1989 (part 4/4) - Traxxas floats! The Villain IV
The final part of my four part series on 1989 Traxxas vehicles covers Traxxas' first effort in the RC boat marketplace. The Villain IV is a very cool example of what Traxxas can do on a first effort. This was their first attempt at a boat (at least that was brought to market) and was released in both RTR and kit form. It was powered by dual Stinger 20-turn motors to which juice was delivered by a BXL-1 (presumably this is the "B"oat version of the XL-1 ESC Traxxas had already designed) electronic speed controller. Air cooling (with motor heatsinks) was the standard option, but a water cooling kit could optionally be installed. Steering was accomplished by a single servo which moved both props. In RTR form, the Villain utilized the standard Traxxas 2-channel dual stick controller which was also available on the GTP, Tomcat and Bullet. Overall this is a high quality kit with very few design flaws. I love how detailed this kit was, as Traxxas has never been known for it's scale detail (with the possible exception of some of the new sponsored Rally car releases). It has a very sleek design and the inclusion of glue-on bars and a separate (taped on) windshield make this a very impressive kit both in the water and on the shelf. The hull itself is a little bit brittle, which may be a contributing factor to the lack of availability today. Many of them may have been damaged early in their life and eventually thrown away. As for the performance, it handled quite well when compared to the boats of that era. It wasn't revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but the Villain IV was a very nice addition to the Traxxas lineup and still holds up well on the display shelves. Granted, it won't perform like modern boats, but that is to be expected.
My particular Villain IV is the kit version. It was purchased partially assembled in the box. I finished a bulk of the assembly but still have not applied any graphics. All of the electronics work and the boat has never been put in the water. It's in mint condition and the box is above average for it's age. Enjoy the pictures and as always- feel free to correct any misinformation found here or add anything I've left out to the comments section.