Spielwarenmesse: Toy innovations 2018: Model Construction, Hobby

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Messe-Neuheiten 2018: Modellbau, Hobby
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28. January 2018 / Market

Toy innovations 2018: Model Construction, Hobby

from Ulrich Texter /  Show comments

Quadcopters and drones are making a mark on the RC hobby market. Ease of use and camera integration are especially boosting the trend. First-person-view (FPV) models are now popular. New concepts are winning over young enthusiasts to plastic model making as a hobby and helping to combine construction and RC features. Here is a small selection of the innovations awaiting trade visitors to the Spielwarenmesse® 2018 in the Model Construction, Hobbies product group.

Drones are making the running

First-person-view (FPV) models have made the leap into the world of sport and TV. Drone racing with FPV racing copters, where participants navigate drones through a set course while wearing FPV goggles for a pilot perspective, has now become a real spectacle. There are even live broadcasts, with a dedicated Drone Champions League. Racing drones range from expensive models through to self-build copters. According to one drone study, some 200,000 semi-professional drones will be sold for hobby use in Germany alone in 2018.

XciteRC Modellbau GmbH + Co. KG: Hubsan X4 Storm
XciteRC Modellbau GmbH + Co. KG: Hubsan X4 Storm
Stadlbauer Marketing + Vertrieb GmbH: Carrera Mini Race Copter
Stadlbauer Marketing + Vertrieb GmbH: Carrera Mini Race Copter

With its Hubsan X4 Storm compact racing drone, XciteRC Modellbau GmbH + Co. KG (Hall 7A / D-118) is showcasing a racer for beginners. Coming in at 112 mm in length and 117 g in weight, it is not only small and light but can also reach high speeds thanks to its durable carbon fibre frame and coreless motors. Flips and rolls are no problem for the lively X4 Storm. Although the agile Mini Race Copter from Carrera is just as small, it is raring to compete in the "big leagues" and boasts a 3D looping feature. It will be on display at the stand of Stadlbauer Marketing + Vertrieb GmbH (Hall 6 / A-30, C-35).

Build-it-yourself RC models

For a handful of new construction kits with remote control, the approach is build it first, then get it moving. The Teknotoys Active Bricks construction kits, also from XciteRC, are compatible with the popular Danish building blocks. The functional models (including a tank and military transporter) are controlled using gears and shafts, just like their real-life counterparts.

Revell GmbH (Hall 12.2 / P-13) is pursuing a similar philosophy by combining construction and technology. Highly detailed model construction kits are upgraded with electronic components. These models, such as the VW Type 1, more popularly known as the Beetle, incorporate lighting and movement. There is no longer any need for time-consuming soldering or cable trimming. All cables can be simply plugged together and connected to a control unit and battery box. Of course, there is also plenty to enjoy for purists and experienced model builders. With the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the company is presenting the world’s largest airplane as a 1:144 scale construction kit. Even the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 cannot hold a candle to it.

Creative construction for model railroaders

Carson: VW T1 Samba
Carson: VW T1 Samba

Miniaturisation is a mega-trend in the RC world. Electronics are key. The developers at Carson (Hall 7A / B-119) have now brought all of their experience to bear in the development of the new VW T1 Samba. They are offering a 1:87 scale model of the cult van with finely tuned, digitally proportional control. With its integrated Li-Ion drive battery, the van can run for up to 35 minutes on a single charge. Model railroaders can now look forward to doing loops of their model railways with the VW T1 Samba.

On land and at sea

There may be music in the air but there’s a lot happening on land as well. In the toy segment, this mainly means features designed to attract attention. These might be fast 360° spins, somersaults or a racer than can drive on land and in water (e.g. Revell: Stunt Car, Jamara: Shifter, Carrera: Turnator).

However, hobbyists are really spoiled with the TRX-4 from Traxxas LLP (Hall 7A / A-128). The "Land Rover Defender” model is particularly robust and powerful and has been designed for off-road fun.

Traxxas LLP: Land Rover Defender
Traxxas LLP: Land Rover Defender
Amauchi Industry Co., Ltd.: BST
Amauchi Industry Co., Ltd.: BST

Tokyo design and idea factory Znug Design Inc. is synonymous with "big boys' toys", mainly motorbikes. Its creatives have now joined forces with Amauchi Industry Co., Ltd. (Hall 7A / D-136) to develop the "BST" kit. This completely new design concept for the tractor of the future features a chassis and body made of precision steel metal parts.

 

Author of this article:

Ulrich Texter

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