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ARRMA Granite BLX Unboxing_00002How awesome is this? ARRMA was so happy about making it to the finals in the March Bash-ness competition we held this year, they have given us another truck to give away! That’s right, we are giving away a new ARRMA RC Granite BLX Monster Truck! This is the latest and greatest brushless monster truck from ARRMA and it is pretty darn awesome! How awesome you ask? Have you seen the Review? Do we have to remind you about the Big Squid RC Basher Approved logo RIGHT ON THE BOX?! You know you want this one! If you have ever called yourself a basher, the Granite is a must own for your RC stable.

The deadline for entries is April 18th, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. That’s like 3 days! A winner will be announced sometime on April 19th. A random winner will be chosen from all entries received by our software.

This contest is open to US and Canada residents only this time. Sorry guys, sending electronics around the world can make things a bit more difficult.. don’t worry.. we aren’t forgetting you guys.. we’re working on some future world wide stuff for you as always! Hey our last contest was world wide!

What are you waiting for.. get entered! Please help us spread the word on this one. We want to show ARRMA our appreciation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Remember you can score new entries every day!

70 mph ARRMA Raider BLX Buggy
When we read that ARRMA RC was putting on a Beat The Speed Video Contest we decided to give our own ARRMA Raider BLX test buggy a go. We wanted to see if we could go fast enough to beat their speed.

The first thing we did was hand the Raider BLX to our resident high speed specialist, DWayne Buchannon from RC Custom Lab Workz. We only gave him two instructions- go faster than 67 mph and leave it as stock as possible.

The first thing DWayne did was add a wheelie bar. A stock Raider likes to wheelie when running big power, so DWayne grabbed a 12″ long piece of plate steel and attached a pivot wheel, creating a wheelie bar that would keep the buggy from flipping over. Next, DWayne had to trim some plastic in the battery box to make room for a slightly larger 3S LiPo battery pack. That was it for the custom mods.

DWayne didn’t have to change out many parts either, he only changed two. DWayne added a larger 19 tooth pinion and installed larger diameter rear tires. Everything else on the buggy was 100% bone stock, including the shocks, radio and power system.

Once the buggy was prepped, it was time to try and “Beat that Speed”. On the day we ran it was only 40 degrees outside which made it hard to find grip on the high powered ARRMA. We quickly learned to roll very softly into the throttle at lower speeds. Our first couple of passes were in the 60 mph range but we kept spinning out. We came back into the pits, recharged the battery pack, and changed tires to find a little more grip.

We found the buggy much easier to drive on the new tires and promptly busted out a solid 70 mph run, but we never got above 3/4 throttle, so we decided to run again for an even higher number. On the next pass we ended up losing traction and flying off the road, hitting a fire hydrant in the process and tearing off a wheel and the wheelie bar. Our day may have been over, but it had been successful. We had indeed “Beat The Speed”, and it didn’t take many mods from a bone stock Raider BLX to do so.

Check the video here:

70 MPH ARRMA Raider-

* 19 tooth pinion
* Traxxas 2.8″ Alias rear tires
* Custom wheelie bar
* Turnigy 3S 65C 5000mAh LiPo

Click Right Here for more ARRMA news on BigSquidRC.

Hobbico end of the month specials
The folks over at Hobbico are getting the word out that they’ve got some specials going on until the end of the month. Until February 28th you can save some bank on various surface and air products. Some of the more notable specials include-

* $100 off the Duratrax Nissan GTR Nitro 4wd RTR
* $40 off the 2013 ARRMA Fury SCT RTR
* $30 off the Axial Jeep Wrangler Wraith-Poison Spyder 4WD RTR and SCX10 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4WD Kit
* $30 off the Futaba 4PK Super R

There are many other items on sale, to view them all simply click This Link that takes you over to the sale page on the Best RC website.

Catch up on more Hobbico news right here on BigSquidRC by clicking This Link.

ARRMA Beat the Speed
ARRMA has announced a neat Video Contest involving their Brushless BLX series vehicles. The Beat the Speed Video Contest gives ARRMA BLX owners a chance to win $80 in aluminum hop-up parts by posting a video of their vehicle going faster than 67 mph. BLX owners can even get a free t-shirt just by entering.

To get complete contest rules hit and to watch the video of an ARRMA Vorteks going 67.1 mph simply hit up This Link.

For more ARRMA news click This Link right here on BigSquidRC.

ASK Cubby

“Helion Criterion

I want to upgrade my spur gear for my helion criterion and it’s getting annoying trying to find anything for this buggy. I have upgraded my pinion gear and like the reviews say the stock spur gear gets worn VERY easily especially with the new 31t spur gear it doesn’t help I upgraded my motor to a brushless motor. I would like to know if your Exotek direct spur gear hub would work for my buggy. As well as can you direct me to how many teeth I may want to run with my 31t 48p spur gear. I personally was looking for a 62t to 65t.

James J.”

Cubby- Yo hey James, quite the interesting question/rant you have there.

It was difficult to follow your email, or perhaps it’s late and I just don’t care, but after skimming it here is my reply.

No, yes, perhaps and maybe. Have a nice day and thanks for writing in.

LOL. Ok, for sure you have a Helion Criterion buggy and you are having wear issues with the spur gear. We’ve tried a few different spurs on the Helion and ended up using one from a Vaterra Twin Hammers. The Twin Hammers spur takes a tiny bit of trimming with a hobby knife in the slipper pad area and it’s good to go. Oh ya, it last wayyyy longer than the stock Helion unit does.

As far as gearing goes, that depends on a lot of factors. It depends on the kV of your brushless motor, your tires, your cell count, ambient temp, etc. Lets say you pop on the Twin Hammers spur, which is a 78 (if I remember correctly, it’s been a while, feel free to Google it). Start off with the smallest pinion in your box, hopefully around a 16 or so and keep adding teeth until you get your desired performance or until you start seeing motor temps of 140′ish.

Go fast, turn left, and send lots of Dom.

The next letter is a longggg rant on ARRMA, to read it and my response hit the “Read More” button…


The Cub Report SchaumburgHallo everyone, I hope you had a great weekend filled with rc, Supercross, with some time left over to watch the Superbowl. While the Superbowl might have turned out to be a one sided boring bowl, the Supercross on Saturday night actually was worth watching. Speedy Reedy took another surprise win in the 450 class, while 250 points leader Jason “Last Lap” Anderson traded some paint with Mookie and didn’t make the podium. Speaking of Anderson, if you watched the SX Saturday night on Fox 1 he had a small feature on him and his rc trucks. Horizon/Losi are one of the sponsors of the Rockstar/KTM team he rides on, and they got some decent love on the telecast (they showed Anderson driving at an rc track with his Losi SCT). Once again it was super cool to see rc get some cross marketing exposure with the Supercross crowd.

Speaking of Horizon, they freak’n killed it at the Toy Fair in Germany. They didn’t just have one “big” release, they had a number of them, and didn’t have a stinker in the bunch. There have been a bunch of Horizon naysayers as of late, but if the Toy Fair is any indication, it looks like 2014 just might be Horizon’s year.

Losi LST XXL2- Everyone suspected someone might try to beat the HPI Octane Savage to the marketplace and Losi/Horizon are the first to pull trigger on it. Props to the Horizon crew for green lighting the project, and hopefully they’ve done their homework so a good product hits the shelves. Now it’s a race between Losi and HPI, the first one to dealer shelves is bound to make a LOT of money.

4wd ECXs- No, the ECX line isn’t loaded with carbon fiber or a lineage of world championships, but it has become a solid line for the average user. To take the line up a notch they introduced 4wd versions of 3 of their popular trucks. The BSRC Bash Crew was stoked to see the 4wd versions announced, but we were even more stoked when we found out the price point- $239. We won’t know if they are any good till we get our hands on one, but if they are, ECX better order up a couple extra Brinks trucks to handle the extra cash they are gonna make.

Losi 5IVE Mini Rally- It’s not every day that a new 5th scaler gets introduced, so the 5IVE Mini rally car from Losi was “big” news. It also goes to show the dedication to the 5th scale market that Horizon has. There has been some question about Losi’s dedication to the big scale class but the rally shows they still have more up their sleeves. While I am soooo not into the 5th scale scene, they deserve some props for supporting those that are.

Vaterra- The newest line from Horizon also had two new cool models, a freak’n gorgeous ’69 Mustang, and a 4wd SCT. It seems that everyone is driving a 4wd SCT now days, so another entry into that market is welcome to see, while another “shelf queen that you can drive” goes to show that Vaterra is the brand setting the standard in how a car has to look now days.

I know that all sounds like a Horizon love fest, and yes, it was. But… when a company has earned the props, they should get some. However… one company that isn’t getting any props this week is….

Traxxas- Oooofaaahhh…. their big news was a new 18th scale truck, the Teton. While the Traxxas fanboys were digging it, from my side of the fence it was a “look at how the mighty have fallen” kind of machine. You have Horizon putting out a bunch of cool new products that can be bashed just about anywhere, and then you have Traxxas putting out some little truck that looks like it was part of the Hi-Moto line-up (a decade ago). Ok, so maybe I expect too much out of the Texas crew now days, maybe they’ve got some things to sort out and they’ll be back in full force. Heck, I hope that happens, I really do. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to endure some more dark days until then.

Back to the brighter side of the Toy Fair…

ARRMA- Oh heck ya, ARRMA announced a big new 4wd MT and an 8th scale buggy. ARRMA is basically the “bashing” division of Durango and we have liked what they’ve done so far. Their two new 8th vehicles are aimed at ruling the roost at every bash spot across the globe, and are a huge departure from what they’ve put out thus far. While some of the bash crew lusted over the Losi XXL2 from the Nurnberg show, and others were all about the 4×4 ECXs, the ARRMA Kraton tops my list of “who do I have to bribe to get one of these in hands” vehicles.

Kyosho- Then you’ve got Kyosho, a company I love to hate on but they introduced multiple bash oriented vehicles in Germany. Heck, even I can’t fault them for that. They showed a brushless 6S capable MT (Psycho Kruiser) and a pair of 7th scale buggies aimed right at a basher’s heart.

Serpent- Ok, so you might not have owned many of these before, but Serpent is typically a brand that only sells the “best of the best” type vehicles. And what did they have on display at the Toy Fair? Their new monster truck, the Cobra MTe. So… even Serpent is putting out a super high-end monster truck? Seemingly there were new monster trucks everywhere at Nurnberg, could 2014 be the year of the basher? The year of the Monster Truck? Wouldn’t THAT be something…

And lastly… Carisma is coming back to the states. Who in the heck is Carisma? You’ve seen us do a couple of reviews on their products, and you might have seen Carisma product distributed by Horizon in the past, but now they are back. They’ve joined forces with the Jeric Group, who is basically made up of a former big Horizon guy. Carisma products seem to be good to go for the basher market, but can an untested Jeric Group get them into the hands of the public?

That’s it for this week, as always thanks for reading and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.

YOUR Cub Reporter

2014 ARRMA BLS Series Rtr
The folks over at ARRMA have just released information on their 2014 BLS Series vehicles. The entire line-up is designed for high performance and low maintenance, and is said to be capable of 30+ mph without gearing changes, option parts, or special batteries. They also sport new livery and a 2 year limited warranty.

Some of the upgrades over the MEGA brushed series include-

* 3200kV 550 brushless motor
* 35A Cont/180A burst brushless ESC with push button programming
* Hex head hardware throughout
* Metal motor mount
* Waterproof AD-5 steering servo

The part numbers for the 2014 ARRMA BLS series are-

ARAD43RR- FURY BLS 2WD Brushless RTR Short Course Truck
ARAD40RR- RAIDER BLS 2WD Brushless RTR Buggy
ARAD42BB- GRANITE BLS 2WD Brushless RTR Monster Truck
ARAD41BB- VORTEKS BLS 2WD Brushless RTR Stadium Truck

The BLS series are expected to start shipping early this Summer and you can hit up This Link to visit the ARRMA website.

What could be hiding behind THIS TGIF Mystery Link???


2014 ARRMA Mega RTR
The 2014 Edition ARRMA Mega Series RTRs come with all the 2013 upgrades, plus some updates for the new year. The updates to the affordable brushed Mega Series include-

* Re-engineered LiPo ready chassis with more strength
* Steering servo is now easily accessible
* Waterproof electronics
* Molded in channels for the servo wire
* Accepts 7-cell NiMH/NiCd packs without modification
* Composite transmission gears for lower rotational mass
* Molded camber and steering links
* 2 year limited warranty

The part numbers for the 2014 Mega Series-

ARAD38** FURY MEGA Brushed Short Course Truck
ARAD35** RAIDER MEGA Brushed Buggy
ARAD37** GRANITE MEGA Brushed Monster Truck
ARAD36** VORTEKS MEGA Brushed Stadium Truck

The new versions should be available early this summer and you can check out the official ARRMA site at This Link.

Happy Friday to one and all, why not have a go at a TGIF Mystery Link?

2014 ARRMA Mega RTR

ARRMA Kraton
A whole lot of people have been waiting for ARRMA to put out some 4 wheel drive vehicles, well here they are, the 8th scale Kraton Monster Truck and Typhon Buggy. These two vehicles represent the first in ARRMA’s Speed Class line-up, and should be gnarly beasts at your local bash spot. They are still a ways out, but this is what we know so far-

* Designed for 6S, in both electronics and battery trays
* Waterproof
* Aluminum motor mount
* Hook and loop battery straps
* Front and rear roll bars
* Adjustable turnbuckles
* Sturdy aluminum servo horns
* RTR w/ ATX100 2.4GHz radio system
* ARRMA brushless powered w/ 180A ESC
* ADS-15 208oz/in metal-geared steering servo

Here are some specificatiosn for the KRATON-
* Length- 23.2″
* Width- 18.5″
* Height- 7.7″
* Wheelbase- 14.9″
* Weight- 8.8 lb
* 2250kV brushless motor
* Part number #ARAD81**

Specifications for the TYPHON-
* Length- 20″
* Width- 12″
* Height- 7.2″
* Wheelbase- 12.9″
* Weight- 6.6 lb
* 2300kV brushless motor
* Part number #ARAD80**

Right now the release date for both models is speculated to be Mid-Summer. To visit the official ARRMA website hit up This Link.

Click Here for more ARRMA news on BigSquidRC.

ARRMA Typhon

ARRMA Granite BLX Bash Vehicle of the YearYou regular readers already know that we named the ARRMA Granite BLX as our 2013 Bash Vehicle of the Year. Yesterday the good folks over at Hobbico shot out a press release to showcase the fact that the Granite had won the prestigious title.

The Granite BLX is a very impressive vehicle, so much so that we thought it was the best bash oriented vehicle put out last year. It loves to jump, has loads of power, and is a great machine to have fun with in the backyard. To read our full review hit up This Link, and to check out the Granite BLX on the official ARRMA website simply click Here.

ARRMA Polar VORTEKS Snowmageddon Video
The good folks over at ARRMA have a new promo that makes it easy to score a free t-shirt. All you have to do is film your ARRMA RTR out running in the snow then post the video up on the ARRMA Facebook page. Assuming you have some snow in your area it sounds like an easy way to score a t-shirt to us.

The ARRMA Vorteks Snowmageddon t-shirt giveaway ends on February 15th and you can get complete information on the official ARRMA Facebook Page.

To read the latest news from ARRMA check out This Link on BigSquidRC.


Congratulations to ARRMA RC because their ARRMA Granite BLX has won our coveted 2013 BASH VEHICLE OF THE YEAR AWARD! We tested a LOT of vehicles this year. As a matter of fact, I believe we did almost two times as many reviews in 2013 as we did in 2012, so for this vehicle to make its way to the top means it was really something special.

This award is voted on by members of the Big Squid RC staff, and similar to the way we do our crazy March Bashness where you guys get to vote, we put all of the vehicles in that we believe have a chance, and we vote for which vehicle we thought was the most fun, toughest, and bash worthy. As you may recall, the ARRMA Granite won the 2012 award also, and the BLX version was basically an improvement on an already awesome bash vehicle. It was faster, and took one heck of a beating. If you don’t believe us, check out the REVIEW we did, and watch the VIDEO of it in action.

If you are looking for an all around bash vehicle that will bring a smile to your face every time you take it out, this is the vehicle for you. The ARRMA Granite BLX is an all around awesome basher!

In a very close second place was the Duratrax 835E 1/8th Scale RTR Buggy. You can read the REVIEW HERE. The buggy was tough, fast, and a huge step up for the Duratrax name. Possibly their best release to date! The only reason it was second place was it was a buggy, and the ground clearance didn’t let us do some of the bashing things we like to do.

We all loved this truck. We cast our votes, and it kept beating out its competitors. Other vehicles in the same monster truck category just couldn’t compete with the durability the Granite had, and thus it’s the winner.

Congratulations again to ARRMA RC! You guys need to pop another bottle of champagne tonight!

Duratrax Onyx Brushless SystemThe good folks over at Hobbico are running a couple of specials from now until February 28 on select Duratrax brushless systems and ARRMA BLX RTRs.

When you buy the Duratrax Onyx brushless systems listed below you will get a merchandise certificate that can be used on other Hobbico products. The Duratrax Onyx brushless systems are waterproof and come ready for install with Deans plug.

1/8 scale systems ($25 merchandise certificate)

DTXC3194 2200kV Motor, 120A ESC Brushless System- $249.99
DTXC3195 2650kV Motor, 120A ESC Brushless System- $249.99

1/10 scale systems ($10 merchandise certificate)

DTXC3164 3930kV Motor, 80A ESC Brushless System- $149.97
DTXC3165 4420kV Motor, 80A ESC Brushless System- $149.97
DTXC3166 5900kV Motor, 80A ESC Brushless System- $149.97
DTXC3172 3650kV Motor, 80A ESC SC Brushless System- $159.99
DTXC3174 4550kV Motor, 80A ESC SC Brushless System- $159.99

ARRMA Granite BLXThe special on ARRMA vehicles is a $20 merchandise certificate with the purchase of any ARRMA BLX brushless RTR. The ARRMA BLX series of vehicles are affordable, powerful, and come with an industry leading 2 year warranty. The merchandise certificate is redeemable at the same hobby shop the ARRMA was purchased and can be used on products from over 30 r/c brands including Axial, Duratrax, Futaba, ARRMA, and TrakPower.

ARAD25** GRANITE BLX Brushless RTR- $379.98
ARAD26** FURY BLX Brushless RTR- $399.99
ARAD28** VORTEKS BLX Brushless RTR- $379.98
ARAD29** RAIDER BLX Brushless RTR- $349.98

To hit the official Duratrax website click HERE, to hit up ARRMA click HERE, and to get more Hobbico news on BigSquidRC THIS is the link you want.