The speed of the car meant getting any air time at all was a real challenge, I got a few photos which possibly due to their uninspiring nature I promptly lost from the card, so I cant show the car in action, oops. Jumping the car over the jumps at batley resulted in occasionally getting the front wheels in the air and sometimes all four wheels at the same time, at least an inch high. The car would then “land”, bounce around a bit, and shoot off at a funny angle.
The steering looks a bit of an odd arangement with the hub carriers leaning inwards and the hubs leaning out, maybe this odd setup is the cause of some of the overly keen steering that I experienced. The hub seems to lean over as it moves in the hub carrier which effects the Castor and / or Camber, or to put it another way the wheel remains almost vertical as it steers rather than leaning with the castor.
Speed is relative, a slow car on a tight track can be just as fun as a faster car on a bigger track. But where the Frog was fun inside it was hard to limit myself to an area small enough to get some excitement out of the frog. I don't mean to make the car sound bad here, it was still mildly fun despite the poor performance. The speed can be improved slightly by fitting the largest pinion but this only made a small difference.
I had another look at the promotional video of the Mini Frog and some portions looked like mine, quite slow, while others were utterly misrepresentative with the car leaping many times its own length over huge jumps under full control. Unless I had a poor example of the car, then the car used for half of the promotional video was certainly not the car you receive in the kit.
I asked Tamiya about this and couldn’t get a definitive answer but they concurred that the video did portray a “hopped up” frog in some portions (no kidding). They also mentioned the car was made for a purpose, and I’d definately agree that in a confined space the standard car is great fun. The option for more speed is there and is relatively cheap, just strap in a quicker motor. Handling can be sorted with the addition of the hop-up shock absorbers.
To sum up, the car was great in a confined space but in a larger area the car looks like a toy and the handling wasn’t really up to scratch on anything but the smoothest ground. In all fairness, running the car on looser surfaces outdoors it didn’t snatch the steering quite so much and was a lot more controllable. But still, it was slow and slightly embarrassing in the big wide world. Still, I had a lot of fun with it.