When I first saw the 42065 RC Tracked Racer advertised last year I thought it would be a fantastic and fun racer that would create endless competitive fun.
I have liked the Technic Racers that have been released in the last couple of years. This unlicensed theme has had several pull-back racers, a stunt bike and stunt truck, and last year's funny car. They have all shared the same sponsors on their livery.
42065 RC Tracked Racer adds remote controlled Power Functions to the mix and it looked like it would be heaps of fun to play with. To me, it looked like the Technic designers have created an opportunity for lots of fun in a set that would appeal to a huge number of LEGO fans.
Read on and see whether this set meets these goals.
The box art shows the RC Tracked Racer racing around a dirt track in a speedway stadium. It is leaving a dust cloud behind as it is being controlled using an IR Remote Control. The artwork shows the included Power Functions elements.
The rear of the box hints at how this Tracked Racer is controlled: each track has its own motor and has an independent remote channel. It also has an image of the B model: RC Off-Road Truck.
On the side of the box is the reference to Technic's 40th Anniversary. There is also an image of the white sprocket wheel at 1:1 scale; this is the first time for this part in this colour.
Instructions and stickers
The instructions come in one book.
There is some stickers with the normal Technic racers sponsorship logos.
- Trans Missions
- Accele Rate
- Mani Fold
- High Octanes
- Roaring Motors
- F&T Tyres
I prefer not to put stickers onto my LEGO models.
The parts come in un-numbered bags. There are no special or new parts in this set other than three parts in new colours: the white sprocket wheels mentioned above, cross axle 5M with end stop in reddish brown which has been introduced this year, and wedge belt wheels in white.
The build is broken down into two principle stages: The chassis and Power Functions, and the single-piece body.
The chassis is quite a simple and sturdy design. It houses all the Power Functions components and has two M-motors - one for each track.
The single-piece body hinges up at the front of the Tracked Racer. There is a dummy aerial with white flag to imitate a radio control feature.
The completed model
When the two units are combined, the RC Tracked Racer looks like an aggressive, sleek racing tank ready to take on all competitors.
The Tracked Racer drives like a tank: each motor has one speed and goes either forward or reverse.
Each continuous track is supported by two return rollers and four road wheels. The right-front and left-rear sprocket are the drive wheels. Obviously the remote control must be set up so that the right (blue) channel rotates clockwise and the left (red) channel rotates anti-clockwise.
The special 40th Anniversary 3M beam is tucked in behind the right track.
One of these racers will not be enough; you will soon need a second racer to have some competition.
Since all the parts are reasonably universal throughout Technic sets, it may be possible for you to make your own RC Tracked Racer from parts in your own inventory, particularly if you have 74 track pieces, an IR Remote Control and an IR Receiver lying around.
24-tooth gears can be used in lieu of the wedge belt wheels as the return rollers and road wheels.
I had both these models made up for a big family gathering on Christmas Day. I tried using the racers outside on our lawn which had been mown neatly for the day. Some blades of grass got stuck in the tracks, which stopped the racers, so this was not so successful.
Also, because it was a bright summer's day - Christmas in the antipodes is a summer event - it was necessary to follow the racer around: the IR remotes had limited range in the bright sunlight.
We brought the racers inside where they were used on our polished wooden floors. The racers skidded around quite a bit as they are really f a s t - and a lot of fun.
You could add some rubber studs to the tracks to get better traction but this would take away some fun. The racers work really well on carpet.
I think the Technic designers have made a winning Technic model here: lots of playability, Power Functions are included and the set is reasonably priced. I am sure that this set will appeal to a wide range of fans.