When the rumor that Traxxas was getting into the radio control helicopter game hit the ‘Net, I, like most people, was enthused and excited. Traxxas is known for high quality radio control goods; with them getting into R/C helicopters, it would mean that the incumbents would face some stiff competition. And since competition is ultimately a good thing for consumers, the news was welcome.
That utopian future did not come to pass.
When we got our first four QR-1 quadcopters in a couple of weeks ago, we were met with product failures. Two of the helicopters did not work at all, right out of the box. The third sold to a customer that night, and was returned the next day due to a defective motor. We exchanged it with the final of the four helicopters. That helicopter was returned the following day as well, for the same reason.
If you’re counting, that’s four defective out of four total.
We received another four helicopters early the next week. Of those helicopters, two more were defective - both had at least one bad motor. The other two were sold as Christmas gifts, so it remains to be seen if they are alright or not.
That brings the total to six out of eight helicopters defective.
I know that’s probably not enough to make a scientific conclusion. But I’m not interested in science; we have a business to run and customers to keep happy. And it's not just us: BigSquidRC recently reviewed the QR-1, and they reported that all three of their demo units had issues.
We have recently started carrying the Helimax 1SQ quadcopter (pictured to the left), and have had much better luck with that heli, having none of the more than twenty we sold returned due to a defect.
It’s obvious to anyone in the know that these helicopters Traxxas is selling are not, in fact, made by the standard Traxxas manufacturers in Taiwan. These helicopters are made in China, and Traxxas is simply putting their branding on them. Proof of this is located here, where a company called “Husban” is selling the exact same helicopter.
Thus one would assume these helicopter are not subject to the same quality control processes as Traxxas’ other vehicles. From our experience, they aren’t up to Traxxas’ usual standards.
At this point, we have cancelled our backorder for the Traxxas DR-1 coaxial helicopter, and won’t be re-stocking the QR-1. We’re quite happy selling the Blade helicopters, and for micro-quadcopters, the Helimax 1SQ is pretty awesome. If you’d like a Traxxas helicopter, we’ll be happy to order one for you, but don’t expect to see them on the shelf.