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Big Trak Junior - Hands On Review

For Show 58, we got to play with one of the most iconic kids toys of all time, and one that's been reborn for 2010. Here's our look at Big Trak.

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 58 - BigTrak Review

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Hands-on with the Big Trak:

A transcript from Show 58:

Pete:

OK, the next thing to talk about is this little beast - the must-have gadget of the year.

Carl:

Ooh - give it back, give it back. It's a Big Trak, but it's a miniature Big Trak, it's not as big as it used to be - what happened to that? Look at it - is this a Micro Trak? It's cool though. Ooh look! - there's one of the original big ones.

Big Trak Junior 2010

Pete:

So what I'm showing you - I'm holding this up to the microphone, so all our listeners can hear it, is a picture of the original Big Trak, which is back - you can get it, but wow, was that big. And this one here is the Big Trak Junior. It does all the same stuff, and a lot more, and it's all diddy and sits on the desk.

Big Trak in a box

Carl:

It always reminded me of something out of Terrahawks.

Pete:

Ah - I know what you mean, yeah.

Carl:

"Terrahawks - stay on this channel!"

Pete:

Look at this though - there's two wheels in the middle that do the driving, and for those that don't know, it's a six wheeler and it's got this lovely little keypad on the top. A couple of big differences: the original one, you had to stick your own stickers on - do you remember that?

Carl:

They did that with a lot of toys in those years. I'm still traumatised by it now.

Pete:

This one had all the stickers pre-done, the little junior one, which is kind of cool. The big one takes 3 big D batteries, the ones you can hardly find any more, the big chunky Ds, whereas this new one takes three double As.

Carl:

Weren't the original batteries known as HP2s? Or was it HP11s? Do you remember the HP series? That's what we're talking about here! It was HP2 or 11, wasn't it? - I can't remember, and then there was that odd sized one that wasn't quite the large one or quite the equivalent of a double A - it was that weird size. You always regretted having any toys that took it, because none of the clocks in the house used it either.

Big Trak Jr Underneath

Pete:

That's the one - that's the C, and you're showing your age there with the old HP range. But anyway, this is the new Big Trak, it's out there, it's lovely, and this new one has a memory save, which the other one didn't have. So if you've not seen one of these before, this has a little blue light at the front, six wheels and a keypad on the back. It's got 23 buttons, and you can punch in your commands, and it could remember 16 commands. So let's try it out - are you ready for this?

Carl:

Ready when you are. So are we doing the programming first, are we?

Pete:

Mmm, absolutely. Let's get it to do something nice and simple. So what I've done, I've just switched it on with the power switch underneath. First I'll have to clear the memory using the CM button. Then I want it to go forward three units, so I press forward, and then the number three. Then I'm going to want it to turn around, so I'm going to press the right key and I have to tell it like a clock, so I want 30 minutes, which will be a full 130 revolution. Then I want it to fire its phaser three times. OK, right. Can we just get the mike put down on the floor for this one please, guys? OK, and here we go - I press the go button.

(various beeps and whirring sounds)

Carl:

Who said Christmas Day was going to be boring? I'm having this!

Pete:

Absolutely, isn't it good? And it comes with these - look, look!

Carl:

What the hell are they? - the craters from the moon? Why have you got craters? - what do you do with these? Do they do anything?

Pete:

Yeah, you get loads of these free little craters, and you build an obstacle course, and you programme it to go and do a run and avoid the craters.

Carl:

Oh, superb!

BigTrak keyboard

Pete:

So do you want a go, Carl?

Carl:

Of course, right. OK, so first of all, let's just see how easy it is, if I get this. Clear memory, CM. Then I want to programme it, so I want it to go two paces forwards ...

Pete:

So forward.

Carl:

Forwards, and then two paces, and then I want it to turn right for 15, let's try that, and then I want it to go forwards for two paces, and then I want it to turn left, 15, and then I want it to go forwards another pace, then I want it to go backwards for three. OK, let's try that then.

Pete:

Go for it - so press go.

(various beeps, whirring noises etc)

Carl:

See? - I made it avoid everything in the studio, apart from the walls.

Pete:

Yeah, nicely done. Oh, it's got a little dent in it already. So there you go, we'd like to thank our good friend Ian for supplying this lovely bit of kit for us to play with - thank you so much, it's so good to see one of these again. If you see there - there's a little hole there, see that?

Carl:

Yeah - what do you put in that? - is that for the tow truck?

Pete:

Yeah, it used to have a pick up thing that used to go along with it, so you could put a bag of sand in it and get it round the room or send the remote control off. This one doesn't have a little picky uppy truck.

(truck hoots)

Carl:

Sorry - I think someone's hooting at you?

Pete:

No, it doesn't have the lifty trucky thing, which is really odd. They haven't released one, for some reason. What they are going to do is release some accessories for this though, and you see here, there's a little button here, out, which doesn't do anything yet, but when you plug in a certain accessory, it will be able to include that as well, and the accessories are going to be brilliant. There's two that they've already announced - any guesses?

Carl:

A bucket?

Pete:

Why would you want a bucket on it?

Carl:

I don't know - I used to have a trailer with a scoopy bucket thing.

Pete:

No - think a bit more high tech.

Carl:

An iPod.

Pete:

A webcam.

Carl:

Oh no - no, definitely, I'm keeping this one. Definitely, that's mine - thanks, and get me the camera, yeah?

Pete:

And, I must admit, when I actually got this, Ian very kindly dropped this off at my house, and I dismantled it, got it out of the box, and scared the life out of the cat with it. Cats do not like this thing, especially if you programme it to go where the cat's eating. But what's really going to upset the FrequencyCast cat is the other accessory.

Big Trak annoys Frequency Cat

Carl:

Oh yeah - what's that?

Pete:

Missile launcher.

Carl:

Superb! - getting one, how much?

Pete:

A big one, £35, and the Big Trak Junior, £30, but what I would say is, have a look at our show notes, because if all goes to plan, we're going to have a nice little discount for our FrequencyCast listeners - perfect for Christmas.

Carl:

Awesome!

(truck beeps and whistles)

Bigtrak Rocket Launcher
Bigtrak Rocket Launcher and Coke Can Carrier, now available from I Want One of Those.com

Availability:

HOT: Looking for a cheap new BigTrak Jr? Take a look at Ian's BigTrak eBay Shop

The Big Trak Jr is also available from:

 

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