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Tiny RC Tanks That Fight 254

Daniel Rutter writes "I've just reviewed a couple of Konami's Combat DigiQs - tiny little remote controlled tanks that can shoot each other. You can stage a two-, three- or four-tank battle, every tank for himself or in teams of two, on a coffee table. They rock."
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Tiny RC Tanks That Fight

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  • Cool! (Score:4, Informative)

    by blitzoid ( 618964 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:12PM (#5713679) Homepage
    Toys are just getting cooler and cooler these days. Why couldn't I have had RC Tank wars when I was a kid? It's just not fair.

    Oh well. I guess I'll go back to playing with Lego and my good 'ol Speak-n-Spell.
    • Re:Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

      by plopez ( 54068 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:14PM (#5713691) Journal
      Back in the day we used water baloons and also tomatos. Over ripe tomatos especially rocked...
    • Aw, screw kids! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fritz Benwalla ( 539483 ) <randomregsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:31PM (#5713814)

      I've solved this problem by continuing to buy toys for myself - and now I've got money!

      Fact is that as a kid I don't think I would have appreciated the coolness of this. A friend of mine had one of those helicopters that flew in circles, and model rocketry stuff, and I liked it but I thought it was all part of being a kid.

      Now I own a Vectron Flying Saucer [techtv.com] and a bunch of other cool stuff, and I still play with at much as if I were a kid. But now I realized how awesome it is scientifically, and the fact that things weren't always this cool.

      Somehow wanting something for thiry years makes it that much sweeter. Makes me look forward to being eighty.


    • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Insightful)

      You'd let a child handle something so expensive? Heck, the target market for this stuff is adults. What kid has the cash for this? Even legos are pretty pricey.

      Okay, I know, there are legions of spoiled kids whose parents can't stop buying expensive gifts for them.

  • And now for English (Score:4, Informative)

    by Isosonys ( 589846 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:12PM (#5713681)
    http://www.konami.co.jp/th/micro_ir/combat/english /index.html
  • laser tag (Score:4, Informative)

    by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:14PM (#5713697)
    ThinkGeek's had this for a while

    It's laser tag though. Office Fun!
    • Re:laser tag (Score:5, Informative)

      by Catiline ( 186878 ) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:25PM (#5714079) Homepage Journal
      No, those are not the DigiQ tanks. I own a pair of DigiQs, and they are about half that size and quite a bit more historically accurate (the DigiQ line is modeled -- as I said, somewhat accurately -- on WWII tanks). Furthermore, the ThinkGeek tanks are hard-coded to one frequency while the DigiQ can be reprogrammed. DigiQ also have multiple battle modes, including a very fun "simulation" (where different models have different ammo payloads and reload times).
    • They're more "tank looking", which is neat.

      From reading the manual, I think the ones linked can change channels, TG's site warns you to get different channel models for multiplayer, which makes me think it can't be changed, which sucks.

      These are farily sophisticated, with changing behavior according to damage taken, and a couple of modes to ignore "friendly fire".

      I don't know how the price compares, the TG ones are $60 each, I think that's in the ballpark.

      The question I have is: are the beams compatible
    • the neatest parts of the tanks you linked to, which are made by Plantraco, is that they can be controlled by PC (in a simple "move forward, turn left, move forward" setup) and they sell video cameras to go on top of them.

      I play with a small RC car that has a camera attached to it quite often, and its fun as hell to see the world, or my apartment, from that point of view (ever wonder what a cockroach sees?). Playing laser tag like that would rock even more than from overhead.
    • The only place I've seen these tanks for sale is Hobby Link Japan [hlj.com]. They looked really cool, but at ~$50US + shipping they're a little expensive. Way cooler than those little cars though.
  • WmD (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:15PM (#5713704)
    weapons of minute destruction?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:15PM (#5713711)
    The writeup of the article with the same text is already on JesusGeeks [jesusgeeks.net].
  • by Radi-0-head ( 261712 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:18PM (#5713729)
    A playground sandbox, a few quarts of 10w40, and you've got your very own miniature Iraq to "liberate"!
  • BZFlag [bzflag.org] is cooler :-)

    I think the BZFlag guys get the award for "most modifier goodies"- it made my dizzy, reading all the different kinds of flags there are. Forget a 'gunner', you need a 'flag checker'.

    Driver:"Ooo, ooo! A flag! [steer steer steeer]"
    Flag Checker(slow motion): "nnnooooooOOOO!"
    -BOINK- BROADCAST MESSAGE: "Team A ran over Hippie Flag, now shooting Daisies"

    I wish they'd do collaborative roles, so you really COULD have a driver, gunner, etc..that would ROCK.

    Who remembers playing Bolo on

    • I think the wireframe tank game on the Mac was Spectre. When I got it came with a cool plot outline and a copy of Snowcrash. That had me quite hooked for a while. Very simple, but very intense.
      • I think the wireframe tank game on the Mac was Spectre. When I got it came with a cool plot outline and a copy of Snowcrash. That had me quite hooked for a while. Very simple, but very intense.

        YES! That's the one! It was sweet. You had a limited budget of "stuff" and could spread it between ammmo capacity, speed, and armour if I remember correctly...and holy cow did the bad guys get tough after a while :-)

        Man, I miss all the cool old Mac games...NetTrek, Bolo, Spectre, Cannon Fodder, Brickles, Solar

  • Realism? (Score:5, Funny)

    by obotics ( 592176 ) <remline@hotmail.com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:21PM (#5713747) Homepage
    But do you actually get killed when your tank blows up? I really find the lack of realism in games these days to be disturbing.
    • You don't say.
    • Realy these are kind of lame, what I want is a Geo metro, striped down, some thin-skin armor attached, the 23mm chain gun from the Bradley's and maybe a M2 50 Cal machine gun for anti-personel work, and a Mark 19 40mm grenade launcher installed. run the whole via reomte control, just beam back video and thermal imaging to the operator. This would give RPV a whole new meaning!
  • Cats! (Score:5, Funny)

    by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:25PM (#5713774)
    If these fire actual projectiles (as opposed to just a light beam), then I want one for my girlfriend's cats!
    • Re:Cats! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Captain Large Face ( 559804 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:12PM (#5714023) Homepage

      Duh! Cats have no opposable thumbs! How the HELL do you think they're going to use a remote control?!

    • Re:Cats! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rolo Tomasi ( 538414 )
      Here you go [dansdata.com]. 6mm BB bullets. But you know how cats are ... once the batteries are down and the thing sits in the corner, they'll just pee on it (that is how cats show their discomfort with something - they pee on it). Even the electronics aren't shorted out, you'll still have a $130 toy tank that smells of cat pee.

      What I'm trying to say, just get one of those stun batons.

  • Logo??? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sheeplet ( 120355 )
    Doesn't the logo remind you of ChronoCross/Trigger? Strange....
  • eeek! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Spoticus ( 610022 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:28PM (#5713795)
    Scary when the tanks are being dwarfed by their remote controls 8-)
  • by newsdee ( 629448 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:32PM (#5713822) Homepage Journal
    ...those tiny tanks, connected to a PC, so we can play over the Internet with our distant geek friends. :-)

    Yeah of course we have videogames, but it would be much cooler to have the game happening in real-life 3D on a small table in the living room. :-)

  • a couple of things (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They are IR controlled, not radio controlled,
    but their ranges are pretty amazing.

    They use a similar protocol to the digiq's,
    which are IR controlled cars.

    You can get them at Fry's.

    They are loads of fun :)
  • I can't wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Harrison ( 223649 ) <johnharrison@gma ... m minus language> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:34PM (#5713830) Homepage Journal
    for somebody to hook this up to their infra-red port and a web cam and have a little AI tank a-la Robocode. Maybe the guy that did the computer that plays a game of tetris running on another computer can do it.
  • by Archfeld ( 6757 )
    The micro trains look cool, anyone know of a site in english where I can order ? I'd love to set up one at my desk....
  • ... are REAL weapons in our cars. Ya know, a flamethrower on my front bumper to incinerate those slower cars, get them out of my way!
    • The American Autodual Association!
      See Steve Jackson Games: Car Wars [sjgames.com]
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:45PM (#5713880) Homepage Journal
    I just wonder how long until these too are spamvertised to hell.
  • The turrets are not motorized, you have to manually turn them. They are fitted with a gear on the inside, which means that they *will* be motorized eventually.

    Any /.ers care to take on the challenge?

    "Knowledge is half the battle!" - GI JOE (he would have read the whole article, then gone off to kick Cobra Commander's ass...)

  • by DaedalusLogic ( 449896 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:14PM (#5714029)
    My brother and I ordered them from Japan back during Christmas. They are in fact really cool little toys.

    The advantages these little things have over the other MiniRC craze are:

    No ugly/fragile antenna (IR Control)

    Better cosmetic detail of the bodies. A couple little plastic pieces to glue on for added effect are included.

    The IR Weapons onboard complete the ultimate childhood fantasy of having your little plastic army men fight.

    Good control unit with swapable modules so you can use the same radio to control all the different types of tanks...

    The IR control is pretty good as far as range is concerned as long as you have line of sight. You have to mind that you point the control unit in the general direction of the tank... I've been stalled and hit a couple times because I didn't pay attention. There are cool little LED special effects and shaking when your opponent hits you with a shot...

    These things will have you building little obstacles and battlefields pretty soon after playing a couple rounds...

    Glad somebody wrote a review on these Konami tanks... Very cool... There are also hobbyists who make larger 1/15 scale versions but they cost hundreds... You can get two of these for about $100 plus shipping from Japan right now.

  • by bedouin ( 248624 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:19PM (#5714050)
    I was going to put off the kids thing a few more years, but I need a justifiable reason to spend $125 on these things. So, if there's any women out there who would like to get married and have my child soon there after, and also provide me with your Visa card so I can order these tanks (for are soon to arrive child), please send me a message.

  • by unfortunateson ( 527551 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:22PM (#5714068) Journal

    Cool features I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

    1. Several 'skill levels' that let you handicap a player (limit number of shots, limit firing frequency)
    2. Unlike the mini-RC cars which use a capacitor, these things have quick-charge NiMH batteries. It takes about 10 minutes to charge 'em up, but they last about 20 minutes of continuous play.
    3. A 'hit' tank spins and flashes, so there's some real effects to getting hit. They also slow down as they get hit.
    4. The several tanks they have all have slightly different characteristics: speed, firing speed, number of shots, damage done per shot, 'hit points'. This adds to the fun of the variety of tanks. The characteristics are controlled by a key chip on the controller which can be traded out, or perhaps upgraded?
    5. The turret may turn, but the IR that fires is beneath the turret. A motorized turret would not change the game.

    They are a bit pricey, but the WWII Winter set includes two tanks, plus obstacles to hide behind and decals.

    The only other downside is that they're a little fragile.

    • Whoops. Sloppy of me. I was looking at them from the top down in the packaging, and there's a large visible divot on each of the tanks below the turret, and I mistakenly identified that as the IR transmitter. It's smaller, and indeed on the turret.

      The turret only moves about 30-40 degrees to the right and left. But since you can back up easily, you can still fire in the opposite direction.

  • Who here has a Warhammer 40k map? I mean, the scale is practically perfect. Certainly close enough to make one heck of a battleground.

    Now if I could only find someone near me.... hmmmmmm.
  • Tanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    For some time now I've felt that toys like this (especially the ones with the rotating turrets) could be a cool mall concession. Arcades no longer offer any appreciable advantage over home systems and my local mall has a kiddy train that goes around incircles. Put the two together with some sand and rocks and your have fun for all ages! I have to think a 5 or ten min frag session would make more than some crappy train.
  • What better place to get air support for your ground troops than:

    Interactive Toy Concepts [interactivetoy.com]

    This company has everything from blimps to B2 bomber, and more.
  • is actually called combat sumo [konami.co.jp]. I would pay good money to see actual tanks do that in real life. I'd laugh my ass off.
  • Ogg Support (Score:3, Funny)

    by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:19PM (#5714294) Homepage
    I'm not getting one until it supports the Ogg format.
  • From Konami's OWN English version page:

    Please enjoy yourself using this manual.

    I sure hope you DON'T use that manual to enjoy yourself! You might want to try reading it first. Or maybe printing it out. =)
  • Sorry but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jmv ( 93421 )
    No wonder the US is always going after a war. I really have a problem when anything related to war is turned into a game (see Sony trademarking "Shock and Awe"). What's next: toy civilians that bleed just like real ones?
    • US is aways going to war because countries like France, Germany and Russia have been selling 9 Billion dollars of goods on credit (that's each too) to countires like Iraq, and Iraq doesn't seem to have bought things like food or medicine with it either.
  • Someone already mentioned hooking up an IR controller to their serial port, but what about for over the net multiplayer? Some strategicly placed cameras, 4 tanks, 4 players. I'd do this to have battles with my friends over fields of 486 hardware. I'm sure you could figure out some cool scenarios too with extra IR receivers/senders on the battle field. Stationary guns for defense, minefields, etc. Maybe a game where one team must defend an IR target while the other attacks. This is a must have toy.

  • Time for mini, tabletop, real bzflag [bzflag.org]. How can I get one with the guided missile option?
  • by Gurezaemon ( 663755 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:45PM (#5714562)
    Radio controlled tanks are nothing new - my neighbor had one 60 years ago.

    He sat inside it, a radio signal came in, and in response to that message, he shot at Germans.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.