Air Hogs Hypertrax (Red)
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
can flip to both sides for continual driving
can handle moderately rough terrain
High centers pretty easily on rougher terrain
Requires 8 AA batteries
Hard to control
When I was a kid I got a Tyco Rebound, which was the coolest little stunt RC ever. I sold it awhile back and today am deeply regretting that decision. The Air Hogs Hypertrax looked like the closest thing I could find to my childhood toy so when my son asked for an RC for his birthday I figured I'd get him one. He opened it for his birthday on Thursday and it stopped working by Sunday. But before I get to why it stopped working I'll start with first impressions.
When we opened the car, I was shocked with how small it was. I was also surprised to discover that the car battery is recharged with AA batteries from the remote. I didn't like that idea because it meant I would be spending way more on batteries. It requires 8 AAs! Once we got batteries (not included) put in and waited about 30 minutes for the car to charge we finally took it for a test run. I was immediately surprised with how fast the little car was. It zipped from one end of the room to the other in no time flat. It also handled the indoor terrain very well and was fun to jump off little bumps and other toys and stuff. However, the remote is unnecessarily difficult to control which was frustrating. In all reality I guess it's not that bad, you've basically got a steering wheel and throttle that can go forward or reverse. Pushing the throttle in reverse was very difficult for my son who has small hands though, and wasn't all that easy for me either. Poor remote design IMHO.
The car battery ran out after about 10 to 15 minutes of use and needed another 30 minute or so charge. 10 to 15 minutes was pretty disappointing.
Later we took it outside for a spin. It kept getting high centered on our longer grass making it so we really couldn't drive it on the grass until I mowed the lawn. It also had a hard time on some rocks getting high centered again. But, overall as long as it doesn't get high centered it could handle pretty much anything and was reasonably fun.
After only 3 days of use my son came to me saying he couldn't get the car to work. I looked at it and the remote light was flashing green, which I read in the instructions meant that it was searching for a car to connect to. Once it finds the car it's supposed to turn solid green meaning you're good to go. Well, it would blink green for awhile and then turn off which I assume meant it couldn't find a car even though the car was right next to it. We would try to plug the car in to charge it again, but the indicators wouldn't come up for it to charge. So either it was already fully charged, or it was no longer recognizing that the car was plugged in. Either way, it's broken and we had to send it back. Very disappointing overall.
Compare this to my good old Tyco Rebound I had as a kid.
Speed - Similar speeds, though I might say the Hypertrax had faster acceleration and the Rebound might have a higher top speed due to its larger size.
Control - The Rebound control had two simple up and down joy sticks, push the left one up and the left wheels go forward making it turn right, push the right one up and make it turn left. Push one up and one down to make it spin. Very easy compared to the Hypertrax.
Battery - The Rebound car battery lasted at least 45 min of play from my recollection and then had a wall charger. So much better than the hypertrax as explained above.
Stunts - Both can flip to both sides for continual driving, both can handle rough terrain. However, the Rebound had bigger wheels and I don't remember it EVER getting stuck. The rebound could also do WAY more tricks as you could quickly switch directions to make it flip from one side to the other or even start doing flips down the road. Given a little practice you could even get it to stand on end and to 360s on only 2 wheels. I've watched a few videos of the hypertrax and as far as I can tell, none of that is possible.
Here's the commercial for the rebound (the commercial was actually accurate!) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qM0UWNqxkw
And here's a positive review video showing the hypertrax in action - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpFlpwseUQ0
I thought RC tech would get better over time, but it turns out that ever since Tyco died, the tech died with them. Air Hogs could learn a thing or 5 from them.
The only thing I noticed -- in the instructions it says the red and green light will be on when charging, but for me that doesnt always happen. Sometimes its just the red light. It bothered me at first, but it seemed to be charging just fine so I figure it isnt a huge deal.
Was a bit reluctant to make the purchase but wouldn't hesitate again. Been using it a couple of times a week on a flat surface (doesn't like the lawn due to the low chassis) for around 6 mo. w/ no problems. Be careful when using indoors as it has pretty good speed & the body might scratch furniture & other like objects - rubber tracks are ok.