AW cars, just got them. My thoughts...
I just won 2 AW cars off of the 'bay, and got them in today. Just thought Id share my thoughts for anyone considering getting any of these...
Tuff Ones Baja Blazer:
Normally Im not much of a fan of T-jets. Theyre small, and the chassis dimensions make it hard to find anything to resin cast to fit them. I have some hand-me-down 'real' ones that were my uncle's, and Ill never part with them. I also got some of the JL releases, and wasnt too impressed with the quality, but hey it was something new. That being said, I couldnt resist the Baja Blazer bodystyle. Im a huge fan of offroad vehicles, especially open top 2-door 4x4s. The yellow body and black hood look real nice on this rig, much better than the original paint schemes Aurora used on the Xlerator versions. But the body seems a bit bulky for the T-jet and looks like it'd be a better match for the Xtraction chassis. The dinky tires look silly with this bodystyle, and the fenders look like they were meant to be covering bigger meats. Not AW's fault, blame aurora. Maybe they originally meant this to be an AFX but rushed it into production? The paint job is better than the old JL stuff, it just looks like the QC factor has been taken up a few pegs. The plastic used seems a bit nicer and more substantial.
The chassis isnt a lot different from the old JL releases, except for the material used for the chassis and top plate. This stuff is a lot stronger and more substantial than that waxy plastic used by JL. Still, the old material seemed to do fine on the Tuff ones. The wider front tires should give an even more solid grip on the hubs and they look better, especially with this body. Speed wise, it seems to run no differently than the JL releases.
Overall, these new Tjets arent bad. I recommend this chassis over the JL, if for no other reason than it just feels better made, even if the performance is the same. I HIGHLY recommend the blazers to anyone who likes 4x4s, chevys, or just something different. Im definitely going to try to score the red one in the future. That, and 2 sets of bigger wheels and tires so they look right.
X-Traction McLaren XLR:
I bid on this car as a consolation prize if I didnt win the orange Baja Bronco, and thats exactly how it panned out (although I scored one from Bud's today). I just wanted one to check out the new chassis. We all know the details on how the body sits a bit high on the chassis. But again, the paint is real nice and the plastic feels better than the stuff used by JL, once again.
All I can say is that where the hike in QC and the superior chassis material made a minor improvement in the T.O. chassis' performance, the XT is a whole new animal. Gone is the flimsy, cheap feel to the JL chassis. And with it is the tendency for the front edge of the gear plate to shift and bind up the armature under torque. The geartrain is a LOT smoother, and once I oiled and warmed this baby up, it flat screams! Ive been reading other reviews and it seems that this is pretty consistent. The wider pickup skis keep the power coming, even in a wild tailspin, and I love the new fatter front tires that actually stay on the retro silver wheels. Much better than the cheap chrome job on the JLs. My only gripes are the too-long front axle, and the rough surfaces of the motor brushes, although thats quickly fixed by a lite scrub on some 400-grit. Makes you wonder if swapping all the guts out of the old JL chassis into naked AW chassis would make them run like this.
The AW XT is awesome. Where I liked the JL XT just because it was something new in the slot world, the AW version is a must-have. With just a little minor prep out of the box, its a good performer and lots of fun to drive. And at an average price of $15-$17 on<a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-1751-2978-71/1?AID=5463217&PID=1606754&mpre=http%3A//www.ebay.com"> eBay!</a>, its a good value. Thats about $5 higher than what the JL XTs were going for when they hit the market, but Ill happily pay $5 extra to get a product that is consistently well made and reliable.
Keep these coming, Tom. And get those Jeep CJs up and rolling! I cant wait for them, as well as the 2000's versions of the Challenger/Mustang/Camaro. With the range of bodystyles you're offering as well as the nostalgia factor of mixing up pancake motors as well as the new inline, it seems to me that your contribution is exactly what this hobby needs!