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Product Lab - September 2006

Published: August 18, 2006
FlyZone's Aero Scout is a breeze to fly
VITAL STATS
Product: Aero Scout R/C aircraft
Maker: FlyZone
Stock No.: HCAA1990
MSRP: $34.99
Availability: Great Planes

Product: We at Model Retailer love R/C planes. Problem is, we're at the low end of the flying learning curve. We've successfully piloted some of the more basic two-channel planes, but even those usually end up with broken parts. I actually swore off flying (more like crashing) R/C planes, instead letting more experienced flyers review them.

But recently, we received a FlyZone Aero Scout. I looked at this and thought it might be worth trying. It's a small, lightweight, foam aircraft, many of which tend to be pretty fragile. I thought about sending it out for review, but I thought, if I can't fly this, then I'm indefinitely swearing off testing anything that flies.

The Aero Scout comes 99.9% assembled; all that's needed is to attach the landing gear. FlyZone includes an extra prop, transmitter and rechargeable two-cell NiMH battery pack.

My first impression was that the transmitter looked strange - it seemed more like an R/C car radio than an airplane controller. Plus, the included rechargeable NiMh battery charges on the controller. What kind of weird contraption is this?

-Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

BOTTOM LINE
  • If I can fly it, you can fly it
  • Durable, inexpensive, fixable
  • A gateway to bigger R/C aircraft


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    Dig this powerful Cat excavator from Norscot
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Cat 365C
    Maker: Norscot Group
    Scale: 1:50
    Stock No.: 55160
    MSRP: $82.95

    Product: Caterpillar has produced the successor to its 365B Series II hydraulic excavator, the 365C. The full-size machine features Cat's ACERT engine technology, a high-tech cab and the ability to use a dozen different buckets, depending on the job. It can also employ hammers, shears, thumbs, rotators, grapples and crushers.

    Norscot has produced the FS, or front shovel version of the 365C. It's equipped with a bottom-opening bucket, fully articulated stick and boom, flexible hydraulic lines and operating metal tracks. The model has a center pivot that allows it to rotate a full 360 degrees.

    -Reviewed by Hal Miller

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Lots of operating features
  • Tracks are free-rolling
  • Paint and lettering nicely done


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    Tonkin's P-51D Mustang good for both play and display
    VITAL STATS
    Product: North American P-51D Mustang
    Maker: Tonkin Replicas
    Scale: 1:72
    Stock Nos.: A00580 (Live Bait), A00582 (Shangri-la), A00581 (Betty Jo IV), A00521 (Tonkin Replicas' Corporate Livery)
    MSRP: $29.95 each

    Product: The P-51 Mustang is one of the most recognized U.S. fighter aircrafts in World War II, and it's the latest die-cast metal offering from Tonkin Replicas. These rugged 1:72 scale models are offered in a variety of paint schemes and come fully assembled.

    The P-51 was designed by U.S. aircraft manufacturer North American for England, who desperately needed fighters to counter Germany's air offensive in the Battle of Britain. However, once the U.S. was pulled into WWII, the majority of P-51 production was used by the United States Army Air Force.The Mustang was primarily a long-distance, high-altitude fighter, making it an ideal escort aircraft for B-17 and B-24 bombing raids. The most common version of the plane was the P-51D, armed with six .50 caliber machine guns and featuring options for ground-attack armaments, providing a versatile combination for use against enemy aircraft and ground forces alike.

    -Reviewed by David Popp

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Fully assembled
  • Rugged construction
  • Variety of paint schemes


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    Ninco's Touareg has power, style and speed
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Volkswagen Touareg Dakar '05
    Maker: Ninco
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: 50380
    MSRP: $59.98

    Product: Although environmental groups aren't fond of it, the Volkswagen Touareg was among the first in the luxury SUV segment, and is still among the leaders there.

    Don't let the luxury label fool you; the Touareg can more than hold its own off road. A modified version of the Touareg was entered in the famed Dakar Rally in 2005. That's the Touareg captured by Ninco for this 1:32 slot car offering.

    -Reviewed by Jim Faber

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Gorgeous appearance
  • An alternative to traditional cars
  • Has the speed to keep up


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    Tune into racing fun with SCX's slot car
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Tuning Car 2
    Maker: SCX
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 61980
    MSRP: $42.99

    Product: SCX has released a second offering in its 1:32 scale Tuning Series of slot cars, and excitement is what it's all about. Simply called Tuning Car 2, it features a unique custom body style, an attractive paint scheme and cool lighting effects. Like the rest of the SCX analog line of cars, this car will run on any brand of standard 1:32 scale slot car track.

    Reviewed by David Popp

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Cool light effects
  • Handles well on various tracks
  • Adjustable magnet


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    Carrera's GTO puts a new spin on slot cars
    VITAL STATS
    Product: 1966 Pontiac GTO
    Maker: Carrera
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: 27147
    MSRP: $44.99

    Product: Although Carrera has previously released a 1966 Pontiac GTO, this new version is quite different. The previous version had skinny tires on small mag-style wheels and was painted hunter green. It was a cool car, but it represented a stock '66 GTO.
    This new version has a candy paint job, low-profile tires and large-diameter wheels with "spinners." Although this GTO looks more like a boulevard cruiser than a race car, make no mistake: this GTO moves.

    -Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Great looks
  • Trendy
  • Admirable performer


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    Good looks, great speed make Scalextric's Supra super
    VITAL STATS
    Product: au Cermo Supra 2004
    Maker: Scalextric
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock No.: C2718
    MSRP: $44.99

    Product: The Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC) races feature some of Japan's hottest sports cars: the Honda (Acura) NSX, the Nissan 350 and the ubiquitous Toyota Supra. The Supra is a car that's legendary for its performance and style, and the JGTC cars only enhance that. Scalextric's au Cermo Supra represents a model from the 2004 season.

    -Reveiwed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Athletic performance
  • Above-average detail
  • Sure hit with racecar/tuner crowd


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    Walthers adds HO scale high-nose GP20 to Proto 2000 line
    VITAL STATS
    Product: HO scale EMD GP20 diesel locomotive
    Maker: Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Road names: Great Northern (Omaha orange and Pullman green, Big Sky blue); Burlington Northern (green and black, Big Sky blue), Union Pacific; Western Pacific (silver and orange, solid green with orange stripes); undecorated
    MSRP:$125 (DC), $225 (DCC and QSI Quantum sound system)

    Product: An HO scale high-nose Electro-Motive Division GP20 is the newest addition to the Proto 2000 Series from Walthers. The model is based on a prototype built by EMD between 1959 and 1962.

    This new ready-to-run locomotive has an injection-molded plastic body shell on top of a die-cast metal chassis. The model features acetal plastic handrails, separately applied grab irons and lift rings and railroad-specific details. Though the model has more than 135 factory-applied parts, you can install some additional details, including a winterization hatch and m.u. stands.

    My sample came decorated in Great Northern's 1947 Omaha Orange and Pullman Green scheme. The paint was smooth and evenly applied; the yellow striping and lettering was opaque. The model also had the correct Great Northern-style numbers in the number boards.

    -Reviewed by Cody Grivno

    BOTTOM LINE
  • DC and DCC versions
  • Railroad-specific details
  • Popular road names


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    Mantua's Classic Six train set gets beginners on board
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Classic Six train set
    Maker: Mantua
    Scale: HO
    Stock No.: 300000
    MSRP: $100
    Availability: Model Power

    Product: Mantua's Classic Six is a little different than most train sets. Most sets cover the late steam and early diesel eras, but this one is based on rolling stock from the latter half of the 19th century.

    Included are a Santa Fe 0-6-0 tank switch engine, Hammond Co. refrigerator car, Pennsylvania horse car, Union Pacific water car and a Santa Fe wood caboose. The set also includes an oval of track with integral roadbed, six figures and a DC transformer.

    -Reviewed by Hal Miller

    BOTTOM LINE
  • DC and DCC versions
  • Railroad-specific details
  • Popular road names


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    Out of the Box game offers armchair travel in Europe
    VITAL STATS
    Product: 10 Days in Europe
    Maker: Out of the Box
    Stock No.: 1012
    MSRP: $19.99

    Product: The old phrase, "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium," is the perfect way to sum up 10 Days in Europe, the latest game from Out of the Box Publishing, Inc.

    This creative family game about traveling in Europe is for two to four players and includes a colorful game board, four wood tile holders and 66 tiles made from heavy card stock. It also includes a four-page instruction card and a compact storage box.

    -Reviewed by David Popp

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Teaches European geography
  • Fun for two to four players
  • Quality components


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    Revell's RSX Type-S is a great tuner kit
    VITAL STATS
    Product: Acura RSX Type-S
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Scale: 1:25
    Stock No.: 85-2861
    MSRP: $15.25

    Product: Revell's Tuner Series cars have been popular items. The newest car in this lineup is the Acura RSX Type S, which was the replacement for the aging Integra in 2002. The RSX Type S comes with a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and one of the best-handling front-wheel drive chassis on the market.

    -Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Best Tuner Series kit so farM
  • Good decals
  • Great-looking mode


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