VSX 1:72 Tiger I/Sherman IR Battle Tank Set from VS Tank
January 14, 2014
Product: The VSX set is a radio-controlled tank battle system featuring realistic 1:72-scale World War II tanks. The set, which features a U.S. M4 Sherman versus a German Tiger I, uses infrared technology to simulate cannon and machine-gun fire.
Photo by Hobbico
A paper mat with printed dirt and grass provides a battlefield for the tanks. Plastic tank traps, barrels and sandbags add obstacles for the vehicles.
Performance: As models, the tanks are a decent mix of replica and playability. I would equate them to some recent snap-together kits from Zvezda and Italeri that can be built as serious models but are primarily designed for gaming.
The Sherman looks like a diesel-powered M4A2. The model has a good representation of the vertical volute suspension and upper hull.
The Tiger has Feifel air cleaners, a rear turret basket and extended fenders, but its road wheels look a little small relative to the hull. Both vehicles have molded tools and tow cables and wear realistic markings, and the rubber-band tracks have detail on the treads.
The controllers are small four-channel, two-hand units. The left joystick controls movement, the right moves the turret. Buttons on the front fire the cannon and machine gun. Both tanks move forward and backward at a good clip and can be made to spin on a dime. The turrets rotate through about a 100-degree arc in front of the vehicle.
The controllers require four AA batteries and are used to charge the tanks. It takes about 20 minutes to charge the vehicles, which run for 10 to 15 minutes on a charge.
A small IR projector on the front of the turret simulates gunfire when the triggers are depressed. A sensor on top of the turret receives the signal. When a targeted vehicle is hit, it quivers and shakes and is unable to move for a few seconds. After five hits, a tank is permanently disabled. It’s a simple system that I found intuitive and fun. Battles can last from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on maneuvering and obstacles.
Marketing: This is a fun battle game that uses small-scale, realistic replicas of real-world tanks. The 1:72-scale models are decent reproductions with allowances for playability and durability. The models run well and are fairly easy to trim, so they run straight. The motors and tracks are capable of carrying the vehicles over small obstacles.
Having one of the tanks charged and ready to go for customers to play with would be a good place to start. If you have room, set up the play map and obstacles to demonstrate the infrared combat operation. Let customers handle and examine the vehicles in detail so they can appreciate the quality of the moldings and the attention to detail.
There’s a lot of crossover potential in these toys — modelers who might enjoy having something realistic they can play with, and R/C fans seeing the quality of the reproductions and wondering about building more like them. Consider displaying model kits nearby.
Product: Tiger I/Sherman IR Battle Tank Set
Stock number: VSKC1013
Advertised price: $79.99
• Easy to use
• Lots of fun
• Good replicas