This thing reminds be back in my youthful days when i used to have cupboards full of mini and micro R/C models which majority was collection of luxury 1/28 KYOSHO MINI-Z and some 1/18 brushless models from touring to off-roader which i was living in the era where 27Mhz AM radio still a norm. Back then for USD$200 its you'll can get a basic R/C car model all stock with those fragile plastic that last couple of rounds and performance running and walking speed. Big electronics, brushed motor, Nicad/Nimh battery and crappy AM/FM radio. Fast forward to present time in 2015 for under USD$55 i can get tough kick as R/C models that made out of tougher parts, fast performance via Li-Po battery technology, compact and lighter electronics and less interference 2.4Ghz radio technology...which back in the days would spent about extra USD$300 to get a similar performance and upgrade to todays standard. So those who born later years are much lucky little bastard to own this piece of awesomeness. I guess this is what we called revolution of economy....thanks to China manufacturing they make stuff affordable, i wish they start 12 years earlier that would've save my pocket from burning. Before i start talking about A212, first of all i would like to thanks GearBest.com for sending me this cool new "WLtoys A212" 1:24 scale 4WD for test and review. Coincidentally i was window shopping one at local hobby store few weeks before but found non until their representative show up and offer me few choices of R/C off-road models. You're my life saver.
Ok lets get back to our topic about this new "WLtoys A212" 1/24 scale 4WD ground radio control models. The manufacturer offer bunch of variety but i pickup ones looks like a monster truck that have bigger and wider wheels so i could bash off-road or on any terrains. More rubber on wheels means less worn out. Tracking back its timeline it seems that it evolve from its 1/28 counter part presume that its fragile needed some ooommppph!!! so they made it slightly bigger and beefier version of micro class car which ended up more durable and economic size the 1/24. When i got it out of the box i'm really impress with its overall build it was outside my expectation, its like holding 1/24 version of 1/8 nitro buggy without nitro engine because the construction almost similar cause it have stainless steel as main chassis. My initial expectation before it arrive on my door step i thought it was a typical 1/24 all cheap plastics because i used to own 1/24 size back then Eg: all 1/24 scale Yokomo MiniQLO, a modified Auldey chassis and other rebranded models.....fortunately the WLtoys version of 1/24 seems to slap me in the face is like "Hey wake up and smell the mother lode!". Oh yeah! I can feel the bright light of happiness radiate on this little guy as i can see there a bunch of word "quality" printed all over the place. For 1/24 scale it seems heavy with all those partially metal build on A212. The electronics almost modular with servo steering can upgradable separately. Integrated micro electronics mostly on radio receiver + Li-Po supported brushed ESC. Unlike old generation micros models on Nimh battery the new generation seems to favor Li-Po battery for extra punch and endurance, able to delivery triple speed runs than previous generation. Comes with ala SPEKTRUM style 2.4ghz radio controller/transmitter and Li-Po balancer-charger. Oddly enough there no tools supplied to open the wheels since all wheels are assembled using Philips screws instead of tiny hexagonal nuts.
Specification (as describe by vendor/manufacturer)
Scale size: 1:24
Chassis build and overall drive transmission: Metal chassis + 4WD
Max speed: 35km/h
Play time: 20 minutes
Charging time: 1 hours/ 3 hours
Control distance: 100m >
Drive motor: 180 Brush motor
Battery details: 7.4V 500mah
Function: Forward/backward, Turn left/right
1 x WLtoys A212 truck model
1 x Balance Li-po charger
1 x Manual book
Very fast for its size, might be because it runs on Li-Po battery. You don't to extra $$$ upgrade to brushless motor its just adequate for its size.
Strong durable stainless steel chassis means less flex during cornering and more weight to keep the truck stick on the ground.
Great suspension performance and sensitivity, however its not adjustable.
Tension adjustable slipper disc on spur gear.
If it does flip/roll turtled on its back just do slight quick and abrupt reverse and forwards throttle accompanied with steering movement to force it flip back on its feet. Thanks to its big tyre.
When its still fresh out of the box the differential gear/cup and 'Dogbone' seems to make rough grinding plastic noise which is normal. It needs to run around few laps daily to worn out some grinding parts and it will smooth and silent in few days.
Ugly body shell...hey that's my preferences. I don't know about how you think about it. But it'll do for sake of bashing around the track with scratches.
There a tiny hex screw on lower "A" arm that adjust the height ground clearance height almost hitting the the differential 'Dogbone' cup.
Spur gear, pinion gear and differential gear are open and vulnerable to sand, debris and tiny rocks entering the chassis. The differential case have gap/holes almost just behind the "A" arm wishbone installation.
Two front Philip screw that holds the wheel hub seems too loosen itself after doing lots of cornering at racing track. Do check and tighten it after finish one round of Li-Po battery.
Quality and performance.
This little guy have some serious speed for it size, which you need to watchout your footings because since its slightly heavy for its size and running on punchy 2S 500mah 20C Li-Po battery a direct impact on your foot will be very painful unlike getting hit by Nimh powered model. Despite all that power it does pack serious feeling of thrill and excitement to the driver because all those straight line acceleration, cornering and jumps seems to be very "Extra kick" you can feel when you trigger the throttle. That's good because you never snore into boredom since A212 keeps you mentally alert in every turns. Fresh new rubber tyre seems to slip a lot in during cornering ended doing doughnut so you'll need to 'break-in' few laps until it become more grippy after chisel around a bit with the gravel and tarmac. The servo steering performance and durability is very satisfying as it could handle various G-force doing lots of rough turns and abrupt cornering where most anonymous micro/mini size in the market wouldn't last its initial lifespan. I can remember that i'd have to replace and repair steering servo on my previous expensive 1/18, 1/24 and 1/28 very often even in less than 12 hours of runtime, the A212 seems to keep my hands clean and my pocket full without worrying repair and replacement expenses.
For performance tuning like many hobby grade vehicle does the A212 doesn't offer much tune-able option in stock condition. Tune-able feature such as adjustable wheel chamber, toe-in/out, shock tensioning adjustment and oil damper is missed out but for a good reason so that manufacturer default setup driving is still enjoyable to drive without tune-able feature. The only optional tune feature was the ground clearance height adjustment which you adjust via allen/hex screw located on the lower "A" suspension arm just beneath the differential 'Dogbone' cup. Fortunately everything on A212 is upgradable by buying optional parts in the market and online such as adjustable turn buckle/pushrods, foam tyres, pinion gears, spur gears and etc since each section of the A212 is modular.
Even though the chassis can fit exactly the stock 2s 500mah li-po battery fitting into the place holder you can actually fit any alternate 2s li-po size of your choice instead of stock ones by unscrew the plastic battery place holder from the metal chassis and add Velcro stickies on both chassis and battery of your choice. I fitted 2s 600mah 20C from my quadcopter Li-po battery and it works great giving extra +5 minutes of fun. If you think the supplied body shell is ugly then shop around at local toy store for alternate scale like body shell, these days 1:24 size plastic models is quite norm and abundant in local toy store and malls. Just pull the scale body out for its guts and added to over on your A212 with minor DIY to get it work. If you're lucky some 1:24 scale come with nice wheel that might fit on A212 with yes of course minor mods. Then put it on your table cause it looks scale and awesome.
Lets talk about how does it perform on real R/C track. I did some test for 3 days both on dry and wet rainy condition on local R/C cemented tarmac racing track which was made for 1/10 racer the test results amazed me. 1/24 A212 seems to perform well even at the end of the day i was fully drenched in wet rainy day full with puddle of water yet A212 stick on the ground like glue. You can check out my video published in this page or at my Youtube channel and see it for yourself. High speed cornering didn't seem to topple or roll it like many truck does, it bites the ground a lot and from the video you can hear lots of rubber tyre scrubbing actively indicating the grip was working fully the whole time. Fortunately 3 days of hard run the rubber tyre didn't seems to worn out that much more likely worn out next year if you do bash it daily, that's great news for budget racer you don't have to buy foamy "GRP" branded like foam tyre for use on tarmac. On straight line acceleration the steering's seems to be mushy like it tends wanted to sway a bit left and right or probably attributed sensitive steering knob on the SPEKTRUM like controller which doesn't have EXPO setting unlike high end controller. The plastic differential gear seems to perform well especially during cornering we're it does spin donut much of the time, its does donut if you put sudden throttle during cornering. If you look closely on my video it seems that i could easily slow down at cornering after high speed acceleration which i assume the controller did provide artificial braking as i reduce the throttle which is not common feature you can easily find with budget RTR. It can easily jumps over bumps, rails and also recover from flip and toll if you'd ended turtle on its back by doing slight quick and abrupt reverse and forwards throttle accompanied with steering movement to force it flip back on its feet. After finished my session with a single Li-Po battery around the track i did notice both Philip type screws that hold both wheels tends to unscrew itself after lots of G-force load during cornering, take note of that and don't forget to bring screw driver when you're out bashing with A212. The other parts such as the spur gear, pinion gear, drive shaft, differential gear, dogbone/cup and suspension system still in very excellent condition with no sign of worn out after playing hard around the track for 3 to 4 days after pulling it out from the box. As for the total runtime per-battery it seems it could last between 20~25 minutes of drive time on said racing track in that video, when i was at the track tower stand i could almost doze off into boredom and my hand was aching badly holding the controller too long which i wish they (manufacturer) could make the control/transmitter lighter. Overall the A212 was a fun 1/24 size model to enjoy and has great competitive performance for racer at heart with less money to burn. To tell you the truth the A212 seem more enjoyable and thrilling to race around the track than my 1/18 size touring NRX18/XRAY M18/HBX 1:18 which you can view from my old video archive at my youtube. I'm gonna get a second A212 soon.
Here are sample of video of i posted on my Youtube channel contain test review on WLtoys A212 1:24 scale 4WD truck
Here are list of reputable vendor/seller which i bought from and also verified by community forum discussion groups. Also i've experienced buying from these places that have good support and services:
Seller GearBest.com: Wltoys A212 1/24 scale 4WD RC Car - RED
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
Topic: Rcgroups - wltoys A202 A212 A222 A232 A242 A252 1:24 4WD RC Car
Topic: Rcgroups - Wltoys - 1/24 A212 SAVAGE off-road buggy - Review
Let's recall everything that sum up above: its cheap, its small, portable, economical both maintenance and parts, bash-able, its fast, punchy, torquey, upgradable, hobby grade, mechanically awesome in details and drive-able anywhere anytime. Its a must have model if you need to let your steam off outside office or way to kill off boredom while waiting for your wife to finish her shopping at the mall. Pull it out of your tiny bag and let 'em roll. Impress the public around you with stunts and speed, show them those impressive tiny mechanical build with your manly friends without being shame and proud having hobby quality toys and not looking so cheap for such size. Its looks good when in action and also looks good on your desk even being naked without body shell....yes looks better than over price KYOSHO MINI-Z. If you don't like the stock lexan body shell you can shop around for lots of alternative 1:24 size MAISTO like scale body model in your local shopping mall with minor DIY mods to put over that A212 and be proud for such a great scale looking model. I wish WLTOYS manufacturer can redesign a lighter version of controller not small but slim in size and compact enough to fit inside a small pouch perfect for portability...probably a foldable version of radio controller that can fit inside the pocket and when extended it has a full standard size controller for real grip...that's my ideas. Since this model just released recently this December 2015 slowly more and more spare parts and upgrade will soon be available online just like its previous 1:28 scale counter part but more likely the 1:24 version will last longer without hurrying buying spare parts since it has slower wear and tear due to much beefier build in plastic and metal mass. For 1:18'er racer you should try this 1:24 A212 scale from WL-toys it does feels and handles like 1:18 racer because i myself do own some. If you do purchase this make sure you stock up an extra Li-po battery, extra body shell snap pin for 1:24 and 1:28 compatibles (since you're gonna loose them a lot on the track) and a small screw driver to keep the fun going when you're outside having fun with A212. More likely in few weeks or months i should have more of these 1:24 variant from WLTOYS and added some cool plastic body scale on it soon....oh yes and a cool radio controller that could bind with it soon. Or maybeeeeee.....there will be an DIY FPV version of this on my next FPV project list soon. So stay tuned for next updates. Cheers.