Bigtrak vs Bigtrak Jr

First there was Bigtrak, and then 30 years later there was Bigtrak Jr. Now the original Bigtrak is back, having been re-released, but which one should your nostalgic self go for?

Not wanting to miss an opportunity here at Pocket-lint to play, we got both new models in the office to see which one is the best. Read on to find out which one, come Christmas (read this weekend) you should be buying to have some fun in your office, or if you have to, your kids.

SPECS

On paper how do the two models Bigtrak and Bigtrak Jr fare?

Size

When it comes to size, the original Bigtrak is massive, bigger than you'll remember as a child (if you had one) and as far as toys go - pretty big.

On the opposite scale Bigtrak Jr is small. Very small in fact. When we first saw Bigtrak Jr in February its makers Dubreq told us it would be half the size of the original model, in the flesh side-by-side and it looks about a third of the size. Of course that size only really matters if your kids (read you) are going to be playing around the house or looking to take this with you on a trip.

Features

Both models feature the 16 separate commands on the back that allow you to program it to work its way around your living room, garden, bedroom, or office. 

Where Bigtrak Jr differs, is the ability to store your favourite program to be run over and over again. The Bigtrak Jr will also take accessories.

Upgrades and accessories

The original Bigtrak was able to take a trailer so you could carry that all-important apple to your dad. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the trailer is getting a re-release so you'll have to improvise MacGyver style there. As for Bigtrak Jr it will be getting two optional accessories - a webcam and a missile launcher that can be bolted on.

Furthermore Bigtrak Jr comes with six moon craters to navigate around. Bigtrak comes with nothing but stickers to help you spruce up your ride.

Nostalgic value

Bigtrak will bring the frustration, the tears, the smiles and the happiness flooding back, Bigtrak Jr will make you believe getting older has also made you a giant.

It's not until you have to apply the stickers on the original Bigtrak that you realise how much fun being a kid really was. And yes making sure you've got the sticker on just right is terrifying.

Batteries

Get ready to get the credit card out. Bigtrak, the original, takes a whopping three "D" cell batteries - something you'll probably have to go out and specially get.

Bigtak Jr isn't as power hungry, it only takes three AA batteries instead, but expect neither set to actually last that long once you start powering up those blasters, or as with the Bigtrak Jr the webcam accessory or rocket launcher. 

TESTS

It's all well and good determining what the two models have and haven't got, but what about performance? Which one is the fastest, which one is quicker carrying a set load, and which one will freak out your dog the most?

Gravel test

This test saw us put both models against each other to see how well they would perform on gravel across a set course head-to-head.

In reality neither did as well as we had hoped, with thick gravel causing the wheels to spin too much to get any traction. That said original Bigrak - thanks to its larger wheel diameter - fared better.

Winner: Bigtrak

Weight test - bag of sugar on its back

You want to deliver a load of sugar to your mum on the back of your Bigtrak, but will the smaller Bigtrak Jr be up to the job?

Yes it is. Both models fared well in carrying a bag of sugar on their back. Original Bigtrak was the quicker of the two and could carry more down to the sheer size of the back of the unit (as we've already mentioned you can't get the official trailer).

Winner: Tie

Dog-scare-ability test

The original Bigtrak looks mean, while Bigtrak Jr just looks diddy. Both however successfully managed to freak out Pocket-lint's office dog - a brown coloured labrador. 

In a test though, Bigtrak Jr failed in that Boston (that's the dog's name) had no trouble grabbing it in his teeth and hurling it across the room. The original Bigtrak proved a little more difficult to get out of the way. Either way it should be noted that both freaked the dog out.

Winner: Bigtrak

"Apple to my dad race" speed test

The whole point of Bigrak when we were kids was to deliver a can of beer or an apple to your dad who was busy watching the football or the grand prix.

While neither has a dedicated trailer (disastrous we know) you can still program instructions, spending hours getting the course just right. While Bigtrak Jr allows you to store the program and therefore is faster over time, the original Bigtrak is faster when it comes to physically doing a set course from scratch. It's mainly thanks to a larger wheel base allowing it to deliver its payload faster over any terrain. 

Winner: Bigtrak

Overall winner

It has to be the original Bigrak. While Bigtrak Jr has a memory function and the ability to add a webcam (when the accessory becomes available) the larger original Bigtrak is faster, louder, and can cope with a wider variety of terrains better. Oh, and you have to apply your own detailing stickers (very therapeutic).

With thanks to firebox.com who supplied both Bigtrak toys.

Which one are you going to go for?