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Unbelievable RC

Micro Rad Can 1:56 scale RC

October 2011
rc

Street Price: $9.99 US
Manufacturer: Fast Lane RC
Mfr's recommended min. age: 6+
Our recommended age range: 6-7
Primary use: Indoors
Top speed: approx. 2-3mph
Runtime per charge: 4-5 mins.
Controller: 27mhz
Includes:

  • Assembled car
  • Controller / charger
  • Antenna
  • 4x traffic cones
Requires:
  • 2x AAA batteries

Initial Impressions

I got a lot of requests for reviews of this "soda can RC" car, so this is a viewer special. The Fast Lane RC Micro Rad-Can cars are marked as 1/56th scale and each comes in a package that is the exact size & shape of a 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola. It's a cool gimmich, but after taking the car & controller out of the package, I realized it really is just a gimmick. You can keep the "can" container for future storage, but it's not easy to put the items back into it properly, and he top won't stay attached without tape, so it's not good for repeated use or transport.

I like that you only need 2 inexpensive AAA batteries in total. The car has a tiny rechargeable battery permanently installed, and you charge it by docking the car on the front of the controller. It takes only about 2 minutes to charge the car, which is very conveinent. The Rad-Can cars themselves are available in 4 different body styles as of this writing, and they look pretty decent when you consider the crazy low price of the set, but the proportions are either a little long, or too narrow.

Testing

The short charge time of the Fast Lane RC Micro Rad Can car really is great, as you're ready to run very quickly after you decide you want to use it. The car has a respectable top speed, and the steering works extremely well. The car sounds a little loud & hollow, cheap really, but the performance is good. The use of a radio controller instead of infrared means you can drive inside or out, though the small tires really restrict you to smooth surfaces.

The problem with this car's radio is its range -- its astonishingly short range. I almost never experience radio interference issues in my house with other RCs, but the Micro Rad Can car could not travel more than 6 feet away from me before it would stop. How I held the controller or which direction I pointed the antenna made no difference. When it stopped, I would usually have to walk a couple steps towards the car to regain control of it. Driving it around randomly, there was one instance in which I drove it behind me and it stopped, and I as able to actually rotate in place, kneel down and grab the car without moving my feet, it ran out of range so close to me. This was with new batteries in the controller, and more than a half charge remaining in the car.

Video

(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

Ugh. So close, Fast Lane. So close to being a truly great product for the price. So close to where I'm standing, but it's out of radio range. Ugh.

D+

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