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Unbelievable RC

Rock Crawler 1/18th scale

December 2012
rc

Street Price: $45 US
Manufacturer: New Bright
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 5-8
Primary use: Indoor or outdoor
Top speed: ~2mph
Runtime per charge: ~30 mins
Controller: 27mhz
Includes:

  • Assembled RC truck
  • Controller
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 5x AA batteries for the truck
  • 2x AA batteries for the controller

Overview

I've previously tested two larger New Bright RC rock crawlers, one in 2006 that was a disappointment, and one in 2011 that actually panned out pretty well. This "1/18th" scale version looks to be an all-new design, so it could go either way. It's listed in the Pro Dirt series and includes a very small pistol grip controller that's perfect for very young hands. The vehicle itself is four-wheel drive with one motor driving the front axle and one at the rear. The suspension is amazingly soft, but perhaps a bit too flexible, as you'll see in the review video below. Before driving the crawler, the most odd thing that struck me was the use of 5 AA batteries to power it. Five. Not four or six, but five. Who does that? What store sells packs of five batteries? Such an odd choice. Well, let's pop those batteries in anyhow and see how this thing goes.

Test & Review Video

 

Conclusion

The New Bright 1/18th scale RC rock crawler is not great, and not terrible; it's probably right smack in the middle of those two. The original recommended age was pegged at "6+," but by the time the crawler hit stores, it had an 8+ rating. I tend to agree with the original. This crawler will be most thoroughly enjoyed by younger kids who are themselves smaller and closer to it and more apt to have a lot of fun setting up obstacle courses with everyday objects like books & shoes and even other toy cars. I think that somewhere between 8 & 10 years old, kids who are real fans of off-road vehicles will take more notice of this vehicle's flaws and limitations, outgrowing it during its first use.

C

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