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After many years of looking at RC cars and wishing for something slot-car like to race around the house, finally, it is here: the Mini-Z, by Kyosho.

I got mine from Hearns Hobbies. I paid them a visited one lunch time, and was very impressed with the demo. These things are quick. It was Friday and I decided to think about it over the weekend before taking the plunge. I didn't last. After work I was back down there to get one. Then the rechargable batteries. And the charger.

Here's mine. The black Mercedes Benz.

Notice the white flag stuck to the aerial. That's used for the track timing system. Also notice that there mirrors and the Mercedes logo are still attached. I haven't raced it outside yet!

Unfortunately, these little puppies are not cheap. $300 for the car, $100 for two sets of NiMH batteries (8xAA for the transmitter, 2 sets of 4xAAA for car), and a battery recharger for $90. Battery life is pretty good. The car batteries (4xAAA 700mAH) last about an hour, and can be charged in an hour, so you pretty much can drive all the time. I'm not sure how long the transmitter batteries last for (8xAA 1700mAH). The first set of batteries lasted more than a dozen car recharges, and I only had to recharge them because I left the transmitter on overnight.

So why are these cars so cool? Well apart from being powerful zippy little things, they can also be tweaked, tuned and hopped up, unlike your elcheapos from K-Mart. I've already enhanced the car with the rear spring, ball diff and hot motor. I really enjoy building stuff, so getting in there and pulling things apart, teaking and tuning, and really appealed to me.

For more on my Mini-Z world...

My track

Timing System

Timing System 2 - TrackTimer Ex