There are two major crazes for this
Christmas - trust me. First, there's the Pixsters, sort of kiddie
PDA's. Check them out when you get a chance.
There's also these - Zip Zaps! These
cool little (1:64 scale) radio control cars are a terrific idea. They
are produced and sold through Radio Shack, so that's where you'll want to
There's a variety of styles of car, and lots
of extras as well. There's additional motors, body styles, wheel
covers, etc. etc. etc.
The car comes
in pieces, and you put them together - assemble the wheels, insert the
engine, snap on the body, etc.
find these little guys interesting, there's a great site that cover this
style of RC - Micro RC Cars - and
you can find them for sale at the Radio
Packaging - ***
Normally I wouldn't mention the packaging on a toy like this, but I'm pretty
impressed with it. The car is shown off on the top, with the rest held
in a plastic container below. It catches your eye on the shelf, and
does what a good package should - helps sell the toy.
Sculpting - **1/2
Okay, these aren't the most detailed car sculpts. The one here is a
Mustang, and there are a variety of other cars to choose from, but it won't
be the detail of the body that sells you on these. It's adequate, but
it's not the driving force..
Paint - ***
The paint ops are fine, although quite basic. There's not as much
detail as a Hot Wheel for example, and no tempos on the basic cars.
RC Feature - ****
Okay, this is what you're buying it for. The car mounts on the
charger/controller, and charges up in about 45 seconds. It will go for
about 7 minutes or so on a charge, and recharges back up very quickly.
The range is fairly good as well, and you can be up to ten
feet or so away from the car. The controller is light weight, and the
two thumb controls work great.
I had a TON of fun driving this little car around the room,
and although the cat wasn't too thrilled, my kids sure were.
Extras - ****
One of the neat things about these mini muscle cars is all the extras
available. There's performance packages with bigger motors, wheel and
rim sets, racing kits, and more. It adds to the fun and excitement,
and it's an excellent idea.
Value - ***
The starter sets run about $20, which isn't a prefect value, but not
terrible. Of course you'll have to buy some batteries, but it doesn't
seem to eat them too quickly.
Overall - ***1/2
If you're looking for some mini-RC fun, these cars are perfect for
you. They are also a great way to get younger kids into the hobby, and
with all the extras gives them ways to increase their interest over
time. With the fairly basic but smooth controller, and the ease of
handling, it's perfect for kids in the 7 or 8 age range. If these were
a little more widely available, they'd have taken off even more by now.
Where to Buy -
I picked this one up at the Radio Shack at the local mall.
Shack has the starter sets for $20.
- there's also another brand called MicroSizer.
Similar idea, similar style.
I have a couple links to add to the review. First up is a very long
and detailed article comparing Zip Zaps and Microsizers:
The second is a site that sells the Microsizers themselves -
Table Top Racers.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.