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on December 26, 2009
My 4 year-old son just received the Morphibian Rover for Christmas, and so far he and I have had a ton of fun playing with it. The "tank drive" mechanism means that the two joysticks on the remote drive the left and right wheels respectively, which in a way is more intuitive than the usual forward/back and left/right sticks you find on other cars. He's getting pretty good at it, although the turning can be baffling when the the car is heading toward you rather than away.

Right off the bat I noticed two things:
1) The car takes AA batteries, but the remote takes AAA. Odd, but not really a problem. The car, being amphibious, hides the battery compartment under two covers, with a rubber seal on the inside one and (cleverly) only two screws to undo. So far battery life has been good, but with the amount of use we've given it in only two days I keep expecting them to conk.

2) The drive mechanism has a stutter to it. Perhaps this is only our car, or weak batteries, but it's annoying - the car lunges forward in an uneven motion. It only really smooths out when going backwards for a few seconds.

After using it on both land and water (sink and bathtub), I noticed one other thing that keeps me from rating it too highly. While you can drive both left and right sides in the *same* direction simultaneously, it's not designed to drive them in the *opposite* direction at the same time. Which means that there's no rapid pivoting in place to turn, but instead a fairly wide turning radius while one side drives forward or backwards. I'm sure they did this to avoid wear and tear on the motors, but it's unfortunate - spinning in place is one of the great advantages of tank drive. I should know, I teach high school robotics and we design bots to do this all the time - very maneuverable.

The car's durability has been good - it survived a fall from countertop to tile floor tonight with no ill effects. Maneuverability on land is very good, in water less so, though it scoots pretty well in the forward direction due to the clever wheel treads. Lots of water gets into the housing though, and for a long time afterward it's still dripping out. I wouldn't submerge it for very long either, although I would hope the motors are as well-sealed as the battery compartment.

We haven't tested the outdoors range, it being very wintry outside at the moment, but indoors it seems fine. You don't expect a ton of range on a car this inexpensive anyhow. The remote is basic but good enough, although it has no off switch so it shouldn't be stored in a toy bin where the joysticks can be activated, draining the batteries.

Overall, I rate this as a very good RC car for small children - the amphibious feature makes it a great choice for summer play especially, in pools or deep puddles or perhaps weed-free ponds. I'd be interested to see how the bigger, more powerful models do in water.
22 comments47 of 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2009
My daughter likes to push buttons, still at age 6. This remote controlled car is very durable and offers a great opportunity to push buttons. We haven't tried it in water yet, but plan to soon. It took her a short while to figure out how to control the car. Inserting the battery in the car was a bit of challenge because the screw is so deep in the back of the car it required a long thin handle screwdriver to lossen the screw.
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on February 18, 2014
I bought two of these (the orange Explorer and the green Rover) for my 2 year old and 4 year old. The cars aren't too fast, so I'm not worried about them hurting themselves too much (or my ankles). And even my 2 year has gotten the hang of the controller pretty quickly (two sticks, which independently control the left and right sides) and can hold it comfortably. The cars so far (2 months post Xmas) are still working and seem fairly durable, although my 2 year old likes to pick up the cars by the antennas.

The cars will run on carpet or a hard surface. And they can drive over small bumps and objects pretty easily. The range is pretty small however, no more than 5-10 feet. But I don't mind since it's harder for them to lose the car and it makes them run after the car (some exercise at least).

They require 3 AA for the car and a AAA for the remote. Be sure to turn off the car or the batteries will drain.

The one thing to be aware of is that some models use the same frequency. So in order for both kids to play with two separate cars I ordered two with different remote frequencies.

From the Kid Galaxy website:
Whale 27 Mhz
Gator 27
Rover 27

Shark 49 Mhz
Explorer 49
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on October 11, 2009
I bought this during Christmas 08 and it was lying in my room for a long time. I presented this to my nephew during this summer and he spent a whole month with it. I would call this very durable with the hard outer shell and it is very likely that most kids would not break this for about 6 months.

We had a lot of fun playing with this toy all over the place and also in the bath and this toy is really DURABLE and is a lot of fun to play with.

At the end of the month, we tried it in the beach and obviously the big toy broke.

The battery life is quite average, since this toy is very BIG and is not suited for small kids.

You may want to pick up something smaller (its called a shark) for smaller boys [4-5 years] -
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on August 7, 2010
I purchased this RC car for my two-year-old as a replacement for a Tonka RC car. The Tonka was more expensive but seemed indestructable. After ceasing to work for apparently no reason, my theory was proven incorrect.

I thought this car would be a perfect replacement. Amazon has the best price I've found. Locally, they are $[...]!!!

Well, my main gripe is that the description states that the vehicle has working headlights. It doesn't -- it has stickers for headlights. The "Land Shark" and the "Gator" models do have the working LED headlights. Seems like a small thing, but I returned the toy because of this reason and purchased the Land Shark model instead. I know my son will get a kick out of the headlights...

I can't give a proper review until I receive the "Land Shark" model and see it in action...this is just a warning in case the headlights are a deal breaker...
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on January 30, 2010
This car worked as advertised. It drives around the house, runs into things and just keeps going. I have not tested it in water or rough terrain. This product works fine for children who might be rough with a product. The toy has worked well for several months and I would buy again if I needed a gift or toy for another family member.
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on September 18, 2010
I purchased this for my grandson. He had so much fun with it in and out of the creek. I would recommend this product, but don't forget to get rechargeable batteries!
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on December 26, 2009
be aware that the red Rover DOES NOT have real working headlights, they are stickers. I was very upset when I ordered this as well as the shark for Christmas gifts for boys who play together and one had headlights and the other did not.
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on September 24, 2015
Read about it being not water proof as seen from video. Open up the toy to check the interior. Handheld controller is definitely not water proof. The car itself is made to be water proof with all components sealed in water-tight compartments within the car body, but the seals are non-silicone, mainly hardened cyanoacrylic glue (superglue) that becomes brittle easy and chips or cracks off. Had all these locations (wires coming out of the water-tight cases) re-sealed with silicone sealant. Also added lithium grease to provide additional protection to the moving axles and to keep them water resistant. Coated the circuit board on the hand controller on one side with clear nail polish, partially on the reverse side, and used lithium grease on the controller contacts to keep the electrical connection. Haven't tried it yet as I just received the toy 2 days ago and worked on the waterproofing/resisting only 1 day ago. Will be testing today (2015-09-25). Update again later. This should keep the little buggy going for a much longer time in water. He gets the hang of the controller immediately. At first he was thinking the controls work like those on most RC cars, with one going left-right, and the other going up-down. This controller works like a tank controller.
Update (2015-09-29)
Tested the car in water briefly on 26th Sep for about 10 mins. No issue. Works great. But there is water intake. Had to let the water leak out from the hole where the on/off switch is located. Still working fine when test yesterday (28 Sep). But battery runs flat quite quickly with normal alkaline. Better to run on high mAh rechargeable or stronger long lasting alkaline cells.
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on January 16, 2012
The first unit I received had the "stuttering" movement problem mentioned by other reviewers. Amazon sent a replacement very quickly. The replacement unit had the same problem, only worse. Returned that one also. Ordered the "Gator" Morphibian, thinking maybe it was just the "Rover" model that had the problem. The Gator model has the same problem.
This is really a shame because my kids really love the fact that these toys can go in the water. They are apparently poorly made and/or designed.
By the way, I also bought the "Explorer" model and it has not had any problems. But reading the reviews for that model leads me to think I may have just gotten extremely lucky with that one.
One positive: Amazon's return/replacement process is very easy and responsive (I got to test it out thoroughly).
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