A little bit rock and roll: Reviewing the ECX BeatBox 1/36 Monster Truck

A little bit rock and roll: Reviewing the ECX BeatBox 1/36 Monster Truck
If you read through the near novel-length review of the ECX KickFlip, I thank you. I’ll also give you a bit of a spoiler by saying that this review won’t be nearly as long, but there are some defining differences between the tiny KickFlip buggy and it’s sibling, the BeatBox Monster Truck.
In all honesty, I hadn’t planned on purchasing the BeatBox but the amount of fun that I was experiencing with the KickFlip, coupled with some “rumblings” that the two vehicles drive differently, piqued my interest enough to pull the trigger on a second small-scaler.  The fact that I was able to get a little bit of a discount on the BeatBox didn’t hurt either, but for less than $40, I would have gladly paid full-price for another one of these mini-mites.
ECX BeatBox

The nitty-gritty.

  • Make – ECX
  • Model – BeatBox
  • Scale – 1/36
  • Body type – Monster Truck
  • Electric or nitro – Electric
  • Motor type – brushed
  • Price (as tested) – $30.99 (sale price, regularly $34.99)

A mini monster (truck).

At first glance, the BeatBox looks like your typical R/C Monster Truck, only shrunk down to the size of a child’s toy.  While the size may be deceiving, the capabilities of this machine are easy to see as soon as you take it for a spin.  Using the same chassis as the KickFlip, the BeatBox is nimble enough to swerve around obstacles and maneuver through a maze of random debris (toys) without with relative ease.

While steering is nimble, this is where the differences in driving style and ability, as compared to the KickFlip, started to appear.  The chassis of both vehicles is the same, so the only real difference between two is the Lexan body shell and the front tires/wheels, specifically their width. The BeatBox corners well, but tends to “chatter” the front wheels and struggle for grip (on berber carpet) where the KickFlip’s turns were, for the most part, crisp and attentive.
Not that performance is one of the overall focal points for these vehicles, but this will catch you by surprise if you’re expecting handling that’s a little more…crisp.  Turning aside, the BeatBox is a little rocket. A little, fun, awesome, jumping, crazy, fun, rocket. Yep.

Controlling the beast.

A plesant surprise for me was finding that the steering on the BeatBox was set up “correctly”.  As mentioned in my KickFlip review, the steering controls appeared to be set in the reverse order from what I’m accustomed to.  No worries, as I had grown to adapt to that setup, but it still throws me for a loop from time to time. But enough about the past, let’s talk about the here and now.
 ECX BeatBox
Turning the BeatBox steering knob forward turns the wheels to the right, and backward turns them to the left. Hoo. Ray. With that pattern set, I quickly got down to ripping around my basement and jumping some ramps.  It was glorious fun, all for under $40.
While I have focused on the steering setup, I did reach out to ECX for clarification on these controls and will post an update as soon as I hear from them.

The verdict:

The good.
  • Easy on your wallet. Under $40 and crazy-fun to drive.
  • Fast charging time will get you rolling in no-time.
  • Pure fun. Simple as that, this machine is meant for a great time.
The not-so-good.
  • Steering performance is a bit “pushy” but that doesn’t hurt the level of joy you’ll get out of driving it.
  • Foam tires and more power than this machine knows what to do with aren’t the best combination when you’re on a slick surface like a wood floor.
ECX BeatBox

The bottom line.

Get one, two, three, as many of them as you want. You’ll have fun and will get to enjoy the hobby in any location. I really can’t say more than that.

View our BeatBox Photo Gallery

Where you can find (and buy) the ECX KickFlip and BeatBox