The whole article is great! Will recommend to all buddies of mine to come across it now.
I just got a re-release, and it was simply awesome. I was getting used to my CC01 as an offorad vehicle, but the Lunch Box simply shocked me (in a good way) with those huge spider gears, bounce-omatic dampers, single front suspension arm and hard body. I would have loved to do a custom paint scheme, but I went all out and did the box art. Wheelies are absolutely fun, and that high riding design really teaches you to corner properly. I have a 3rd rear shock on mine, because the torsion springs were very thing, and made the gearbox sound as if it was exploding when pulling a standing start wheelie. I have also lowered the front to get rid of that funky camber. Absolutely fun, Tamiya has really created one of the funnest cars ever made!
You're spot on about the handling of the LBs, but I love them anyway! I have 3 of the buggers. Well, one is my lad's painted in the stock colours, but I have a Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo) version and I'm in the process of making a Rollin Thunder version (the 1:1 monster van which Tamiya's model was inspired by). A couple of little things you can do to the LB for more fun is fit a faster motor: Yes, some nutters out there go brushless and totally out of control, but a Tamiya Sport Tuned motor is good fun without trying to break the van, as is a 23T motor. The TEU101 ESC seems happy enough to run these. Another mod I've done is the "Third Shock Mod" (google is your friend). Those little springs which try and stop the tranny from rattling around and allow some vertical movement, break quite easily IMHO. The third shock (short, oil filled) replaces them and makes wheelies slightly more controlled and longer! I haven't bothered fitting oil filled shock all round as I like the LB for its excited-puppy, bouncing about handling ;)
I remember when i first saw the Lunchbox and was amazed by it! It certainly was unique, a monster truck van! Wow fantastic i thought! I bought one and was fairly dissapointed to find that the chassis was mostly recycled parts from the earlier Mitsubishi Pajero (58044) with the bottom section being extended to house the battery and the gear ratio changed to allow for the bigger wheels and enhanced wheelie potential. There are a few more subtle changes but most of the new stuff was in the body. It's a beautifully moulded van shell with (in my opinion) striking and vibrant decals. The box art colour scheme is hard to improve on and the stance and wheels suit it really well.
So how does it run? Due to the fixed axle design it's off-road ability would be always be hampered, it's pretty fast due to it being quite light and that Hornet/Grasshopper fixed axle and low friction gearbox. It's a tough truck but it was never a contender in an off-road race as the high centre of gravity can cause it to roll easily and over jumps it tends to be a back-end heavy. If you take the Lunchbox too seriously then i think you'll be dissapointed. It's intended to be a fun machine and that what it does very well, bear that in mind and it will deliver what you want. It's bouncy, tough, fast and fun. Look out for the recent re-release too!