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ARRMA Kraton Review
Ever since it was seen at the Nuremburg Toy Fair in January, the ARRMA Kraton BLX Monster Truck has been creating a lot of buzz. The Kraton is not only ARRMA RC’s first 4wd, but also their first 1/8th scale machine, hence the reason bashers are biting at the bit to hear how it performs.

Since receiving our review Kraton we’ve been bashing and thrashing it like the true bashers we are. What did we find out?

* Handling – The Kraton comes with soft sprung but heavily damped suspension, making it handle like a champ. It attacks a track like a race truck, yet it’s big monster truck tires love chewing up loam and grass. We also found it soaks up big hits (via multiple roof jumps) like a beast.

* Power – Oh ya, it’s got plenty on tap. We normally ran the Kraton on a pair of Reed Wolfpack 3S LiPo batteries wired in series for 6S, and it does not fail to impress with power. On 6S it is a beast right off the bottom, tears through the mid-range, and has tire exploding top end. When compared to the E-Revo, MT4 G3, and Savage Flux, it is right in the mix for power output. When run on 4S it is noticeably softer off the bottom and on top, but still has plenty of rip.

* Durability – We have yet to break a plastic part on the Kraton, but did manage to explode one of the rear tires with all its power (we ended up running Pro-Line Big Joe IIs). The pinion on our test unit came loose, but it was simple enough to pop it back on. We also noticed that the included Deans connectors looked to have been overheated when they were installed at the factory, making them a loose fit on our battery packs.

* The cage used to keep the body from crushing in worked like a charm. Even after lots of abuse the stock body has yet to be destroyed.

* The Kraton comes with perhaps the most powerful RTR steering servo we’ve ever seen, it truly has no problem throwing those big front tires around. To make sure all that power makes it to the wheels, an aluminum servo arm comes standard, a very nice touch for a RTR.

* We measured the top speed on the Kraton to be 38 mph (on 4S LiPo) and it got there in a hurry.

* Typical bashing moves like pulling wheelies and backflips are easy with the Kraton. Big power and big tires help it pull off those moves even with a center diff.

* While the Kraton might be called a monster truck, it comes with a center diff and a massive rear wing, items typically found on truggies. Speaking of the rear wing, all our reviewers liked how it was molded to match the body lines.

We found the ARRMA Kraton to be a gnarly bashing machine, easily capable of running with all the big hitters in its class. It should be hitting hobby shops in the next couple of weeks with a street price of $499, much lower than most of its competitors. To get complete details, check out the Kraton Page over on the official ARRMA website.

Want to read more reviews? Check out This Link on BigSquidRC.

THE Kyosho Mad Bug ReadySet Review

Kyosho Mad Bug Review

You might know Kyosho for their world championship winning buggies or perhaps from one of their classics back in the day. Today Kyosho still has high end race machines, but they also offer a plethora of bash mobiles. We’ve been bashing on their Mad Bug ReadySet for a few weeks now to find out what kind of bash machine it is. Does it have good power? Can you slam it hard without breakage? Is the Mad Bug a solid bash machine? Click the “Read More” to find out…

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THE ARRMA Raider Mega Series Buggy Review

ARRMA Raider Mega Series Review

The Mega Series from ARRMA RC is their new affordable series aimed at entry level and price conscience hobbyists. We’ve been bashing the Mega Series Raider for a few weeks now. Is it a solid entry level bash machine? Does it uphold the ARRMA name? Does it have enough power to be fun? Click the “Read More” button for our full review…

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THE Axial SCX10 Ram Power Wagon Review

Axial Ram Power Wagon Review

There is no doubt that Axial is scalding hot right now. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold and for good reason, they’ve been putting out some incredible looking vehicles that can take all you can dish out. Their latest version of the SCX10 is the Ram Power Wagon. Does the Ram live up to the Axial reputation? Can it hold its own on the trail? Is it worth your cash? Hit the “Read More” to find out…

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THE Hitec X1 Pro Battery Charger Review

Hitec X1 Pro Review

The latest battery charger from Hitec is the X1 Pro. As its name suggests, it is a professional level charger that is tiny in size and comes at an affordable price point. Can it hang with the best chargers on the planet? Is it easy to use? Is it worth the cash? Click the “Read More” tab to find out how performed in the field and on our test bench.

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THE Carisma M40S Volkswagen Golf 24 Review

Carisma M40S Volkswagen Golf 24 Review

Now days it just isn’t enough to put out a solid car, it has to perform well and look exactly like its full scale equivalent. Today we’ll be taking a close look at the Carisma M40S Volkswagen Golf 24, an affordable ready-to-run that promises the precise scale looks everyone is after, as well a fun driving experience. Does it meet expectations? Hit the “Read More” to find out…

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THE ARRMA Granite Mega Monster Truck Review

ARRMA Granite Mega Monster Truck Review

Being a two time champion of our coveted Bash Vehicle of the Year, the ARRMA Granite packs some serious street cred with the bashing crowd. For 2014 ARRMA announced a new more affordable line-up, the Mega Series, that was designed to give good performance at a reasonable price. To make the price drop happen on the Mega Series, certain goodies had to be taken away (like the aluminum chassis and hex hardware). Is the Mega Series Granite still a capable bash machine? Is it slower than the previous brushed Granite? Has it lost any mojo? Hit the “Read More” to find out…

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THE Losi Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy From Horizon Hobby Review

Losi Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy Review

In today’s review we’ll be taking a very up close and personal look at the Mini 8IGHT-T Truggy from Losi. The Mini 8IGHT-T comes in at 1/14 scale, bigger than most minis, but significantly smaller than a tenth scaled truck. It comes brushless powered and with the high zoot AVC that everyone is talking about. Can the Mini 8IGHT-T take the beating required to be a good bash vehicle? Is it worth its $279 price point? Is there enough yank under the hood to keep a smile on your face? Hit the “Read More” to find out…

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Blade 200QX Quadcopter by Horizon Hobby – Review

200QX Up Close

In a RC World where quadcopters are becoming THE thing to pilot, Blade Helicopters took the popular 350QX platform and shrank it. Luckily, there was no movie starring Rick Moranis, but I did get the opportunity to give the 200QX Quadcopter a good test and you can see my thoughts on the aircraft after the jump…
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reptile_radio_grip_01

As you may of seen in some recent reviews, more and more stock/included radio transmitters have had hard plastic wheels. Seems that many companies are trying to save that $0.07 cents of foam that we all have become accustomed to, and we are not fans. So we got a hold of the folks at PPR RC Products, the guys that make the Reptile Radio Wheel Grips so we could give their stuff a try.

The grips come in a normal or soft compound. Unless you knew there were two compounds, you probably wouldn’t notice, but once you know, you can feel that one is a little softer to squeeze. We used the grips on several different radios, from our Hydro Dipped Tactic and Futaba 4PLS to our new HPI Octane radio.

We had no problems installing the grips onto any of the radios we wanted to try them with. They are a pretty tight fit, and on some of the wheels that needed a little more effort to get them installed we chose to remove the wheel first, install the grip, and put the wheel back on. We did this because we just didn’t want to end up cracking the plastic wheel, or the connection that it screws into. It takes an extra minute to install, but better safe than sorry.

When installing them on radios that had a plastic wheel, it was a unanimous decision that we liked the feel of the Reptile Grip to just the stock plastic wheel. There was no slippage, from our fingers or from the grip to the wheel.

When replacing a radio foam, there were a few people that were fans of the new grip, but a few that still preferred the feel of the foam. This is going to be one of those personal preference things. But if you are like a few of us, and have destroyed your foam, the grips will make a good replacement.

Something that we REALLY like about the PPR Reptile Grips are all the different colors and styles they come in, and the fact that no two are alike. Every time you visit the website, there are new ones to check out. In a way they are almost a collectible. If you see a color or style you like, you better order it because the next batch might look completely different.

As you can see, we got a variety of styles to try and some even matched our radios!

If you are looking for a better grip for that stock plastic wheel, or if you are looking for something that will turn heads at the next bash, or up on the drivers stand, give the Reptile grips a try.

They cost about $12 each, and are worth every penny to not have to use that stock plastic wheel.

Hit the official PPR Grips website for more info, and to order.

THE Losi LST XXL-2 4WD Gasoline Monster Truck Review

Losi LST XXL-2 Review

Hype, hype, and more hype, that has been the name of the gas game so far. The first offering, the HPI Octane, seemed to come up a bit short of all the promises. Hit the “Read More” button below to read our review of the second gas burner to hit the market, the Losi LST XXL-2 Monster Truck. Does it have enough power to be fun? Does it easily start every single time? Do you have to constantly tune it? Is it worth your hard earned cash? Make the jump to find out…

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AKA Roadblock SC Tire Review
When AKA announced their new do-it-all Roadblock SC tires, we just had to try a set. We rarely bash on just one surface so we were very interested to see if the Roadblocks would work all the surfaces we like to bash on. With a fresh set of Roadblocks mounted up we grabbed two of our favorite short course vehicles and headed out for some testing.

Our first stop was a hard-packed rc track. On the highly prepped track surface the Roadblocks provided excellent traction, nearly on par with some of the more popular race tires at that particular track. Forward bite was very good and side bite was decent without causing traction rolling.

Before we left the track we did some driving in its parking lot. The Roadblocks provided excellent traction on pavement. Both forward and side bite were very good, and once again the sidewalls did not dig in and cause our test vehicles to traction roll.

Next we hit up a local park, a place with a bunch of different terrain to really test out the AKAs. The first place we went to at the park was a gravel/rock covered lot. Once again the Roadblocks felt super dialed, in fact, we were amazed with how much traction they provided.

At a big grassy area in the park we found the first kink in the Roadblock’s armor. The small lugs on the Roadblocks got us through very short grass, but anything taller and they did a lot more spinning than providing forward motion.

Our final stop was a large field of freshly turned over dirt (read- very loamy/clumpy/muddy). We found that while the Roadblocks worked very well on hard-packed dirt, their small lugs came up short on providing traction in deep loam and in mud. We could get our test vehicles around on these surfaces, but there are other basher oriented tires that provide much better grip in these conditions than the Roadblocks.

Overall? We really liked the Roadblocks on a variety of hard surfaces. If you don’t drive on much grass or loam they will make a great choice for your short course machine. The Roadblocks are priced at $26 a pair, or you can get them pre-mounted on Cyclone wheels for $39. Click on This Link to get full details over on the official AKA website.

Want to read more of our reviews? Find them at This Link on BigSquidRC.

THE Racers Edge Prime 7.4v 2S 100C 6500mAh LiPo Battery Review

Racers Edge LiPo Battery Review

With today’s high powered brushless systems a quality battery can make all the difference between having a really good day, or a really bad one. A good battery can not only make your truck faster and give longer runtimes, but can also supply enough current to help prevent cogging. Today we will be taking a very close look at one of the new 100C LiPo packs from Racers Edge. Does their 2S 6500mAh LiPo put out good power? Does it give long runtimes? Can it take the abuse of being bashed hard? Hit the “Read More” button to find out…

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