Throwback Thursday: May 1988 Monster Truck Special!

Sep 05, 2013 1 Comment by

Time for another Throwback Thursday, where we dig deep into the Radio Control Car Action archives for a look back into RC yesteryear. In this episode, the wormhole has deposited us back to 1988 and the May issue of RCCA, our first-ever “monster truck special.”


The May ’88 issue featured the epic Monster Truck Shootout starred on the cover, and rightfully so–RCCA set the standard for shootouts right out of the gate, and no one does ‘em like we do. From front to back, you’re looking at the Tamiya Clod Buster, MRP High Roller, Kyosho Big Brute, Tamiya Blackfoot, Tamiya Bruiser, Tamiya Monster Beetle, Tamiya Lunchbox, Marui Big Bear, and Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin. Most of the Tamiya trucks are still available today in some form or other–click the links. The Pumpkin also got a standalone review, and a ’57 Chevy pulling machine was featured on the cover. Back in ’88, every class of RC was going strong!  Lots of 80s design action here–pink grid background, “paint brush” squiggles, and a sweet airbrushed “Monster Truck Shootout” graphic. That’s an actual piece of airbrushed art, physically placed onto a layout board. No Photoshop or computers involved, just X-Acto knives and glue. Where do you think the terms “cut” and “paste” came from?


That’s a lot of trucks. Keep in mind, every one of these nine machines arrived as a kit, so there was a lot of wrenching going on at RCCA! Look at all those tall antennas–we’re a long way from 2.4GHz.


Here’s the Midnight Pumpkin in all its hard-body glory. This truck has stood the test of time and is still a fun econo-kit. Or, you can get it as an RTR.


The May issue wasn’t all trucks. Kyosho’s Raider beginner-mobile also got the “Track Report” treatment in another “radical” layout with plenty of squiggle lines.


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Featured News, Kyosho, Monster Trucks, Off-road

About the author

I've been involved in RC for over 25 years, and first joined Air Age Media in 1997. I served as Executive Editor until 2008, when I went to work on the manufacturing side of the RC biz. Now back at RC Car Action, I'm thrilled to be doing what I love most--not just enjoying RC, but sharing it with all of you. In addition to RC, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife Kathleen and our wonderful daughter Audrey.

One Response to “Throwback Thursday: May 1988 Monster Truck Special!”

  1. JJ says:

    So awesome! I remember having this issue and I was trying to talk my parents into buying me the Midnight Pumkin! Too funny!

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