Lights and sounds! Friction motor! MAXX ACTION! $16 at Target!
This exciting toy features four buttons that turn on lights and make EAR-SPLITTING POLICE SHRIEKS. It survived about three minutes of play before I received a customer brief to make the noise stop. I snipped the wires to the speaker, and the vehicle has been thriving since then.
One of the buttons also activates the friction motor. What is a friction motor? Apparently a friction motor is a real thing, but it uses a flywheel to store energy. This toy doesn't have a friction motor. It has a regular sort of DC motor.
As received, the motor is just barely able to move the vehicle forward under battery power, provided it is driving downhill and the the wind is with it. The product video on Target's website doesn't actually show the driving feature working -- just the vehicle moving in a close-up shot, with voiceover implying that it is driving under its own power. Perhaps it is? Perhaps the house it is filmed in is very tip-tip-tip? Perhaps the off-brand batteries it came with just can't deliver the raw MAXX power it needs?
I figured it couldn't hurt to take a look and see if I could give it a little bit of a boost. Maybe something is just dirty or needs a little lubrication? I opened it up and had a negative voltage running across the board in no time, which fried the microcontroller and left me rebuilding all vehicle functions.