RCU Review: VsTank 1/24 M1A2 Abrams RTR Tanks

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    Contributed by: Marc Vigod | Published: December 2005 | Views: 81722 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign IL 61822
    Tel 217-398-0007


    Ease of Assembly

    • Fast assembly
    • Versatile controls
    • Scale Looks

    • Recoil not "scale" when turret is turned
    • No "reset" on the transmitter

    RC tanks have been around for awhile now and they just seem to keep on getting better. From the perspective of scale appearance and performance options the newly released VsTanks line of tanks really ups the ante.

    I first got a look at these new tanks at the RCX show last year where they were running demo's with them. I thought they were the coolest thing and I knew my son would have a blast with them. These tanks have a wide range of options as you will see in this review and look fantastic. These tanks are RTR and require little more than 10-15 minutes to have them doing battle. So let's show you some pictures along with a 3 minute video I shot of the tanks in action.

    Above you can see the box as it arrives with the cool artwork on the top. Inside the package you can see clearly how this tank is 99% ready to go.

    Product Name: VsTanks 1/24 Combat Tank M1A2 Abrams RTR
    Price: $99.99
    Type: 1/24 Scale electric RTR Tank
    Includes : M1A2 Abrams tank with pistol-grip transmitter, driver figure with machine gun, instruction manual, decals and decal guide
    Requires: One 9 volt battery and 8 AA batteries)

    Length: 16" (410mm)
    Width: 6" (152mm)
    Height: 5.3" (135mm)
    Max Shooting Distance: 26ft (8m)
    Turret's Max Rotating Angle: 330° approx.
    Turret's Max Vertical Angle: 20° approx.
    Climbing Power: 35° approx.


    • Forward, reverse, left and right real-life movement
    • Three forward speeds and two turning speeds
    • Turret rotates up to 330° and can also rotate while tank is running
    • Turret gun moves up and down with a range of approximately 20° and recoils after firing an infrared laser beam
    • Cannon shoots infrared laser beam 26ft (8m) indoors and 20ft (6m) outdoors in sunlight
    • Up to six tanks can engage in battle at once, target is a sensor on top of turret-hitting sensor stops tank for 3 seconds with flashing lights and sound effects to indicate when tank was hit
    • Painted driver figure and machine guns can be installed to add detail
    • All-wheel suspension and rubber caterpillar treads tackle rugged terrain as well as 35° inclines
    • 27MHz AM transmitter with controls for forward and backward speeds tank turns, turret turns and cannon up/down

    Out of the box:

    The image to the left shows all the parts as they come right out of the box.

    Assembly of the VsTanks consists of applying the decals, optionally installing the small army figure, guns and other plastic pieces, installing the 2 antennas and finally installing the batteries (not supplied).

    The entire process takes only about 10-15 minutes per tank. A detailed instruction manual goes through the installation of accessories. A small book is also included to aid you in the applicaiton of the decal sets.

    Install the antenna:
    There are 2 antennas which are installed by simply pressing them into the holes located towards the rear of the tank. In the image to the left you can see the first antenna being installed.

    You can change channels on both the transmitter and tank (27mhz band) easily. Pictured to the right is the crystal in the transmitter.

    The transmitter is the control and command center for your battle tank. After installing a 9V battery it is good to go. Controls allow you to rotate the turret almost a full 360 degrees, move forward at 3 speeds (slow, medium and fast), move the turret up and down, move the tank left or right at 2 speeds, drive it backwards or turn backwards, do a super fast spin by holding down the forward turning button and opposing rear turning button and finally the firing button.
    That's right! Real treads. These true to form tank treads allow this tank to tackle some rough terrain. I have had this go over blankets, rocks, ramps, sneakers and a few other obstacles. VStank also has replacement treads should your tanks treads get worn or break.
    A few shot of the Abrams tank in both the
    Desert Storm and Desert Camoflage Schemes
    From the left side
    Straight on
    Right side

    Testing the tank in battle

    I decided to test the tank by seeing what obstacles it could take on plus putting 2 tanks together in battle.

    The tank has no problem going over relatively minor obstacles and terrain relative to its size. I took it over some rough rock and dirt (see video below), a few blankets, sneakers, wires in my office and a ramp which was around 20 degrees. All were easily conquered by the tank with its genuine tread design.

    The speed of the tank is very good. You have the choice of 3 forward speeds and one reverse speed. Additionally you can turn the tank left or right using your choice of 2 speeds. In reverse you can turn it but only at one speed in either direction. Finally you can do a high speed spin by pushing the front left high speed button with the backward right turning button. This will make the tank spin super fast which you can also see in the video. This can be done in either direction.

    Ok so how does it do battle you ask? FUN! The Abrams tanks allow for you to move the tank as described above plus rotate the turret almost a full 360 degrees to get your opponent in sight. You can actually even raise the turrent up or down! Finally the fire button shoots an infrared beam at your opponent and if you score a hit the other tank will make an explosion sound effect and "light up" as if it were on fire. This works at a very good distance. I tested it and got a hit at 20 plus feet indoors.

    Another cool effect is the recoil effect. Whenever you fire the gun the tank recoils backwards. The only downside to this in terms of scale realism is that if the turret is sideways or backwards the recoil is not in the proper direction.

    Once you blast the opponent 6 times his tank will flash continously and it must be reset to do battle again. To reset the tank you must switch the power on and off from below the tank itself. I would have preferred to see a reset on the transmitter to avoid having to pick up the tank each time to do a reset. This was one of the few negative things I could even comment on an otherwise impressive product.

    HI BANDWIDTH - 11.3 MB


    The VsTank lineup comes in several color schemes. Visit their website to view all that are available. These tanks come RTR right out of the box and anyone looking for something a little different than the VStanks surely fit the bill. The battles you can fight are loads of fun and the product stands up to the abuse you want to dish out. My son dumped one off the steps and it didn't skip a beat! Check out the video I took above and see for yourself how much fun these tanks can be. They are reasonably priced at $99.99 each so you can get two or more even depending how many you want to battle simultaneously.

    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign IL 61822
    Tel 217-398-0007


    Comments on RCU Review: VsTank 1/24 M1A2 Abrams RTR Tanks

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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