May 6-7, 2006
The RCX hobby show took over the Anaheim Convention Center for RCX ‘06. Car Action magazine and Vision Entertainment joined forces again to run the show, focusing heavily on pre-event promotion to attract big crowds for the Saturday and Sunday show. On display were the latest and greatest from the worlds top R/C manufacturers, all wrapped up in a dynamic show format that pumps up the energy with R/C demos on the dirt, in the air and on the water. The rhythmic beat from the live DJ was pumped out through a huge PA system that guaranteed to keep the action exciting. And the format didn’t disappoint, the crowds were big and the action never stopped.
HPI rolled out our big booth, even bigger this year with the addition of two new display stations dedicated to the Hot Bodies line. The hard-working HPI/HB crew showed off our latest new products, handed out thousands of free decals and catalogs, and tore up the dirt demo track with the new Baja 5B 1/5th scale buggy and an assortment of HPI and Hot Bodies trucks. Several exciting new products peppered the display tables for the public to view for the first time, along with displays of the complete line of cars, trucks, airplanes, option parts and body shells. At times it got so crowded that the booth was wall-to-wall R/C fanatics, but then that’s what separates the RCX show from most hobby shows…lots of people and lots of exciting action.
The big news from the HPI camp was the final production version of the Baja 5B gasoline powered 1/5th scale buggy. The crowd swarmed the Baja display the entire time, shocked and amazed at the size and features, happy that the May release date is now confirmed. Akira Kogawa, designer of the Baja 5B, was at the show answering questions and even driving one on the dirt track. A bare chassis and roll cage were on display, showing off the ultra-tough chassis structure and durable nylon cage that protects the buggy from rollover damage. A complete Viscous Torque Control Differential was on display, which helped demonstrate the massive proportions of the Baja 5B. And, a Hyper Adjust Piston shock absorber was on hand to show off how quickly the dampening can be adjusted, going from light dampening to stiff in less than a second…just a quick twist of the shock shaft and the externally adjustable dampening can be dialed in to a wide variety of track conditions. The track crew included Akira, Thad Garner (ace R&D test pilot), John Schultz (hard core truck racer), Dave Potter and Heather Compton (from the Sales department), and Hidekazu Ito (designer of the Savage X). The dirt track was just big enough for 1/8th trucks, and not nearly big enough for the Baja 5B to stretch out and show off. But, the guys got it around the track enough to get the crowd whipped up. We can’t wait for the public to get their hands on them to show what it can really do on a bigger track.
Other HPI news included the world introduction of two new “SS” trucks, the Savage X SS 4.6 and the Hellfire SS. The Savage X SS is a build-it-yourself kit version of the Savage X, featuring the big K4.6 engine with wheelie-popping power. It comes with an alloy tuned pipe to make it breathe, grippy Dirt Bonz tires for off-road traction, heavy-duty drivetrain pieces to handle the power, a dual stainless steel disc brake for consistent braking power, adjustable upper link turnbuckles, a clear body, and no radio so you can install your own race-quality components. All of the great new Savage X features are there, easy access diffs and tranny, 17mm hex hubs, low CG chassis, tough nylon roll hoop and roll cage, and the much-improved radio box that makes getting into the radio gear a snap. The Savage X SS 4.6 is slated for a June release and will definitely be a popular kit for hard core Savage fans and anyone that likes to bash monster trucks…hard!
The Hellfire SS is also a build-it-yourself kit, aimed at the track guys who already have their own favorite radio, engine and exhaust. The Hellfire SS is a solid platform to start with, just add the key equipment and you’re ready to hit the track. Special features include a new hard-anodized 3mm 7075 main chassis that delivers more stiffness and reduced weight, perfect for high performance track duty. Hard anodized shock towers are also standard equipment…5mm 7075 allows for extra durability, and 7075 front and rear chassis braces help keep everything bolted together. Machined alloy engine mounts are included to help cool the engine. For maximum grip, the Nubz tires are included, fresh Italian rubber and molded inner foams really help get the power down. A nylon rear wing is standard, along with a durable mounting system that helps protect the body and provide critical aerodynamic stability to keep you heading in the right direction. Smaller features abound, with things like alloy shock caps (to match the alloy bodies), lightened steel spur gear for quicker acceleration, and extra wide rear 17mm hex hubs for extra steering without losing rear end grip. The Hellfire SS is scheduled to hit hobby shops sometime in July.
Other new HPI pieces included the sleek JDM Honda Odyssey 200mm body, the BTCC Lexus 200mm body sponsored by HPI Europe, a Toyota Levin 200mm body for the drift guys, and a couple of Vintage bodies…a 1966 Mustang GT and an AAR ‘Cuda.
Hot Bodies showed off their new Lightning 10 buggy and Lightning Stadium 10 truck. Both are 4WD nitro vehicles that take the latest 1/8th scale trends and pack them into a smaller scale. The result is a new level of performance in the 1/10th scale category. The shaft drive layout includes a center diff to get the power to the ground, and a Power Factory 25 engine with electronic Jump Start system. They’re both ready to race right out of the box, complete with radio and pre-painted and trimmed body.
Adding to the Cyclone line of touring cars is the new Cyclone S, a sport version that uses nylon parts to keep the cost down, but still retains the basic layout of the ultra-quick Cyclone. Look for news about Cyclone S on the HB web site soon. Also on hand were the Hara Edition and Surikarn Edition Cyclone touring cars. Both are loaded with trick carbon fiber and alloy parts just like the factory team uses in big races. Pick your color…the Hara Edition is trimmed in purple anodized alloy parts, or grab the Surikarn Edition in blue. You can see them in action at the upcoming Reedy International race later this month, if you’re anywhere near the Aliso Viejo Tamiya racetrack on May 26-28 you gotta come by and check out the incredible racing action.
Wandering around the show…there were a bunch of show cars to drool on, custom rods from Hot Wheels and styling guru Chip Foose. Trophy trucks, rock crawlers, tuner cars, and retro rods were all over the place. On the RC front there was a huge dirt track that had a giant buggy-breaking (ask the Mamba crew) launch ramp in the middle. There was a big area to fly electric planes and heli’s, and a pond for the boats. Add a big crowd of people on both Saturday and Sunday and you’ve got the recipe for one of the best hobby shows ever. Thanks go out to all of the HPI/HB fans that came by to say Hi and check out our new stuff. If you missed the show, we snapped some photos and video for you, check ‘em out.