Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Toys

Pocket-Sized RC Cars Hit U.S. Soil 240

airrage writes "RC cars are nothing new. But apparently, ZipZaps, now being sold at RadioShack, are pocket-sized, modifiable, and can be tricked out with body kits and other accessories. Even more impressive, "A 16,000-RPM performance motor is included with all starter kits". The story at extremetech here is." Kinda like the Thinkgeek cars. Yes, TG is part of OSDN - obligatory disclosure.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pocket-Sized RC Cars Hit U.S. Soil

Comments Filter:
  • i have seen these exact toys in airports for well over a year in the states. hope you spend the kickback money wisely taco...
  • I'll take two! Too Bad they don't run well on carpet.
    • Oooo...I bet they'd go quite nicely on the big conference table in the staff-meeting room though. Start out hidden behind the projector, and when the VP's back is turned, make a speed run for the other end!
  • All it is a Bit Char-g with English instructions I'm sure
  • Thinkgeek cars? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ThinkGeek sucks. I ordered this item [thinkgeek.com] from ThinkGeek and they never delivered.
  • Buy it.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Frank of Earth ( 126705 ) <frank&fperkins,com> on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:15PM (#4340431) Homepage Journal
    here [radioshack.com]
    • Sadly, RadioShack's site is IE-only. Every page I try to hit with Mozilla, including the bloody home page, generates a "The page cannot be displayed" error, with no other information. The query string contains this gem:
      ErrSource=Microsoft+VBScript+runtime+error
      Dumb fucks. I would have ordered a handful of these - they look pretty cool.
    • Re:Buy it.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by fjordboy ( 169716 )
      The little cars are pretty cool, but for a few more bucks (ok, 50 more bucks) you can buy the mini desktop rover [plantraco.com] which is pretty cool, can be computer controlled, has tracks instead of wheels, can crawl over your keyboard and can even play lazer tag if you get a couple of them together.
    • Re:Buy it.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by XorNand ( 517466 )
      I got one from www.rcmicroracers.com [rcmicroracers.com] a couple of weeks ago. They're actually pretty cool to play with -- and a lot cheaper than the full size RC stuff I used to tinker with as a teen. But, sigh, I do miss those gasoline powered racers.
  • These little cars are all the rage in Asia as Bit Char-G (bit charge) and Europe as Compact Char-G. Check out http://www.blackadderhall.com/bitchar-g/index.html for the scoop.

    Cheers,
    _GP_
  • You mean Radio Shack has been out of stock for months on their cars, too?

    Neat!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work at Radioshack, and we've had these in for about a week. We took apart a couple of the cars and mod kits, and they really aren't that impressive, you'd think that the 23,000 rpm engine would really make the car zoom, but it doesn't.

    The Fast and the Furious mods are pretty cool, though.
    • We took apart a couple of the cars and mod kits, and they really aren't that impressive, you'd think that the 23,000 rpm engine would really make the car zoom, but it doesn't.

      High revving and no torque...sounds like your average ricer. :-)

      • Elecric motors have largely flat torque curves vs rpm. You can convert rpm to more torque with gearing, with straight multiplation by ration. If you have more rpms available, you should also have shorter gears to take advantage of them. The 'rice' mistake is in not adjusting the gearing at the same time.

        -dB

      • Uh, who said anything about torque? He said the engine doesn't really make the car 'zoom'. He didn't even mention the turbo kit and the high performance kits.

        These cars are only fair if the default Mustang beats the Honda, but the Honda with the turbo kit beats the Mustang. :)
      • High revving and no torque...sounds like your average ricer. :-)

        ...Or your average F1 racing car engine.

  • My friend got one of these in an airport a while back and it freaking rocks. He can do all sorts of things with it, and it is totally customizable...you can even get different gears for it to do tricks and whatnot. This is awesome..I just got paid today (tech support *is* worth 8 bucks an hour I guess)...so I'm gonna try and pick one of these up on the way home! Woohoo!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah! Now I can gat into a pocket-sized Road Rage!
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:17PM (#4340447) Homepage
    I hope that they offer really small Type-R stickers...

    • from the article

      The high octane NOS® Nitrous motor zooms along at 23,500 RPM and is only available in The Fast And The Furious Street Tuner Upgrade Kit

      I've always wondered where those civic lx "racers" have been getting their parts from...

      My apologies in advance for those few people out there who enjoy imports AND actually go to the work to make them go fast.
  • Add for this (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rubbersoul ( 199583 )
    Connon O'brian showed this on his show last night. It was kind of funny watching him pimp this stupid product ...
  • I saw these while on a business trip to Irvine for sale in the Spectrum.

    This is not big, new or interesting news. Blah!
  • You will have to find it somewhere else. Their inventory seems to be slashdotted.
  • by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:20PM (#4340467) Homepage Journal
    I saw someone playing with one of these type of RC cars in our cafeteria. They were driving it around annoying people. Unfortunately, it was so small that someone accidently stepped on it. Didn't work after that.
  • You can find the Zip Zaps website here [zipzaps.com], at least until it gets /.'ed.

  • Kit Suggestions (Score:2, Interesting)

    So where can I get the hydro/bass kit?

    I can just see my co-worker driving around the office thumping his kit car through my cube.

    Or how about the "hummer" kit so I can drive my car through the bath tub or a parking lot puddle?

    And we definitely need a neon underglow kit for those late night office parties.

  • ZipZap tools allow users to play with three different gear ratios to adjust the "horsepower"

    To be pedantic, a different gear will give you different axel torque. Higher torque usually gives you quicker acceleration, at a possible (not always) lowering of top speed - you essentially run out of RPM before the motor is maxed out. Since this has no transmission so no way of playing with different RPM bands, I bet it does lower top speed a bit.

    Horsepower is work per unit of time. A different gear ratio changes the work (effort) and the time in equal opposite amounts, horsepower remains constant.
    • I think that the sentence is only missing a conjunction:

      "On the company's web site, ZipZap tools allow users to play with three different gear ratios and to adjust the "horsepower" and top speed through a "performance" booster kit"

      The booster kits include other engines, which do have different horsepowers. I don't imagine that the lower HP 10,000 RPM engine is very popular though.

      If I buy one, I'm going straight to the model shop to buy some paints for a flame job. Slapping a pre-made Fast and Furious body onto the same chassis that everyone uses isn't my idea of "custom." I should probably practice on some Hot Wheels first though, they are much cheaper.
  • by DragonMagic ( 170846 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:22PM (#4340482) Homepage
    These have been in Japan for a while, namely the brand "DigiQ" pocket RC cars.

    Some links:
    http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~muro/
    http:// www.takaratoys.co.jp/digiq/
    http://digiq.s12.xrea .com/

    They're about 600-900 yen each, or about $5-$8 US for the basic cars.
  • Why are they using a radio frequency with a wavelength the size of a real car? Why not use a more efficient frequency in the microwave band?
  • These look amazing,
    but are they coming to Canada?
    Radioshack doesn't have shipping info, although I did email someone there.
  • by JustAnotherReader ( 470464 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:24PM (#4340494)
    Kinda like the Thinkgeek cars.

    Only Much Much cheaper.

    • Yeah, and it's funny that the this post was ostensibly to report on ZipZaps, yet the editor posted no link to the zipzaps site and instead posted a link to the page where you could by the ThinkGeek cars.
  • Fastest combination I got from the website was 411 Feet Per Minute. 411 * 60 = 24660 Feet Per Hour or 4.67 Miles Per Hour -- not much faster than walking speed (how fast do they really need to go anyway). Who cares though... I still think they're nifty!
  • Lots of 'em (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mu*puppy ( 464254 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:25PM (#4340499)
    I've been seeing things like this for many months now. However, it's the options on this one that sets it a bit apart, customizations of motors, etc. Wish it could be without all the damn 'entertainment branding' tho.

    Still, in my mind, a car just isn't cool as a pocket tank [dansdata.com]. Oh yeah, time to mod one of these puppies for Warhammer 40K...

    "I'm not really a sysadmin, I just play one at work..."

  • I'm going to buy one and strap a doggie cookie to the roof, and have my pup chase it. This will save me tons of time spent in walking her every day. Hope the car is strong enough to stand up to repeated dog bites.

    sporadic
  • While on a recent trip to Radio Shack, longtime automotive hobbiest Grant Holman found a solution to a longtime problem.

    "I just never felt it was big enough," explained Grant. "I've tried everything possible to compensate - tried extreme hobbies, got on steroids and worked out, and drove only the biggest, fastest cars. But it seemed that the bigger the compensation I tried, the smaller my pecker felt."

    But after seeing the new ZipZap pocket sized RC cars, Grant's problems were solved. "I realized that I'd been looking at this all wrong. Bigger wasn't the answer. These cars are so small and so fun, I feel a lot better about my pecker's potential."

    Eunice Abrahms, Grant's girlfriend, concured. "Ever since he bought his first ZipZap my sexual satisfaction has increased immensely," she added while trying out various models at the store. "Grant even lets me help pick which one we get next," she said. "You can hold the really powerful ones in your hand and run the motor and they really shake! Those are my favorite."
  • by Drath ( 50447 )
    I saw a bit on conan obrien the other day where he did a commercial for these things, and then they zoomed on some girl in the audience and she said "And I thought I was a prostitute!" and walked out.
    • "...and she said "And I thought I was a prostitute!"..."

      Actualy she said and I thought I was a whore, but you were close :)
  • when am I gonna see a shriner rolling around in one of these things? Better yet, how many circus clowns can fit in one?
  • I guess the obligatory disclosure worked: ThinkGeek is already sold out!
  • A 16,000 RPM motor just isn't that much. I remember many 540 type motors pulling more RPM's about 15 years ago. I'm sure they're over 30k these days. In addition, there are plenty of gas powered engines that go well over 16k.

    • ---snip
      years ago. I'm sure they're over 30k these days. In addition, there are plenty of gas powered engines that go well over 16k.
      ---snip

      Not many of gas powered engines of any RPM this small...even most model airplane engines would be nearly the size of the entire car.
      • Ever seen a Cox Teedee .010 [rcportal.com]? These little suckers can hit 30K rpm and I'm sure they're smaller than this car ( that picture includes the gas tank).
        • the Cox Teedee .010 is indeed a small internal combustion engine (the smallest ever mass-produced according to a quick google search) and appears to no longer be in production.

          The ThinkGeek cars are 5cm long, and the tee dee looks at least that long from your picture. The thinkgeek cars, in addition, are larger than the remote control cars the article is about. That engine wouldn't fit, even without the gas tank.

          I doubt you are going to be able to find any 30,000rpm piston engines that would fit in these cars.
    • It's not just the RPM, but the amount of torque it can produce (in this case, these little motors won't be putting out that much).

      I'm pretty sure your average (standard 27(?) turn \) 540 is about 18,000rpm. The amount of power they produce won't have changed much since they're a regulatored stock motor, they will be pretty similar to 15 years ago.

      Todays modified 540s can range from anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000rpm. The expensive brushless motors will go even higher (these RPMs are only based on a standard 6 cell battery, more cell will give you more RPM).

      As for gas, they aren't that great as they're made out to be IHMO, electric can go much faster (1:10th scale cars at average speeds of 180km/h when loaded with many cells). The only major advantage of gas are longer runtimes, and the ease of just fillin'er up. They're also cheaper if you want speed.

      Of cource, even if you could fit a 9 turn single (lower winds = less resistance = faster motor) into one of these wee things, you run into another problem: Getting traction ;) It would be like having a top-fuel dragster engine in a Mini Cooper.

      • I was actually referring to motorcycle and F1 motors. I'm not sure why the author thought we should be impressed with RPMs. FWIW, given the amount of mass that has to change direction, I'm far MORE impressed with 2 liter engines that hit 18000 RPM.

        I was thinking of the modified motors WRT the 540's. My bad.

        Haven't seen a top fuel engine in a mini cooper, but I have seen a 454 in a Nash Met.

  • by x136 ( 513282 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:36PM (#4340551) Homepage
    ...but where's the option to install a bunch of subwoofers that rattle the trunk lid, making the stereo sound like crap? And how about coffee can sized exhaust tips that make the engine sound like a bicycle with playing cards in the spokes?

    Stickers are essential, too. How else can you show off your Ford Escort Evolution IV or your Chevy Beretta Type R?
    • ...you're the kind of guy who would get a kick out of (or is a fan of) Beaterz [beaterz.com]. : )

      And I agree, the modification community is way over the top. Spend that $25K on a used viper rather than a tricked out 02 civic.
  • 1. Make Tiny RC car

    2. Market through Radio Shack

    3. ????????

    4. Profit!!!!!

  • to look the product up at RadioShack.com, here is a direct link to the Micro RC Porsche 911 Car. Product No. 60-7001 [radioshack.com]

    For only $20, I think it'd be a fun toy for any geek, girl or boy.
  • by Nathdot ( 465087 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @07:49PM (#4340609)
    In a press conference Wednesday, Radio Shack introduced the ZipZap line of miniature RC cars. Each is based upon real-life roadster, and can be tricked out with body kits and other accessories. Customers also have the option of upgrading and tweaking the gear ratios to give their car an extra boost.

    So you can fit out your Porsche 911 RC with a spoiler, super charger, nitros, chrome alloy mag wheels, cool purple fog downlights, tinted windows, a "SPEEED DEEEMON" windscreen decal, and tiny little "extra large" beverage holders and it will still be defeated by a carpet with only a moderate shag-pile rating.

    Pffft! :)
    • by Osty ( 16825 )

      So you can fit out your Porsche 911 RC with a spoiler, super charger, nitros, chrome alloy mag wheels, cool purple fog downlights, tinted windows, a "SPEEED DEEEMON" windscreen decal, and tiny little "extra large" beverage holders and it will still be defeated by a carpet with only a moderate shag-pile rating.

      Because anyone who would do that to the actual thing deserves to be drawn and quartered.


      Oh, yeah, and these cars aren't roadsters [dictionary.com]. In fact, there's not even a single roadster in the bunch. Not your quote, of course, but that of the article. Just pointing it out. To claim they have roadsters, they would need cars like the Boxster, Z3 series or M roadster (hrm, it's in the name!), Audi TT, Honda S2000, or even a Miata. But a 911 is not a roadster (the Turbo is only available as a coupe [dictionary.com], but the 996 cab is considered a 911, so technically the 911 is available as coupe or cabriolet [dictionary.com]), nor is a Mustang Cobra (coupe), Honda Civic (coupe), nor a PT Cruiser (not sure what the heck that is -- sport compact utility vehicle? then again, it's just a Neon frame with a fancy body shell, so maybe it's a compact sedan [dictionary.com]?). Silly journalists don't know their car terms.

      • they would need...even a Miata
        Hey now! Don't casually lump in the car that reintroduced the roadster as a viable car again in the 90's.

        Seriously, the Miata is generally considered a classic, C&D consistently puts it in their top 10, and I believe one of the car rags just put it into the top 10 cars of all time list, a weighted list that included value in its measures, putting the car right next to such lofty craft as the Ferrari Modena. And despite not having the supercar-horsepower of the other vehicles you mentioned, it is an incredibly performing roadster. For some reason, too, much of the public perceives it to be a cheap car, but mind that it tops out at ~$27k now. IMHO, it's the car that Austin Healey wishes they could've engineered (used to drive a 3000).

        Of course, if you can afford German, by all means....I'd highly recommend it ;-).

        DP -- former Miata driver

        • Hey now! Don't casually lump in the car that reintroduced the roadster as a viable car again in the 90's.

          Dammit, you caught me!


          Seriously, the Miata is generally considered a classic, C&D consistently puts it in their top 10, and I believe one of the car rags just put it into the top 10 cars of all time list, a weighted list that included value in its measures, putting the car right next to such lofty craft as the Ferrari Modena. And despite not having the supercar-horsepower of the other vehicles you mentioned, it is an incredibly performing roadster. For some reason, too, much of the public perceives it to be a cheap car, but mind that it tops out at ~$27k now. IMHO, it's the car that Austin Healey wishes they could've engineered (used to drive a 3000).

          I agree that the Miata is an awesome little car. How many other cars can claim (almost) perfect 50/50 front/back weight distribution? The Boxster can't even claim that, and it's got mid-engine placement going for it. As well, roadsters aren't all about big horsepower and quick quarter mile times. They're about having fun, and if you have fun in a Miata, then great. I don't like some of the styling, though, which means I really never considered it when I was looking to buy a roadster.


          Of course, if you can afford German, by all means....I'd highly recommend it ;-).

          Can. Did. Enjoy it very, very much. I just need to make the time to get out to the track more often.

          • Checked your website--dearly, DEARLY love that car. Boxster's the ultimate evolution of the roadster, in my opin. Great color, too--roadster's should be flashy, methinks. Cheers!

  • www.teamassociated.com and www.teamlosi.com for real RC cars not gay ass radioshack shit
  • From the linked article:

    The Starter Kit for each ZipZaps model comes complete with a stock chassis, "performance" motor, 12:1 gearing, factory tires, factory wheels, custom rims, realistic body shell, owner's manual, a collectable trading card, and a six-way controller/charger with removable wrist strap.

    Okay, I see forward/reverse and left/right. What're the other two ways or is it talking about something else?
  • Jeez, these things were on sale for $10 in Thailand the last time I visited. What a markup!
  • by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@@@monkelectric...com> on Thursday September 26, 2002 @08:30PM (#4340809)
    How is it radioshack is able to manipulate media outlets into carrying this "story" ?

    I saw a story on CNN about it as well! This is not news, this is advertising.

  • by Nijika ( 525558 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @08:31PM (#4340815) Homepage Journal
    Can't wait. Windows 2000 Pro CDs as obstacles.
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @08:51PM (#4340909)
    Sure the Tommy Bit Char-G chars are cuter, but I prefer a car that is faster and looks nicer, say, like my Dodge Viper ...
    http://www.kyosho.com/cars/kyod01x3.html [kyosho.com]

    "Under the hood":
    http://www.kyosho.com/cars/kyod01x1.html [kyosho.com]

    --

    "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."
    - Thomas Jefferson

  • im curious if any current owners can tell me if it would be possible for me to use the 3000gt spyder matchbox body I have on this rc so that now I have a little rc of my car?

    i guess the scale that they used would be useful.

  • You've heard the argument that mammals get about the same number of beats out of their hearts, so animals with fast heartbeats live shorter? I figure it's the same thing for motors in toys. At 16,000 rpm, these puppies ain't gonna last until the first set of batteries runs down.

    -dB

  • a driver's license to race these fun little cars!

    Disclaimer: You will however need to present, given that this is radio shack and all

    your name
    your address
    your blood type
    your birthday
    you SSN (SIN in Canada)
    and the serial number from your cue cat
  • I have one of these. According to my friend who knows a lot more about this shit than I do (note: that is a point of pride for me) they are identical to the Tomy at about US$10 less.

    Atomic [atomictoys.com]

    The controller/charger is kinda cheesy but since it probably won't work but a few days anyway I doubt if it matters.
    • Re:YAPSRCC (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dracos ( 107777 )

      You friend don't know much, then. ZipZaps and BitChar-G's are not identical. ZipZaps have a longer wheelbase and use a slightly different form factor motor, among other things.

      People have swapped the gears and axles from a Zip onto a Bit, though.

  • microrccars.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by coffeedreg ( 86096 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @11:07PM (#4341573)
    If you want to find out more about ZipZaps, DigiQ, iRacers, Bit Char-Gs, MiniZs, and a billion other micro rc cars, drop by microrccars.com and check out the forums.
  • or you'll surely attract car thieves.

    keep them stock looking and usually they won't get broken into.

    (don't laugh - tandy part #RS-14314, micro-vandal, blue w/mask is in next year's catalog.)

  • I bought one of these after work today at a nearby RS. I went looking for a 5V AC/DC converter, but had no luck. As I was leaving, two of the guys working there were talking about these. I figured I'd easily get $20 worth of fun out of it.

    I've run it for a couple hours already tonight, and it's been a blast. The recharge times are about a minute, and I've got a good 5-10 minutes from each charge.

    There's only one thing I don't like, and that's the wide turning radius. (Which is tight when moving in reverse.) Maybe one of their suspension upgrades would fix that? ;)

    I'm not sure how the batteries will hold up, I'll post again here in a few days and let you know.

  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Friday September 27, 2002 @12:40AM (#4341944)

    Micro R/C cars have been out in japan for at least 2 years. Ebay has facilitated their entry into the U.S. as early as last winter (as far as I can tell). More proof that Japan gets cool toys way before we do.

    If you want a wider range of customization, go for a Bit Char-G from Tomy [tomy.co.jp], which have very recently been launched as R/C MicroSizers [microsizers.com] in the States (and also under different names in Australia and the U.K.). There are also numerous knockoffs of "bits" coming from China which are generally of lower quality. Hell, even Wal*Mart has a line on these things.

    I admit, I first saw micro r/c cars on ThinkGeek (which are called Digi-Q from Takara [takaratoys.co.jp]). After I finally decided to get a micro r/c car, I did some research:

    • Bits have the widest range of accessories (bodies, gears, motors, etc)
    • Bits have real steering, which uses a small magnet to move the front wheels.
    • Digi-Q's have 2 motors, where speed differetial between them steers the car
    • Bits look less cartoony than Digi-Q's (but still a little bit cartoony)
    • Digi-Q's are controlled by IR, not RF

    Therefore, I went with a bit. ZipZaps have a 16k rpm motor? So what: You can get 38k rpm motors for bits.

    One of the things going against all these toys in the U.S. is the body styles they produce, which are all Japanese. How many people outside of Japan know what a Nissan Skyline is? Tomy may be prepared, as you can see a Mach 5 and Mini Cooper scheduled for release soon. I want a Chevy SSR and a '69 GTO Judge (gotta be orange) personally.

    BUT, these things are temendous fun. There's a huge online community around the micro r/c hobby. Check out www.tinyrc.com [tinyrc.com], www.bitchar-g.co.uk [bitchar-g.co.uk] and QFM Racing [questformadness.com] (click the right side of the page).

    • One of the things going against all these toys in the U.S. is the body styles they produce, which are all Japanese.

      Out of the eight starter kits on the Radio Shack website, two Chryslers, two Fords, two Hondas, and two Porsches. There are three upgrade body kits, one kit is American, the other two are Japaneese.

      I want a yellow 2002 Civic Si Hatchback body, but I'm not holding my breath. If I want one, I'm to get one, I'm going to have to make it.

  • How heavy are these? With the little two-motor, no-steering ones, you could make little tiny blimps or something. Build propellers instead of the wheels. Granted, you can buy radio controlled blimps, but maybe not quite that teeny :)

    Hey! Boats! :D And best of all, the range of the transmitter is unfortunately not much bigger than your tub anyway, so.. ;)

  • by Derek-ausmicro.com ( 611908 ) <derek@ausmicro.com> on Friday September 27, 2002 @08:26AM (#4343078) Homepage
    Hi everyone. I'm COMPLETELY wet behind the ears with regards slashdot - hell, it took me almost 15mins to work out how to post this first ever reply - DOH! The only times I've really taken any notice of it was when my old *nix-lovin' flatmate used to try to highlight the errors in my Microsoft-lovin' ways.

    I was having a pretty quiet Friday here in Sydney. I was at work, idling browsing the 'Net (I am pretty safe saying that in here as my boss even struggles to use MS Word spellcheck without online help) and I saw a post on our ausmicro.com forums mentioning micro RC cars on slashdot.

    Next thing I know, our poor little web server is straining under the load and we're getting emails from all over the place. Certainly NOT how I expected another quiet Friday at work to pan out :-o We moved about half of our average monthly traffic in ONE DAY. I phoned my old flatmate tonig

    Yes, Aaron and I (aka ausmicro.com) do import micro and mini radio control equipment into Oz. It all started when we both wanted a Bit Char-G and throught that the US-based vendors were a little on the exxy side (with the dodgy USD-AUD exchange rate et al). Aaron (who is in Canberra) and I (in Sydney) are good friends and both of us had a lot of business/market experience business in Japan and SE Asia. So the phone calls and emails started.

    We got our first cars in and we were hooked. Colleagues at our workplaces wanted them and so the demand grew. We started ausmicro to see if anyone else wanted to join us for a group buy (save on freight). Suddenly it became much bigger than we'd ever hoped for.

    Everyone's gotta have a vice/hobby and RC is one of ours. Running the website (which gives us great mod ideas!) is the most expensive part of the hobby. I know it sounds like tired rhetoric, but ausmicro.com is about a sense of community - not profit. We load up the landed/dutied cost of the items we import by 5%, which goes towards subsidising the site running costs (transferring ~3GB of traffic per month doesn't come cheaply) Put it this way, after 6mths we're still well and truly in the red. And we expect to stay that way for another 12-18mths. But we're still loving it! ;-)

    In the last couple of months we've jumped aboard the Mini-Z craze (1:24 scale vs 1:70 scale). These are GREAT fun, too. I can highly recommend http://www.minizworld.com as a good place to start if you're interested in learning about them.

    Apologies if this post sounds cheesy/spammy. I assure you - it wasn't intended to be. I'll go as far to say as we're NOT the cheapest place to buy micro RC gear from. We DO NOT have a big range. Even our customer service SUCKS ;-) After all, Aaron and I both have "day jobs" to bay the bills. This is just a hobby! But if want to get into the craze and need help in sourcing a car or two (particularly for Aussies), we can help. We'd just like to see more folks taking up the hobby and growing the racing scene.

    Thanks again to those who contacted us (and all of the other suppliers/fansites mentioned in this story) for your interest in the hobby. If you have any questions feel free to email us (please be patient - the mail server is currently undergoing intensive care after its heart attack), or ask the community at http://www.ausmicro.com/forum

    Cheers - and have a top weekend

    Derek (aka DJ!)
    derek@ausmicro.com

He who has but four and spends five has no need for a wallet.

Working...