Redcat has been around for many years now and are mostly known for offering kits towards the entry level hobby-grade side of RC but their new direction changes that. With the introduction of their newest ground-up designed RTR kit, the Kaiju 1/8 6S Monster Truck, they’re upping their game and truly stepping into the realm of the basher big leagues.
Now a lot of us older enthusiasts know that bashers are the backbone of the RC hobby; they provide maximum joy for minimal effort, allowing the user to pick up a radio and take the vehicle out to anywhere they please. Basher kits may not be specialized in racing finesse, or crawling mega obstacles, but they sure do specialize in providing maximum fun anywhere you can take them. On top of the fun-factor, basher kits also require less attention to the little things, well at least when they’re done right. So today that’s what we’re going to find out; is the Kaiju up to the task of maximum bashing fun?
ON THE BENCH
First off, some notable features on the Kaiju include metal ring and pinion gears front and rear, rubber sealed ball bearings all around, weather-sealed receiver box, a sealed gearbox to keep out rocks, and fluid-filled diffs, allowing a bit of diff fluid fine-tuning down the line if you’re into that kind of thing. The chassis has a raised design for extra ground clearance, which we appreciated when bombing over larger rocks. The big 3.8” wheels are fitted with aggressive knobby tires that dig nicely into the ground and provide some serious grip even in loose conditions. All around the Kaiju is outfitted with steel CVA’s and a steel center driveshaft, increasing overall longevity.
Redcat teamed up with Hobbywing for the motor and ESC and kitted the Kaiju out with an impressive 2100Kv 1/8 scale brushless motor and a waterproof 8BL150RTR 150A 6S ready ESC. The greatest part about this combo is that you can fine tune the ESC with Hobbywing’s QuicRun programming card. An optional item, but it’s nice to have that option. If you want to adjust the ESC on the fly without the card you can easily do so with the onboard programming button. We found the default settings of the Kaiju to be a little tame, possibly because we were only using a 4S setup for testing, so we decided to increase the punch to Full and turned up the braking to 100%, which allowed us to get much more contrast between wide-open-throttle and full brake. We recommend even seasoned RC enthusiasts to give the manual a quick read-through to ensure you’ve properly set your ESC to desired settings, as well as set proper steering endpoints.
UNLEASING THE BEAST
Our intention for this review was not just to go over the Kaiju’s features, but really to see if the Kaiju could stand up to some serious basher abuse. I’m not just talking the occasional overturn or minor crash. No, we fully set out to thrash this thing.
We decided to jump from every obstacle we encountered, taking risks one might not normally take. We subjected the Kaiju to plenty full throttle drops and crashes, lots of tumbles and falls. With all the hits this thing encountered, including a highspeed accidental head-on collision into a concrete wall, it just kept on going. We simply turned it over, brushed it off and kept on bashing. We found that the material Redcat chose for the Kaiju is a great combination of flex and durability. Rigid flex, as we’ll call it in this review is an important characteristic in basher components. Too rigid, and parts will snap easily, too flexible and they just won’t hold their shape over time. The Kaiju’s chassis and components successfully hit the mark for rigid flex.
We didn’t worry about keeping the kit in pristine condition, that just wouldn’t be using the Kaiju to its full potential. We can happily say that all the major components you might be concerned about breaking not only held up but held up astonishingly well. The suspension arms are very strong, and clearly designed with rigid flex and durability in mind, no cracks or bends, simply still intact. The steel CVA’s are robust and showed no signs of bends or wear, despite the many cartwheels the Kaiju made. The tires held up to abuse from all surfaces, including highspeed asphalt bombing. The plush 1/8 scale shocks and springs dampened the landings nicely, and we found that out of the box the Kaiju handled quite well in gravel, loose dirt and sand, and is especially fun in the whoops. We kept abusing the Kaiju and it just continued to work.
Full disclosure, we did manage to damage the rear body mount, but that was only after a full-speed send into a 15-foot high jump over a shipping dock directly onto concrete, landing upside down. Even then, we just had to turn the truck over and keep going. We were truly astonished and couldn’t stop laughing since it was so much fun.
Redcat really hit all the marks here with the Kaiju. It’s easy to drive, fun to jump, and a thrill to thrash around on both dirt and pavement. They’ve designed a kit from the ground up for the RC masses that not only brings the fun-factor, but also the durability a lot of enthusiasts look for in a casual basher style monster truck. I think it’s safe to say that the Kaiju is one serious monster to contend with.
Text and Photos by Lauren Short