Saturday, 28 February 2009

The Radioshack James Bond Aston Martin DBS

A few things in life are absolute. Even less are totally agreed upon.
We spend our whole lives arguing over what's beautiful and what's attractive. Debating this curve or that back-side, that color or that crest. We all have different taste, it's a fact,
but i have yet to encounter someone who hasn't gasped in awe at the magnificence of the Aston Martin DBS. The sheer passion that was poured into its design. The incredible craftsmanship it takes to realize that passion. And the tremendous attention to detail in its look from every single angle. No matter what side you're gawking at (and trust me, you will be gawking) the DBS looks achingly, mind-blowingly, unbelievably gorgeous.

That alone, makes it a really tough job for anyone to make an accurate scale model of it, let alone a radio-controllable one. But that hasn't stopped Radioshack from trying.

The Radioshack James Bond Aston Martin DBS

  • Cost : Around $40
  • Body Type : Sports Car
  • Available Frequencies : 27 or 49 mhz, Single Band.
  • Speed : 1100 Feet Per Second (Around 20 km/h)
  • Battery Requirements : Radioshack 9.6V Battery pack for the car, 9V For the Controller (Both not included)
  • Radio Control Type : Dual Stick 7- Function Non-Proportional System
  • Unique Features : None.
Let's dissect this miniature beauty then;


Ah the looks, this is a tricky section. Radioshack have certainly got their job cut out for them on this front.
I'll use the "picture is worth a thousand words" philosophy with this one, take a look :

Just look at that...

No that's not the actual car. That's the Radioshack model. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
The looks are spot-on. Having seen and gotten in the real thing i can tell you it's not 100% accurate, but it's extremely close and frankly, i don't think they could have gotten it any better without the price rocketing up into a different market segment.

I kid you not the day i got this car i didn't run it for a second, i just put it in its stand and kept ogling it. This has to be hands down the best looking toy I've ever bought, bar none.

Those wheels, those rims, that incredible grill and those swooping curves, they're the craft of angels. The beautiful eyes, or as you mere mortals would call them; Headlamps, look as dreamy as a junior high student in love. The proportions, the detail and even the coloring are things to behold. I bow to no man when it comes to design, but i tip my cap in respect to both the original designer and whoever it is that scaled this work of art down. It is truly magnificent.


This handsome looking brute is Rear wheel drive. The motor is on the powerful side but not particularly oozing with torque (for an electric motor, that is). Turned over the car sounds like an electric drill running, very fast and powerful. But on the road it fails to deliver that power properly.
The main problem is in the rubber, on the wheels. It's too hard and the tread pattern, although stellar-looking, does little in the way of gripping to the road surface. Any attempt to run the car on anything smoother than unpolished granite resulted in spin-outs and donuts.
The car really suffers from the lack of a digital proportional system. At least if it had one the
lack of grip could've been cured by feeding the throttle in until the tires "clamped on".

You have no other option but to buy the Radioshack 9.6V pack (or any other brand pack with a Tamiya connector) and because of that i don't see the point of it not having the pack included in the box and the price combined, but i guess they wanted to give you the option not to buy the pack in case you had one lying around or were getting it elsewhere.

The only surface i found suitable for this car is smooth tarmac. Parking lot tarmac is just too rough and will really knock it around. This leads to the next point to explain how and why this happens.


The whole rear wheel axle is connected to the motor and both are in a suspended contraption which i can't for the life of me find a name for. What i can tell you though, is that having such a suspension setup isn't very pebble friendly, to say the least. If the car hits anything the whole rear side , including the motor, hops up and since the car is rear-wheel drive, it loses traction and slows down considerably.

The steering angle is a bit too sharp for a non-proportional setup and as a result you need to flick this stick in the direction you need to go, otherwise it'll just spin out. The whole traction issue again come into play here and the result is under-steer over-steer and then anywhere-steer.

The turning angle is sharp though, and although doing donuts looks cool all the time sometimes you just want it to go where you want it to go, and that it doesn't. It gets really frustrating after a while when you just wanna see its top speed, you have to flick forward a bit, then again, then hold it and even then you're not sure it'll stay straight and true.


What do you expect? it's a show model, not an ATV. You so much as bump it into anything and it will have scratches and dents to show for it for sure.
It never helps, either, how unpredictable it is. You think you're going the right way and the next thing you know you're smacking lips with a pole. Check out what a semi top-speed crash into a concrete lip -Yes, A LIP- did to its face:

A moment to weep, please.

Ok now i should note this isn't 100% the car's fault, but given that it handles like a hovercraft on acid, i think it's a 50/50 blame, and i'm being nice.

Overall, driving this car was a total disappointment. I was expecting something as sharp as the real thing, at least that's what the stellar looks lead me to believe. The only reason I'd recommend this car is for its spectacular looks, and even then, there are die-cast models that are just as accurate.

My advice: Avoid.


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