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Want a big crowd, drive a big truck

April 06, 2008|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- It was indeed a monster. It weighed 10,500 pounds, stood 10 1/2 feet tall and roared at a near deafening level. When provoked by the screaming crowd, it turned a row of cars into a smashed heap of metal.

And it was just the thing 10-year-old Clayton Troxell traveled from Dover, Pa., to the parking lot of The Shoppes at Hagerstown to see.

"It was way cool," he said. Clayton, his father, Dan Troxell, and his uncle Rodney Troxell, were among nearly 1,000 people who went to see Bigfoot 4x4 on Saturday at the grand opening of the toy car customizing shop Ridemakerz.

Clayton had seen a Ridemakerz shop before in South Carolina and liked the idea of creating a car to his specifications. Hagerstown Ridemakerz' Monster Mash grand opening promotion was an added bonus, he said.

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The Ridemakerz concept is similar to that of the thriving Build-a-Bear toy company, which in fact, is an investor in Ridemakerz. Ridemakerz is geared primarily toward young boys and is designed like a body shop, where customers move from zone to zone choosing bodies, chassis, paint schemes, sound effects and custom accessories. Finally, they move on to the "pit challenge" where a crew member helps them use a hanging tool to assemble their cars -- or "Ridez."

The Monster Mash promotion offers kids the opportunity to build a Ford Super Chief monster truck, and an option of free monster chassis upgrades.

Larry Andreini, Ridemakerz Chief Executive Officer, said the company has organized large-scale promotional events at the opening of its other five store locations, but the Hagerstown shop was the first to host a Monster Mash event."It's been fun to see the reaction," Andreini said. "It's fantastic. As you can see, people love cars and trucks in Hagerstown."

Brian and Emily Cooper of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., said their children Brianne, 7, Megan, 3, and Stephen, 1, love monster trucks.

Brianne said she and Megan thought the car crushing was "cool and loud."

"Bigger is better. Everybody wishes they could drive a big truck and smash cars," said Brian Cooper, 35. "Everybody needs a monster truck during rush hour. Or maybe not everyone. Just me."

Dwayne and Darbie Bridgett of Boonsboro said their 7-year-old daughter Sierra and her friend Alexis Hoffman were excited to see Bigfoot smash the cars.

"This is awesome," Darbie Bridgett said. "Girls are interested as well as boys."




If you go ...

What: Bigfoot 4x4 Monster Mash car crushing for Ridemakerz grand opening

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: The Shoppes at Hagerstown, Garland Groh Boulevard

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