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Radio-Controlled Microcar Review 193

An anonymous reader writes "ExtremeTech test drives the latest in techy toys: a new wave of tiny radio-controlled cars from Asia. The site's RC car showdown pits the MicroSizer against the ZipZap. ExtremeTech tested the stock version of each car, but also added a faster engine to the ZipZap to see if it would boost speed."
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Radio-Controlled Microcar Review

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  • They're neat little toys, I've seen a couple reviews of them in the past. They seem to get a pretty decent amount of battery life (compared to the average 12v RC car), some even have little charging stations on the controllers themselves.

    I still think I prefer the larger version RC cars though.. I'd like to see one come out with a mini fuel cell, that'd be slick.
    • No such thing as an average 12v RC car. The *average* electric RC car runs on a 7.2v, 6 cell battery pack.

      Even the cheap RC cars found at retail outlets are usually 4.8, 6.0 or 9vdc.
  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gruneun ( 261463 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:37AM (#4416955)
    At least they decided to use 4 different frequencies. With 2 brothers, I can't tell you how many times we fought about who got to use their car at that time. It made for frustrating races when an annoyed benchwarmer would turn on his controller and flick the controls.
    • Not sure (Score:3, Insightful)

      The article says "Here in the US only two frequencies, 27MHz and 49 MHz are licensed for wireless toys, and are used. That means only two cars can race each other at once, because otherwise the signals will conflict. You can find Asian imports in some places that operate at the other three frequencies, but they are not FCC-approved for the US."

      Sadly it is a real pain not being able to race more than 2 at times.

      • Re:Not sure (Score:3, Funny)

        by Gruneun ( 261463 )
        Figures. My youngest brother is 21 now, but I can still see us beating the crap out of each other to determine who gets to race.
      • Re:Not sure (Score:2, Interesting)

        by GigsVT ( 208848 )
        IIRC there are several channels within the 49Mhz band. Otherwise it would be impossible to have RC airplane rallys.
        • That was my angle to the whole 2 challel sceme. I played with one of these slick racers, but didn't opt to buy one myself because of the lame fun of only being able to race one other person. Now, how hard would it have been to use one channel coded for multiple devices (say 16 cars)? Damn, could you imagine the fun of setting up a track with 16 cars! I guess the next mod will be the mash-up derby bodies. Would love one of these suckers with a crumpled 67 chevy body with a hood that explosed on impact.
        • Re:Not sure (Score:2, Informative)

          by Student_Tech ( 66719 )
          I think for the RC planes they are using the 72mhz band, many channels and IIRC illegal for ground based items to use.
          It would be nice however if you could get these little cars running at 75 mhz, many channels there and legal for ground based items.

          From tml
          Aircraft Use Only (72 megahertz, Channels 11 - 60)
          Surface Use Only (75 megahertz, Channels 61-90)
          All Uses (27 megahertz, Channel Code A1-A6)
      • Sadly it is a real pain not being able to race more than 2 at times.

        I just picked up a 35mhz unit at a little kiosk in a mall. Works great. No problems at all. I specifically got that frequency because it is not FCC approved in the U.S. and, thus, less likely to be subject to interference from other RC vehicles.
      • Hmmm, apropos to that recent CDMA vs. GSM story, it sounds like someone needs to come up with a CDMA-like scheme for these things, so that multiple cars can share the same frequency.
      • Re:Not sure (Score:2, Informative)

        by N3MCB ( 30591 )
        Unless you have a Ham license -- there are frequencies allocated in the 6m (50-54MHz) amateur band for remote control. You must have at least a technician class license and follow some rules about having your callsign on the transmitter. You'd have to retune the transmitter and receiver but that is most likely just a new crystal since there isn't much of a front end on those things anyway and 47MHz is pretty close to 50MHz as far as the basic circuit design is considered.
      • Uh, the article is goddamned ignorant. I've personally participated in races involving four 1:10 scale cars. You don't need an entire MHz of bandwidth to control a radio control car. It's actually enough to have something like one-thousandth of that.

        One assumes that the bands are somewhat closer together for surface vehicles, because typically they only require two channels. Ritzy ones (like those with selectable forward/reverse) have three channels. Planes, on the other hand, often require four channels, and some radio control vehicles use as many as eight. Helicopters use five or six.

        this chart [] describes the frequencies available in Canada, not the US. But note how close together the various frequencies are.

        Frequencies-As mentioned earlier, there are different frequencies used for controlling aircraft and surface models. Government has allotted one aircraft frequency band (72 MHz) and one surface vehicle band (75 MHz) for use in controlling models. The separation is for public safety. Each band has quite a number of individual frequencies. In addition, some equipment may be available on ( 27 MHz ) which is the CB band or on 50 & 53 MHz which is for Amateur Radio operators and a Radio Amateur's operating license is required to use equipment on these frequencies. These Amateur Radio frequencies may only be available on some equipment and would always be on a special order basis only. Delivery is usually in the order of 6 to 8 weeks.

        (Introduction to the Radio's Controls []. Radio Control Center, 1997.)

        So this is just plain lameness. I've personally witnessed more than 20 cars in operation at one time at the races sponsored by my former local hobby shop.

  • by red_dragon ( 1761 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:38AM (#4416957) Homepage

    But I wonder, when will I be able to add whale-tail spoilers, glasspack mufflers, 4-inch tailpipes, single-windshield-wiper mods, blue turn signal lenses, and Type R/VTEC logo stickers to one of those ZipZaps?

    • by FaasNat ( 522755 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:44AM (#4416998)
      How about adding 1,000 watt amps and 15" subwoofers to wake the neighborhood up at 2am?
    • Re:R/C rice cars (Score:2, Insightful)

      by windex ( 92715 )
      You know, I see more morons driving Dodges and Ford's with that shit (including "type-r" and "vtec" stickers, beleive it or not) on their cars than I see with asian car drivers. The most extreme asian car in my area has a "Honda" sticker on the front windshield, hardly over the wall, but there's a guy with a POS cavialer that has racing stripes / coffee can / etc. Mabye it's regional.

      Oh, I drive a Acura RSX, and while it does have some work done under the hood, it looks exactally the way it did when it left the dealer on the outside. :)
    • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:00PM (#4417098)
      Why waste your money on the upgrade pack ($8.00) when you can just add a "TypeR" sticker to make it go faster?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The ZipZaps have a 'The Fast And the Furious' upgrade pack. So, I guess the answer is: yes.
    • The last article I read about these on /. said that they were planning on bringing out kits to mimic the cars from "The Fast and The Furious", so you won't have to wait long!
  • Just a passing fad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yusaku Godai ( 546058 ) <hyuga @ g> on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:40AM (#4416970) Homepage
    I haven't seen either of the cars in the review, but when I lived in Japan lots of people had one called "Char-G" and it they were rediculous little things. Hobby stores had whole floors full of customizations for these things: faster motors, custom frame parts, etc... When it came right down to it though they're just not that fun to play with. They don't have the all terrain capabilities of regular-sized RC cars. When I played with my friend's Char-G it was only fun for about 15 minutes....and all I did was make it zoom around in a figure 8 for a bit and run it down a few flights of stairs "to test its durability" then it had to be recharged and after that I didn't really feel like playing with it anymore.
    • The range also stinks. You have to follow them around everywhere. Sure it's small, but that doesn't make it fun considering the full-sized RC cars that can do everything.
    • by Dalroth ( 85450 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:05PM (#4417129) Homepage Journal
      You clearly don't live in an apartment with 100% wooden floors and a puppy terrier.
      • Sounds like fun. Just make sure he/she doesn't eat it -_^ Terriers in particular seem to like eating/choking on small moving things in my experience
      • I picked a very similar R/C car up at a Discovery Channel store months back (looks like the same chasis, different brand name). My 150lb Newfoundland dog is TERRIFIED of it! Kinda like a mouse and an elephant. Pretty funny.

    • If you want a moderately small but still entertaining RC car, consider HPI's Micro RS4. They're considerably more expensive but they're very fast. They do not however have a lot of ground clearance. They are built like a (somewhat smaller) 1:10 scale car, and they move like one, too. They are AWD which helps traction on varying surfaces. Like other very small cars they are not suitable for anything deeper than office carpet (IE, the stuff that survives chairs being rolled all over it.) You can also race them outside on fresh tarmac or concrete.

      Actually they have almost as much ground clearance as 1:10 scale saloon racers. I broke the shit out of my 1:10 scale impreza (A Schumacher SST2000) by hitting a ~0.5" crack in a concrete street at about 28mph... and that's an electric car. Some of the nitroethylene-powered cars will do 50 mph out of the box. Well, once you break in the engine anyway.

      Personally I'm waiting for a R/C truck or buggy about the size of a Stomper (remember those? Ran on 1 AA battery? you could build tracks for them in the sandbox?) with working suspension rather than the stomper's fixed axles. I'd even settle for independent front and a fixed rear, if I had to.

  • by Heywood Yabuzof ( 255017 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:42AM (#4416981)

    Pretty cool, I always like when "serious" sites review toys and neat gadgets - although I usually check out Dan's Data [] for that kind of thing.

    I was kind of surprised to see it on Extreme Tech this morning. ;-)
  • But really, (Score:2, Troll)

    by tcd004 ( 134130 )
    The tiny body panels of these things won't hold nearly enough lighter fluid to allow me to recreate the crazy hot stunz I so enjoy. I much prefer to create basketball-sized flaming heaps of molded plastic.

    Read Richard Gere's Ass Zoo. []
  • good pricing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:42AM (#4416989) Journal
    Pocket-sized radio controlled cars, available for $20 or less with controller -- and infinitely customizable -- are now taking the New World by storm

    These things are only $20? For a radio controller and car, that's a pretty good price. Hot wheels sets can cost $10-$20 [], you get more cars but they don't actually do anything.

    The next trick will for somebody on slashdot to post a page where they've made a *car mod* for their laptop/etc to interface with the RC
  • Fun Stuff (Score:2, Informative)

    by Smilodon ( 66992 )
    Just got a set for my birthday (I'm now officially older than dirt), and they are great fun. Take a couple to a LAN party and watch the fun (until somebody steps on one)!
  • hmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by radiashun ( 220050 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:43AM (#4416992)
    are the shriner's included, or sold separately?
  • by loomis ( 141922 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:44AM (#4416996)
    Back in the late 60's / early 60's Mattel struggled and then succeeded in developing a quick-charging small electric toy car. Although you couldn't steer these (ie - not remote controlled / ran on Hot Wheels track), Sizzlers were the first in the "quick charge run for a few minutes on battery power" category of small toy cars.

    • I had these mattel babies with black snap together track. The track looked and felt as if it was made of hollowed out steel belts.

      The cars themselves had a walkman style female jack. The Track had the charger in the shape of a gas pump with two d batteries.

      They would last four about 3 minutes.

      They were fun even though you couldnt control them. They had headlights that worked and they also had dayglo paint.

    • Yeah, now that you mention it! And were'nt they charged by this thing shaped like a gas pump? Hehe. It had a couple of regular batteries and instead of a gas hose you plug it into a little jack for a bit? Hehehe.

    • Hey, I've still got one! Time to check Ebay...
    • This is like all the stories about mothers throwing out their sons' baseball card collections. My brother and I had about a dozen of these things and would race them not just on the tracks, but up and down the hallway. We had chutes at either end that would direct them into U-turns and go back to the other end.

      We discoverd that if you put the platic guard rails around the outside of every turn, you could even run them on slot car tracks. Never quite made it throught the loop though.

      Of course we also raced them up and down the driveway, until they got so gummed up with dirt that they didn't work any more. I wonder what they'd be worth today?
    • I had a Sizzlers trike. I seem to remember that it even had a little biker man with a top hat.
      Man that was a long time ago.
  • Engine? (Score:2, Informative)

    Gah, I hate it when people call the engines in a car a motor, but that is technically correct, even though engine is a more accuracte term. On the other hand, engine is the completely wrong term for an electric motor.
    • Yeah but these don't have engines--they just have tiny electro-magnetic motor. I'd like to see you try to build an engine that small -_^
    • Gah, I hate it when people call the engines in a car a motor, but that is technically correct...

      So you hate people for being right? Did I miss something? :)
    • by Yarn ( 75 )
      On the other hand, engine is the completely wrong term for an electric motor

      Um, why? Merriam-Webster []:

      4 : a machine for converting any of various forms of energy into mechanical force and motion; also : a mechanism or object that serves as an energy source <black holes may be the engines for quasars>

      This would seem to fit.
    • Re:Engine? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @01:52PM (#4417827) Homepage

      Sure, I once used to have very and involved debates about why "warp engine" was a misnomer and it should be "warp drive" or "warp motor". But then I got laid.

      • Sure, I once used to have very and involved debates about why "warp engine" was a misnomer and it should be "warp drive" or "warp motor". But then I got laid.
        What, just the once?
        Sorry, couldn't resist :-)
  • by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:46AM (#4417010) Homepage
    I have expirenced a few quirks about them.

    1. There is a limited distance with the remote (15 feet or so). Many times while I was playing with the car, I had to point the remote antenna directly at the car for it to move. I am assuming that the remote does not have alot of distance, since I expirenced this problem.
    2. The turning on these cars is hard. With the small controls on the remote, it is hard to keep the car turning nicely.
    3. Also, the motors in these cars do not have munch go. Me and a few friends tried to make the car go up a small ramp (very slow incline), and the car would not go. Upon trying it farther out, the car would still stop on this ramp.

    These cars are fun, but do not try to do many stunts with them, or else they will not work that well. They do work wonders on a flat surface.
  • And who said we don't use inductors anymore.

    This one uses 3. Most micro designs try to shy away from them for fear of their size.
  • by paranoos ( 612285 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:56AM (#4417070)
    check out

    they have an Audi TT and Subaru Impreza WRX... much faster than the ones reviewed here - 10mph!

    certainly, a larger r/c car is much more fun to play with, but it's been a long while for me.

  • by Hayzeus ( 596826 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:56AM (#4417072) Homepage
    ... until they come out with the miniature Talladega track, complete with realistic infield and scale model naked, drunken rednecks with shotguns that really fire.

    That would be worth paying for.

  • Serial/USB connector (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ok, so how do I hook the controller up to my Linux box?
  • Digi-Q cars (Score:5, Informative)

    by MooRogue ( 223321 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:01PM (#4417108)
    Well, i have a pair of Bit Char-G (which are the same as the MicroSizer cars), and a pair of IR controlled Digi-Q cars. The Digi-Q cars are much faster, much more maneuverable, and run for a much longer time.

    Plus, they come with "pistol-style" remote controls, and have four "IR Channels". They run for much longer too, 5 minute charge gives you about 15 minutes of play. Their IR control gives them a much longer range compared to the Bit Char-G.

    I had mine imported from Japan, but i think Thinkgeek stocks them once in a while. Only thing is that the Digi-Q is about $40 or so, twice that of a Bit Char-G
  • For some reason, when I see these things, I reminisce about the Stomper [] toys. And I remember playing with those things and rigging up a 9v battery to take the place of the (relatively wimpy) double "A" battery that was originally in it. As I recall, it increased the speed and power of the little motor that came with it dramatically. In fact, with the proper modifications, it worked as a rudimentary Dremel tool, though only on things like drywall, etc.

    I'm just wondering if the same would be possible with these cars?
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:02PM (#4417114) Journal
    I have some track from the old Aurora *slotless* race set (I still have some cars, but the tires rotted away - damn 70's disintergrating foam). These look like they would work great on this track (the track has a retaining wall on both sides).

    Probably not as manuverable as the old cars (the old cars would drive the opposite wheel of the lane that they were in, pinning them to that wall.)

    Had to be one of the more fun pursuits of my childhood. I recall racing with the Star Wars set - an X-wing fighter and Darth Vaders Tie Fighter. If the Tie rear ended the X-wing, the top would pop off and the Dark side won the day. I still have those cars..x-tra fun with the 'Jam Car' a Corvette that would drive around and randomly change lanes.

    Does anyone know the dimensions of these cars? My idea wouldn't work if cars can't pass each other. Either that or a parts source for the old cars..;)

    OT?: Does anyone remember the Fat Wheels? An RC car with inflatable wheels that would bounce like hell. Great fun.

  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:05PM (#4417131)
    Don't accept any imitations - I've yet to see a single non-Tomy one with the same build quality as an official Bit Char-G. They are great - they may not have the range or manouverability of a larger car, as several have pointed out, but on my maple floor they go like a dream, and are small enough to let you do a decent course without having to resort to multi-room strangeness.

    Obviously, the best are the limited edition Mario Kart ones - RC racing with Mario is so smart.
  • It would be cool to have a car with good steering motor-drive. They would be fun to engineer stunts like the ones we used to make with Hotwheels cars, ramps, and declines.
  • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:13PM (#4417187)
    At this tiny size and the relative speed they're going, steering is a real issue. You have to pulse the steering button really quickly for small turns and still end up with pretty sizeable direction changes. They would be a lot more driveable if they had proportional steering, but that might be too much asked at this size and price point.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:37PM (#4417321)
      The folks over at Yokomo have a 1:64 scale micro with digital proportional steering, proportional throttle, a true pistol grip FM transmitter, 6 frequencies, ball differential, and 2 NiMH batteries. They are called Puchi Maru and are expected to sell for around $100. More info at:

      They are more expensive, but these have the same functionality of "hobby" quality r/c cars. I want one, but these cheaper microsizers might just have to hold me over until I can find someone to sell me one of these Yokomo cars.
  • just toys, really (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yzquxnet ( 133355 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:17PM (#4417201) Homepage
    With their tiny size and relative lack of any bleeding edge R/C car tech all these really are is just toys.

    If you are serious about R/C and being competive take a look at 1:12 and 1:10 scale "hobby quality" Electric R/C cars. My car runs 40+mph on an indoor track no bigger than 40x100ft. If I let it rip outside with the proper gearing it will climb to over 60mph.

    If you get really into them you could also look at nitro R/C 'argueably' not as fast as electric, nothing can beat the sound of a nitro motor screaming by at 35,000 rpms.
    • "My car runs 40+mph on an indoor track no bigger than 40x100ft. If I let it rip outside with the proper gearing it will climb to over 60mph."

      These really are very different things. I don't doubt that your 1:12 scale car is both great fun and has far superior handling than the digital controls of a Bit Char-G car, but I race my tiny Char-G around my living room, which means we don't need to hire or own a 40x100ft track every time we feel like a quick go. They can dive between office pods quite well, too.
    • I had an aluminum RC10 for awhile - great fun, but comparing the pro RC/ with these cars is like comparing an Audi TT with a Geo Metro. The Audi will whup the metro, but when all you want to do is go to the grocery store and buy cheese, the Geo will do fine.

      Besides, just a motor for an RC10 approached the price of one of these cars. (However, when I broke a steering link on my RC10, I could actually replace it!)

      • Hey man, don't knock the Geo Metro!

        Let's see an Audi TT drive from Pittsburgh, PA to Iowa City, IA and back on *two* cylinders and *still* get close to 50mpg! ;)

        (Yes, I know, the Metro had 3 cylinders. This particular weekend, though, mine had had two, thanks to a burned-up spark plug.)
    • I used to race 1/10 scale cars myself (I had both a 4wd optima and rc10 that could both easily hit 45-50 with the proper gearing and engines) when i was younger and had more time. But after going to tower hobbies and seeing nitro cars going for $750 just for the kits with no radio, servos, or engine it's hard to justify it anymore. These micro size cars are really just toys but they fit a niche market - cheap bastard like myself who want to buy them for kids (thats the excuse anyway) and save our money for bigger, more bad ass toys.

  • Quote "ExtremeTech tested the stock version of each car, but also added a faster engine to the ZipZap to see if it would boost speed."

    Was there really any question about this? What's the next "experiment"? Placing a cinder block on it and seeing if that affects its handling?

  • I have... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MoThugz ( 560556 )
    a few of these cool toys. One's from a Taiwanese manufacturer called Auldey [], another is from a Chinese manufacturer called Pun Si, which doesn't seem to have a web site.

    I modified the car a bit so that it runs on a 9 volt battery (the boxy type) instead of the standard twin 1.5v AA size batteries. It just involves simple wiring and soldering, nothing rocket-scientist-material about it. Needless to say, it sure goes VERY fast! Careful tho, if you use a 4WD based chasis, it might make your car a little easy to overturn on sharp corners.

    I found a cool tin-car (it's what its called in Asia) modification website here [] for those of you who are interested in more advanced mods of this cool toy... Enjoy!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    After looking around and googling a bit, I could not find a retailer in the UK. Anybody out there knows where to buy these over here?
  • It would apear that the units are sold in pre-specified frequencies (6 I believe). So how can you have more than 6 radio controled cars in a race? something tells me some hack sites will be created for these guys :)
  • helicopters (Score:5, Funny)

    by British ( 51765 ) <> on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:27PM (#4417269) Homepage Journal
    I can't wait until an enterprising Japenese company makes similar-scale r/c helicopters. I'd buy one in a heartbeat(+ a bunch of spare rotors)
  • I find it mildly amusing that while Radio Shack [] is virtually claiming to have "discovered" micro r/c cars and brought them to North America, reputable hobby stores such as this one [] have had them in stock for a while now.

    Just goes to show you what a large-budget marketing department can do for your image!
  • I wasn't paying attention when Ziff-Davis spun off ExtremeTech, and the first review I read there was for Lindows, last week.

    But just based on that one and this one, I have to wonder if they're too commercially compromised to deserve a straight Slashdot link, without some caveat...?

  • by SomeoneGotMyNick ( 200685 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:47PM (#4417374) Journal
    Just wait....

    Someone will figure out how to put a strategically (and painfully) placed surface mount resistor or capacitor and shift the frequency up or down a bit from factory.

    Then you could race these with more than one person on the same frequency band.

    I have an amateur radio license (HAM). Technically, I'm allowed to use a wide range of frequencies for R/C or other 'remote control' use. Maybe I'll make mine work on the 2 meter band and I can control it at 100+ watts (or through a repeater)

    I'll have to be on another frequency with a friend miles away to tell me where my car is steering.
  • I got one of these after the last slashdot story on them, we had a blast playing with them at the office, but they don't keep your attention that long. On the plus side, they're neat to look at and the battery charge lasted longer than I expected, but they aren't very fast and won't run on most carpets.

    My cat,however, has not got tired of it yet, he will smack it around quite a bit.
  • 3 miles per hour..
    Wow, damn I that is some top speed. Better keep those pesky snails on leashes, you wouldn't want them embarrasing that 24kRPM engine now would you?
  • by marhar ( 66825 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @01:22PM (#4417618) Homepage
    At work, we have a bitchar-g racing table made from three small ikea square tables and some duplo blocks. It's a nice compact race area, but anything faster than the 1.0 motors (10,000 RPM) tend to spin out around the curves.
  • How come I don't see an '89 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais?

    • Since the small nature of thse cars force a rather bulbous body type, maybe you should chose such a body from the beginning. Yes, the car we all love, the AMC Pacer [].

      Poor car, designed with a "futuristic" look for a motor that never came into existence, the GM Wankel rotary.
      • Available accesories include:

        - Racoon tail for the antenea

        - Bumper sticker that reads: My Other Car is a Skyline

        - Wood paneling for sides of car

        - Replacement wheels with white stripe

  • by onlyabill ( 591213 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @02:36PM (#4418264) Journal
    I have had one of these for about 2 weeks now and continue to have a lot of fun. The nice thing about it is it only annoys the dog, does not scare her. After chasing her with it for some time, she just lies down and ignores it. :)

    I have been getting around 5 to 8 minutes run per charge and the car works great on tile or wood floors, fair on a short berber and crappy on anything deeper. I also picked up the 'performance' kit and the higher end motor and gearing does increase speed with some decrease to run time.

    I also found a nice site [] that has been covering these cars and also has a nice little forum for discussing issues. There is even a post from some RS folks discussing how they have tweaked the cars.
  • Coincidentally... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Daniel Rutter ( 126873 ) <> on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @03:10PM (#4418549) Homepage
    ...I've just put up a review of one of these things myself.

    It's here [].

  • I picked up a couple of Bit-Char-G units in Tokyo the other day (RX-7 and WRX - the STi model - even has the pink Subaru logo :). A quick assembly session in Bangkok over a couple of beers and vroom - I was away. Even my 4 year old son can drive the things.

    Back here in Australia we're racing them around the kitchen and, occasionally, on my work bench. I've been tempted to take them to the next dance party night and race them around the DJ console('scuse the blatant plug [] :)

    If you're living in tight spaces or don't have access to large "play" areas, these things rock. The guys at Subaru here are completely gaga over them (sprinting the WRX around the desk in the STi sales room - much fun :)

    Well worth the $$$...

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears