Back in my day, you were lucky to land an erector set dressed up in a hollow plastic ‘Tacoma’ facade. Today? Radio-controlled, off-road model cars are every bit as detailed as their real-world inspos.
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, the RC car microcosm focused heavily on power and speed; vehicles were race-ready and 1/10th the size of real rigs. Then in the ’90s and early aughts, RC hobbyism went deep in the niche. There were racetrack fiends, customization pros, aesthetics aficionados, tech nuts. It was a world fueled by DIYers and janky online forums.
As with so many hands-on enthusiasmas (if you will), much of the early ’00s popularity RCs enjoyed gave way to either adulthood, smart tech, or both. But nostalgia finds a way. And, if there’s a branding tool more effective than nostalgia, I have yet to hear anything of it.
Enter Rebel R/C. And holy hyper-detail, my gearheads, do these puppies look real.
Rebel R/C Off-Road Model Cars
Rebel R/C just announced a “comprehensive lineup of premium quality R/C products that are inspired by full-size, off-road legends.” The brand claims that its group of “hardcore off-road masters and R/C experts” have a longstanding history in the world of trail-motile, model car craft.
The freshest lineup includes ready-to-run (RTR) builds, builder kits (KITS), and an entire marketplace full of auto bodies, accessories, and machine parts. The effort, Rebel R/C indicates, targets R/C nerds and off-road wrench monkies alike. It promises to give both sets of enthusiasts an entirely new mechanism for exploring the outdoors.
There are WAY too many RTRs and kits to go through in detail. But here’s a quick list of some of the rock-crawling, gravel-goading off-road model cars that Rebel R/C has on offer. *Note that the MSRPs listed correspond to the base model only; one could spend a dozen stimulus checks just accessorizing and kitting out each one.
- Enduro Fire Trailrunner RTR, 1/10 Off-Road 4×4 w/ LiPo Combo – $490 MSRP
- Enduro Sendero HD 1/10th RTR – $376 MSRP
- Enduro Trail Runner 4X4 RTR – $400 MSRP
- Ford F450 1/10th 4WD Solid Axle RTR – $370 MSRP
- Land Rover Defender D90 2015 Body Set Gelande II RTR (Autobiography Limited Edition) – $500 MSRP
- Marlin Crawler Trail Finder 2 RTR w/ Mojave II Body Set – $500 MSRP
Should you choose to accept your R/C mission, here’s a taste of what to expect — let’s take a quick look under one of those hoods.
Rebel R/C Mini-Z 4×4 Jeep Wrangler
This ready-to-run package is a freakishly detailed mini doppelganger of its life-sized muse. I should know, my mom rocks a bullet-silver 4×4 Wrangler (and her tiny beachside community with it).
R/C Rebel’s mini Jeep comes in Granite Crystal Metallic or White colorways; the base RTR package includes:
- injection-molded, damage-resistant body construction
- ladder-style 4WD frame with three-link rigid axle suspension and single upper A-arm
- 130-size high-torque motor and steering servo for heavy terrain handling and rock crawling
- AAA-battery compatible (4x remote; 4x chassis).
The off-road model car will run collectors $200 MSRP out of the box. That money’s deep in the cheaper end of the R/C Rebel pricing spectrum — just imagine what another two to three-hundo might get ya.
Childhood just ain’t what it used to be. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Big kids and mini big kids alike can scratch their RC itches over at Rebel R/C’s site.
- The History of RC Cars – RC Roundup