Product: Ever built a model car or truck and thought it would be cool to drive it? If you have, you’re not alone, and this is exactly the sort of experience the folks at Losi were shooting for when they designed the Micro Rally and Micro SCT.
Just about everything a customer needs to get racing comes in the box: the Micro Rally or SCT; a 4.8V 220mAh NiMH battery and AC wall charger; and a 27MHz AM transmitter. Even two black track dots are included. However, they will need eight AA batteries for the transmitter.
The Rally and SCT share the same cool chassis design, with adjustable oil-filled shocks, steel dog bones to transmit power to the wheels and an easily accessible bottom-load battery compartment.
Performance: For as small as the motor is on these off-roaders, they are quick. The 4WD handling is superb, especially on carpet, although it’s fun to kick up some dirt or run laps on pavement outside.
The Rally and SCT can take a pounding. The chassis, bumpers and shock towers are made from a soft, durable plastic that has plenty of give when it comes to impacts, but still provides a rigid platform for racing. Despite numerous rolls, vehicle collisions and crashes into walls, both of our samples were no worse for the wear.
This is important, since the size and price point will make the Rally and SCT attractive to parents or grandparents shopping for gifts. Kids with a minimum of experience with R/C vehicles will crash them — it’s a fact. You can feel comfortable knowing that in most cases, under normal use and abuse, these cars are going to fare just fine.
The one disappointment with the Rally and SCT is the transmitter. Spektrum-based 2.4GHz transmitters come in just about every RTR product from Losi, and the AM radio seems to be a strange concession.
Caution your customers that they will have to watch how long they charge the NiMH battery. The AC wall charger doesn’t have an automatic shutoff, and it will overcharge a battery if left connected for too long. We were able to get a full charge in about 30 minutes. Suggest using an oven timer or wrist watch alarm to make sure that customers don’t leave the battery charging for too long.
Marketing: These days, it seems that the smaller you can make it in R/C, the cooler it is. Losi has trucks in a number of small scales, from 1:36 to 1:16, but nothing in 1:24 before. It’s an interesting choice, since it is primarily reserved for plastic models. Other companies have dabbled with R/C cars in this scale that could potentially use the shells from various model kits for a wide variety of styles, but they haven’t taken off.
Losi threads the needle between hobby-grade vehicle and affordability with the Rally and SCT. Both are great entry-level products, with plenty of support for replacement parts and upgrades. There are four different versions of both vehicles, providing plenty of variety for looks.
An easy add-on sale is a package of 12 orange track dots (No. LOSB1013, $6.99). Tell prospective buyers that they can use them to set up race courses for their new Rally or SCT, and the idea of competition adds a lot to the R/C driving experience. A set of four jump ramps (No. LOSB1012, $7) can add even more excitement.
For those customers who are looking to go headfirst into micro racing, you could also offer Losi’s Micro Rail & Jump Kit (No. LOSB1623, $119.99). It measures roughly 10 feet x 12 feet, possibly fitting in a living room or family room. Its foam pieces fit easily together and can be assembled and taken down with a minimum of effort — perfect for a day’s worth of racing when it’s simply too cold or rainy to go outside. Or set it up on a garage floor or in the driveway.
Product: 1:24 4WD Short Course Truck RTR (NO. LOSB0240); 1:24 4WD Rally Car (No. LOSB0241)
Availability: Horizon Hobby
Great scale for indoors or out
Plenty of get-up-and-go
Targets beginners and experts