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Chub City Remote Control Car Review

by Oscar Sodani
February 7, 2007

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

Emboldened by my recent positive experiences with inexpensive RC vehicles (helicopter, airplane), and the love my young son has for these types of toys, I decided to pick up a remote control car a few days ago when I found myself in my local Target store. I was particularly drawn to a bright red VW Bus under the Chub City brand by Jada Toys. For $15, I decided to gve it a try. It was a waste of $15.

The bus is made of bright red plastic, is about 4.5 inches long, and looks pretty neat. The whole Chub City line has a squashed look to it, all the cars look "chubby". It's very much in a pimped-out ride style; not my particular taste, but I thought the VW bus looked cool.


Chub City Remote Control Car


You need 3 AAA batteries for the car itself, and a 9-volt battery for the remote control. After assembling that weird assortment of batteries, I popped them in, and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, the darn thing just doesn't work! 

There are two sticks on the remote control - as is usually the case, one makes it go forward and backward, and the other turns the wheels right and left. I turned everything on, placed the car on the floor, extended the remote's antenna fully, and pressed the thottle stick forward. Nothing. I pressed it backwards, and the car gave a hitch and went backwards for a second before stopping. Pressing forwards did nothing again, then after a few seconds, it decided to heed the command and gave a small hitch forward for a few seconds, before abruptly stopping.

It seemed as if the car just wasn't getting the commands reliably, but moving the remote right near the car did nothing to improve matters. Sometimes it decided to go forward on command, other times it refused.

Here's the kicker though: the left/right turns were completely reversed!! Moving the directional stick to the right would make the car turn left (when it did decide to move) and moving the stick left would turn the wheels to the right! And yes, I did make sure I was holding the remote control the right way up!

So basically, we have a car that obeys commands sporadically, and turns in the opposite direction of where you want it to go. Brilliant!

Needless to say, this car is going up on the shelf. I may take it apart some weekend in the future to try to figure out just how this company managed to screw the controls up so completely. In the mean time, I'll be avoiding Chub City, and anything made by Jada Toys

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