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Unbelievable RC

Flash Tuner - 1/16th scale

October 2010
rc

Street Price: $29.99 US
Manufacturer: MaxTech Toys (Maya Group)
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8
Our recommended age range: 5-8
Primary use: Indoor or outdoors
Top speed: 4mph (est.)
Radio: 27mhz, tri-band
Includes:

  • Assembled vehicle
  • Controller
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 5x AA batteries for the car
  • 1x 9V battery for the controller

Initial Impressions

The MaxTech Tuner car mimicks the design of a Nissan Silvia S15, a popular tuner car in Japan. It is pretty slick looking with a partially detailed interior and a see-through hood with some engine detailing underneath. These superficial details have some real quirks, though. There are racing-style safety harnesses (fancy seatbelts) attached to the seats, but they're much too long, and made of a translucent, almost rubbery material, and they stick way out like hoops, which really look weird. It might make sense if you could open the doors and fasten an action figure into the seats, but you can't do either. Also, some of the worded graphics don't make sense. The wing says "Baronage." I don't know what that means. On the top of the faux engine and also on the windshield, it says "Look forward to Sth." "Sth?" I don't get it.

The car comes with no batteries included. You'll need to supply 5 AA's (yes, an odd number) for the car, and a 9V for the tri-band controller.

 

Testing

For its size, the car moves at an okay speed -- nothing great, but fast enough for a younger kid. It turns well, and what strikes me most about the performance of the Flash Tuner car is that it drives very smoothly. All of the detailed interior parts make the body very heavy, and all of that weight, in turn, helps keep the car extraordinarily stable and actually fairly quiet over small bumps in the road, even though it has no suspension. I doubt this was an intentional part of the design, but it works out well nonetheless.

Video

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

Conclusion

The MaxTech Tuner 1/16th scale car looks cool and drives okay. I just don't agree with the recommended age of 8+ on the box. For its performance and features, this car is better suited for use by more like a 5-year-old kid, up to to maximum of 8. The price is also a little high by today's standards, given the size of the car and the fact that batteries are not included. I'll give this one a basic passing grade. It doesn't have any major flaws that I could find, but it's also not a product I'd rush to recommend.

C

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