The WLToys 284161 is a 4WD 1/28 mini scale RC car that comes ready to run out of the box. It is the latest in a long line of cars that use the same chassis from WL Toys and is the most heavily featured of all. They are inexpensive and have many replacement and upgrade parts available which make them a versatile low cost RC car option that is pretty good out of the box with plenty of scope for modification. In this review I'll look at the car as a stand alone and compare it to the direct competition from the very same manufacturer.
Let's first address the elephant in the room; the the new WLToys 284161 as reviewed here looks to be "heavily inspired" by the MUCH larger ZD racing DBX-07. Obviously this car though is very much at the mini end of the size scale where the DBX-07 is at the maxi so any further comparison can be left there.
Other than looking like the DBX-07, this car is actually underpinned by the same gear as the other 1/28 scale cars launched by WLToys that have come before this... all 7 or 8 of them. See below for the ones that are still available including the 284131 I reviewed here and the 284010 I reviewed here most recently.
Whereas the other mainstream 1/28 releases were realistically designed for on-road driving, this is the first release on this chassis that is actually setup for offroad. It is fair to say that the 284161 desert buggy reviewed here is the most radical take on this chassis of all the releases. There are compromises to achieve this and if you read on I'll draw your attention to these as well as what you gain.
The WLToys 284010 is a 1/28 mini scale 4wd RC Car. They are cheap, Ready To Run (RTR) out of the box and a lot of fun. This particular model is a new and improved version of the very popular WLToys K989. In this review I'll give you more detail on the car and how it performs and point out the improvements over the earlier models
WL Toys make a wide range of budget RC cars that typically do a great job of mixing low cost with good performance. Their most well known car is probably the 1/14 scale 144001 and the variants they have spawned which I've covered extensively on this website. Next most successful for them would then be the K9XX series which have recently been updated and renamed as the 284XX series such as the 284131 Hoonitruck which I reviewed here. The 284010 as reviewed in this article is the latest and includes all of WL Toys latest improvements building on what is already a very enjoyable little RC Car. First lets look at what is included:
Of all the WLToys cars, the 144010 and 124017 are my favourite and embody all of the incremental improvements over the hugely popular original 144001 they have made over the years. You can see my review for the 144010 here which is essentially the same as the 124017. At this price point they have their downsides but they are fast, efficient, handle well and have a wealth of options for modification. They do run well out of the box but I thought I'd share the budget mods I personally use to help you with your own decisions around upgrades.
As a start point I have chosen to use my WLToys 144010 as reviewed here. It is already very quick but I wanted to make this a better general purpose car that can be adapted to any situation.
The WLToys 184016 is a small scale brushless RC car from WL Toys. It is clear on closer inspection that rather than being an updated version of the poorly-designed A959, it is in fact a compact version of the widely known 1/14 scale 144001 and 144010. I say compact rather than shrunk because it shares all the main parts from the driveline and suspension setup albeit with a smaller track and shorter wheelbase. My full review will follow soon but for now please read on for which parts you can swap between the two cars (and why you might want to do this).
The new WLToys 104072 is a 1/10 scale onroad "basher" truck. It is ready to run (RTR) and includes radio and powerful brushless power system. For those familiar with the WLToys models it is based on a modified 104001 / 104002 chassis and includes a well-proportioned resto-mod truck style body like Ken Block's Hoonitruck. Closer to the RC world we've seen this design on the larger Arrma Infraction and even the small scale WL Toys 284131. This truck is designed to be driven hard onroad.
On road bashing is a category that has been made popular by the 1/7 scale Arrma Infraction and Felony and more recently by the slightly smaller 1/8 Infraction 3s and Vendetta. This 1/10 scale 104072 by WL Toys looks to take advantage of that new market with a similar look on their 1/10 scale chassis. The underpinnings are based on the brushed 104001 (reviewed here) and brushless 104002 (reviewed here) that have been extensively modified from their buggy origins to a lower, narrower and strengthened onroad-only chassis with the 104072. In this review I'll look more closely into the systems that make up the car and then review it as a whole for driving experience.
I'll let you know now that driving experience out of the box was not great but I've recommend some simple and inexpensive/free changes that resolve these handling issues. First let's look at what's included.
WL Toys 104009 review
The WL Toys 104009 is a recently released a 4WD RC monster truck. It is made by WL Toys, one of the lower cost RC Car manufacturers that tend to strike a good balance between performance and affordability. This particular car is stated as 1/10 scale but is about the size of a typical 1/12 scale, still big enough to perform off-road. In this review I'll cover what I like about this car and what I don't like so you can make a decision to see if it will suit you or not.
As I mentioned WL Toys have made some very popular cars based around a common 144001 platform which I have written EXTENSIVELY about here: All my WL Toys RC Car review and upgrade guides. This car however is not based on that platform, rather it is and upgraded version of a lesser-known WL toys car, the 12402. Upgrades include oil shocks instead of friction dampeners, metal suspension arms front and rear, a much better looking body heavily inspired <cough> by the traxxas Maxx and XMaxx plus a whole lot of LED lights. Let get straight into the review.
WL Toys have just announced that they are releasing a brushless version of the hugely popular 124018 and 124019 1/12 scale ready to run RC cars. Of course they have gone with predictably boring names - 124016 and 124017 🤦♂️. I've set this blog up to discuss the specs and what we can glean from the images. I do no have the cars (yet) so this is not a hands on review but of course I expect to review these as soon as they are available.
Firstly if you want to see my reviews on the brushed version of these cars, here is the one I did on the 124019 and the differences for the 124018. Based on initial pricing, the new brushless 124016 desert buggy and 124017 race buggy this looks to be only around $20-30 more than the brushed version which represents really good value. I made a guide on the cheapest brushless upgrade worth doing and at best mine had a $50-$60 premium although it did include replacement radio gear, servo, esc and motor. The benefit on coming from the factory is that you won't be left with a spare brushed setup in a cardboard box in your shed somewhere (True story, I have a box full of 5 stock brushed systems!)
UPDATE! Banggood have kindly supplied me an exclusive code to bring the the pres-order price of the 124017 down by 10% to just $133. Use code BG124017R at this link That's pretty solid value - check the detail below to see if it suits your needs. This is a new exclusive code that is active until the end of August 2021
Please note this article is a preview with my thoughts on the newly announced WL Toys 124019 and WLTOYS 124018. I do not yet have one in my hands (one is ordered for delivery November 2020) so my thoughts are based on the specs and images online plus my in-depth knowledge of the WLTOYS 144001.
Update! Link to my full in depth review with some unexpected improvements to the 144001 is now live: WL TOYS 124019 REVIEW - ALL OF 144001 IMPROVEMENTS THAT NO ONE HAS MENTIONED
The 1/14 scale 144001 has been a hugely successful model for WL Toys and has taken very strong "inspiration" from the excellent LC Racing EMB-1. Off the back of this success WL Toys have announced the release of the 124019 and 124018 which is an extended wheelbase version of the 144001 and claiming it as a 1/12 scale. Again strong "inspiration" from LC racing who released the LC12B1 which is an extended wheelbase version of the 1/14 scale EMB-1. In this article I will cover off the obvious differences, the less obvious differences and the benefits and disadvantages over the 144001. I'll then finish off by talking about suitability for upgrades and a little more specifically about the 124019 desert buggy
The WL Toys 144001 is an excellent low cost hobby grade RC buggy that I ordered from Banggood. I've already taken free and low cost steps to improve performance in part 1 and part 2 of my upgrades guide. This upgrade guide here is dedicated to installing a powerful and efficient 2838 brushless system that is optimised for balance, handling and efficiency. It will also be much faster and reliable that the stock system. This upgrade is fully compatible with the new 124019 and 124018 as well and an excellent option to improve performance and battery life.
As mentioned above the brushless upgrade I am doing here is based on a smaller, lighter more powerful motor than stock so I can get the best handling by reducing weight and improving balance. For this reason I have chosen a brushless 2838 sized motor (28mm diameter, 38mm can length) that runs at 4500kV. This is the same spec powertrain used by the premium LC Racing EMB-1 on which the 144001 is based. The objective is to optimise handling by removing the extremely heavy and power hungry but inefficient brushed 550 motor.
I have not gone with a brushless motor the same size as the brushed 550 (3650, 3652, 3660) as these are really only suited to speed runs - see my speed run build guide if that is the kind of build you are looking for
Benefits from this 2838 brushless setup over stock will include:
Click on any picture in this article to Embiggen or go to product link
Motor size comparison: The stock 550 weighs 271g and the new, more powerful 2838 weighs 95g. Damn!
Note, this is not a review. You've probably seen a ton of those already. This is about how to set your car up once you've already bought one.
Firstly, "must do" is a bit strong and a bit of a pisstake of the clickbait Youtube videos out there. With that said I do strongly recommend them if you can to get the best performance out of you car and extend it's life. I've arrived at these recommendations by comparing the 144001 directly to the car it was copied off - the excellent LC Racing EMB-1h plus basic fundamentals of rc car operation of which I've been around for years.