It’s the details added to an RC build that really set it off as a unique, one-off work of art. Take for instance a custom paint job or even custom bodywork; the extra effort to make a vehicle your own is worth the time spent. What’s even more impressive is if a driver figure sits in your ride’s cockpit. Driver figures may be a pain to paint, but they really give your RC a boost over the others when it’s done right. That’s where Mark Muniz steps in. Mark is a product designer and developer for his own company, Headhunter Studios.
Headhunter Studios is a company that he started about 12 years ago catering to a variety of collector and modeler needs. Through the company he’s done everything from movie props to scale model parts for dioramas. His passion, though, is scale remote control driver parts. We sat down with Mark to learn more about him, his company, what he loves about RC and how we can get ahold of the cool scale RC driver figures that he creates.
RCCA: What do you do as a product developer for Headhunter Studios?
MM: At Headhunters I do everything from creating the conceptual design sketches to the 3D rendering of the models in traditional media (such as wax and clay) as well as designing the products with digital media. My job description also entails shipping and receiving, administrative, accounting, scheduling, web design, marketing and advertising. I am also the mold maker, caster, and finisher of my products, with the helping hands of my wife and kids at times! My favorite part of the job is the concept design and sculpting, but I also love seeing the products end up in my clients’ rides as well. I’m so humbled to be included in the many talented hands of my clients. I’m at the point now of hiring professional web designers and professional photographers to help further the advancement of my brand.
RCCA: Wow, you truly do everything! Can you tell us what your favorite RC category is?
MM: That’s a tough question. I was initially drawn to the hobby by the beautiful scale models by Tamiya, Kyosho and AYK, but I’m a basher at heart who has recently discovered the drag racing RC world. Every facet of the hobby is growing and evolving so rapidly. Now you can have a scale model that has insane performance and run times that exceeds anything I was exposed to as a kid. It was fun then, but now it’s flat-out addictive! Again, it’s very hard for me to pin down one category that is my favorite.
RCCA: Let’s see if you can pin this down… which is your favorite RC car?
MM: At the moment, my favorite by far is my scale VW Bug sand rail built by Daniel Reece of Monster Fab RC. You know it’s tough and insanely well-made from the moment you pick it up, and I can drive it as aggressively as I want. It just feels scale in every way. As a kid, my soft spot was for my first RC car, the AYK Gator/Sidewinder, then my Tamiya Hornet, and finally my Associated RC10, which I’ve become obsessed with making as close as possible to the box art. Like most RC drivers out there I definitely have duplicates of certain models, and I am slowly building a collection of vintage Tamiya SRB cars. You can never have enough RC cars—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
RCCA: Very true! Can you tell us about what projects you have going on at the moment?
MM: I have so many new driver heads and option parts that I’m currently working on and developing. As with most of my designs, I like to keep them a surprise. So keep your eyes peeled and ready for them!
RCCA: What other hobbies do you enjoy?
MM: I have more hobbies than I like to admit. They would include playing the guitar and piano, 3D prototyping, VR game development, BMX freestyle, weightlifting, fishing, hunting, archery, camping, woodworking, house renovation and philosophy. I also enjoy helping coach my kids in sports.
RCCA: Is there anything else you want to let our readers know?
MM: Absolutely. Look for me on the social outlets FB and IG. My ID is the same on either outlet and my shop can currently be found on Etsy. Thank you for taking the time to hear me rant.
Text by Leigh Guarnieri and RCCA Staff
Images Courtesy of Mark Muniz