenaline had left a large sense of emptiness into me so I started with RC. Not the same but much safer!
Circus RC News: You are the pioneer in stickers and customization in RC. How did you come to this idea and in what year?
Maugrafix: Well, graphic design and related is a family affair for me since my father is a famous graphic designer and I followed his steps, after a few years of paying dues into some design companies, I went with my father and we started a new business company. Then I felt myself not so happy of working just for corporate companies, too serious, I need something more “racing involved”. Then the idea comes out and I started doing stickers for RC, first in the world. It worked and in 2005 I founded the Maugrafix. Back then it was hard but I manage to put all pieces of the puzzle together and now we are still here, growing each year and setting new trademarks that other can just copy.
Circus RC News: For those who do not know, where did the name « Maugrafix”?
Maugrafix: Drink a couple of beers and you will come out with Mau + Graphics…Drink another one and you will end with Maugrafix!. Oh, if you see some other companies with the “grafix” appendix instead of graphic, they copied us, just to let you know…
Circus RC News: How many people work at Maugrafix?
Maugrafix: We are just 2: me and my wife Evlin. I’m the mind behind ideas, she is the lovely part taking care of public relations, media and socials.
Circus RC News: Normally I ask the pilots I interviewed who are their sponsors. But to you I’m going to ask you who you sponsored ;)
Maugrafix: Oh first of all I’m a racer too so my sponsors are: Kyosho, TeamOrion, AKA, Runnertime, and Maugrafix for sure! Regarding the drivers I sponsor the list is quite long.
Circus RC News: Did you do the sum of all the championships that your drivers have won?
Maugrafix: We have 2 world titles (Battle and Hara) and 9 European Championships (2x Batlle, 2x Ronnefalk, 3x Savoya, 1x Bloomfield, 1x Vega)
Circus RC News: What are the drivers that run on Maugrafix from the beginning
Maugrafix: First 2 drivers were Alex Laffranchi and JQ. JQ is still part of the team now, he is a veteran Maugrafix team driver!
Circus RC News: How is the development of products Maugrafix? 100% of ideas come to you?
Maugrafix: Yes. Maugrafix is 100% Mau’s creativity.
Actually I’m a lucky guy. I travelled a lot, worked some time in the US and have an open mind. I spend a lot of time in research: magazines, internet, TV and all can give me cool ideas. Nothing is new in design world: everyone elaborates existing concepts and push those to next level. To do this you have to be creative.
The problem is that some people, who is supposed to be creative, just COPY. And I hate who COPY what you do.
A recent example is related to our trophy plates: I wanted something new and I come up with the idea of a wing side. Nothing so incredible, but once again it’s easy to think about that AFTER you have seen it. you have to do that starting from blank paper.
In 2 years my trophies have been COPIED by 3 companies.
Now I’m working on something different, so they can copy again! As I say, once you see the Nike or Apple logo, it’s easy to do that, but the problem is that you have to start form a white piece of paper!
Circus RC News: Do you have any ideas that we should see in Maugrafix in the near future?
Maugrafix: I launched my new website this week, now it’s easier and faster to buy from us and we will improve that. Regarding new products we have always something in mind, we never stop thinking to new cool ideas.
Circus RC News: You pilot a Kyosho MP9. You participate in many races a year?
Maugrafix: As many as I can, I love race, even if I’m gettin’ older and those damn kids are really fast!
Circus RC News: how is a typical day for Maugrafix?
Maugrafix: Funny, relaxing, drinking my wiskey and smoking my cigar…. :)
Circus RC News: When speaking Maugrafix talking Mau but also Evlin. How did you meet and Evlin work in Maugrafix?
Maugrafix: We met at the gym and we felt in love quite early. We have been engaged for 11 years and we got married one year ago. She is absolutely the friendly and kindest part of Maugrafix: she takes care of PR and social media. I’m too rude to do that!
Circus RC News: What did you think about the European Championships and the Worlds?
Maugrafix: Cool events, but something must be done for the schedule and the show! Drivers can practice more for sure and to me those events must be done on a track NEW for everyone (like The Neo race). But I do not like to criticize too much, each race has its pros and cons. And I know how difficult is to organize a race!
Circus RC News: Many drivers say a great driver is nothing without a good mechanic. This is also your opinion?
Maugrafix: No. Some drivers are ok without mechanic, others are lost. For me I wrench on my car, but without my pit-wife I’m lost at the races. Your pit man (or woman) is very important, more that a mechanic.
Circus RC News: Is there something you always do before racing, bringing you luck
Maugrafix: Kiss my wife, and give 3 punches on my chest before the staring grid.
Circus RC News: As you pilot a past or present who have served you as a model?
Maugrafix: For sure Alex Laffranchi, his driving style was unique on its own and he taught me a lot of things and Mike Cradock, he helped me a lot in the recent past and nowadays.
Circus RC News: You seem very close to your drivers. These are all your friends
Maugrafix: Yes, that’s the key to be supported by us.
Circus RC News: Which Italian drivers impress you the most?
Maugrafix: Riccardo Berton, he is so smart and fast, he seems always slow on the track but he is the fastest, Alex Zanchettin is on fire those years, he is impressive fast, Davide Ognaro just needs a bit of luck, Alex Stocco is fast but needs to be more consistent. I think we will see those names in the high ranking soon, I’m very happy to know that we have some good kids growing up in RC world, we miss some heavy title now in Italy.
Circus RC News: Is there a memorable race that you remember that you love more than others?
Maugrafix: GP of Montpellier and The Neo Races are my favorite.
Circus RC News: What are your aim for next year?
Maugrafix: Just have fun, as usual. Once you are getting older, you realize is more about having fun than racing.
Circus RC News: What is your favorite track? (i have a idea ;))
Maugrafix: All tracks with nice jumps and good soil: Neo, IBR Padova, Montpellier and Asti.
Circus RC News: What are the parts of the track you like the most (chicanes, jumps, etc …)
Maugrafix: Jumps for sure, I think it’s the part in which I can still make a difference.
Circus RC News: What are the parts of the track you like the least?
Maugrafix: Jumps made in an idiot way, tight turns.
Circus RC News: What do you prefer between nitro and electric?
Maugrafix: Nitro for sure! Electric is good and will be the future, once the will come out with a battery pack which can last 30 mins. But as long as nitro will be allowed, it’s the choice.
Circus RC News: For newcomers who would engage in the RC, in competition in particular, you should provide an important super advice?
Maugrafix: Do not think to be superstar after few weeks, be humble, and learn from real people and not from the web. And it’s supposed to be funny, so take it easy!
Circus RC News: You have a battle cry, a motto?
Maugrafix: Always believe never give up!
Circus RC News: to finish the rc part i’ll give you some names and you must associate a word. let’s go:
Evlin: my life
Reno Savoya: my son
Atsushi Hara: a legend
Yuichi Kanai: kyosho godfather
Alex Zanchettin: raising star
Lee Martin: a true PRO
Yannick Aigoin: French legend
David Ronnefalk: my little bro
Robert Batlle: smart
Riccardo Berton: future of Italian RC
Jérôme Aigoin: fast
Ryan Maifield: master of jumps
Elliott Boots: whip man
Ty Tessmann: the reference
Jérôme Sartel: a very nice guy
Circus RC News: cut your beard :)
Questions about RC are finished. Now we will move on to more standard questions.
Circus RC News: Do you have any other hobbies?
Maugrafix: Yes, bodybulding, smoking cuban cigars, enjoying good life.
Circus RC News: What profession would you like to do and one you hate to do?
Maugrafix: I like what I do, I liked to be a PRO athlete, I hate to be a waiter.
Circus RC News: Your favorite curse word?
Maugrafix: I have many that I can’t write here…Usually is coglione! (I know many of them!)
Circus RC News: Favorite dish, a favorite drink. (i’ll bet a dollar on panda express since my interview with Ty.)
Maugrafix: Meat, a lot of meat, like fillet, obviously rare! Drink I like wine or a good wiskey!
Circus RC News: Your favorite country.
Maugrafix: Italy, then US.
Circus RC News: String or tanga ?
Circus RC News: What are your musical tastes ?
Maugrafix: All but I love 80s and 90s music.
Circus RC News: Cd or vinyl ?
Maugrafix: MP3, easier to carry with you.
Circus RC News: The word you hate most?
Circus RC News: You favorite word?
Maugrafix: Let’s do that!
Circus RC News: Thanks Mau and Evlin! see you on the track!
Maugrafix: It has been a pleasure, see you soon and thanks you all for reading.
Photos: Maugrafix & RcRevolution.net.