I have received at least one report of a non-working car and the manufacturer has does not seem to have a web site that I can find to get a replacement. I have downgraded my rating to 2 stars accordingly. If you buy one of these make sure you get it from some place you can return it if it doesn’t work.
NeweggMall.com recently sent me an e-mail pushing a wall climbing RC car called the Clamber!!! Master-Hand. It is actually listed under RC Wall Climber Remote Control Mini Car but the name on the box is “Clamber!!! Master-Hand” by Top Race R/C Series. Although similar, this is not the same as the Spinmaster Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micro Cars, which are a bit more expensive. It was cheap and cool enough looking that I naturally felt compelled to give it a try.
How it works
If you are not familiar with these, they have a vacuum inside that holds them to the wall. The four outer visible wheels are actually fake and just look nice. There are two inner wheels that are not visible (unless you flip it over) that sit against the wall and propel the car.
The switch on the back has three different modes: off, on without vacuum, and on with the vacuum. This way if you just want to run it on the floor you don’t have to turn on the vacuum and waste your charge.
The underside has two strips of fabric that sit against the wall to help maintain the vacuum. There are two intake holes on the bottom and 4 slits in the windows on top for the air output.
The car does not go too fast but fast enough. It drives similar to a tank because it is actually only using two wheels. To steer, it changes the speed of the wheel on the appropriate side. While you are driving the turn radius is not precise and tends to be a bit large. When you are stopped it will turn on a dime.
As power starts to run down, the vacuum does not hold the car as tightly to the wall as a full charge so sometimes the drives wheels will start to slip and you have to turn around and go in a different direction to get moving again.
Run time on the wall is about 7 minutes although performance slopes off and the car will start loosing its traction around 4 minutes. Even after 7 minutes the vacuum was still strong enough to keep the car on the wall. I didn’t time it but I am guessing run time on the floor without the vacuum on would be quite a bit longer. When you get close to 8 minutes the power will cut off before the battery is drained too far. It uses a built in Lithium-Polymer battery which is probably why a charge last as long as it does for something so light. Charge time is about 10 minutes.
Here are some pros and cons:
- Pretty good amount of drive time per charge (about 7 minutes)
- Only a 10 minute charge
- Can rotate on a dime while stopped
- It will get stuck on even flat, clean surfaces occasionally after the battery has run down a bit.
- The turn radius between running and when it is stopped is quite different. When it is stop it turns on a dime. When it is running it has a very wide turn radius in some cases.
- IR controller does not perform well under strong light.
Overall I rate the wall climber 3 out of 5 stars. I would give it more stars if the steering were a bit more consistent and it didn’t get “stuck” as often. Overall it was pretty fun but I would say the Microfly is a bit more entertaining just because for about the same price or less, it flies around and that is hard to beat in my opinion.