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As a matter of fact Mick, the Blue Monster is a very good example, and one that I have some peronal experience with...

I first got back into this in 1992 and within a couple of years we were starting to race vintage events, especially with Samy, from the Bordeaux club... Anyway, he had a Blue Monster that he raced in these events, and I was very jealous of his car, because I thought it looked great - and also because he would often beat me in the races, generally by less than a lap! (but they were great races, competitive, yet very friendly) (I was running the first vintage car I built, a Pactra Dino with a Ram XL500 motor and Kemtron brass chassis - we were using period tires at the time, the stock spongies from the Blue Monster and I think Mila Miglias for me - no silicone or other repro tires were yet available).

I desparately wanted a Blue Monster, but never saw one in the lists available at the time (VSRN, etc.), or if there was one, it was way too expensive. Then out of the blue (no pun intended), a slot racing buddy here (I was still doing modern racing at the time, Parma Flexi, etc.) asked if I wanted to buy a Blue Monster he had picked up somewhere. Not mint, but in the box and in good condition - we agreed on a fair price, and I had my Blue Monster.

A couple years later came ebay... and I realized that the Blue Monster was not quite as rare as I had thought.... no, it's not one of those cars that will come up regularly, but I have noticed some over the years, and if I remember right, the non-MIB examples do not go for as high a price as I had thought they would... This is all rather anecdotal, I must admit, and I don't have the actual figures recorded, but it's my impression for this car - one of the many that was totally outdated at the time of its release, but still somehow fascinated us.

Remember too, that until recently, any vac-form body models were much less prized than the hard body slots... they have only begun to rise in price recently, and of course only for certain models.

Anyway, good luck on your Quest for the Holy Grail - the first of many!

Don
 

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Thanks Mick, that's very kind of you. In any case, this has rather piqued my curiosity, so I opened up a few boxes and did a quick document search, and what I found is actually a pivotal point in slot racing! The Blue Monster came out at virtually the same time as two other K&B cars, and fell right in the middle: it was an attempt to come up with a modern, state-of-the-art (and Made in USA) slo car, but by the time it was ready to be released, K&B probably realized that it was out of date, so they released a more conventional Chaparral 2D with the much faster and cheaper 26D from Mabuchi. And at about the same time, they came up with the unique McLaren CanAm car using their old and totally obsolete Super-Challenger motor - getting rid of old inventory like a lot of the manufacturers at the time.

And the Blue Monster made it on two covers, in color!

Anyway, here's how it developed in the period magazines, starting with a couple very optimistic teaser campaigns in Car Model and Model Car Science, the two largest circulation slot/model magazines of the time:





As you can see the BM was launched with a lot of razz-ma-tazz - but the curious thing is that the contest seems to have quietly disappeared, and K&B never actually ran an ad for the finished Blue Monster (if anybody has any contrary info, please share). And I just noticed that the contest expires August 15, 1966 - in a September magazine! Even if mags at the time came out very early, that was still cutting it tight... So we don't know when the BM actually came out, but there may have been some delays, since the first review wasn't until February 1967.

In the meantime, K&B was hedging their bets - and getting rid of old stock - with the McLaren Mark 2 CanAm car driven by Charlie Hayes and sponsored by Nickey Chevrolet, a huge Chevvy dealer in Chicago (where I grew up, and still can't get the jingle out of my head - "Nickey, Nickey, Nickey Chevrolet, Nickey with the backward K" - check out the decal). Note the price of $6.95, much lower than most cars available at the time. This ad is from the January 67 issue of Car Model:



And here's the real car, in the February 67 issue of Model Car & Track, which had a feature article on the Can-Am Challenge Cup:



That same issue highlighted the WILD new RTR cars, in which the Blue Monster shared the cover with another pseudo-Thingie, the silver-plated MPC Lola T70, plus five iconic Thingies... with a short, and not very critical review of each car.





But, at the same time, same issue, they were also announcing a brand new and much more modern car, with a 26D motor (Jaguar) and sponge tires (Hells Bells - who got paid for thinking up these great names?).



The next month, Model Car & Racing also joined the crowd with a cover story on the new RTRs, and the Blue Monster made its second cover in a row. Once again, a not very critical review... even tho K&B didn't buy an ad anyway...






Don
 

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It was already used, and I ran it once or twice after acquiring it. Would have run it more, but the tires are a bit dry, and I didn't have the heart to re-shoe this thing(ie)...

They're very easy to drive and forgiving. What Philippe said about the weak front is undoubtedly true, but on the unbanked euro-tracks, there's less risk of that!

Don
 
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