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Team Associated

Team Associated LogoTeam Associated or Associated Electrics Inc of Lake Forest, California is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of radio controlled cars, trucks and accessories. The company was founded in 1964 by Roger Curtis and Lee Yurada, technicians at the Douglas Aerophysics Laboratory in nearby El Segundo, California. Slot cars were at the height of their popularity in Southern California at the time, so Curtis and Yurada decided to open a slot car track as a side business. Their experience in fabricating aircraft parts soon led them into producing slot car parts and accessories. So successful was the venture that it turned into a full-time business which they named Associated Electrics. The new company specialized in the manufacturing of a full line of slot car parts, chassis and accessories. Read more…

 
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Radio Control Car Action Winter 1986

RC Car Action Winter 1986In early 1986, the publishers of Model Airplane News Magazine released the first issue of what would become one of the most popular RC car publications ever created dubbed Radio Control Car Action. The new magazine was first released as the Winter 1986 issue which set the pace for new issues being rolled out on a quarterly basis. In the first issue, RC Car Action covered many topics designed to introduce people to the hobby including articles detailing how to build your first RC car kit, information about RC radio systems, how to charge batteries, off road driving tips and routine RC car maintenance. The issue was also packed with reviews of multiple RC cars and trucks including the Tamiya Bruiser, Team Associated RC10 buggy, Tamiya Hotshot, Mugen Bulldog, Kyosho Vanning, Circus Super Wheelie, and the Parma Euro Panther. Other features included reviews of the Futaba Magnum FP-3PG radio system and OS Max-21 VF-R nitro engine, as well as a look at a 1/4 scale 32 Ford roadster with a functional V8 engine. Read more…

 
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Traxxas

TraxxasTraxxas or the Traxxas Corporation is a Texas based radio controlled car manufacturer. It was founded in 1986 by Jim Jenkins and David Katz who’s goal it was to build hobby grade RC cars that were ready to drive right out of the box, a novel idea at the time. Traxxas dubbed these vehicles as Ready to Run or RTR, a term that is commonly used in the business today. To satisfy the needs of the RC purist, Traxxas would eventually go on to offer many of the RC cars it produced in the 1990’s in kit form. In 1994, Jim Jenkins sold his share of the business to David Katz. In the years proceeding, Traxxas released multiple popular RC cars and trucks including the Nitro 4-Tec and T-Maxx. It wasn’t until 2003 that the Traxxas Corporation would return to the Jenkins family when Jim’s son Mike Jenkins, who was the company’s first employee, purchased it from David Katz and renamed the company Traxxas. Since then Traxxas has produced many iconic RC models including the Slash which was the first contemporary style production RC short course truck. Read more…

 
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Novak Electronics

novak-electronics-logoNovak Electronics or Novak RC of Irvine, California was a manufacturer of electronic RC products including electronic speed controls, brushed and brushless motors, battery chargers, battery dischargers, power supplies, pinion gears, receivers, transmitter modules, and miscellaneous electronics accessories. The company was founded when electronics engineer Bob Novak began manufacturing servos for pylon airplane racers in 1978. Read more…

 
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HPI Racing

HPI RacingHPI Racing, or Hobby Products International, was started in 1986 with just a $100 investment from Tatsuro Watanabe and his business partner. At first, the Southern California company produced RC car accessories and upgrades including graphite parts, wheels and tires, and motors. In fact, an HPI Uno brushed motor was used in the Schumacher Cat that Masami Hirosaka used to win the 1987 IFMAR World Championships. It wasn’t until 1994 that HPI decided to take a huge step and produce the very own RC car kit. Read more…

 
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Marui

MaruiMarui or Tokyo Marui is a Tokyo, Japan based manufacturer that was founded in 1965. Marui is best known for their long line of airsoft guns but back in the mid 80’s they produced a number of radio controlled cars and trucks, all in kit form. Their most well known RC vehicle was the Big Bear Datsun. The Big Bear was a 1/12 scale monster truck with a Datsun pickup truck body and large tires. Other RC cars Marui produced include Coors Melling Ford Thunderbird which was a Nascar stock car that had a body which could be raised or lowered for on or offroad use, as well as the Jeep CJ7 and Toyota Land Cruiser which were based on the Big Bear chassis. By the mid 90’s Marui pulled out of the RC market, only to return in 2000 with a line of ready to run 1/24 scale military tanks.

 
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Tower Hobbies

Tower HobbiesTower Hobbies is Champaign, Illinois based company that sells hobby products online. Started in 1971 by Bruce Holecek with an $800 investment, Tower Hobbies has become one of the largest hobby product suppliers on the internet. During the first few years of business, Tower only employed three people including Bruce, his brother Mark and his newly wedded wife Jeri. At the time they sold mostly wooden model airplane kits and building supplies. In the mid 70’s Mark left the business and Bruce began bringing on other employees to meet the demands of the growing business. In 1984 Clint Atkins, a local Champaign businessman joined Tower Hobbies in an ownership capacity. In 1985, Tower Hobbies and Great Planes Model Distributors merged to become Hobbico. Hobbico now distributes over 150 product brands including 30 proprietary brands such as Axial Racing, Arrma, and Team Durango. In November 2005 the company became a 100% employee owned ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).

 
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Novak Electronics Goes Out Of Business!

Novak Electronics RC LogoWe are sad to report that after 38 years of building high quality ESCs, motors and various other electronics for the RC hobby, Novak Electronics has officially shut its doors. The company found its start by building servos for pylon airplane racers at the National level. Novak then moved onto designing and manufacturing electronic speed controls for radio controlled cars. Novak speed controls dominated the National and World RC racing scene through the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. The official word came straight from the horse’s mouth yesterday as Novak gave its final goodbyes to the hobby it helped build. There is no word on what exactly prompted this decision. Thanks for the memories Novak, you will be missed! Read more…

 
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Hot Bodies Becomes HB Racing

Hot Bodies Becomes HB RacingAfter the sale of HPI to Ripmax last month, there has been some wonder what would become of its sister brand, Hot Bodies. It turns out a Swiss company called Neidart S.A. Active has purchased HB and will be rebranding it HB Racing. Active in the RC market since 1968, Neidhart S.A. is the founder of the IFMAR World Champion brand Team Orion and nVision. “My goal is to continue the HB Racing success story by creating first class products, unrivaled support for our customers, and racer satisfaction around the world” says Philippe Neidhart, owner of Neidhart S.A. With 3 IFMAR World Champion titles and countless international race wins, the new leadership at HB Racing looks to continue that tradition of success with innovative high performance RC racing products, improved worldwide parts support, and extended worldwide distribution channels. Neidhart S.A. has chosen key staff members with RC industry experience to strengthen the brand. HB Racing products will be designed by Torrance Deguzman in California, who most notably designed the successful D815, D413 and D216 cars. Marketing will be under the leadership of Kent Clausen, past IFMAR World Champion, and 2-time IFMAR World Champion Adrien Bertin will be the HB Racing Technical Manager. Read more…

 
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RipMax Buys HPI Racing

RipMax Not Traxxas Buys HPI RacingAfter hearing tons of rumors that Traxxas bought HPI Racing, we finally got the official word. They didn’t, Ripmax did. Ripmax is delighted to announce the completion of a deal which sees the leading European model & hobby supplier taking over the HPI Racing brand and properties and securing HPI Racing for the future. The company will retain the EU based global trading and logistics hub in Derbyshire, UK and will trade as HPI Racing Ltd with all the staff retained. The deal also preserves the world renowned Californian HPI DNA, establishing a new HPI Racing design house HPI Racing Design, LLC run by key HPI USA team members. HPI’s sister brand, Hot Bodies, was not included in this deal and was sold separately to a Swiss company and has been rebranded HB Racing. Read more…

 
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