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Hot Bodies Minizilla


May 6th, 2005 - Neil
From: http://www.hotbodiesonline.net
Direct Link: Hot Bodies Minizilla

The Minizilla from Hot Bodies attempts to pack all of the fun of a monster truck into a tiny, 1/18th scale package. They are largely successful at this. This 4-wheel drive monster really has the feel of its larger cousin. The truck's high center-of-gravity gives it a bit of an unstable feel around corners, much like the feel of a large monster truck.

On first examination of the Minizilla, it looked pretty fragile. In fact, on my first test-drive in the kitchen, I managed to crack one of the steering rods. (As it turns out, this was more hitting the right object at the right angle.) Most of the rest of the truck is made from durable plastic. The body comes pre-painted and the truck was fully assembled. A quick charge of the batteries and we were ready to go.

The Minizilla stores its battery pack in the back of the truck. The heavy tail end makes this a wheelie machine. This is really fun when we started playing with this truck, however the novelty soon wore off. When we brought out the bike ramp to do a little mini-bashing, we found that the Minizilla didn't have a lot of power behind it. While our other minis were launching off of the ramp, the Minizilla would merely make a little hop off of the ramp.

The stock motor for the Minizilla is just plain slow. We clocked the truck at around 15mph. While this was fast enough to roll us over in a sharp turn, it just wasn't enough for some fun bashing. We upgraded the motor to a low-end Mamba brushless to bump us to around 24mph. Suddenly, it seemed that the truck just passed into the realm of awesome. The Minizilla would get good air off of the bike ramp. The truck would tear up the dirt and would even drive well in the grass. With its monster truck feel, driving through the mulch in the parking lot planters felt like taking our monster trucks into a poorly maintained area of a forest. It was just plain fun.

Now that we could get some decent air out of the ramp, it was time to bash. We sent the Minizilla over the ramp several times. Some of the jumps we landed, some ended up sending the truck into a few cartwheels. Surprisingly, we didn't break anything. We did manage to pop out one of the ball joints on the front wheel. Of course, this was after we switched to a high-end brushless motor with a high-end battery. The damage was quite minimal considering we launched it at around 35mph over a bike ramp and landed it with around 30 cartwheels. Overall I have been impressed with the durability. It doesn't look like it, but the Minizilla can really take a pretty good beating.

In the end, the Hot Bodies Minizilla is a fun little truck. It looks and drives just like a little version of a monster truck. The wheels give the truck enough clearance to tackle a good amount of mini-obstacles. The stock engine is just plain too slow. With a little better engine, you can have a good time bashing this truck just like the big boys.

Don't forget to check out our brushless Video which has some good Minizilla footage including some back flips! We should have a Minizilla only video with some good bashing ready for you soon.


Summary
 Time to Bash  9.5/10 Charge. Run.
 Workability  7/10 It takes a little bit of getting used to. Once you figure out which screws to take out and how to maneuver the different parts, it's not too bad.
 Car Show Rating  8/10 Looks like a mini monster truck. The stock body is kind of plain.
 Bash-A-Bility  8.5/10 The steering rods can crack easily. Otherwise, this little truck handles falls, rolls and cartwheels surprisingly well.
Big Squid Rating  8/10 Tentacles. This is easily a 9/10 with a good motor. The stock motor just doesn't get it going fast enough to be fun.