With the re-release of the Tamiya Monster Beetle coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about the year I got my first one. I had just been introduced to hobby-grade RC cars in the summer of 1989 when a friend of mine got a Nichimo Spirit FF for his birthday. I knew RC was fun, but this was a whole new level. After about 30 seconds of drive time on my friend’s Spirit FF, I was hooked.
Shortly after that I picked up an RC Car Action magazine and there was the Monster Beetle on the back cover. I knew that was the kit I wanted and put it on my Christmas list right away.
I built the kit on Christmas night and most of the next day. I made all the first-timer mistakes, like not zeroing out the servos before screwing on the servo horns. That first run was the start of a lifetime of RC. More than 25 years later, and I am still building and running them.
Sometime in the mid-90’s I sold the Monster Beetle and have regretted it ever since. I ended up buying a NIB kit on eBay and kept it for a good 10 years before I let it go again. This time around, I’m picking up a re-release and hanging on to it for good.