Monday, 12 December 2011

Toyologist Review: Fast Wheels RC

Fast Wheels RC: The Musical

It seemed like such a good idea when I thought there was no chance of ever getting the music...
To elaborate on a few things raised in the beautifully composed and performed song (X-Factor 2012, here I come!)...

The idea of this toy is to allow you to take regular old die-cast cars - the type of thing almost everyone has at least a few of scattered round the house - and turn them into remote control vehicles. This is done by clipping a powered wheely unit onto the back wheels of your car.

The remote and car in the set are made of very cheap plastic. The car is basically a place-holder for your own die-cast cars (Hot Wheels, or similar) so feel free to sling the one it comes with straight in the bin. The remote is a bit disappointing and since it's so large the cheap plastic is most obvious here. It still works perfectly well, however.

The actual 'wheely' bit - the important bit - I find hard to fault quality-wise and if it is cheap plastic, then it's hard to tell.

Each of the two Fast Wheels wheels is controlled independently. This is common on remote control vehicles these days since it allows for a zero turning circle (i.e. you can make it spin on the spot), which is useful for driving in small areas. I've heard people grumble about this type of control but it doesn't take too much practice to master.

The instructions say that Fast Wheels won't drive on carpet, however if you switch to wheelie mode (i.e. raise the small wheels at the back) then it will. It's the small wheels which get caught on carpet & with them out of the way, it's fine.

Charging takes only 2 minutes from the remote (which takes 4 AA batteries) and gives about 10 minutes driving time. No complaints here.

Line of sight is very important when driving. The remote must be pointed at the car at all times or it stops dead. It's not something you can really take outside and drive round the garden from a great distance. But then you are driving a small die-cast car, so I'm not sure you'd want to do this anyway.

Most small-scale (can't remember what the actual number is off hand) die-cast cars will fit into the wheely unit. However, Mattel's Pixar Cars cars don't fit. I mention this since these are quite popular, in our house at least. You can't drive Lightning McQueen around - his behind is too wide!

The single most annoying thing is the difficulty in getting the car to clip into place properly. There are little pins which have to click into the centre of the wheels. Getting one side in is simple, but then getting the other wheel into place is a bit fiddly.

Overall we really liked this. It charges up very quickly and is perfect for driving round a living room.

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