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Unbelievable RC

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders

August 2011
air hogs hyper actives rc

Street Price: $29.99 US
Manufacturer: Mattel
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8
Our recommended age range: 6+
Primary use: Indoors
Top speed: 8mph+
Radio: n/a - infrared
Includes:

  • Assembled vehicle
  • Controller/charger
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 4x AA batteries

Initial Impressions

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders are insanely small full-function remote-controlled cars. At less than 1 3/4" long, they're so tiny that they're easy to miss on store shelves. You see the box, sure, but it takes a double-take to notice the bug-like real car in the corner. These are quite literally the smallest full-function RC cars I've ever personally seen! As of this writing, they're available in three different styles & colors, and there are three control channels available, meaming if you pay close attention to which ones you get, you can run three at the same time. The car does look a little odd with its wheels sticking out to the sides, but this really doesn't bother me, as long as it works.

The controller is great because it can actually hold the car inside of a central compartment, plus it has a charging jack that makes it into a portable fill-up station. When the car runs out of "gas," you charge it up right from the controller, no matter where you are.

Testing

In the video you will see the very first time I made my Hot Wheels Nitro Speeders car go. I ran it in my kitchen, and it drove directly under my refrigerator. It's not that it was out of control, it was just faster than I could react! By looking at the video frame-by-frame to see how long it took the car to travel the length of one floor tile, I was able to calculate the speed it was attaining to be about 8.5mph (faster than most toy RCs many times its size), and it takes it almost exactly 1 second to reach that speed. Given that this car is almost exactly 1/100th the size of a Ford Mustang, that's well over 800 scale miles per hour. The package says "0-600mph in less than 1 second - scale speed," so that's a pretty significant understatement.

Thankfully the Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders have something unheard of in ultra-micro toy-grade RC cars, proportional controls. There are multiple speeds and you can vary how quickly it steers based upon how far you move either control tab. The slowest speed available is already fast enough to satisfy my expectations. There's a very slight lag or delay in the controls between when you tell the car to do something and when it responds, but if you're not used to expensive hobby-grade RCs, you probably won't even notice it. The only negative thing I encountered in my tests was that it would turn a little sharper in one direction than the other. This was caused by slight differences in the shape of the two rear tires. By swapping tires left to right, it swapped the steering bias. I found that the more I used the car, the less noticeable the difference was, as the tires started to get properly broken in, making them more evenly round.

Video

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

Conclusion

The performance of the Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders is out of this world, and their miniscule size is mind-boggling. However, there's one more thing about these cars that puts them even further over the top. They can drive on regular Hot Wheels diecast race tracks. The ones with vertical loops and jumps and such. That's just insanely cool, in my opinion. I think Mattel knocked it out of the park with these cars. There's nothing else like them out there, and they're just packed with value, surprising features, and fun.

A+

Note: This review was not sanctioned by Mattel or any vendor. I bought the production car at full price at a store and evaluated it from a completely unbiased perspective.

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