Category Archives: HPI

Just when you thought it was safe to come out, HPI release more new kits!

Yes, HPI have just released another handful of new kits today on their facebook page!

On of the most interesting ones to me was something that HPI have not done for some time to my knowledge, and released the Sprint 2 Challenge, a chassis only kit of the Sprint 2 to which you can add your own Electrics, Wheels, Tyres and Body.  Drifter, racer, basher, make it your own whatever that is!  Not sure about price, and if it comes built or in parts, but I suspect it will be a very good option for many people.

sprint 2 challenge

Still staying on the Sprint 2, and the RTR Sprint 2 Flux has had an upgrade with a new body for 2014. With a very orange looking BMW M3 E92 body fitted, this vehicle sports a waterproof LiPo compatible speed controller, waterproof steering servo and waterproof receiver case, Vektor 5900 kV Brushless Motor and Waterproof Flux Vapor ESC

sprint 2 flux BMW

Staying in 1:10 scale, next we have Dai Yoshihara Discount Tire Falken Tire S13 Nitro RS4 3 Drift!  With the RS4 platform arranged for drifting (see photos below) , this screamer would be fantastic fun on any piece of pavement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now I have developed a recent affinity for Global Rallycross, so this release, while small, is fairly exciting for me.  HPI have released 2 more vehicles on their RS4 Micro 1:18 platform, they are licensed versions of the #81 Bucky Lasek and #11 Sverre Isachsen Subaru PUMA Global Rallycross Team Subaru Impreza WRX STI!  Featuring a full time 4WD ready to run chassis and 2.4 GHz radio system for all day rallycross fun and excitement!   They look fantastic, and could sure be a lot of fun!

More new vehicles from HPI

Ok, so I’m guilty of ragging on HPI for not coming out with much new for some time, and what do they do, bury me in a flood of releases from the recent International Toy Fair!

So this time we have a refresh of the venerable E-Firestorm platform for 2014.  Featuring the waterproof 3s capable Flux EMH-3S Brushless system as well as new 2014 graphics that I have to say look pretty good!

1621800_666141590115703_1697551681_n

Next is another Vaughn Gittin Jr. 69 Mustang RTR-X.  We already have the Flux 2 and Nitro RS4 3 Evo+ version, now we have a Micro version on the 1:18 Micro RS4 platform.  I think you will have to agree with me that it looks absolutely amazing!

1546410_666131213450074_646294881_n

Monster Truck Videos

As I posted about just yesterday, the monstar trucks are back!  However with only 2 exceptions, they are all electric powered trucks.  However monster trucks need noise, and those 2 exceptions are the Losi LST XXL-2 and the HPI Savage XL Octane. So if anybody at HPI or Losi are watching, I’m happy to write up some reviews of both trucks, just post them to me 😉

I can hear you saying, we want videos, and, here is a video of each vehicle from HPI and Losi respectively, so sit back and enjoy!

HPI at the Nürnberg Toy Fair

HPI so far has had disappointingly little new in the way of products.  Just before the show they released an updated Savage XL, and many were hoping for the long awaited Savage Octane Gas powered models, but alas nothing.  The racers in the community were hoping for a hot bodies 2wd buggy, maybe a D214?  But alas, nothing there.

What HPI did surprise us with was the Cue 1:32 scale buggy!  Designed for maximum fun in the tiniest size possible it is small enough to fit in your hand but packed with action and excitement.  The Cue is a lightweight yet tough buggy that will have you building tiny ramps and racetracks across your living room or dining room table!  With a built in lipo that charges from the controller, it may not fall into the category of a hobby rc car for some, but it certainly looks like fun, and produces a good turn of speed.  No word on price just yet.

cue

HPI did post a tongue in cheek preview of the Cue on their facebook channel which gives a better idea of it’s scale, however it is an unlisted video, so check it out directly at http://youtu.be/en4SmfRd0eU

 

HPI Vaughn Jr Gittin Jr. Nitro 1969 Mustang RTR-X

Want to enjoy tire slaying in a 1969 Mustang RTR-X but want more noise than the Sprint 2 electric version?  Well wait no longer because HPI have released the Nitro RS4 3 Evo + version of the same car so you can enjoy your drifting at full noise!action_shots

World Champion Drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the Need for Speed crew teamed up to build this one-of-a-kind, fully-functional Street, Track and Drift machine, and this is the official, authorized RC nitro replica, powered by HPI Nitro muscle! While Vaughn will be the only one thrashing the full-size car, the entire world will be able to enjoy driving the HPI Nitro 1/10th version: The Nitro RS4 3 Evo+! With the 1969 Mustang RTR-X body on our super-popular Nitro on-road platform, you’ll get a combination that will inspire tire-burning, smoke-churning fun for grins and speed wherever you go!chassis_callout_x

This car is loaded with goodies: a 2.2hp HPI T3.0 engine fitted with an adjustable 2-speed transmission for ground-stomping acceleration and superfast top speeds, full-time 4WD for supreme control and acceleration, steel shaft drivetrain that lets you shrug off road debris that would halt a belt-drive car in its tracks,waterproof electronics so you don’t have to   worry about wet conditions and a 2.4GHz radio system that lets you have worry-free fun!

side_shot

HPI Savage Octane finally near release?

As pointed out by the boys over at Bigsquid RC (Love your work boys), the HPI Octane, first previewed way back in 2012 looks to be ready for release with Tower Hobbies

Listed at around $800 USD, this petrol powered 8th scale truck is set to revolutionise the basher market by bringing petrol engines down to 8th scale.  it’s taken HPI a couple of years, and we presume a number of teething issues as the design has subtly changed from what we first saw in 2012, but that is how the best things develop, over time! The Savage platform has proven itself time after time after time over the years as one of the best, so it will be interesting to see how well this vehicle does when it comes to sales, and good old fashioned bashing!

SavageOctane

Source: Bigsquid RC, Tower Hobbies http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXDUTT&P=ML

Updated Baja 5B SS for 2014

Yes, HPI Racing have updated it’s fantastic Baja 5B SS for 2014!  hpi5bss2014

This massive vehicle weighs in at a hefty 9.6kg, and is 817mm long, and for 2014 it comes with some stellar upgrades!  The SS is the “go fast”kit so it comes with a clear body, and needs your own radio gear and throttle servo.  However everything else is in the box.  The powerful 26cc two stroke petrol engine is still there, but for 2014 it has a new aluminium tuned pipe with a steel header for improved durability. New heavy duty front wheel hubs, and one piece rear hub carriers are included in the kit.  One of the most welcome additions comes in the form of Super Heavy Duty Diff Shafts, super Heavy Duty Drive Shafts and Super Heavy Duty Axles.

The new livery in grey and orange looks fantastic as ever HPI kits do.  Makes you want a BIG RC buggy doesn’t it!

hpi5bss2014bSource: HPI Racing

News at HPI?

It’s been a while since we have seen much come out of the HPI Racing / Hot Bodies stable apart from the very nice D413 4×4 1:10 buggy and a new mini rally car.  In the past HPI has released new products on an almost monthly basis, however for the last 12 months there has been nothing, and little completely new apart from some new bodies on kits.

So what is going on?   Is the Octane Savage (1:8 scale petrol vehicle line) still causing problems and holding things up as there has been no sign of them since the Hobby Town USA Dealers Convention and Nuremberg Toy Fair earlier this year.  Rumors flew everywhere back in February this year saying that HPI was in trouble and had been sold!  However those rumours only turned out that Hobbico/Great Planes had done a deal to be the exclusive distributor for HPI/HB in North america.  But then it”s been really very quiet since then.  We had a new website back in July this year, umm yay! Really what we want is new kits, more monster trucks, race cars, rally cars, and, well whatever, maybe a crawler?

The below image appeared on the HPI Facebook page a few days ago eluding to something new.  Checking the HPI website found this page http://hpiracing.com/en/article/view/2013121301 about being able to have your own personalised garage on the HPI website.  Fantastic service for enthusiasts, but not new or updated kits.  Still better than nothing happening, but HPI are going to need to step up as they are falling behind some of the other players in the market in respect to keeping up with what people want.  I’m the first person to say that I love the HPI Racing brand and vehicles, but they need to step up.

1474618_638612729535256_991067794_n

Scale realism the best thing since sliced bread?

RC Cars have gone through a roller coaster ride of popularity over the years.  It would be hard to find any adult who doesn’t have the big kid inside us just waiting to get out and play when the opportunity presents itself.

Radio control car racing traces it’s origins back to a boom in the 80’s in electric 10th scale off road racing.  In the noughties, nitro 8th scale was king of the RC off road racing crowd, big, loud and fast.  However there has always been a core of “Bashers” who just have whatever car that they like, and drive at local parks, tracks etc.  Monster trucks have always been popular here, but the release of the big HPI Baja brought 5th scale into popular RC culture in both racing and bashing in Australia.  In recent years there has been a re emergence of electric 10th scale off road racing, with new 2wd biggies, 4wd buggies and stadium trucks hitting the shelves from a range of manufacturers.

However the real boon in RC in recent years has been vehicles that look great, and are fairly accurate in appearance and scale.  It is because of this that in many ways the hobby of driving radio control cars has gained a foothold in the mainstream with many hobby grade rc cars appearing in toy stores around the country.   Drift cars, clubs and tracks have been sprouting up all around the country, spurned on by the increasingly popular car culture in Australia, combined with the increasing awareness of drifting as a sport in Australia.  Likewise radio control crawlers, again with incredible levels of detail and accessories available, have gained a cult following with a whole range of new RC enthusiasts.  Sporting clubs, competitions, and a real passion for detail at almost unheard of levels, crawling has introduced an amazing new aspect of RC cars in recent years.  Ok, so great products at a good price from Axial Racing have certainly helped Crawlers to grow, but hit up any forum and see the incredible level of detail in vehicles that have been built from scratch, and you can see that crawlers have become an unstoppable juggernaut.

1394430_10152017848455873_1470296247_n  1470291_480741942043552_642596632_n

Even rally cars have increased in popularity thanks to great vehicles such as the Tamiya DF-03 and XV-01, the entire Rally Legends range, they Kyosho DRX and the sport of Rallying in general becoming more popular though the likes of Ken Block and his Gymkhana videos (and scale versions of his car from Traxxas and HPI).  There is even an Australian RC Rally group on facebook trying to increase levels of interest in this area of RC to levels as seen in Europe, and Colorado RC Rally Championship.

Tamiya-Rally_2048x1536 1451377_555789944499604_10897699_n

Even RC racing has taken a scale hit.  In On Road Racing (of which I am admittedly not as well versed as off road) the Vintage Trans Am classes sporting 60’s and 70’s muscle car low down force bodies are very popular in the US, and are gathering a foothold in some parts of Australia.  In Off Road Short Course Trucks have a major footing in almost every off road club with their more realistic looks and handling, low price, and excellent durability.  Even Short Course Buggies are gaining interest in some parts of the country, vehicles which somewhat resemble the pro buggies from the Australian Off Road Championships, even the Extreme 4wd vehicles are similar in appearance and build to Short Course Trucks.

I guess what I am saying here, is bring on more scale, it is helping to re invigorate our fantastic hobby and bring whole new generations into the fold of loving to drive toy cars!

Sources: Axial Racing, HPI Racing, Traxxas, Rally Legends RC, Rally Legends Australia, Tamiya, Kyosho, Vaterra, Velocity RC