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Review: 8183 Track Turbo RC


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5: (9 member(s) have cast votes)

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  1. 1 - Poor (2 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  2. 2 - Below Average (0 votes [0.00%])

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  3. 3 - Average (5 votes [55.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.56%

  4. 4 - Above Average (2 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

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#1 penguinz

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:54 PM

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Racing and roaring around each corner is the new Lego RC racer: the Track Turbo.  Its bright color scheme of black and yellow and new Power Functions elements are great, but do they make the cut?

Set Information:

Name: Track Turbo RC
Theme: Racers
Pieces: 92
Minifigures: N/A
Price: USD: 39.99 EUR: (unknown) GBP: 26.45
Year Released: 2009
Set References: Brickset Bricklink Peeron
Shop @ Home: 8183

Official Picture:

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Box:

Front of Box: A nice background with a "shop" feel to it.  Notice the bright orange stripe incorporated into the box front advertising the Power Functions elements used.

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The back does a good job of showing you the functions and also gives you an add for an upcoming Racers set.

More pictures of the box can be found in my Brickshelf.

Instructions:

The instructions are average.  It is the same size as most of the $10 set instruction books, and has about the same features.  It is helpful to note that there is relatively no trouble distinguishing between black and dark gray.

Instructions Front: The front keeps the same picture as on the box as usual, but gets rid of the bright orange stripe.

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Random Instructions Page: You can see from this page that it has relatively low features, no piece call outs and very few side steps.

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Inventory Page: There is also a helpful inventory page, notice how little pieces are in the actual set.

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Build:

As you can imagine the build is very easy.  At most it could take you 2-3 minutes to build the car.  There is also no Technic assembly, with the exception of the controller.

Extra Pieces:

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Also under build I would like to briefly touch on quality control.  If you look closely in these two pictures you will see noticeable black marks on the pieces.  Both marks are covered up by stickers (which was a major reason for me to put on the stickers), but if you do not use the stickers it is very noticeable and extremely annoying.

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Stickers:

Yes, this set does have stickers, and lots of them! 15 of them to be exact.  They cover just about every flat space available, however none of them go over multiple bricks.

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Remote:

Just the usual power functions remote, however there is a new steering wheel on the side to control it which is helpful.  I do like how the orange is used, it gives it an informal look to the strictly black and gray color scheme.

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RC Car Base:

The most exciting part in the whole set is the new Power Functions RC car base.  The base is only 6 studs wide on top with two extra rows of studs on the sides to help cover up the huge gray sides of the motor.  It has 18 studs on top with an additional with of about two studs in front, above the plastic bumper.  From the side you can see how large the receiver on the motor is.  While it may be quite high for several car models, it only takes up a 2x2 brick's equivalent of with and length.  The axles for the front two wheels are mounted to the base and can not be removed, but you must insert an axle in the back for the two rear wheels.

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Whoever designed the motor base did a good job, because unlike previous motors the front starts out being only 4 studs wide, then it extends to its maximum with of 8 studs.  This makes the motor much smaller, meaning that it can be modded into a preexisting model much easier than the earlier all-in-one RC car bases.

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From the top you will notice actually how small the motor is.  Only six studs on each side of the car base are at 8 studs wide.

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From the bottom of the motor you can see two very important things, the orange channel switch and the opening for the batteries.  You can set the switch on one of four channels, which means that you can run up to four car and remote sets at a time without each of them interfering with each other.  The car base takes three AA batteries, and the remote takes three AAA batteries, however it seems that it does not use a lot of energy, because I have not had to replace the batteries yet!  There is also a black on-off switch on the bottom which will turn the car base on or off.  

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Overall this is probably the lightest and the smallest RC car base I have seen in Lego.  The speed is okay, but there is only two speeds: all the way on or all the way off!  It is however when on, a very speedy car, capable of outrunning some of my Lego pullback racers.  The steering is good, not the best but above average.  It is however, way too sensitive.  One slight tap can send the car wheeling off in another direction.

Track Turbo:

Now onto the big part of the set: the Track Turbo.  The car is sleek, low, and bright.  The use of yellow, black, and grays is implemented quite well, giving it a stunning effect.  First off is a picture of the car without any stickers.

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It looks pretty good, right?  Here is the car with stickers:

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It is a huge change between  with stickers and without stickers.  Sadly as you can see the headlights are stickers, and there are no alternative headlights, so you must apply the sticker in order to have headlights on the car.  The stickers are a bit overpowering after seeing the non-stickered version for so long, but you gradually get used to them.

Here is the sides of the car.  Notice how both sides are nearly identical.  From this angle you can see a good shot of the new wheel rims which have only made it into these new Racers sets and the earlier Speed Racers sets.  You can also see the spoiler on the back of the car.  It is well worked, and is kept at the right angle to not detract from the overall look of the Track Turbo, yet it is still able to influence the form of the car.

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Next up is the front of the Track Turbo.  It looks quite imposing from the front.  You may see the two holes on both side of the car above the bumper.  I have tried to fix the holes, but there really is no pieces that can be used to fix this problem.  Notice how the 2x2 engine brick is used to cover up part of the IRC receiver.

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From the back you can see some more subtle details, such as the two 1x2 sloping grill bricks in yellow.  It is nice to have a pair of back lights, but aside from these the back lacks a bumper and some more covering.

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Looking from a birds-eye view you can see just how many stickers are used.  You may also notice how the back of the car has light gray peeking through.  A few more yellow plates would have fixed this problem.

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When looking from below you can see that even though the motor is only 8 studs wide, the car actually goes over that line by two studs, making the cars total with 10 studs.

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Final Rating, Final Picture, and Final Thoughts:

Rating:

Playability: 5/5 (What more could you want? It's small and can be driven around by remote control)
Design: 4/5 (A few design flaws, but most of the pieces are used in a way that best fits them and are carefully selected)
Build: 5/5 (Nothing is wrong with the build, there is no repeat steps or any long a boring parts the build is a breeze)
Pieces: 3/5 (Not near enough pieces for the price, however the two Power Function elements make up partially for the price)
Price: 4/5 (Needs to be a bit lower, $40 is too much for the parts, even with the Power Functions)

Total: 4.2/5

Final Picture:

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Thoughts:

This is a fun set with a huge amount of playability; it is hard to get bored with it.  However, while the playability may be great, the piece count is not, devaluing the set in my opinion.  I would recommend this to anyone with either a like for Racer and RC cars or to someone wanting a different Lego play experience.  The designer's attention to adding little details such as the sloping grill bricks and the engine pieces was nice, but it does not quite make up for the small design flaws.  Getting this set with a 20-30% markdown would make this a must buy, but for right now it is better just passed over for something more worth your money.

The lady did not quite understand the difference in scale between Classic-Town cars and Racers cars until she went looking for a new car:
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Thanks for reading!

#2 Tom Bricks

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 07:58 PM

Looks good, too bad about the discolored bricks though, but thankfully there are no stickers spanning two bricks. Nice Review.
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#3 xenologer

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:02 AM

Do the front wheels automatically return to center (pointing straight) when you are not holding down the steering control?
Or do you have to twist it back the other direction to make them straighten out?

In other words, are the front wheels controlled by a rack and pinion, or by an electromagnet and spring?

#4 Albero - BEL

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:25 PM

Hi,
I've just bought this set to chase my cat and... I have a lot of grip problems with the floor of my apartment. Do you have any suggestion about it? maybe changing the wheels? I've tried with the ones (back ones) from this set
http://www.bricklink...em.asp?S=4543-1
but it didn't work at all! Help!

#5 Dunjohn

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:28 PM

Apologies for dredging up an old review, but I just got this today (on clearance at half price in Tesco = cheap remote stuff for Dunjohn) and I always check out the review of stuff I get. I just wanted to say I had no dark marks on my yellow bonnet. All of the yellow elements are quite clean. Maybe the tyres marked the elements in the reviewed set?
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#6 Carbohydrates

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 10:43 PM

If you want to fill that gap between the bumper and the fender that the reviewer mentioned, replace the yellow 1 x 4 snot brick at the front with four 1 x 1 headlight bricks, then add a 1 x 4 plate between them and the bumper assembly. Finally, a yellow 1 x 2 plate on each side to fill the actual gap.

Also, the blower on the roof of the car makes absolutely no sense, especially considering the engine is clearly in the front!

Edited by Carbohydrates, 20 July 2010 - 10:43 PM.


#7 dr_spock

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 03:50 AM

I bought this for my son.  It works well on bare floor but not so great on carpet.

#8 AndyC

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 09:46 AM

Out of curiosity (and since this has been bumped already), could anyone who has the set confirm whether or not it has return-to-center steering?
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#9 Shurik

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 09:18 PM

View PostAndyC, on 21 July 2010 - 09:46 AM, said:

Out of curiosity (and since this has been bumped already), could anyone who has the set confirm whether or not it has return-to-center steering?
Yeah, this car does have return-to-center steering. As dr_spock has written, this steering system doesn't work well on carpets because of thick and high pile.

Edited by Shurik, 21 July 2010 - 09:19 PM.




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