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Unbelievable RC

Micro Blast Racers Super Sub

November 2008

Street Price: $24.99 US
Manufacturer: MGA Entertainment
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 6+
Our recommended age range: 6-10
Recommended use: Bathtubs or very small pools
Radio: 49mhz (also available in 27mhz)
Includes:

  • Assembled craft
  • Transmitter
  • Flotation pods
  • Ballast weights
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 3 x AAA batteries
  • 1 x 9V battery

Initial Impressions

I'm a little late to the game with this one, given that the Super Sub first came out almost 3 years ago, but you know what they say, better late than never. I actually bought this 5" long wonder just last holiday season, passing up several hot-looking little boats in the Micro Blast series for a chance to explore the possibility of a bit of underwater action. I couldn't pass up the bright yellow-orange color and spunky look.

Preparation

In the package you'll find two hollow flotation pods that need to be attached to the ends of the sub to help keep it upright in the water, and a set of small metal weights to help it submerge. An adult will need to put the weights in, as the watertight compartment they fit in requires a firm, but steady hand and sturdy, but small flat-head screwdriver to pry open. A small phillips-head screwdriver is then needed to remove the battery door.

  rc mania

Testing

There are four controls on the Super Sub's transmitter -- two forward/back sticks, then two buttons on the top that you push with your index fingers. The main control sticks each operate one of the motor-driven propellers in the propulsion pods on the sides of the sub. Push both sticks forward, and the sub goes forward. Push one stick forward, it turns slowly. Push one stick forward and pull the other back, and it can spin in one place, sort of like a car doing donuts. The two extra buttons angle the propulsion pods up or down to allow you to move in three dimensions. If the propellers are pointed at all upward, the sub will be propelled right underwater with no hesitation when you push forward on the main sticks. Point the motors down, and it can rise back up even faster. Don't worry, though, it floats on its own, so if you run out of battery power underwater or lose radio contact, it'll always come back to you.

The controls may sound a little complicated written out, but they're pretty intuitive when you're hands-on with the controller, and they're pretty easy and fun to get used to. Best of all, everything works as expected, so the sub always does what it's commanded to do, whether diving almost straight down into the water, spinning, or reversing. In fact, the more I played around with it, the more different things I was able to get it to do! With the motors angled all the way up or down, you can alternate the left & right sticks forward & backward (but opposite of eachother) and make the whole sub rock dramatically side to side. Get enough momentum and you can actually make it flip all the way over. You can then surface up-side down, flip back up, do spins, and all sorts of other fun little tricks.

Before long, I was having so much fun even in a normal-sized bathtub, I had to force myself to stop so I could get back to writing. I had installed batteries that were previously used, but they still lasted about 1/2 hour, which really impressed me given the small AAA cells the sub uses, and just how much work it has to do to move around underwater.

Conclusion

Without any doubt, this ranks as one of the most fun RCs I've tested, ever. It's worth every penny and then some. I highly recommend buying rechargable AAA batteries for it, because any young kid who gets his or her hands on this is going to want to use it every day at bathtime or in the pool. Just make sure he/she doesn't get the controller wet! Even for adults, if you have a large fish tank or are just a submarine fan, the Micro Blast Super Sub is a fantastic deal and a joy to operate. It's also available in a less realistic, more futuristic looking blue version on a different radio frequency, so two can be operated at once. Simply fantastic, what more can I say?

A+

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