This year at SEMA, I was walking past the Traxxas (I believe the only R/C car company that displays at SEMA) booth. It got me feeling all nostalgic. Reinforcing my girlfriend’s opinion of what a nerd I am, reminiscing about my first RC10 gold tub car, which I still have, that over the years has seen all of its original parts upgraded except for the motor mount plate. It had the chassis upgraded to a black one from a newer model. The shocks were upgraded to the newest (at the time) hard anodized and Teflon coated things. The transmission was upgraded to what they called the Stealth transmission. All pins, shock shafts, and turnbuckles were upgraded to titanium. Ball ends were upgraded to thicker ones that didn’t pop off as easy. Suspension arms were upgraded to aftermarket ones that were lighter and black instead of the cheap white nylon. Fasteners were upgraded from the gold color aluminum grade -42 crap stock phillips head things to high grade steel socket flat head versions. What I am saying in way more words than is necessary is this: I loved R/C from a young age. That RC10 provided years, if not decades of entertainment. And I decided this year, with help from the girlfriend, that I had the means to make that same kind of investment in fun for my little boy.
Cara (previously mentioned girlfriend) decided to give her boy a radio controlled truck for Christmas and asked for my help. Wow, did she get more than asked for or expected. After about 5 minutes of research I decided to recommend to her the Traxxas Rustler RTR brushed motor. Her boy is 8 years old and has no R/C experience yet. And he has a slightly destructive nature. So I figured the brushless would be a bit more power than he should be wielding just yet. Besides that, the brushed version comes with the battery and charger and fit perfectly into the budget she gave me. A later 30 second discussion with a local hobby shop supported my decision. So we had a winner.
My boy was a bit more difficult. I wanted a smaller budget for him as he is only 5 and has almost no R/C experience. So I wanted something strong, cheap, and slow enough to be controlled easily, but not so slow it couldn’t keep up with Cara’s kid’s truck. But I also wanted it to have a bit of expandability in the future. So of course hobby level was in order. I finally decided on a Duratrax Evader EXT2 RTR. It does not come with a battery like the Traxxas, but I figured I could share batteries with him from my old Tamiya Subaru WRC car. Turns out batteries and a cheap peak charger added almost nothing to the cost, so I splurged and got him all he needs. Also worth noting is that Duratrax gives you a 1 year warranty against any part of the car breaking.
Now it was my turn. Motivated by a bonding moment with both kids, and a bit of jealousy for them having the most awesome Christmas ever, I decided to get a truck in the same class so we can all race/bash together. I, being the experienced nerdy type, decided to splurge a bit. Besides that, I couldn’t let the kids outrun the old man. Not yet anyway. So I picked up a Team Associated RC10T4.1 RTR Brushless. I loved my Team Associated RC10 that I got for Christmas over 20 years ago so much, I couldn’t resist reliving that. Besides that, the guy at the local hobby store still says it’s the best choice for stadium truck (I hear this is now called truggy) racing. Granted, mine is the slightly dummied down RTR version. But at least it is brushless. I picked up a couple 40C LiPo batteries which are good for way more than my ESC could ever pull. I also got a DC power supply, which even in my years of previous racing I never had, and a Turnigy Accucell 6 charger. I really wanted to try the Gens Ace i Mars 100W charger, but it was out of stock by the time I got around to ordering. So the Turnigy is just a stop-gap unless it actually works as well as forum monkeys claim.
The numbers for the cars make them all seem fairly similar. I wish we were all the same driver level so I could see them all in a fair comparison.
Rustler Evader RC10T4.1
Length 17.5″ 16.1″ 15.35″
Wheelbase 11.375″ 11.6″ 11.34″
Width 12.25″ 12.9″ 12.44″
Height 7″ 6.6″ 4.1″ (guessing it’s wrong)
Weight 3.7 lbs 3.6 lbs 3.87 lbs
Street Price $195 $120 $250
The only youtube review video I found of any of them worth watching is this: