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Product Lab - July 2005

Find complete reviews of these hot products in the pages of Model Retailer's July issue!
Published: June 23, 2005
RotoFly: tough chopper great for learning
Reveiwed by Jim Schweder, with Jim Faber
Product: The RotoFly might be the easiest way for your customers to get into R/C helicopter flying. It comes ready to fly, needing only eight AA batteries and a charge for the included Lithium-polymer battery to get off the ground.

The most striking feature of the RotoFly (No. HMXE01, $264.99) is how small it seems. At less than 14 inches long and just 5.3 oz. with battery, the RotoFly's delicate look belies its sophistication and strength.

The RotoFly comes with a four-channel radio by Futaba and an AC battery charger for its Li-poly battery pack for roughly 10 minutes of flight. A 180-size motor powers the main rotor, which has a diameter of almost 14 inches, and an N20 motor powers the tail rotor.
To help the beginning flyer, a training landing gear with Styrofoam balls and a DVD on flight instruction are included.

Product: RotoFly ready-to-fly electric mini helicopter
Maker: Heli-Max
Stock number: HMXE01
MSRP: $264.99
Availability: Great Planes Model

  • Handles crashes well
  • Has the right stuff for beginners
  • Needs little space to fly

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    SCX Toyota TF 104 slot car
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal
    Product: This car represents Toyota's entry into the world of Formula One racing. F1 is one of the most popular forms of motorsport on the planet, and SCX has recently produced this replica of the Toyota TF 104 (No. 61740, $43.99).

    Product: Toyota TF 104 slot car
    Maker: SCX
    Stock number: 61740
    Scale: 1:32
    MSRP: $43.99

  • Good handling
  • Durable
  • Guide suspension and steering

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    Navia Dratp - a new 'spin' on Chess
    Reviewed by Fred Jandt
    Product: Navia Dratp (pronounced "nah-vee-ah drap") is a variation on the collectible game genre so popular today. Each starter set (No. 14141, $29.99) contains a playmat, one Navia figure, seven Masetai figures, nine Gulled pieces, Masetai cards, 17 Gyullas crystals and a rulebook.

    Two starter sets are needed to play. Extra Navia and Masetai figures are available in three-piece booster packs (14146, $8.95).

    Product: Navia Dratp Starter & Booster Sets
    Maker: Bandai
    Stock numbers: 14141, 14146
    MSRP: $29.99, $8.95

  • Know chess, know Navia Dratp
  • Beautiful figures
  • Lots of replay value

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    Rev up with Carrera Super Formula Racing set
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal
    Product: Carrera's uniqueness in the slot-car world is cemented by its track which accommodates 1:24 and 1:32 cars. The Super Formula Racing set (No. 25313, $125.99) comes with two 1:32 Formula One cars (a Ferrari F2002 V10 and a Williams F1 BMW), two thumb-operated controllers, 14 pieces of track, two guardrails and miscellaneous track supports.

    Product: Super Formula Racing slot car set
    Maker: Carrera
    Scale: 1:32 & 1:24
    Stock number: 25313
    MSRP: $125.99

  • High quality
  • Accepts a wide variety of cars
  • Good starter set

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    BLI's NW2 puts big sound in a small unit
    Reviewed by Hal Miller
    Product: With the release of Broadway Limited's HO NW2/SW7 switcher models, your customers who want to bang cars around on their layouts can now blow their own horns, just like the guys running main-line trains.

    Long an innovator in the sound- and Digital Command Control-equipped locomotive market, BLI has neatly tucked QSI Quantum Sound electronics into the hoods of these diminutive units. The models can be operated using DCC and the installed decoder or with conventional DC.

    Product: HO EMD NW2/SW7
    Maker: Broadway Limited Imports LLC
    Stock numbers: NW2 Ph. 5-Baltimore & Ohio (nos. 632, 633), Burlington Northern (634, 635), Great Northern (636, 637), Pennsylvania (638, 639), Southern Pacific (640, 641), Union Pacific (642, 643), Undecorated (644). SW7 Ph. 1-Chesapeake & Ohio (645, 646), New York Central (647, 648), Northern Pacific (649, 650), Undecorated (651). SW7 Ph. 2-BN (652, 653), C&O (654, 655), Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (656, 657), GN (658, 659), NYC (660, 661) PRR (662, 663) UP (664, 665), Undecorated (667).
    MSRP: $179.99

  • Smooth low-speed running
  • Nice sound
  • A well-engineered locomotive

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    Repsol Honda RC211V cuts an impressive figure
    Reviewed by Mark Melchiori
    Product: Motorcycle Grand Prix racing is the pinnacle of motorsport on two wheels. For the past several years, the best has been Italy's Valentino Rossi. Before switching to Yamaha in 2004, Rossi spent many years dominating on a Honda. Italeri has issued this kit of Rossi's 2003 Valencia Grand Prix mount, complete with the special graphics from that event.

    Product: Respol Honda RC211V, Valencia 2003
    Maker: Italeri
    Scale: 1:9
    Stock number: 4621
    MSRP: $50
    Availability: Testor

  • Impressive size makes a statement
  • Colorful, eyecatching graphics
  • Popular subject matter

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    Broadway's Niagara might be its best locomotive yet
    Reviwed by Terry Thompson
    Product: An accurately scaled, smooth-running model of the pinnacle of the New York Central's steam power, the S-1b "Niagara" 4-8-4 is one of the latest releases from Broadway Limited Inc. It's available with installed Digital Command Control and sound or in a traditional DC version.

    The New York Central built 25 S-1b locomotives that entered service in 1945-46. They were primarily used to pull the railroad's illustrious limited passenger trains, but could occasionally be found in freight duty. Despite their speed and power, the NYC retired its Niagaras in 1955-56. BLI's model represents the S-1b class as delivered.

    Product: Niagara 4-8-4 steam
    Maker: Broadway Limited
    Stock number: with DCC/sound: item No. 540, road No. 6001; No. 541, road No. 6017; No. 542, road No. 6024; unlettered No. 543. DC: No. 544, road No. 6001; No. 545, road No. 6017; No. 546, road No. 6024; unlettered …No. 547
    Scale: HO
    MSRP: $249.99 without sound, $329.99 with QSI sound

  • Rich sound
  • Crisply detailed
  • Excellent attention to detail

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    Walthers modular components allow custom designs
    Product: These new modular structure components from Walthers are certain to be a hit with structure modelers. The injection-molded styrene components are nicely detailed and easy to work with, and they make it easy to design a custom structure with about the same effort as assembling a standard plastic kit.

    Walthers offers the components in six different packages, including roofs, walls, loading docks and trim.

    Product: Modular structure
    Maker: Wm. K. Walthers
    Stock numbers: peaked roof and base (933-3720); flat roof and base (933-3721); small walls, windows and doors (933-3722); large walls and windows (933-3723); foundation and loading docks (933-3724) and wall columns and caps (933-3725).
    Scale: HO
    MSRP: $9.98 each

  • Unlimited building possibilities
  • Great for creating multiple sales
  • Easy to build for modelers

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    Monogram's March Slot Car almost too pretty to race
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal
    Product: One of the most successful Porsche-powered GT cars has been the March 83G. The No. 00 Kreepy Krauly 83G won the 1983 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Camel GT Championship and the Daytona 24-Hour race in 1984.

    Product: March 83G Kreepy Krauly No. 00
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Stock number: 4868
    Scale: 1:32
    MSRP: $45

  • Very well detailed
  • Unique looking
  • Fun to drive

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    Tamiya's Xanavi Nismo offers thrills for the new nitro driver
    Reviewed by Hal Miller
    Product: Tamiya opens the door to the nitro radio-control world with its Expert-Built (XBG) series of cars. The company's 1:10 Xanavi Nismo Z touring car (No. 43519, $443) is a great way for the newcomer to get started. It features an all-wheel-drive TGS-R chassis with a brightly painted and decaled polycarbonate body shell representing the full-size Nissan racecar competing in the Japan GT Championship series.

    Straight out of the box, this machine is practically ready to roll. The bright, well-illustrated carton contains the fully assembled car, an Expec SP two-channel radio, glow-plug heater, fuel bottle, several wrenches, lube and some spare parts. In short, everything your customer needs to get running quickly is in here, except fuel, air filter oil and 12 AA batteries for the radio and receiver.

    Product: XBG Xanavi Nismo Z
    Maker: Tamiya
    Stock number: 43519
    MSRP: $443

  • Screaming good looks
  • Quick and easy set-up
  • Manageable for the beginner

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    Airbus' current 'big jet'
    Reviewed by David Pop
    Product: New from Dragon Models, the firm's Dragon Wings line has created a 1:400 proportion model of an Airbus A340-600 passenger jet (No. 55800, $31.95), decorated in the aircraft manufacturer's new conservative blue-and-white demonstrator paint scheme. Known as the biggest Airbus jetliner flying - that title is scheduled to be succeeded by the company's A380 line of jets in 2006 - the A340-600 is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, can handle 380 passengers and has a range of 7,900 nautical miles. According to the company's Web site, Airbus calls the plane its "newest benchmark in comfort, range and operating efficiency." The two-pilot crewed plane was first delivered to Virgin Atlantic in 2002 and has since been added to the fleets of five other international airlines. As of November 2004, 38 planes had been built and 22 more were on order.

    Product: Airbus A340-600 passenger aircraft
    Maker: Dragon Models Ltd.
    Stock number: 55800
    Scale: 1:400
    MSRP: $31.95

  • Die-cast metal-plastic construction
  • Crisp detail, high-quality decorating
  • Display stand included

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    Atlas' Dash 8-40C features good detail, supurb sound
    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson
    Product: Atlas now offers its nicely detailed model of General Electric's Dash 8-40C in a sound-equipped version. The Gold Series model features all the great detail of the standard (Silver) line, but comes complete with a Digital Command Control decoder and QSI Quantum sound system.

    The model accurately represents GE's popular six-axle Dash 8-40CW. GE built 796 of the 4,000-hp diesels from 1989 through 1994.

    The ready-to-run model features an injection-molded styrene shell (cab/hood/walkway assembly) atop a cast-metal chassis. The model has many separately applied details, including grilles, horn, exhaust stack, wipers, grab irons, sunshades, uncoupling levers, hoses and plow. The detailed cab interior includes a pair of figures. The paint and lettering are neatly done. Available paint schemes (Santa Fe, No. 9616, $244.95) are all based on railroads that actually owned the locomotive.

    Product: GE Dash 8-40CW
    Maker: Atlas
    Stock number: 9616 (Santa Fe)
    Scale: HO
    MSRP: $244.95 (Silver Series models, without sound and DCC, are $134.95)
    Also available: Chicago & North Western (three schemes), Conrail (Quality scheme), CSX, Norfolk Southern (two schemes), Union Pacific

  • Quiet and smooth
  • Realistic variety of sounds
  • Well detailed

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