When we were asked if we'd like to review a radio-controlled car, I have to admit that I wasn't sure what the Madhouse Mini-testers would make of it. I thought 3-year-old Pierre would probably be too young to operate it and I wasn't sure if it would really appeal to the girls or not. I guessed that it might be more popular with Madhouse Daddy Mike though ! Then the extremely funky-looking Splitster turned up and they were all squabbling over who would get first go, as was Madhouse Daddy Mike (oh OK, and me !).
We actually got off to a false start which was disappointing. The controller needs a 9V battery which is included (that's a bonus point for the manufacturers already) but the car part has a rechargeable 7.2V battery pack (it looks like a load of AA batteries stuck together, or - as Sophie said - Wile E. Coyote's dynamite !) which needs charging before you can use it. Rats !
The car has big transparent wheels with red and green LED lights in them that look really cool when they flash as it drives around, especially if it's started to get dark and you want to stay at the park and play for just 5 minutes more (and you will, trust me!). The car works both ways up which makes for some very impressive 180° or even 360° tumbles, flips and rolls and if you crash it into a wall or ride it off a ramp, it just bounces and keeps going. It's very robust and has been seriously put through its paces at the park, coming through totally unscathed. The only slightly flimsy thing is the aerial on the radio controller which got a bit bent the first time we used it.
Another cool feature is that if you make it spin around, it splits apart down the middle. One stunt that we haven't mastered yet is making it stand up on end and spin around - I'll work on that one next time we take it to the park ! It has some very impressive moves, most of which you find by trial and error by playing with the two levers which control each set of wheels.
Even the visiting Madhouse Grandad was itching to have a play but it was still charging, so he'll have to wait until next time ! It really does appeal to people of all ages though. Even Pierre and Juliette manage to control it so it's a great family toy. I was actually very impressed with the price too - I would have expected it to be more expensive.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £24.99
For more information visit www.splitster.co.uk
Disclosure : We received a Splitster in order to write an honest review.
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