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Hobby Remote Control Toys Buying Guide

Apr 11, 2008
If you have kids or you know someone else who does, you have probably faced with the daunting task of selecting a toy to buy. It is often difficult to decide what toys are interesting and appropriate for young children. Remote control toys, however, are a tried-and-true choice for kids of all ages and even for adults. This guide will help you choose the right remote control toy for your family and friends.

What is the difference between toy-grade and hobby-grade remote control (RC) toys?

Toy-grade RC toys and hobby-grade RC toys are designed for children of different age groups. Toy-grade toys are designed with kids in mind and cost less. Hobby-grade toys are comparatively more expensive and require skill to operate. Some of these toys are better handled by adult enthusiasts. Replacements and upgrades are not offered for toy-grade models but are available for hobby-grade toys.

What are the different RC toys available?

Remote control toys come in many shapes and sizes. Radio controlled toys are often grouped under RC toys as well. These toys are either Ready to Run (RTR) or Ready to Fly, straight out of the box. Both these models are perfect for kids with a bit of technical knowledge and interest.

Cars and Trucks:

These are the most basic RC toys available. A large majority of hobbyists start off buying RTR models and then move on to purchasing more advanced models. If your kid just can/'t get enough of trucks, choose a nitro, monster, mini or and electric model.

Off-Road Vehicles:

Off-road carriages and giant trucks are also common starter RC toys. They have big, knobby tires and can run on dirt roads and up steep inclines. Many of these trucks and carriages have 4-wheel drive. Their speeds range from 16 km/h to 40 km/h.

On-Road Vehicles:

Crafted for tracks and pavements, on-road cars are comparatively faster and more efficient. Some of the fastest models available have speeds of up to 80 km/h. These toys are approximately 45 cm in length. A few on-road models have 4-wheel drive as well.

Air and Sea Toys:

RC toy airplanes, helicopters, boats, hovercrafts and rockets are also available and can be upgraded over time.

Electric and Gas Toys:

Some RC vehicles run on rechargeable batteries, whereas others are powered by gas. Electric cars make less noise, so they can be used indoors. Sadly, their performance does not compare to nitro cars. RC nitro cars get their name from the fuel they run on, namely nitro methane. This fuel increases both their power and speed. RC nitro cars are great for all those racers who are looking for the fastest RC vehicle on the market. However, they are harder to maintain than electric cars.

What factors should be considered when buying a RC toy?

Remote control toys can get expensive, so unless your kid is already interested, stick to basic toy cars or electric trucks. It is also very important that the remote control toy is easy for your children to use. Opt for RC toys with simple controllers if your kid is still quite young.

Standby and Charge Time:

Check standby and charge times. Keep in mind that a short-run time will lead to more charging. Children may lose interest in toys that must be charged frequently.


Durability is another vital factor of RC toys. Toys with heavy-duty tires and bodies are long-lasting. In general, trucks and cars are more durable than airplanes.


Do your kids take their toys with them, wherever they go? Then select small, more portable toys. Big toys will most likely go unused if your children cannot carry them around. RC toys in small sizes are easy to store, fit easily into hands of your child and can be taken along on long drives and vacations. If you live in a small apartment without a nearby park or playground, it is also better to opt for small RC toys. For indoor play, robots and hovercrafts are ideal.

However, bigger toys with few small parts are better for homes with kids of many ages. You should keep in mind that RC toys are not made for toddlers and babies. Remote control toys, especially ones with small tires, can be a choking hazard for very young kids.


Kids tend to prefer toys with ringing bells, whistles, flashing lights and engine sounds. There are also many RC toys modeled after popular characters like Spider-man, Batman and the Transformers.


Do your kids love to go head-to-head in battle? Then buy remote control toys toys with different frequencies. Toy-grade RC models run on a 27 or 49 MHz frequency. Frequency details can be found on the box or online under the toy/'s specifications. RC toys with quadfrequency settings allow up to four children to play together at one time.
About the Author
Bob Shanty has been researching and writing articles that help shoppers make more
educated buying decisions on for remote control toys for online shopping
mega store BIGshop for years. For more articles by Bob please visit http://www.bigshop.com.au.
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