For the last two days the BigSquidRC Bash Crew has been roaming the halls at the 2015 HobbyTown USA National Convention in Lincoln Nebraska. One of the most important booths at the event was from the Firelands Group. You see, Firelands has multiple different lines ranging from surface to air products, all of which are exclusively available from your local HobbyTown USA. This year Firelands was showing a plethora of new products, here are some of the highlights (tons of pictures at the bottom!)-
* Arguably the most exciting new surface product was the Helion Select Four 10SC (street price $429). The Select Four represents more of a high-end product (can you hear Cubby applauding???) from Helion in a 4wd 1/10th scale RTR short course truck. As you can see in the pictures, the Select Four 10SC is loaded out of the box with aluminum goodies and comes with a Reaktor 3500kV 4 pole brushless system. In person it definitely looked like a truck that could win A mains right out of the box.
* For you hardcore monster truck fans, Helion was showing off their 1/10th scale 2wd MT, the Intrustion MT, and the 12th scale 2wd Inflikt 12 MT. The Inflikt is based off Helion’s popular 12th scale platform and comes RTR with a snappy brushed power system, while the Intrusion also comes with brushed power off of a 7 cell NiMH battery. Also of note- hex hardware comes standard on the Intrusion while a new tranny (which requires no tools to change out spur gears!) comes stock on the Inflikt.
* You may remember a couple of weeks ago Cubby was ranting on how modern transmitters don’t fit smaller (or larger) hands very well and how most transmitter manufacturers pretty much blow off left handed drivers. That isn’t the case on new Ikonnik ET4 radio system. This is an upgrade radio system (that will come on some of the new Helion RTRs) that is 2.4GHz and is extremely adjustable for comfort. It features a very low $69 street price, and perhaps more importantly, it can be configured for both right and left handers, and it has 4 different grips available to allow the radio to fit a wide variety of different hand sizes. 10 model memory comes standard, as does the option of running the wheel in drop-down or standard position.
* A bunch of aluminum upgrades were on display for both the 12th scale Helion series and their 18th scalers.
* There was yet another new monster truck on display from Helion, the 18th scale Animus 18MT. This 4wd RTR sits on the 18th scale Helion platform but comes with MT tires and a sharp looking truck body.
* To finish up on the surface side, there are new NiMH batteries coming, along with revised battery chargers and brushless systems. The new brushless systems have a wire that runs from the motor to the ESC to ensure that the system protects itself before overheating (nice touch for bashers!).
* Firelands also had two new boats on display, the Rivos XS (street price $54) and large Aura 650.
* Moving over to the air side of things, Ares was showing two new race quads. First up is the Crossfire (street price $399) that comes RFR (ready for receiver) that is pre-built, comes with a pre-painted racing canopy, and has a pre-mounted camera and FPV transmitter. A bit more high-end was the Ares Spec-Built Quad Racer that was carbon fibered out and looked like it was ready to win races right out of the box. The Spec-Built will also be sold RFR and was designed by quad racers for maximum performance.
* Ares was also had a new sailplane on hand. The ASW28 PTF will hit local dealers at a $199 price point.
* Perhaps the air product that was creating the most buzz out of the Firelands booth we can’t talk about (or show pictures of), but it is a type of flying product that hasn’t really been commercially available before. Hopefully we can release more details soon, it should be a big deal when it hits the market!
* For small scale planes, Ares had two units that were big on scale detailing with good quality electronics to make them a pleasure to get up in the air. The Sopwith Pup and the Fokker DV-II Ultra Micro were very sharp looking and both will be available in RTF or PTF forms.
* But wait, there’s more, much more! The Ikonnik radio line also had a new entry on the air side, the KA-6 (street price- $89). This 6 channel air transmitter uses digital trims and uses Hitec’s Red Protocol.
* I told you there was much more! Ares also had a another new quad on display (actually 2), the Spidex ($44) and the Spidex 3D ($69). Both of these come RTF and should be great fun flying indoors or out.
* And not to forget you airplane lovers, Ares had the Gamma V2 and Gamma Pro on display. These were nicely scaled foam planes that would be perfect for getting in some air time at the local park on the weekend.
In conclusion, while I’m certain I have left out multiple new products from the Firelands Group in this write-up, I think you can get the drift that Firelands crushed it at the 2015 HobbyTown Convention. Not only did they have a high quantity of new products, but they also crushed it by having some innovative and higher-end units. From talking at length with the Firelands crew, each and every item was meticulously designed to be a quality (and Fun!) product right out of the box.
We would like to thank the entire Firelands/Helion/Ares team for spending so much time going over every detail of their new gear and for their warm hospitality. You can see the current line-up of Firelands products down at your friendly local HobbyTown USA dealer, or you can hit This Link to check out more Ares products, or This Link for Helion RC.
What did the HobbyTown USA Convention look like last year? Click This Link to find out.