Revell recently sent us through this rather fabulous-looking radio controlled Monster Truck Mud Scout to roadtest.
It's reassuringly big and chunky (it's 1:10 scale, measuring 360 x 230 x 180mm (LxWxH) and weighing almost 1kg) and we all loved the "worn" look with fake mud splatters all over it so it looks like it has been taking part in an off-road rally. It's designed to be all-terrain with big wheels and a powerful motor.
Pierre was suitably wowed and couldn't wait to take it outside and start playing with it. He had to wait for a few days though because, although I had the necessary 5 x AA batteries in the kitchen drawer, I didn't have the square D 9V battery needed for the remote control. Definitely something to remember if you're offering this as a gift. I suggest using rechargable batteries too or it could get pricey with that many.
We headed over to the big car park opposite our house. Although the recommended age is 8+, soon-to-be 6-year-old Pierre managed perfectly well, with a bit of supervision, to make sure it didn't go onto the road.
It wasn't long before Madhouse Daddy arrived to lend a hand and get involved in the testing !
After a false start - the antenna of the controller is discreetly attached to the cardboard packaging and almost ended up in the bin ! - we soon had it going backwards and forwards across the tarmac.
Pierre had me in stitches because his idea of fun was running along next to it as he moved it around with the controller - not really the way it was designed but a great way of getting him to burn off some excess energy. He also loved getting Juliette to stand with her feet apart so he could guide it through her legs at speed !
Eventually we got him to stand still long enough to learn to manoeuver the truck properly. There are two levers that can be rotated to make the car go backwards or forwards and left or right.
It's very simple to operate but we were surprised that it didn't seem to go very fast - maybe it's because I was using cheap batteries from the pound shop and they didn't have enough oomph? I will have to investigate because the official write-up promises "fast-paced and easy driving enjoyment" and "a powerful drive [that] assures the necessary power". The official blurb also says that it has a 15m range and an operating time of 20 minutes, and I think our trials exceeded that in time and distance (but not speed - I guess you can't have everything !). In fairness, we had a much smaller radio controlled car before so it may also be the extra bulk of the Monster Truck that slows it down somewhat in comparison.
Here's a quick look at it in action - Pierre has been having a real blast with it and I'll definitely be experimenting with other brands of batteries to see if we can give it a bit more welly.
star rating : 4/5
Revell Control models are available from www.amazon.co.uk and all good toy retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.