Throwback Thursday, December 1987: Project Optima & Monster Beetle, Big Brute and More…

Apr 24, 2014 1 Comment by

4-24-2014 12-54-53 PM

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By the time the December 1987 issue rolled around, the decade was definitely hitting it’s “rad 80s” stride. U2′s “With or Without You” and The Pretenders’ “Don’t Get Me Wrong” shared the charts with the dreck from Wang Chung and Chris DeBurgh, you rode your Supergoose to the mall theater to catch Predator and RoboCop, and you probably had a gang of GI Joes under your bed. As for RC, the era’s big-boom was well underway, as evidenced by classics such as the Kyosho Big Brute and Optima (dressed as a truck). Have a look inside…


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Here’s our Project Optima, dialed in with a bunch of Option House gold goodies, plus a sweet LeMans motor and AristoCraft speed control–which probably made this a 25mph truck.


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Another project build: Tamiya’s Monster Beetle. This guy got Futaba Magnum AM radio gear, Trinity power, a Tekin speed control, and a Hot Trick chassis. Sigh…we miss you, Hot Trick.


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Kyosho’s Big Brute got a full review from Chris Chianelli, complete with wacky Road Warrior-meets-music-video-vixen opener shot. “Put the truck on a leash! It’ll be great!”


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Whoa, a Pacesetter Grizzly. This big rig isn’t 1/5 scale, it’s quarter-scale! Well, most of it is, anyway. Those shocks, not so much…


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Varicom’s Manx, in a sweet one-coat-please paint job. “Tamiya Grasshopper? Never heard of it…”


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Dirt oval was going strong in ’87, and the Dominator remains legendary to left-turn fans.


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Classic Jim Newman Pit Tips, always a treat.  Lots of recycling in this set of tips–we’ve got Tylenol bottles, old socks, and Coke bottles in action!


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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, December 1987: Project Optima & Monster Beetle, Big Brute and More…”

  1. David says:

    Strangely, Fondly, I remember this exact issue… I had a Monster Beetle at the time and I recall drooling over the extreme upgrade project… determined that I’d save enough money from my paper route to replicate it… which never happened. I also remember the Dominator 4×4 Dirt Oval racer… chain driven which seemed so high tech and unattainable to my 12 year old self at the time. I drew the Dominator on many a notebook cover that year.

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