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Choosing the best micro or mini remote control car...

When people ask me which car is best, there really isn't a good answer because each micro remote controlled car has its own strengths and weaknesses.

With that said, I'm going to describe the cars in my radio control car collection and point out the stengths and weaknesses so you can decide which one is best for you.

Hobbico MicroSizers (1:64 Scale - Approx 2" in Length)
Also known as Tomy Bit Char-G in Japan.
Strengths
: Inexpensive, Durable, Lots of Mods, Small Size
Weaknesses: Limited Range, Short Driving Time, No Proporational Steering or Speed, Only 4 Available Frequencies

I think I'll always have a soft spot for the Tomy Bit Char-G remote control car. There's something about the MicroSizers cars that are just fun. The compact size (about 2") allows you to set up races in a very small area such as your kitchen floor. Its simplicity is also part of its charm. The car and controller can fit in the palm of your hand and with just a couple AA batteries and a smooth surface, you're ready to go.

Although the Tomy Bit CharG cars don't have proportional steering or speed, I've always been happy with how the Bit Char-G cars handle. I wish the Bit Char-G cars would drive for longer than 4 minutes, but that's still enough time for a good race. The standard controllers aren't as sophisticated as the ones for the DigiQ or Epoch Indoor Racer, but they're adequete. The special "booster" controllers that can be purchased separtely aren't that much more sophisticated and the range is even worse than the regular controller. However, they do have a "booster" button that allows you to drive at a faster speed along with a switch that allows you to drive any of the four available frequencies from the same controller. Anyone that has fun with a Hobbico MicroSizer, will want to look into the faster motors that can be purchased (available motors: 1.0, 2.0, 2.2, 2.6, 3.0 and 3.8).

Radio Shack also sells a version of this car called a ZipZap. You can read more about Zip Zaps at the forum.

MysticKnight's Buying Advice:
Everyone should own at least one Bit Char-G remote control car (MicroSizer) with a 2.2 motor or higher. For around $30, you can't go wrong. If you enjoy using the car and decide to buy others, the special controller is worth looking into especially if you're going to be racing other people.

Epoch Indoor Racers (1:43 Scale - Approx 4" in Length)
Strengths: Proportional Steering and Speed, Realistic Body Designs

Weaknesses: Needs A Relatively Large Area for Racing, More Expensive, Poorly Designed Controller, Limited Mods and After Market Parts

The Epoch Indoor Racer is a bit larger (about 4") than most other micro remote controlled cars. The speed and responsiveness of this car makes it very fun to drivefor racers that don't mind paying a little more for a micro remote controlled car.

At the moment there two types of Epoch Indoor Racers, the spec 1 and the spec 2. The controllers for both are exactly the same but the spec 2 car has smaller, more realistic wheel wells, modified suspension and improved electronics.

The Epoch Indoor Racer controller is not made very well and there's not much of an after-market selection of parts and supplies. In contrast, the controller that comes with the Mini Z is outstanding, there are many after-market products and it's much faster than an Epoch Indoor Racer.

MysticKnight's Buying Advice:
Buy the Hobbico MicroSizer first and if you think it's a blast and you're ready to move up to "real" micro RC racing, consider the Mini Z (described below) instead of the Epoch Indoor Racer.

Micro RC CarsKyosho Mini Z Street Racers (1:28 Scale - Approx 6" in Length)
More like a real racecar than the smaller cars, Mini Z bodies have amazing detail and cool parts are extremely easy to find. The Mini Z is probably the most popular of the small R/C cars because all electronics are pre-installed and there are many clubs world-wide.

Kyosho Mini Z Formula 1 (1:28 Scale - Approx 6" in Length)
Formula 1 cars are now available with the same attention to detail as the original Kyosho Mini Z Street Racers.

HPI Micro RS4 (1:18 Scale - Approx 9" in Length)
This car is bigger and similar to the "real" 1:10 electric cars. Radio and electronics have to be purchased separately and this car tends to be more expensive but it's the best "small" R/C car out there in my opinion.

PITZON's Buying Advice:
I can speak for those of us who took the step from racing bigger 1:10 electric cars quite seriously and spending insane amounts of money on the larger cars. Once we bought the Mini-Z and HPI Micro RS4 cars, all of us sold our big cars and race nothing but small R/C cars now.

Takara Digi Q (1:66 Scale - Just Under 2" in Length)
Strengths: Durable, Very Small, Good Quality Controller, Proportional Steering, Long Driving Time
Weaknesses: Doesn't Handle Well, Slow in Corners, Cartoon Looking Bodies

Although the Takara Digi-Q is smaller, faster and drives longer on a charge (15 minutes) than the Bit Char-G and the controller is the best quality out of all the controllers (including the more expensive Epoch Indoor Racers), I've never really liked the DigiQ cars.

The Digi Q uses 2 motors to control speed AND steering. When you want to go right, the right motor slows down to make the car go right which means it goes slower in corners. The car is less than 2" long and I think that contributes to how "squirly" it feels. Instead of using a frequency to transmit to the car, the Digi Q controllers send their signals via Infrared. You can switch the controller to one of 4 settings to match the car you're racing, but the car itself can't be switched.

The controller feels solid in your hand and you can electronically switch between high and low speeds. An optional infrared "booster" is available to get better range (although the range seems pretty good without it). The DigiQ car and controller costs about $55.

MysticKnight's Buying Advice:
Personally, I would buy the Tomy Bit Char-G instead of the Takara Digi Q. Even though the Bit Char-G is slower, it's more fun to drive because of how it handles.

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There are several other brands of micro remote control cars that are inexpensive copies of the Tomy Bit Char-G and Takara DigiQ cars. Those cars are called clones and some of them are worth looking into. More information about all the mini radio controlled cars mentioned here and other vehicles such as micro remote control helicopters, mini RC planes, miniature R/C boats, micro remote control tanks and more can be found at the mini RC cars forum. Topics include:

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