The Batmobile from the new “Batman Begins” movie is called the ‘Tumbler’ and for good reason: in the film, Batman uses it to drive over, through, and on top of anything and everything! I was very excited when I saw that Tyco was releasing a 1:6 scale remote control version of the Tumbler, so how well does this gigantic RC vehicle drive?
What’s in the Box?
The Tumbler Batmoble, remote control, AC charger, 7.2 volt battery, and two AA batteries. (A manual was said to be included, but mine did not come with one.)
What’s Good About It?
It’s HUGE! At nearly three feet long, this is the largest remote control monstrosity I’ve ever seen. (birq hyped up on Red Bull doesn’t count.) I included a Robosapien and an Xbox in the picture so you can see how big this bad boy is. Tyco’s 1:6 Tumbler is also fairly well constructed, the plastic feels like it could take a few serious hits and show no signs of scratching. The remote control has no on or off switch, so I’m assuming that it only uses power when the controls are pressed. The Tumbler does emit the same sounds (electronically) as the car from the film.
What Could Be Improved?
I won’t mince words – I was very disappointed in this RC vehicle. The first problem we encountered was range. On a full charge and with brand new batteries in the remote, the Tumbler would roll for about 10-15 feet and then abruptly stop. Taking a few steps towards it would cause it to roll again for a few feet, and then stop again. (For a brief moment I thought that birq was emitting radiation that was interfering with the remote, but we checked him with a Geiger counter and he’s clean.) If your idea of a remote control car is something you have to constantly run after, then you’ll love the Tumbler – until it hits wet grass, that is. It would seem that the rear wheel drive would be enough to push it across wet grass, however the wheels just spun and spun like a crazed monkey on a Sit and Spin, going nowhere. I suspect that this is because inside this RC car is a minaturized crazed monkey in a treadmill, powered by the 7.2 volt battery hotwired into his poor little brain. Rather than open up the Tumbler and save the mini-monkey inside, birq and I instead returned the car to Walmart. (Upon inspection we found that the front wheels do not turn, the steering mechanism is a single pivot wheel underneath the car.)
GadgetMadness Verdict: Batman Ain’t Saving Anyone Driving This Tumbler
Poor range, poor traction, a sub-par remote add up to too much money and not enough car in this gadget maniac’s opinion. I would strongly recommend instead that you check out the Dodge Viper GTSR we used in our Octave Camera review. The Nikko RC car really will go 20 mph on pavement, has excellent handling, and won’t let you down.