Maisto has become an extremely popular and prolific brand of toy grade Radio Controlled Rock Crawler. With so many choices you might feel a little overwhelmed when you try to pick your perfect Maisto Crawler. In order to save you a little time, let’s take a quick look at the top of the Maisto RC Rock Crawler Crop.
Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Radio Control Vehicle
The Original offering from Maisto is still easily one of the most popular. This original offering was dubbed simply the Maisto RC Rock Crawler. This little truck comes in three colors and operates on very basic controls. Both throttle and steering are short on subtlety so it requires a little forethought to navigate a difficult terrain route. Like many toy grade trucks, you’re either on the throttle or off and steering is pretty much all or nothing so you’ll learn to alternately tickle the throttle and steering to make directional adjustments and keep the speed in check.
The original Maisto Rock Crawler might lack finesse, but it makes up for it in real crawling capabilities. Those simplified controls come with a three channel transmitter so you can bring one for you and a couple for the kids and everyone has full control over his own vehicle. The Crawler’s compact body rides high out of the way of an impressively well-articulated suspension. Individual springs and multilink suspension flex so freely that the grippy TPE tires rarely lose contact. The power of twin motors and low gear ratios give this crawler true four-wheel drive, torque and power to spare.
One of the things about this Maisto you’re either going to love or hate is the battery setup. There is none. This Crawler runs on AA batteries, so there’s no preamble with charging or waiting for a recharge in the middle of all the fun. Unfortunately, you may want to bring a backpack for extra batteries if you’re running a pack of these over the weekend. Each truck takes six AA batteries and the controllers will need an additional pair of AAAs.
Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Extreme Radio Control Vehicle
This Crawler is an evolution of Maisto’s first offering. A newly designed body is larger and a little lower to the suspension than the original. The new body on the Extreme is made of a thin, super flexible plastic that doesn’t weigh down the truck despite its larger size. It also has enough give so it won’t crack or dent when it makes contact with hard corners or rolls over rocks. The body is held in place with some pretty basic plastic clips. Maisto even includes extras so the occasional overzealous battery change won’t leave your fenders flopping.
Just like its older brother, the Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme uses separate motors for the front and back tires as well as to drive the steering gear. It features the same low geared, high torque setup as the previous generation, so obstacles are mastered with plenty of muscle. Once again, steering and speed are an off or on proposition. Driving this truck requires a little thought, not a bad thing on a day when you want to put everything else out of your mind.
Battery requirements in this incarnation of the Maisto Crawler remain consistent. Just buy yourself an economy sized pack of AA alkalines and a handful of AAAs and keep it going all day without waiting to charge.
If you’re concerned about the environment, or you just like the anticipation build-up of recharging, get a solid set of rechargeables. You’ll need six AAs and 2AAA. I’m not much for waiting, so I’d suggest two sets for each truck.
The Maisto RC Rock Crawler Extreme goes to the rock pile just a little stronger than the original. Thanks to extra soft tires the Extreme has a little more grip and goes even further into the rough than its predecessor. All in all, this is another fun little toy grade crawler that gives the hobby crowd a reason to step up their game.
Maisto R/C Rock Crawler 3XL Radio Control Vehicle
The 3XL gives the toy grade crawler a bigger footprint than Maisto’s other offerings. The Maisto RC 3XL Rock Crawler Radio Control vehicle is 15 inches long. This oversized beast gives you more freedom to climb over obstacles that other smaller vehicles just bounce off of. The body of the 3XL is a more realistically styled vacuum formed body that features intricate details just like those of real full-sized crawlers. It remains lightweight and impact resistant so it won’t break and make your truck look shabby too early in life.
The Maisto 3XL features an upgrade battery scheme which features a 6.4-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery and two AA batteries to power the controller-transmitter. Everything you need to get out there and get going is included, you won’t need to make another side trip for batteries on the way to the rock pit. You’ll need to allow 45 minutes for the “fast” charger to work its magic. This is another one of those places where I’m going to suggest you double down if you’re an all-day driver and get yourself a spare battery to have on call.
Maisto hasn’t messed with the things that made their earlier crawlers great fun. The 3XL still has a wonderfully flexible suspension system and dual motor full-function four wheel drive. You’ve also got plenty of torque to turn the wheels when things get tough. This one has everything you need to get you up and over just about anything in your path.
Upgrades in the Maisto Tech Rock Crawler 3XL bring next stage features to the toy RC crawler market. Steering alignment is adjustable, and the new hobby scale controller gives you a better handle on the situation. Add to that the addition of proportional speed control and this one has more finesse than those that came before it.
The Maisto RC 2.4 GHz, 8 Player Rock Crawler 3XL Radio Control Vehicle comes with its 6.4V battery and charger already in the package. It performs far better than you’d expect from a toy grade crawler thanks to the range of travel in its extra-flexible suspension and the grip provided by high quality soft tires. Best of all, the 3XL can do it all in groups of up to eight vehicles without interference issues. This makes it a great choice for a full on crawler party. With this one, you get to have your cake and eat too.
Maisto R/C Rock Crawler ATV Remote Control Vehicle
Maisto gives toy RC crawler fans a real treat with their RC Rock Crawler ATV. This is another tri-channel transmitter offering. You won’t be able to run a whole mob of them together like the Maisto 3XL I reviewed earlier, but for a family or a small group, the three vehicle option is plenty of fun. You get everything you need to crush rock when you unpack the Maisto RC ATV Rock Crawler Remote Control Vehicle. You’ll eventually need to replace the two AA alkaline batteries included for the transmitter, but the 6 volt rechargeable battery that powers the vehicle will be up for another challenge after a little break on the charger.
The Maisto RC ATV includes a semi-articulated rider that is also removable. The rider doesn’t cause tipping issues you might expect. The added weight of the rider even gives this crawler a little extra stick when the going gets rough.
The ATV is surprisingly well balanced. Issues with top-heaviness are non-existent, even when it’s climbing. That alone should be a solid draw for parents looking for a fun little crawler for a beginner.
The cushy, articulated suspension we’ve come to expect from Maisto isn’t missing from this offering. You can expect it to run in rough country without a lot of issues thanks to excellent travel for such a small vehicle.
Like other Maisto crawlers, the dual-motor four wheel drive system on the ATV features fairly low gear ratios that help it bash along in places other toy grade RC vehicles couldn’t dream of going. It’s no speed demon, but as I’ve said in other reviews, that’s not a bad thing in a rock crawler.
Solid performance combined with the novelty of a non-truck crawler makes the Maisto RC ATV Rock Crawler an easy winner among toy grade Remote control crawlers.
Maisto Tech Radio Control Rock Crawler RC Remote Control Race Truck
The Maisto Tech RC Rock Crawler Race Truck is a realistic looking truck with a body reminiscent of real off road race trucks perched atop the Maisto suspension we’ve come to know and love. For a toy grade crawler you can’t really beat its soft, flexible suspension and great range of travel. Another fine set of semi-pneumatic tires keeps a good grip even on difficult surfaces. Deep tread pattern will catch an edge when you need it to so you can take advantage of the rock crushing torque provided by the twin drive motors.
The controller for this Maisto offering features wheel steering and trigger based acceleration with forward and reverse at just the twitch of a finger. It steers well for a single axel directed vehicle. It’s still a crawler at its heart so I don’t see a serpentine pylon course in its future, but it won’t let you down when you need to follow a route through tough terrain. Like all of Maisto’s other Crawlers, the antenna support tube is a flexible affair, so you won’t bend it or the receiver antenna beyond repair. That’s a handy feature the pack and go set will appreciate. This is a tri-band truck so you can easily take it out with a couple of friends and not be at each other’s throats about who drove which truck in the lake.
The Maisto Rock Crawler Race Truck is a bit of a throwback to full off the rack battery power. This one uses a 9 volt battery in the transmitter and another six pack of standard AA batteries for power to the vehicle. Again, you might be in another camp on this, but if you want a truck you can take on a camping trip with the kids, I’d opt for something you don’t have to find a plug-in to get back on the course.
Overall, the Maisto Tech Radio Control Rock Crawler RC Remote Control Race Truck is a solid performing toy grade crawler that’s easy to take along for a weekend away when you need a distraction for the kids or yourself.
Well, there it is, a quick review of some of the best offerings in the toy grade crawler market. Maisto Tech RC Rock Crawler line up stands up well when used in rough terrain, with a variety of power options and even the ability to play with a party of 8 you won’t be disappointed in these entry level Rock Crawlers.