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Product Lab - November 2005

Published: October 25, 2005
ParkZone's Mustang is a joy to fly
Reviewed by Jason McNally

Product: Ask any aviation buff what their favorite airplane is and you'll likely hear "P-51 Mustang." The real warbird combines gorgeous looks with incredible maneuverability, and ParkZone's captures both qualities with stunning accuracy.

The wings are equally stunning with the accurate gun ports protruding from the leading edge. This plane comes with everything needed to fly in one box. The only assembly required is to screw on the wings, slide in the horizontal stabilizer and attach the pushrods to the control horns. After a 40-minute battery charge with the provided DC charger, the plane is ready to fly.

The Mustang is powered by a speed 480 motor with gearbox, a nice setup for the slightly heavy park flyer. The radio is a three-channel with proportional control for the ailerons and elevator. The aileron control gives the airplane the snappy maneuverability one would expect from a Mustang.

VITAL STATS
Product: P-51D Mustang RTF
Maker: ParkZone
Stock number: PKZ1500
MSRP: $229.99
Availability: Horizon Hobby

BOTTOM LINE
  • Scale looks, good maneuverability
  • Great parts availability
  • Everything in one package


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    HO EMD GP20 with DCC and sound looks and runs great
    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson

    Product: Life-Like continues to add sound-equipped models to its line with this Proto 2000 series model of EMD's GP20 road switcher. The model now comes with a factory-installed QSI Quantum sound system with dual speakers.

    The real GP20 was EMD's first turbocharged locomotive, and a total of 260 of the 2,000-hp diesels were built from 1959 through 1962. Many survived in road service through the 1970s, and some have been rebuilt and are still operating.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: EMD GP20 with sound
    Maker: Life-Like Proto 2000, available from Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Stock numbers: (sound equipped): Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe blue and yellow (Nos. 31496, 31497); Burlington Northern (Nos. 31498, 31499); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (Nos. 31500, 31501); New York Central (Nos. 31502, 31503); Penn Central (Nos. 31504, 31505); Santa Fe red and yellow SPSF scheme (Nos. 31506, 31507); Union Pacific (Nos. 31508, 31509); Southern Pacific (Nos. 31510, 31511) and undecorated (No. 31512).
    MSRP: $265

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Motor is smooth and quiet
  • Sound is realistic
  • Lots of roadname variety

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    Jackie Stewart's 1971 Formula 1 car looks great in 1:32
    Reviewed by David Popp

    Product: SCX (Tecnitoys) has released a new version of its original Tyrrell-Ford F1 as part of its line of SCX Vintage slot cars. First produced as a slot car by SCX (Exin) in 1973, the model is based on the cars Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert drove for the Tyrrell Racing Team in 1971, when Stewart won the Formula 1 Grand Prix World Championship (Stewart's first). The Tyrrell team won seven of the 11 races that year, with Stewart winning six of them himself. Two years later, Stewart won his second world championship in another Tyrrell car, making the Tyrrell-Ford F1 is an exciting piece of auto racing history.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: 1971 Tyrrell-Ford Formula 1 slot car
    Maker: SCX (Tecnitoys)
    Scale: 1:32
    Product number: 61780
    MSRP: $55.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Plastic and metal construction
  • Fully assembled and decorated
  • Fact booklet included


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    Tamiya's Road Hawk puts RTR cars in a good light
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: Ready-to-run, or RTR, R/C cars are getting better and better as time progresses. Years ago, RTR meant going to a toy store and buying a pre-built car. And, although the car might have been speedy, it really wasn't upgradable. If you were to break a part, especially one critical to driving, you were out of luck and were left with an unusable car ready for the dumpster.

    Fast-forward to the present, and the RTR cars coming out by the R/C manufacturers are head, neck and shoulders above the old pre-built cars. Nowadays, if a part breaks, you can get replacements; they are able to be hopped-up and feature the latest in R/C technology.

    One of the newest vehicles in Tamiya's XB, or Expert Built, line of RTR cars is a good example of a well-built, upgradable product that includes modern R/C amenities and plenty of driving excitement right out of the box.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Road Hawk
    Maker: Tamiya
    Stock number: 57739
    MSRP: $250

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Easy to drive, yet speedy
  • Good looking and durable
  • Upgradeable


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    Be Batman with Scalextric's new set
    Reviewed by Fred Jandt

    Product: The movie Batman Begins took over theaters this summer with the retelling of Batman's origin. Some might say the real star of this movie was the new Batmobile, or the "Tumbler" as it is called in the movie.

    The "Tumbler" looks like a Hummer with ablative, anti-radar armor plating on it. Whatever you want to call it, though, it just exudes cool. Scalextric's captured this cool in its 1:43 set.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Batman Begins set
    Maker: Scalextric
    Scale: 1:43
    Stock number: C1157T
    MSRP: $167.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • You get to drive the Batmobile!
  • Superfast cars
  • Compatibility with other Sport track


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    ACF troop kitchen conversion car faithful to the real thing
    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson

    Product: Walthers has captured the look of a unique and distinctive baggage car with its models of rebuilt American Car & Foundry World War II troop kitchen cars. During the war these cars served as kitchens in troop trains, but after the war the majority of these cars were deemed surplus. Many were converted to express baggage service by plating over the windows and clearing the interior. Many remained in service through the 1960s.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: ACF troop kitchen conversion car
    Maker: Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Stock numbers: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (932-4182), Monon (932-4183), undecorated (932-4199).
    MSRP: $24.98

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Captures prototype well
  • Distinctive subject
  • Unique car history


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    Polar Lights' 2005 Ford GT is all about power
    Reviewed by Fred Jandt

    Product: Power. It all comes down to power in the end. Cars, models - everything. And the 2005 Ford GT exudes power, which translates remarkably well into 1:25 with Polar Lights' model kit.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: 2005 Ford GT
    Maker: Polar Lights
    Scale: 1:25
    Stock number: 53026
    MSRP: $18.99
    Availability: RC2

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Beautiful body
  • Solid "snap" parts
  • Great-looking finished model


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    Carrera gets small with GO!!!
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: Carrera's smaller-scale (1:43 vs. 1:32) Go!!! sets have many of the same features as their larger counterparts, but take up less space. When assembled, this Spider Man-themed set is about 5x8-feet.

    Carrera's Spider Man Go!!! set comes with a Doctor Octopus-themed Dodge Viper and a Spider Man-themed Chevrolet Corvette; two thumb-operated controllers with turbo boost; a lap counter; guardrails and a power-pack. Assembly is simple and straightforward, and the track feels sturdy when set up.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Go!!! Spider-Man
    Maker: Carrera
    Scale: 1:43
    Stock number: 60803
    MSRP: $77.98

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Takes up less space than 1:32 sets
  • Lots of speed
  • Durable


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    Ninco's newest Porsche 911 is fast and demanding
    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: The Porsche 911 is a classic performance car and Ninco's latest Porsche, this time painted in bold green, red and white with markings for "Armel" on it, is a good looking example of the species.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Porsche 911 "Armel" slot car
    Maker: Ninco
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 50386
    MSRP: $59.98
    Availability: MRC

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Great looking car
  • Speedy performance
  • Demands a racer's touch


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    No shortage of fun with Tamiya's Mini Cooper
    Reviewed by David Popp

    Product: Looking for something as fun to drive as a real Mini Cooper? Try driving Tamiya's latest Mini Cooper radio-controlled 1:10 car. One of the newest models offered in the firm's XB Pro, Expert-Built series of radio controlled vehicles, this "classic" Mini has all the stylish good looks of the British-motoring icon with plenty of speed and performance to match. The model features a painted-and-detailed polycarbonate body shell mounted on Tamiya's M-03 chassis and includes front-wheel drive; a front and rear double-wishbone, coil-spring-dampened suspension system; and a high-performance 540 electric motor. It also includes the firm's TEU-101BK programmable speed controller with forward and reverse drive and an Expec SP radio control throttle. Though the car doesn't include batteries (one 7.2 volt R/C battery and eight AAs are required), the model comes packaged fully assembled and ready-to-drive. Detailed instruction sheets for the car, speed controller and radio are also included.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Mini Cooper radio controlled car
    Maker: Tamiya
    Scale: 1:10
    Stock number: 57742
    MSRP: $279.95

    BOTTOM LINE
  • High-performance electric motor
  • Fully assembled and decorated
  • Includes radio


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