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First Look: Helion’s New Impakt 12B

First Look: Helion’s New Impakt 12B

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The Helion Impakt 12B is just hitting the market and comes in at a budget-friendly street price of $139. This 1:12-scale 2WD buggy has some great features for the price and its slightly smaller size should be great for small areas. This buggy comes with just about everything right out of the box. All I know is that it was in my hands and I was eager to crack it open. Let’s take a look at what we have.

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As simple as they come. The buggy is held in place with zip-ties along with the radio, wall charger and instructions and a small multi-tool below the cardboard that separates the items and keeps everything protected. I like that the body has protective film on it and the graphics are nice and bright.

 

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It looks like durability was a big consideration when designing this buggy and everything looks well thought out. The electronics are all-weather rated and the speed control and receiver are integrated in to one unit. The top of the buggy has a roll-cage to help it withstand some punishment, and the cockpit features a nicely detailed driver’s helmet.

 

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The included radio features digital 2.4GHz technology and this gives the buggy interference-free operation along with auto-bind to get you going quickly and easily. I just needed to add my own AA batteries (4) and the radio fires right up.

 

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Just the basics here. Digital steering and throttle trim is easily adjustable by just hitting the plus or minus buttons. The power button is located here too and everything is protected by the hard plastic cover that snaps in to place. The radio is fairly light and all the parts are shiny plastic. The trigger and wheel feel about right and have tension that seems familiar and balanced.

 

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I was pleasantly surprised to see a 2S 7.4V 1500mAh LiPo battery included. It even has a Deans-style plug and separate balancing plug. Most vehicles in this price range come with a basic NiMH pack- and that’s even a stretch. Helion also included a basic wall-charger that does double-duty by balancing the pack. Okay, it will take some time to charge up a pack like this (the wall charger is rated at 0.5A), but considering that it is included in the box was a definite bonus.

 

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Another surprise was this handy LiPo battery sack. LiPo batteries can have  safety issues if charged and stored incorrectly, so Helion included this mini sack. I’ve never seen one included before in a box, but I’ll be sure to use it.

 

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Installation and removal of the battery is easy. A small body clip and I was able to remove the retaining pin and the bottom trap door popped off. It only take a few seconds.

 

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A sealed, silver-can 380 size brushed motor is included and should get this buggy up to speed pretty quick. It’s a good starting point and is compatible with brushless upgrade options.

 

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The transmission includes a gear-differential and this should help with durability and maintenance. I was able to pop out the entire unit by just removing a handful of phillips-head screws and disconnecting the wires, but the case wouldn’t come apart. I referred to the manual, but it didn’t address this area. Realistically, most users will never get this far, but something to think about. I’m sure this will also help to keep out flying debris and water.

 

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The four wheel independent suspension is also very basic, but should be more than adequate for the task at hand. Plastic, friction-style coil-over shocks handle the damping duties while fixed plastic links keep camber and steering toe in place.

 

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The Impakt 12B includes long wear, all-terrain tires with black spoked wheels that help finish off the nice aesthetics.

 

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I’m impressed with the overall package of this ready-to-run buggy. The unpacking literally only took a few minutes and soon I’ll be ready to go. I’ll just need to charge up the LiPo pack and I’ll be driving it around. We’ll let you know how that goes. Make sure to check out the March 2015 of Radio Control Car Action for the full review.

Updated: November 21, 2014 — 10:14 PM

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