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ZipZaps Micro RC from RadioShack

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Optimus Prime ZipZaps

Optimus Prime ZipZaps Micro RC

© M. James
ZipZaps are a popular line of micro RCs from RadioShack. These 1:64 scale cars and trucks usually have interchangeable bodies, working headlights, and can be upgraded with new tires and hubcabs. Other parts, such as new motors, are sometimes available.

ZipZaps Mods:

Although there are limited hop-ups and modifications available, some ZipZaps owners get quite creative, adding new lights, decals, and custom paint jobs to their ZipZaps.

ZipZaps Special Edition:

Periodically there are special edition ZipZaps, such as the Mater truck, Sally car, and Lightning McQueen car based on characters from the movie "Cars." The latest 2007 ZipZaps are "Transformers" movie characters. There's the good guy Bumblebee, the evil DECEPTICON Barricade, and leader of the AUTOBOTS, the 6-wheel, big rig, Optimus Prime.

ZipZaps "Transformers":

The "Transformers" ZipZaps don't actually transform like in the movie but do have character-specific colors and body styles. Optimus Prime has a red flame paint job on his blue Kenworth semi truck body. The extra set of wheels that make it a 6-wheel rig are actually part of the body, not a different chassis from other ZipZaps. Bumblebee is a yellow and black Camaro while Barricade is a black and white Mustang police car with a red, white, and blue light bar (painted on, not light up).

ZipZaps Size:

Most ZipZaps fit easily in your hand at around 2.5 to 3 inches long. Optimus Prime is almost 3 inches long, 1.08 inches high, and 1.425 inches wide. Both Bumblebee and Barracde are 3 inches long, 1.18 inches high, and 1.3 inches wide. Other ZipZaps are similarly sized.

ZipZaps Tech Specs:

Each micro RC comes fully assembled, requiring just 4 "AAA" batteries and a minute or so of charging. ZipZaps come in 27 or 49 MHz frequencies, have spring suspension, working headlights, and a scale speed of 110 mph. The controller doubles as the charging station.

ZipZaps Price and Availability:

The ZipZaps starter kit runs about $20USD at RadioShack. ZipZaps, especially the older, collectible models, may be priced higher or lower on eBay or other Websites. You can often find bargains on miscellaneous accessories during inventory reduction sales and close-outs at various RadioShack stores. You might have to visit several different stores as their stock changes.

Transform Your ZipZaps:

In addition to switching out bodies you can modify your ZipZap bodies with decals and paint (try glitter, flames, stripes), change out the tires, and upgrade the motor. If you're especially creative and/or electronically inclined you could do other modifications to these little RCs such as creating light kits, making drifting tires, adding spoilers, or do an antenna mod to increase the range.
RadioShack ZipZaps Tips, Tricks, and Projects.

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