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Tamiya have been making entry level Radio Controlled cars for years. The Grasshopper is one of their cheaper models and as such ideal for novice r/c hobbiest's and families.
A bucket chassis simplifies construction and offers a solid base on which to build. The kit includes a 540 Brush Based Motor and is 2WD.
As with all these entry level Tamiya kits you can upgrade the motor and battery for some extra performance. But the heft of these beginner buggies doesn't lend itself to high performance parts.
Although generally solid the chassis and suspension are largely plastic. The bumper too doesn't feel all that robust, and relies more on flex than stopping power. The shocks are also the almost abandoned friction variety.
Although this has been designed around an entry R/C hobbiest, these days there are more robust and cheaper alternatives.
Building a Grasshopper is about as easy as things get for kit Radio Controlled cars. Newcomers need to know that any of these kits take at least 5 or six hours to assemble. The Grasshopper saves you time because of a pre built differential, rear wheel drive set-up and straight forward suspension.
The open chassis means that for very muddy sessions the internals may need some cleaning attention. But for general wear and tear the solid cockpit and body shell just need an easy wipe down.
Although in its day the Grasshopper was a great introduction for the new R/C hobbiest. New materials and greater competition in the intervening years mean that there are cheaper and more robust options available from the likes of Step Up and HPI. That said, the Grasshopper remains an iconic R/C car that won it's place in our hearts back in the late 80's. Sentimental but true.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
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