Review: Team Associated RC28T

Review: Team Associated RC28T

As retro-styled, small-scale R/C vehicles go, there aren’t many to choose from. In fact, I’d say Team Associated has the market cornered with their two 1/28-scale models, the RC28T stadium truck and RC28 buggy. It’s this blend of old-school style and small-scale stature that forced me to add yet another R/C vehicle to my fleet.

While the RC28T stadium truck looks great, I’ve found the performance to not quite live up the hype that I’d built up around it. That said, it’s a fun radio-controlled truck, expertly designed for busting boredom and bringing R/C fun indoors.

Team Associated RC28T - Side

What’s Included:

  • 1 Team Associated RC28T Stadium Truck
  • 1 Trigger-style transmitter/controller
  • 1 Instruction manual
  • 1 Decal sheet

Unboxing the Team Associated RC28T Micro Stadium Truck:

The Body

The number one element that sold me on this truck was the body. After seeing the first product photos of this 1/28-scale truck, I was hooked. While I’ve never owned a 1/10-scale RC10T, the idea of having a miniature version of this iconic radio-controlled racer was too great to ignore.

When you strip away the decals and visual flair, there really isn’t much to the body that sits atop Team Associated’s established 1/28 chassis. That said the recreation of the 1990’s RC10T are what make this vehicle so appealing, not only when driving it, but when it’s charging on your shelf.

Team Associated RC28T - Rear Side

The Chassis, Wheels, and Tires

Typically, I’d cover these three items separately, however, this tiny truck ties those elements together in a way that’s hard to separate them. The chassis, while not much to look at, does a solid job when it comes to handling. Whether cornering or blasting over jumps, this little truck takes whatever you can throw at it…within reason.

The front wheels lack any active suspension, so you don’t want to drive the RC28T off a table too many times. That said, the impact resistance is very impressive, especially for a vehicle of this size. Active suspension can be found at the rear of the RC28T, thanks to dual, spring-equipped shocks. Although the setup may be minimal, it does a solid job of absorbing impacts.

The tires on the RC28T feature a knobby tread pattern, which makes them grip carpet incredibly well. Sharp turning often results in the vehicle flipping over rather than sliding, so if you have dreams of drifting in your living room, save those for another model.

Team Associated RC28T - Side Top

On smooth surfaces, this truck can slide and at times, struggles for traction. The rubber compound of the tires is around a “medium” level. The tires don’t feel tacky when you touch them, but they are able to be squeezed when pressure is applied. Honestly, I feel that they’re their just right for a vehicle of this size and weight.

The Motor

If I had one complaint about this truck, it would be the takeoff performance. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by other small-scale models, but I find the torque and initial power of the RC28T to be lacking. As I write this, I have to take a step back and state that the motor is a brushed, micro-sized power plant, so I am not expecting the same level of performance that you’d find with a Carisma GT24 series vehicle. That said, I feel that there could be increased “up-front performance” from this machine.

Team Associated RC28T Controller - Side

The Controller

Small-scale R/C car and truck controllers can be hit or miss, depending on what brand you purchase. There are some which provide you with a full-size controller that would be found on a 1/10-scale or larger model. Still, there are others that carry the small-scale theme through every aspect of the vehicle, including the controller.

Team Associated has bundled a controller with their RC28T that’s not too small, but not quite “full-size”. Although this controller is smaller than most, it feels nice when holding it, and driving it. There are instances where the fit and finish feel a bit low, however, the controller does a solid job of holding while mashing the throttle and working the steering wheel.

Team Associated RC28T - Front

Hitting the Road (or Carpet) with the RC28T

My first real test of the Team Associated RC28T came during a weekend getaway with my family. A two-day stay in a hotel seemed like a great time to test out this little truck, not only to see how it performed but also how it traveled.

My “R/C bag” was overkill when it came to transporting the tiny truck from our house to the hotel, further showcasing the small size of this machine. Shortly after we were checked-in, the RC28T was out of the bag and blasting across the floor of our room. The layout of the room featured tile and carpeting, so I was able to test out performance and handling on two very different surfaces.

Tile, as you might expect, was perfect for drifting, sliding, and simply “messing around”. When the tires did gain traction, it was best to keep the truck in a straight line, otherwise, things would get out of shape quickly.

The carpet of the hotel room floor was, as you might expect, well worn. There were a few visual imperfections (loose threads, gaps in fabric) which provided for some interesting obstacles to avoid, and the RC28T took them all on like a pro.

I, along with my test drivers, set up a small ramp and enjoyed jumping this truck over and over again, trying to get it to land on its wheels more than its lid. While not too technical in the approach, it did take some finesse behind the wheel to ensure things played out “just right”. A little bit of luck helped too.

Team Associated RC28T - Front Top

Charging Time

We ran the RC28T until the battery was empty, giving us an opportunity to re-charge and prepare for another round of fun. The charging time isn’t the best, however, you are charging this vehicle from the batteries in the controller. While I didn’t time the process, I’d estimate that it took 45 – 50 minutes for a complete charge.

Is the Team Associated RC28T the right small-scale R/C truck for you?

While the RC28T is a fun machine, I wouldn’t qualify it as a primary vehicle for your radio-controlled lineup. However, if you’re looking for a compact, fun, retro-styled machine to help you abolish boredom, this truck is well worth the price (under $50 at most online and local hobby shops).

Where to purchase the Team Associated RC28T Stadium Truck: