…is the Fast Traxx from Tyco. This monster from 1992, equipped with two Mabuchi 370 motors and the patented TRAXX, could run over the most rugged terrain, trek through 2″ of snow without shedding speed, and could probably solve the current economic meltdown. It was the coolest remote control car ever….. and I never had it. I dreamed about it. I watched the commercials. I started adding “xx” to the end of my name, and I don’t even have any x’s to begin with.
You want to know how sweet this thing is? This guy is willing to trade his whole movie collection for one. This auction for a neon yellow Fast Traxx ended at $185 – TWICE the original retail price. And look at how awesome the commercial is. Yeah I know, you want one too.
Then came the glorious day when I acquired the means to purchase one. Actually, I had the means to buy a “Half Traxx,” the red-headed stepchild of the Fast Traxx. It wasn’t a full-blown Fast Traxx but what did I care? It had the look, it had the attitude, it had the TRAXX. However, little did I know at the bright age of 9 that “Half” meant looming dissatisfaction and a opaque cover on my euphoria. I will use the Fun Quotient, or FQ, which sort of sounds like “fuck you” if you are in Laos, as a metric to illustrate my feelings at the time as I describe the step-by-step process of my fall from grace.
Starting FQ = 0 (neutral)
- Realize I have enough money from vaccuuming couches and dusting bookcases at home to purchase a Half Traxx. FQ = 10
- Drive to store with Mom; listen to PM Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss on the way. FQ = 22
- Arrive at Target; run to toy section. FQ = 26
- Realize I can’t find remote control car section. Pee pants. FQ = 18
- Get help from pimply teenager; locate remote control cars. FQ = 30
- See Fast Traxx; realize it’s $89.99. Cry. FQ = 12
- See Half Traxx; realize it’s $34.99. Rejoice. FQ = 39 3/8 (I knew fractions already)
- Purchase Half Traxx; rejoice. FQ = 58
- Try to sneak in pack of Gummi Bears. Get denied by Mom. FQ = 56
- Drive home; rip open package. FQ = 64
- Realize the battery needs to be charged before use. Swear. FQ = 59
- Say fuck it and insert battery. Try to run car. It goes nowhere. FQ = 53
- Plug in battery; watch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. FQ = 57
- Put charged battery back in car. Start driving! FQ = 88
- Come to the realization that unlike the regular Fast Traxx, which has separate joysticks for forward/backward and left/right, the Half Traxx only has one joystick. Push it away from you and it goes forward; pull it towards you and it goes backwards and left. You can’t turn the fucking thing if you are going forward, and when you go backwards it always starts a clockwise circle in reverse. Realize that mobility is handicapped. FQ = 22
- Try to emulate commercial and jump Half Traxx off a big man-made jump (piece of wood propped up by my Variflex skateboard). Half Traxx chips left-front fender and left-side TRAXX comes off wheels. FQ = 13
- Say “fuck” about fender and get TRAXX back on wheels. Drive Half Traxx. Hear constant buzzing/clicking noise and gets higher pitched and more frequent the faster the car moves. FQ = 5
- Try to emulate commercial again and run Half Traxx into wall. In the commercial, the Fast Traxx runs up the wall and does a flip. Very cool. Half Traxx runs into wall and breaks. FQ = -16
- Swear, feel blood pressure rise, thrown Half Traxx against ground repeatedly, hit with Little League baseball bat. FQ = -37
- Sit on couch and realize I spent 6 months of savings on a piece of shit imposter that never lived up to expectations. FQ = -162
- Vow to learn lesson and never settle again for anything. Eat bowl of Fruit Loops. FQ = -34
So there you have it… my experience with my Half Traxx. Never again am I getting a lesser grade of anything.
Currently listening to: The Flaming Lips – The Strange Design of Conscience