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Firelands Group’ Category

Ares HobbyTown USA
Firelands Group, which is primarily sold at HobbyTown USA stores, brought their “A game” this year showing a bunch of new products at the convention.

Helion RC is Fireland’s surface line-up and they unveiled two new products at the show. The Impakt 12B is a new 1/12 scale buggy designed to be bash worthy, affordable, and fun. While being listed as a 12th scale, it looked to be about the same size as most 10th scale buggies (wheelbase on the 12B is 11.8″, width is 8.39″), but it should sport a remarkably low price point of just $139 RTR. It comes with scale detailing like a roll cage and driver’s head, all-weather electronics, and a 1500mAh LiPo battery. It looks like a great way for someone to get started in the off-road side of our hobby.

Helion also had their new Rivos boat on display. The Rivos is a RTR that is fairly good size at 28″ in total length, making it big enough to handle some choppy water on the local lake. Its electronics are water cooled, it comes with a brushed 550 motor, and it has a very affordable street price of just $149.

Ares RC is the brand name for the air products from Firelands and they had plenty of new products on display too. The most exciting new product they had on display we can not post pictures of, or even really talk about at all, but it is something like we’ve never seen before, and something that even us car/truck lovers really wanted to get our hands on. Expect more information on this product to start leaking out of Ares compound in the next few weeks.

Of the items we can talk about, it’s hard to decide what was more exciting, their new Ethos FPV quadcopter/drone/multi-rotor, their new Ethos PQ nano quad, or their new Nanos FP75 helicopter.

The Ethos FPV quad comes RTF out of the box with everything needed to fly first person view. We saw the quad demonstrated and it seemed to work flawlessly. The camera provides a good quality picture (1080 HD at 30 or 720 HD at 60 FPS) and is mounted on an anti-vibration mount to help keep the picture steady. The transmitter comes with a large screen (4.5″) and a sun shade to make it easier to see while out flying. The quad used on the FPV model is fairly large at 18.75″ in length, and we were blown away that the street price was only $299 RTF.

The nano quad scene has blown up since the Proto-X entered the market and Ares unveiled their entry into the class, the Ethos PQ. The PQ is truly tiny with a length of only 63mm and comes with an auto flip mode. Price? $49.

The last new product in the Firelands room was the Nanos FP75 helicopter. With a length of 6.75″ this is a small helicopter, but features 3 or 6 axis stability control modes. The FP75 will be priced at $69.

Overall, it was easy to see from walking the room that Firelands Group is working hard to put out a lot of new, innovative products, look for them soon at your local HobbyTown USA store.

Click Here to visit the official Helion RC website, and Right Here for Ares RC.

Click Right Here to view more HobbyTown USA show coverage.

Helion Lagos Sport Boat Unboxing
Helion RC is best known for their rc trucks, but we recently received their new boat, the Lagos Sport for review. The Lagos Sport is about 14″ long, is completely ready-to-run, and has an affordable street price of $59. Our full review is still a couple of weeks away, until then check out the unboxing pictures to see exactly what it looks like when you crack the box open.

For more information on the Lagos Sport hit up This Link and to get more Helion news on BigSquidRC just Click Here.

Helion Criterion 2wd RTR Buggy
The 2wd buggy class has seen quite a resurgence in the last couple of years. The latest 2wd buggy to hit the scene comes from Helion with their Criterion RTR. The Criterion should make a great bash machine with its low price, waterproofing, and sturdy design. Some of the features and specifications of the Criterion include-

* 12 turn brushed motor
* 2.4 GHz radio system
* Full ball bearing set
* Metric 30 amp speed controller
* 3000 mah 7 cell Ni-MH battery
* 1 amp wall charger
* Length: 15.21″
* Width: 9.8″
* Wheelbase: 11.14″

The part number for the Helion Criterion is #HLNA0301, they have a street price of just $189, and you will only be able to find them at your friendly local HobbyTown USA location.

Want more information on 2wd buggies? Simply Click This Link for more right here on BigSquidRC.

Helion Criterion
We have finally made it back home and can start posting everything we saw at the 2013 HobbyTown USA Convention in Lincoln Nebraska.

Firelands Group is sold exclusively at HobbyTown USA. Their Helion Invictus has been a big hit with bashers this summer, and the Helion product line just keeps getting bigger. Helion premiered their new Criterion 10th scale 2wd buggy at the HobbyTown show. It’s 2wd and comes completely RTR with a 7 cell Ni-MH pack and brushed power system. The price point is $189.

On the air side of things, the biggest news was the Ares Ethos QX 130 quadcopter. This is a bigger brother to the Ares that won our quadcopter shootout and comes with advanced flight control, the ability to do 360 degree flips, and some really cool accessories like water blaster, rocket launcher, winch, and bubble machine.

Hit your local Hobbytown USA dealer to see Helion and Ares products in person, or hit THIS LINK to view all their products on-line.

Have you read our Quadcopter shootout? If not, you can view it HERE.

 IFT™ Evolve 300 CX Crash Avoidance Helicopter
The crew over at Innovative Flight Technologies (IFT) have just introduced their new helicopter, the Evolve 300 CX. What makes the 300 CX so cool is its Collision Avoidance Technology (CAT), meaning it uses ultrasonic sensors to keep from smashing into walls, furniture, or basically any other large object. If you are flying full speed towards a wall it will stop itself and not hit it. How cool is that? Some of the Evolve 300 CX’s primary features and specifications include-

* Length: 18.3 in (465mm)
* Height: 10.4 in (265mm)
* Main Rotor Diameter: 18.0 in (460mm)
* Weight with Battery: 16.0 oz (455g)
* Main Motor: 370 (2 installed)
* Battery: 800mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* Charger: 3S 11.1V LiPo DC balancing and AC adapter (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* Transmitter: 5-channel 2.4GHz (included with RTF, required for RFR)
* On-Board Electronics: Receiver (installed in RTF, required for RFR), 3-in-1 control unit with 2 ESCs/mixer/gyro, Collision Avoidance Technology module and sensors (installed in RTF and RFR)
* Part #IFLH1300 (RTF) and #IFLH1302 (RFR- ready for receiver)

The IFT Evolve 300 CX should be available any day now from your local HobbyTown USA dealer with a street price of $220 for the RTF and $150 for the RFR. For more information hit up the official IFT Website.

Looking for more air news? Check out THIS link right here on BigSquidRC.

Gil Losi Jr You might remember Gil Losi Jr from his days with Team Losi, but newer hobbyists probably know him from companies like AKA Products and Firelands Group (Helion, Anza, Radient). Gil is a legend in the rc industry and we were lucky enough to get an interview with him.

BigSquidRC: What trends do you see coming for the rc basher market?

Gil: I think there will be a bigger push for more value for the dollar. That is why we at Firelands and HobbyTown have been focused on creating a product and sales strategy to bring entry level products to market that have incredible value and service support.

BigSquidRC: Gil, you are a living legend in our hobby and an IFMAR world champion to boot. What changes would you like to see made to modern rc racing?

Gil: I would like to see fewer classes. There are so many classes now that it dilutes the value to both the industry and the winners of the important classes. It’s become too easy to win a National level race if you cherry pick the easy classes.

BigSquidRC: Of all the current big name factory racers, which one do you feel is the best ambassador for the hobby?

Gil: Michael Losi of course! (I may be a little biased).

BigSquidRC: Your thoughts on the scale realism trend in rc now days?

Gil: I am a big fan of scale looking cars. It has always been a big challenge to keep a class looking scale. We as racers always look to push rules as far as possible to improve performance. If there are not strong rules in place before the pros get involved scale classes tend to be short lived. We have seen how popular scale classes can be (1/10 2wd buggies of the early 80′s, Touring cars of the 2000′s and now Crawling and Short Course). Hopefully we will be smarter in the future and write stronger rules to keep the scale look when classes are young.

BigSquidRC: Has Traxxas grown too big for their britches and forgotten their core enthusiasts?

Gil: Traxxas did a good job changing the industry. I for one was very slow to react to the RTR world they created. Only time will tell where the Basher enthusiast will find their next thrills.

BigSquidRC: What would it take to get you back to designing and producing complete high-end rc race cars?

Gil: I’m not sure right now. It is an interesting challenge to learn the general enthusiast market. My current hope is to build our current Firelands brands into industry leaders. Once we have accomplished that maybe there will be time to work on something racing again.

BigSquidRC: The Anza RC hop-up parts were awesome but we haven’t seen anything new from them in a while. Has the Anza line worked out as expect and are there more goodies on the way?

Gil: We are proud of the success we had with the Anza line so far. We almost put a Anza outfitted Traxxas Slash on the podium (4th place) at the Roar Nats last year. I think it’s been a while since a Traxxas car was that competitive at a major race!

BigSquidRC: Helion has a short course truck and a truggy version in both 1/18th and 1/10th scale. Is there a plan to jump to another scale, or will we see a new vehicle on one of those two scales?

Gil: All the above! We have more ideas than time to build them.

BigSquidRC: It seems that the HobbyTown exclusive deal has worked pretty well for the Helion RC line. I know all of our local HT’s move a good amount of product. Will the Helion RC line always be exclusive to HobbyTown USA’s?

Gil: We have enjoyed a great relationship with HT thus far. We are able to work together to provide value product with good parts and customer support that customers have been very happy with.

BigSquidRC: We are all going outside to do some bashing and we know you want to come after your incredible display of bashing skills at our demo at the HobbyTown convention over the summer. What vehicle do you bring (You can only take 1) and why?

Gil: I would take the Dominus TR Brushless. Where else can you find that much fun for less than $260?

origin charger

New from the Radient RC folks is a entry level charger called the Origin. It’s a one button, NiMH/NiCd charger that is meant to keep it as easy as possible. It can handle 1-8 cells and charge from 1 to 4 amps.

Radient chargers can be found on the Hobby Town Website.

We have reviewed several Radient chargers in the past, click HERE to check them out.

animus shocks We just got our hands on the new Aluminum Shocks for the Helion RC Animus. These shocks will fit both the Animus 18SC and 18TR, and we are looking at putting these to the test. Watch for a review soon, but in the mean time, we recently reviewed a ton of hop up parts for the Animus, so if you didn’t catch that.. head over and read the review.

Animus Hop-Up Parts Review

animus hop ups

For a lot of bashers, it’s all about the hop ups. How much bling can you add to your ride? Some do it for looks, some do it for durability, but we all do it. Every time I’m online, or at a hobby shop, I can’t help but look to see what I can add to my ride. The Helion RC guys recognized this need for bling, and have released a full line of hop-up parts for the Animus. How did the install go? Are we blingtastic? Keep reading to find out..

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animus hop ups and upgrades

For all you Animus fans, the Helion RC folks have released a TON of hop-ups for their 1/18th scale sc vehicle the Animus 18SC. As you can see from the picture, Wrench has a lot of work ahead of him. The color is orange, if the picture does not show that well.

Here is a list of what they have available for the truck:
HLNA0163 DIFFERENTIAL OUTDRIVE CUPS, STEEL (ANIMUS)
HLNA0164 ALUMINUM DRIVE SHAFTS, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0165 ALUMINUM BATTERY STRAP, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0166 ALUMINUM CHASSIS TOP PLATE, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0167 ALUMINUM REAR HUB CARRIERS, 2 DEG, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0168 ALUMINUM REAR SHOCK TOWER, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0169 ALUMINUM FRONT SHOCK TOWER, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0170 ALUMINUM MOTOR MOUNT, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0171 ALUMINUM CASTER BLOCK, 5 DEG, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0172 ALUMINUM WHEEL HEXES, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0173 ALUMINUM GEAR COVER, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0174 ALUMINUM CENTER DRIVESHAFT, OR (ANIMUS)
HLNA0176 ALUMINUM MOTOR HEAT SINK, OR (ANIMUS)

And it looks like we were able to get our hands on all of it! Look for pictures and a mini review after we get the stuff installed.

The Helion RC line is a HobbyTown exclusive. Check out the Helion RC website for more info!

Firelands Anza LCG Conversion for Traxxas Slash Review

It seems like forever ago that we heard about the Firelands Group was going to be putting out a LCG (Low Center of Gravity) Chassis upgrade for the Traxxas Slash. Then when we finally got to see a picture, we thought WOW, this could be interesting! Then we got one in our hands, it was time to put it to the test! We dusted off our 2WD Traxxas Slash, and got to work! Keep reading to see how it went..

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Anza LCG Chassis for Traxxas Slash

We just got word that the Anza LCG Chassis from the division of the Firelands RC guys is now shipping. We actually just saw it start to turn up at the local Hobby Town. So if you are drooling as much as we are, you might want to head over there and pick up a set!

Here are all the pics we posted before to give you a little reminder…

Head over to the ANZA RC website for more info.

THE Helion Dominus 10SC 4wd Short Course RTR Truck Review

dominus

Everybody loves short course trucks- they look b!tch’n, they can usually handle a beating, and they are a blast to drive. But… if you walk in a hobby shop with only $200 cash in your pocket you can’t even walk out with a 2wd SCT, let alone 4wd. Well hello there Helion! Helion’s second offering to the market is their Dominus 10SC, a 4wd short course truck, oh and ya, it sells for $199. Is it worth your cash? Let’s find out!
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