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Product Lab - May 2006

Published: April 17, 2006
Scalextric set brings NASCAR home
Product: In the U.S., few forms of motorsport come close to the popularity of NASCAR, and nearly everyone who enjoys it has a favorite car and driver.

Nowadays, there is a NASCAR version of just about everything, and fans love its memorabilia. This includes hobby-related products such as model kits, die-cast models, R/C vehicles, board games and, now, slot cars.
We always wondered why a slot-car company hadn't released a NASCAR slot car track. We thought it might have been because most of the manufacturers sell their products globally, and NASCAR is only raced in the U.S., or maybe it was because of high licensing costs.

But, lo and behold, Scalextric recently released a series of 1:32 NASCAR vehicles. Now, it offers a super speedway track, too.

The track comes with two cars: a Lowe's-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo as driven by Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon's DuPont-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo. When assembled, the tri-oval layout is 9½ feet by 6 feet and consists of 21 feet of track. Also included are units to create three banked curves, along with two controllers and a powerpack. Everything comes neatly packaged and allows for easy storage, too.

Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

Product: NASCAR Super Speedway
Maker: Scalextric
Scale: 1:32
Stock No.: C1158T
MSRP: $179.99

  • Great performance
  • Expandable
  • Very popular subjects

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    Details make Proto 2000 RS27 a winner
    Product: Alco's RS27 was among the earliest high-horsepower second-generation diesels, and it's the subject of this sharp-looking model from Proto 2000. Although Alco sold just 27 of the 1:1 2,400-hp RS27s from December 1959 through October 1962, the distinctive-looking diesel has a following among Alco fans and modelers. Proto 2000 by Walthers offers the ready-to-run model with DCC and QSI Quantum sound, or with standard DC control and no sound.

    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson

    Product: Alco RS27
    Maker: Proto 2000 by Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Roadnames: Alco Demonstrator; Chicago & North Western; Conrail; Green Bay & Western; Penn Central; Pennsylvania; Soo Line; Union Pacific; undecorated
    MSRP: $265 with sound and DCC; $165 without sound or DCC

  • Distinctive Alco engine sound
  • Superb detailing
  • Details match specific prototype

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    CEN's Mini Madness is maximum fun
    Product: The "mini monster" segment of the R/C industry is on the rise, and several manufacturers have gotten in on the big-time, small-scale action.

    CEN Racing's entry to this segment is its Mini Madness RTR. The two-wheel drive truck features eight shock absorbers, high-grip tires, a 540-style motor with a slipper clutch, a pre-painted body, pistol-grip radio and all the needed electronics. A 7.4-volt, 1,800 mAh Ni-Cd battery and charger are also included, along with several tools and extra servo savers. All the customer needs to add are eight AA batteries to the transmitter.

    The 540 motor mated with the two-wheel-drive transmission translates into a little truck that has some big speed. Plus, the Mini Madness can accommodate a host of upgrades from motors to shock absorbers.

    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: Mini Madness
    Maker: CEN Racing
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock No.: 8501
    MSRP: $190
    Availability: Horizon Hobby

  • Good high-end speed
  • Cool looking
  • Upgradeable

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    Skies are friendlier with Spektrum's DX6
    Product: The Spektrum DX6 brings spread-spectrum radio technology to the air. The product is a six-channel park flyer system that holds 10 models in its memory and allows radio-control aircraft hobbyists to fly their planes and helicopters while minimizing the potential for crashes caused by radio interference.

    After you power up the system, it searches for, selects and locks onto clear channels - in this case, 80 of them, made accessible by the radio's 2.4GHz digital spectrum. The radio will neither sustain interference from, nor cause interference to, any other 2.4GHz or conventional crystal device.

    Included with the radio are four E-Flite S75 sub-micro servos and the AR6000 DuaLink receiver.

    Reviewed by Hal Miller

    Product: DX6
    Maker: Spektrum
    Stock No.: SPM2460
    MSRP: $299.99
    Availability: Horizon Hobby

  • Eliminates radio interference
  • Excellent price point
  • Easy to use

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    Revell's BMW 320i cars really perform on the track
    Product: Revell-Monogram jumped back into the slot-car industry relatively recently, and the 1:32 BMW 320i cars are the first great slot cars in their product line. The prototype 320i depicted by these cars was a powerful racecar on the German DRM touring car circuit in the late 1970s.

    Revell's scale slot car version is beautiful in both the Warsteiner and Jagermeister schemes. The graphics, attention to body detail and interior make this a great-looking car.

    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: BMW 320i
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: 08378 (Warsteiner), 08381 (Jagermeister)
    MSRP: $49

  • Revell's best cars yet
  • Very fast
  • Hugs the track

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    Artin's attractive Saleen S7 is low-cost entertainment
    Product: The Saleen S7 is a prime example of an American supercar. It's low-slung, exotic looks and ultra-high-performance engine allow it to compete on the world stage with names such as Lamborghini and Ferrari.

    Slot car manufacturer Artin has released a 1:32 version of this amazing vehicle, and it's priced well below many other 1:32 slot cars from other manufacturers.

    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: Saleen S7
    Maker: Artin
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: 5786KD (Red) 5786KC (black/white)
    MSRP: $24.95

  • Attractive price
  • Durable
  • Challenging to drive fast

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    Hasegawa model is superb replica of Stuka
    Product: Hasegawa's 1:32 series of World War II aircraft represents a long-standing tradition of high-quality kits, and its new Junkers Ju87G Stuka "Kanonenvogel" is no exception.

    Following on the heels of the company's popular Bf 109 and Fw 190 series, this model appears to be the first of many kits in the Stuka line. Until this release, the only 1:32 Stuka available was Revell's 1960s-era release of the Ju87B, an early-model variant.

    Reviewed by Jeff Herne

    Product: Junkers Ju87G-1/2 Stuka "Kanonenvogel"
    Maker: Hasegawa
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: ST25
    MSRP: $34.98
    Availability: Dragon Models USA

  • High-quality parts
  • Well-written instructions
  • Good value (size versus cost)

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    Wild Planet's Dodge Discs are a playful way to duel
    Product: Dodge Discs are a whole lot of fun to me, and in terms of age, I'm somewhat advanced for Wild Planet's target audience (age 6 and older). Dodge Discs are battery-powered toy guns that rapidly launch circular foam discs dozens of feet. When held sideways, the launchers, which measure about 8 inches by 6 inches, also double as shields that block and deflect oncoming discs.

    Dodge Discs are sold in packs of two launchers with 10 discs each. The launchers and discs are color-coded green and orange. Each requires two AA batteries to operate.

    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: Dodge Discs
    Maker: Wild Planet
    Stock No.: WPT30003
    MSRP: $19.95

  • Amazing fun in a small package
  • Affordable price point
  • Simple and safe for kids

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    Jada hits tricked-out nirvana with the Big Ballers Magnum
    Product: The Magnum has been a smashing success commercially and critically for Dodge. Making the staid station wagon look sleek, cool and virile isn't an easy thing to do.

    But the Magnum has done just that: made the station wagon sharp and powerful, with an optional Hemi V8 engine. Jada Toys has taken an already great car and tricked it out for its Dub City Big Ballers series.

    Reviewed by Jim Faber

    Product: 2006 Dub City Big Ballers Dodge Magnum
    Maker: Jada Toys
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock No.: 90292
    MSRP: $24.99

  • Beautifully tricked out
  • Model of a hot prototype
  • Perfect for younger shoppers

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