Dromida Wasteland Buggy & Truck RTR Review

Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner

Equipment Used:

Dromida Wasteland Buggy RTR

Dromida Wasteland Truck RTR

 

All stock with additional NERF darts

Pros:

- 1/18 scale

- Mounted dart gun is a FUN feature

- Very fast for being brushed and small!

- Look really GREAT

- Handle well with no traction roll

- Great value

- Available brushless upgrade package

- Inexpensive replacement parts

Cons:

- Thin bodies

- Bottom out on jumps

- No low voltage cut-off for lipos

- ESC and receiver are one unit

- Non standard battery connector

Summary:

This will not be a really technical review because I feel the Dromida Wasteland vehicles are aimed at beginners and guys like me who are always on the hunt for something new or just plain fun. That said, these do have brushed motors, run on Nimh batteries (use Lipo only with a low voltage alarm), have oil filled shocks and actually shoot foam nerf darts.

 

Out of the box:

My order from Tower Hobbies came quick and as usual, packed very amply and safely.  Even though my 8 year old son drives all of my fast, brushless vehicles with me, he was just as excited as I was when he saw the cool designs on the two Wasteland vehicles.  He got even more excited when I told him that they actually fired nerf darts and that the trigger was on the transmitter. Since the Wasteland vehicles use a non standard esc/battery plug, I had to use the included chargers which charge the batteries in about 2 hours. Not bad for an included RTR charger, but too long for my taste, so I'll be cutting the connectors off and switching them to Deans plugs.

 

Upon inspection of the vehicles themselves, I found them really great looking. The buggy looks like a tiny version of my Axial Yeti and Yeti XL... the shell even opens with a hinge on the front end like the Yeti! The truck has a fun apocalyptic look to it complete with a little cow-catcher bumper. One thing I did notice was that the bodies felt a little on the thin side.  As for the shocks, I checked them all and found them all full. No loose screws and everything in it's right place.

 

Driving / Shooting:

Since the chargers don't have an indicator light to let you know when the charge is done, we just set a timer for two hours (as recommended in the manual) and goofed around while we waited.  When my alarm rang, we nabbed the batteries and ran outside!

 

Like the other Dromida surface vehicles, these Wasteland vehicles are surprisingly fast.  I must disagree with the Big Squid review  that said they lack power or are too slow. There is a brushless option for you speed demons, but it's not necessary to have a blast with these vehicles.  If you want to let an inexperienced drive have a go, the transmitters D/R (dual rates) knob allows you to tone down the throttle and steering. I toned down the steering a tiny bit on our vehicles to make the turning a little less abrupt. Speaking of steering, I must again disagree with with Big Squid's assessment that these vehicles added weight up high makes them traction roll. With the steering at full rates, I could not get them to traction roll going full speed and turning hard on pavement, hard-wood flooring or carpet.

 

I would say that these trucks are best suited on pavement or packed dirt.  I think the only grass they would handle would be something like bermuda grass or something like a golf green (which I'm sure no course would not allow). The durabilty of the chassis and parts seems pretty strong.  My son tends to "accidentally" collide with me whenever we go out driving together.  Nothing broke on either car.  At one point, my son went off the side of our ramp and smacked the buggy nose first into the pavement.  No structural damage, but one of the screws holding the body to the cage actually just popped all the way through. I feared that it had just ripped the body panel, but as it turned out, I just had to remove the screw and put it back through the body from the top and screw it in. Good as new.

 

So as for jumping, the Wasteland vehicles do an impressive job at staying level. The power on tap does allow for some correction in the air, but you will likely not need much.  I did notice that both of the vehicles bottom out upon landing. They are heavy for their size so that wasn't surprising, but at least they don't hit hard enough to damage anything.  Maybe messing with the shock spacers might change that, or perhaps using a smaller ramp than I did.

 

As for shooting, naturally, you do have to reload after every shot. You cock the buggy's launcher with a lever on the side, while the trucks lever is in the back of the vehicle.  If you are driving with a young child, you may have to do it for them as they require a little elbow grease to pull the lever back. The launchers are compatible with standard Nerf darts so you can stock up for an all out battle! These darts fly about 10 yards or so, further if you shoot while in mid-air off the ramp.  My son and I had more fun shooting at objects versus trying to actually hit each others vehicles.  Be cautious not to aim the launcher at your face while working with the vehicles.  They don't shoot far, but up close, they do come out with enough power to sting you in the cheek (don't ask how I know).

 

Conclusion:

For the seasoned drivers like my son and I, the Wasteland vehicles are a fun, novel addition to our fleet of cars and trucks.  They have made me wonder why more RC vehicles on the market don't have accessories like launchers.  Though they may look like toys, they are full hobby-grade RC vehicles with available replacement parts and upgrade parts. I may keep one stock and go brushless with the other just for the fun of it.  We haven't broken anything at all in several outings with them, but I did look at the list of parts available and am amazed at how cheap they are.  That seems to be a pattern with Dromida...making quality hobby grade products at a low price with inexpensive replacement parts.

 

Beginners will be impressed with the speed of these little vehicles, and of course the novel ability to shoot darts. The price, currently about $105 if you use Tower Hobbies coupon codes is pretty unbeatable for this size hobby grade vehicle, though upgrading to brushless will take you into the lower end of 1/10 scale pricing if you combine the truck and upgrade package.

 

The Dromida Wasteland vehicles build on the proven Dromida 1/18 scale trucks released a while back.  They are a great value and I have found it difficult to find any dealbreakers with these.  I would recommend buying two of them, after all, who wants to drive a dart shooting car/truck alone?  They certainly get our seal of approval.  I added a video below, and though it's nothing epic, it gives you a good idea of how fast they are, how they jump, and how far they shoot (see time-stamps in video description).

 

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