THE Cub Report – Too Much Is Nearly Enough
Hello there, I am Cubby and this is my report. While sometimes I like to go over the latest new car releases, this week I’ll actually be going over some notes on our reviews. So why mess around, lets jump right in!
Over the years, the BigSquidRC Bash Crew has done dozens upon dozens of rc car and truck reviews. Back in the early days of BSRC (like 2007’ish) our reviews were shorter and to the point. Over the years the size of our reviews has gotten bigger, and we attempt to put in as much “real world” info as we can. We approach each review from the standpoint of a perspective new owner, so we leave the trucks stock and drive at as many different venues as we can with each vehicle. We also use as many different test drivers as we can, with each driver being distinctly different in driving style and skill level.
At the end of each review, we rate each vehicle. We’ve done that various ways over the years (do you remember when we rated trucks in tentacles? 🙂 ) but with our latest reviews we use a numbering system that works like a grade score in school. The final rankings are where we get loads of questions- mostly from consumers, but some others from the manufacturers themselves. Here I go with some explanation of our final review ratings, with some of the considerations that we use to formulate a grade.
Time To Bash- Well, here really are two categories, one for RTRs and one for kits. We rate RTRs compared to other RTRs, and kits against other kits. Many modern “kits” now come with sections like the diff or shocks pre-assembled, therefore we typically give them a higher score because that shortens the time needed to get bashing. On RTRs, we look for things like did it come with a battery and charger? Did it come with four AAs for the transmitter? Typically, assuming a truck didn’t have any issues getting up and running, a RTR that comes with everything in the box will get a higher score than a RTR that doesn’t include any type of battery.
Workability- This one is fairly easy. Our Bash Crew always gives higher ratings to trucks with decent quality metric/hex hardware, plus we go over just how easy it was for us to do things like adjust the gear mesh, how easy is it to get the certain parts like the servo, etc. Some trucks simply are harder to work on than others and we try to relay that info to you the end user.
Car Show Rating- Looks is a lot like taste, everybody’s is different! In this category our rating can be much different than a typical user. Some users might really like scale looks only, while others dig the look of an aggressive backyard bash machine. After we are done beating on a truck, we gather up some of the Bash Crew and ask them if they like the looks of the vehicle, then we average things out to come up with a final score. Now, scale realism is a big dealio now days, so we do tend to up the score a bit the more we see scale realism, regardless of whether it was intended to be a scale type vehicle or not.
Bash-A-Bility- Exactly what does it take to break a car? The first several days with a test vehicle we drive it like an end user that paid for it would. We keep the airtime low, we don’t purposely slam into things, etc. The vast majority of end-users are not “extreme” bashers, they simply want a good time in their backyard, so that’s how we drive for the majority of our testing. If a truck makes it away from normal driving unscathed, that’s when we start cranking up the stupidity. If a truck can survive extreme punishment with little to no breakage, well that’s an A.
Fun Factor- You would think this would be an easy category, but it is often times the hardest. We try to use at least 3 test drivers on every review, and doing so can result in a wide variety of input. We’ve had numerous vehicles that half our test crew weren’t big fans of driving, while the other half just couldn’t get enough. Also, “fun factor” can include many things. Typically we rate cars higher in fun factor when they rarely break and we also tend to up the score when the vehicle is fun for both noobies, as well as long time rc drivers.
Handling- This particular category is specific for each genre and we go out of our way to review new trucks right alongside their direct competition whenever possible. We look at all the different handling traits before handing out a score, so a truck with great steering but zero jumping ability will not score well. Also, we hand out handling scores not based strictly on track time, but more so bashing time. For example, a full race truck is a great handling machine on the track, but might score poorly for handling in bashing conditions like mud, sand, and grass.
Value- The value category is super subjective, but it needs to exist. If you take a truck that comes with a feature like electronic stability control (or self righting, or on-board audio, or uber-nice electronics, etc) stock and the rest of the truck is roughly the same as its direct competition, it will score higher in the value category. Also, much like a Nakamichi Dragon, once in a great while a truck will prove they are worth more than their price point, therefore they get a higher score.
Parts Availability- Now here is the category that gets the most emails, LOL!!! Seriously, this is the one that people always tend to have an issue with, so here’s the scoop. If we can easily find parts for a truck at our local hobby shops, it gets an “A”. If we can find some parts locally, it typically gets a “B”. If we can only find parts on-line, it gets a “C”. If we can’t find any parts at all, an “F”.
Overall BigSquidRC Rating- This one is not made up or a seat-of-the-pants sort of deal, the main score is nearly always the average of all the previous scores. Now, sometimes if we feel that our separate categories just don’t do justice to a vehicle, we may raise its overall score slightly from the mathematical average, but we never make a huge jump.
So there ya have it review fans, there is a short look at our final grading system on reviews. Our reviews have gotten hundreds of thousands of clicks over the years, and thank goodness, we put a lot of time and effort into each one. As always thanks for reading today, and get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can!
YOUR Cub Reporter