Hey Scott, Dustin from MH here. The speed control/ reciever is all in one (like the Mini-t) so if you were to go to brushless you would have to put in seperate reciever and esc and servo. As for hop-ups for the thing, there endless things in alum. such as shock towers, steering knuckles, hub carriers, hinge pin braces, arms, steering plate, steering post top plate. Things in woven carbon fibre like shock towers, steering post top plate and others. They are fairly easy to work on from what one of the guys that has one here. As for part availability, i don't know how hard it is to get something. Also check out this site www.halfeight.com
this site is dedicated to the half 8 and you can pretty much find out what ever you want to on that site. Also if you are looking for the car, I think Raceway has some coming in this week
I hope. But for surely by next week. Plus they got the Mamba package and the Golden Horizons brushless motor. They could probably order any hop up you would like (some companies she might not be able to get but most she can).
Kyosho hop-up sites:
Fioroni - http://www.gsracing.com/web/page.asp?pgs=search
3Racing - http://www.3racing.com.hk/