The WL Toys WL916 is a 47cm long brushless powered ready to run (RTR) boat that is fast, and durable with an excellent set of fail safe features that will stop you getting stranded. It is a boat that is clearly the result of many tweaks and improvements which means it is fast and reliable out of the box. This is my review.
First lets address the monkey in the room, although this is a blog under the RC Cars heading it is clearly not an RC car but given the tech and manufacturer similarities I thought it'd be good to branch out a little, especially to those lucky sods who are enjoying summer and water-based activities at present. This review will be from the standpoint of someone who is well versed in RC quadcopters and cars and knows the tech but not as they apply to boats. For this reason I probably have the same concerns as most who are looking at boats - what happens if it capsizes? does it fill with water? does it get stranded when the battery is flat? Is the range ok? Can I run it in salt water? I'll look to address all of these and of course cover the specs and give you feedback on how it runs. Read on!
The WL Toys 144010 is a brushless 4WD 1/14 scale RC Car. It comes ready to run (RTR) meaning that everything except 4 x AA batteries for your transmitter is included. My tests have shown this car to be extremely quick and I will share all of that information and more in this review. In addition to this I have also added a section for tuning tips and other RC cars to consider in this category.
WL Toys is a Chinese-based manufacturer of RC cars that has been really popular over the last 2-3 years because of the great balance of price, speed and handling. The 144010 I am reviewing here is based on the same car that was released back then but has had 5-6 rounds of iterations with multiple improvements since that have culminated in a very well rounded car. This latest iteration includes all of those improvements and the latest brushless power system from WL Toys making it extremely quick as well. In fact I'd go so far as to say that you cannot buy faster for cheaper. Below I will break down the main systems of the car and will then give you quantified tests results plus my own opinion and finally my recommendations. Grab yourself a drink or bite to eat and let's get started.
For those who have been tinkering with WLToys RC buggies over the last few years, it has become pretty common knowledge that the now famous 144001, 124019 and 124018 are clones of the lesser-known LC Racing EMB series. So, who is LC Racing? They are an RC brand that has been around since 2012 when they launched their 1/14 scale EMB platform. In 2013, they began to sell in the USA under the Tacon brand, offering the product line in both brushed and brushless models. The Tacon and LC Racing product ranges consists of a short wheel-base buggy (the EMB-1), which the 144001 is a clone of and the short wheelbase monster truck (EMB-MT) which the 144002 is a clone of. They also have longer wheelbase 1/14 versions for their Truggy (EMB-TG), Desert Truck (EMB-DT), Short Course Truck (EMB-SC) and Rally Car (EMB-WRC) that the 124019 and 124018 are based on. They have since expanded to larger 1/10 scale RC’s, but their bread-and-butter products are still the 1/14 and 1/12 scale categories.
Looking at the two images of the LC Racing EMB1 and WLToys 144001, one would be very hard pressed to distinguish the differences on the surface. The EMB-T and 124019 visually look different mainly because of the body styles and wheels, but they share the same architecture underneath the covers. But still equally difficult to see in pictures is why an LC Racing model commands a 2x price premium compared to the WLToys model. As a point of reference for when this article was written (November 2021), a brushed 124019 with 3 batteries retailed for USD$139 and an LC Racing EMB-T with 3 batteries for USD$270 on Banggood.com.
LC Racing EMB1 vs WLToys 144001
LC Racing EMB-T vs. WLToys 124019
WL Toys and Eachine recently released the 124016, 124017 and EAT14 Brushless RC Cars that are an upgraded version of the brushed 124018, 124019 and 144001 respectively. I've spent a lot of time optimising and documenting these brushless upgraded models and so wanted to compare them to the factory brushless version. I this article I'll compare the cost and performance of the new brushless models to a brushless upgraded version so you can figure out which option is best for you. All costs will be at today's advertised price before discount coupons or loyalty points. Prices change regularly including flash sales so you may get items for more or less when you are shopping
Factory Brushless Option
First of all if you need to refresh yourself with the brushless cars, you can see my review of the EAT14 here. This of course has the same running gear as the 124016 and 124017 so performance is identical. As you'll see in my review there are a few nice improvements that these brushless cars have over the brushed counterparts over and above the brushless power systems.
Brushless Upgrade Options
Option 1: Lowest cost 2s for bashing, easy fit