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Product Lab - September 2005

Find complete reviews of these hot products in the pages of Model Retailer's September issue!
Published: August 24, 2005
Carerra controllers let racers roam
Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

Product: Most slot car tracks have controllers attached by cords. If a car comes off the track and you're not lucky enough to have someone to put it back on for you, then you must put the controller down, walk over to the crash scene and put the car back on the track. Also, all racers have to drive from the same general area because of the cords' length. However, with the introduction of Carrera's new wireless speed controllers for digital and analog sets (digital: No. 10100, $99.99; analog: No. 10101, $139.99), slot car racers have the freedom to move around while racing.

Carrera's wireless system comes with an infrared receiver that looks like a bottle of Mobil-1 motor oil (a familiar advertising device at many European race courses), two speed controllers, two neck strings and a set of instructions. Analog sets come with everything previously mentioned plus a track connector piece. Each controller takes three AA batteries.

VITAL STATS
Product: Wireless Speed Controls
Maker: Carrera
Stock numbers: 10100 (digital), 10101 (analog)
MSRP: $99.99 (digital), $139.99 (analog)

BOTTOM LINE
  • Gives racers freedom to roam
  • Digital and analog versions
  • Easy to set up

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    Revell's Jerry Titus Mustang fast and smooth
    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: The 1:32 Mustang GT-350R Jerry Titus No. 61B slot car from Revell-Monogram was one of the very few racing-version Mustangs designed by legendary car guru Carroll Shelby for 1965. Just 36 of the R-version '65 GT-350s were built and all were modified for more racing power and reduced in weight.

    The Monogram line 1:32 slot car reproduction of the car looks great. The slot car captures the classic lines of the Mustang, the paint job and graphics are clean and crisp. In fact, this car is almost too good looking to want to beat up on a racetrack, but that's the fun part of slot cars so we did it anyway.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Mustang GT-350R Jerry Titus No. 61 slot car
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 4867
    MSRP: $45
    Availability: Revell-Monogram

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Good speed
  • Well-detailed
  • Classic design

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    GMP builds a great-looking Gurney Lola
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: This is a 1:18 version of the 1967 Lola T70 Mk.3B as driven by well-known racecar driver Dan Gurney. The car was driven at LeMans in '67, however, it proved to be too heavy and difficult to drive to be competitive.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: 1967 Lola T70 Mk.3B
    Maker: GMP
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock number: G1801511
    MSRP: $97.15

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Great engine representation
  • Good overall detail
  • Car driven by a well-known driver

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    See if you can get a grip on Ninco's Arctic Rally set
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: Ninco's latest slot car set, Arctic Rally, comes with the company's snow curve. This section of track allows the cars to drift sideways through the corner.
    The set includes guardrails, banked-curve and bridge supports, two controllers and a powerpack. When assembled, the track is about 101 inches x 33 inches in the recommended figure-eight layout.

    Also included are two belt-driven four-wheel-drive Ninco rally cars: a Peugeot 307 with shock absorbers and snow detail, and a Subaru Impreza WRX with snow detail, but no shocks. Both vehicles have magnets, guides with suspension and the powerful NC-5 Speeder motor.

    The highlight of this set is, of course, the snow curve. This white track section is glossy and smooth with a raised, rough inside bank. This turn is designed to minimize traction, allowing the cars, especially 4-wheel-drive vehicles, to slide sideways like 1:1 rally cars. There are even two straight tracks with "snow" painted on them so there is a smooth-looking tarmac-to-snow transition.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Arctic Rally set
    Maker: Ninco
    Stock number: 20124
    MSRP: $194.98
    Availability: MRC

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Unique snow curve
  • Challenging to navigate
  • Great cars

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    SCX digital bridge lights up the race track
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: With digital slot car sets gaining popularity, more and more accessories are hitting the market, thus allowing for more track layout options. This new bridge with light from SCX, for use on its digital tracks, adds a neat variable to a slot track layout.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Digital Bridge with Light
    Maker: SCX
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 25020
    MSRP: $109.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Adds variety to the race course
  • Good addition to digital track
  • Smooth track transitions

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    Scalextric's Ford GT looks good and drives great
    Reviewed by Fred Jandt

    Product: When Ford decided to reinvent one of its classic cars, the legendary GT40, for the modern era in 2005, I knew I had to have one. Not having that kind of money, I opted for Scalextric's 1:32 slot car version.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Ford GT 2005
    Maker: Scalextric
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: C2661
    Price: $42.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Well-known design
  • Slick paint job
  • Awesome power and handling

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    GMP aces die-cast P-51D Mustang
    Reviewed by Hal Miller

    Product: North American's P-51 Mustang is arguably the best propeller-driven fighter plane of all time. Its speed, range and maneuverability made it a deadly foe during World War II, where almost 5,000 enemy aircraft fell victim to the Mustangs' blazing guns.

    This aircraft is modeled on one flown during World War II by U.S. Army Air Force Major John B. England, who scored 17.5 victories in the plane named Missouri Armada. England was part of the 357th Fighter Group and flew a total of 108 missions in this and other Mustangs.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: P-51D Mustang 4414789/Missouri Armada
    Maker: GMP
    Scale: 1:35
    Stock number: G3502006
    MSRP: $161.95

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Accurate paint and lettering
  • Popular WWII subject
  • Numerous details and options

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    Modifiable cars offer a new twist on die-cast
    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: Hot Works Racing Factory was on to something when they combined the styling of a legendary sports coupe with one of the hottest Japanese trends in die-cast, upgradeability, to create the Mazda RX-7 kit. The kit is just one of more than a dozen die-cast/model hybrid kits in the company's Auto Pro Shop line. The line, which has been a huge hit with the tuner-crazy market in Japan, will now have its chance to attract those same crowds to the hobby here.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Mazda RX-7 with Vertex upgrade parts
    Maker: Hot Works Racing Factory
    Scale: 1:24
    Stock number: MS-042402
    MSRP: roughly $34
    Availability: Sunrich Toys & Hobby

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Fun to customize
  • Models of cars for the younger set
  • Easy, intuitive construction

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