Whether you're looking for an awesome christmas or birthday present, or simply want something for yourself, there's many different remote control toys to choose from. Today we'll be looking at the 5 best ones, which also happen to be the most popular.
With models available from as little as $30, they are the perfect stocking filler, but equally there's much more power hungry models that cost upwards of $500, ready to trash over the local park, or round the lake.
Whether you're into cars, bikes, drones, helicopters, tanks or submarines, there's remote control toys available for you to use.
The Best Remote Control Toys
1. RC Helicopters
Remote control helicopters come in a whole range of models, for beginner and expert flyers. They can be used outdoors and indoors, come in a varying range of speeds, and handling levels. Most models are suitable for ages 8+.
Key features of helicopters include take off and landing, model lights, hovering, technological and protective features which keep the physical integrity of the model safe while flying. Plastic is a commonly used material, and many come assembled - especially if they are for beginners.
Models are usually battery powered and flying time can range from 4 - 8 minutes, depending on the size and battery capacity of the model.
2. RC Drones
Remote-control drones are flying quadropters, fitted with GPS and cameras. Camera quality varies with each model, most are HD. Flight time can vary depending on battery power, most last up to 12 minutes.
Functions include 360 navigation, real time transition, navigation, photography and video recording. Video recordings can be streamed live, and also transfer to video editing technology for later use.
Most models will be able to reach 200 meters away from the remote. Models have return to home and headless settings. Most come pre assembled, usually contained extra blades, adapter chargers, a transmitter with an LCD screen.
Related: Best Underwater Drones
3. RC Boats
Remote control boats come in a wide range of models and performance standards. Their features include being waterproofed, navigation rudders, batter alarms, out of range alarms, general steering and water-cooled systems.
Some even allow boats to go back to an upright position after flipping. Most models are battery operated, and running time ranges from 5 - 20 minutes depending on the batter power.
Speed can range from 20km/h or more, and they can transmit signal to the controller from over 100 metres away. Most models operate in temperatures from 10 - 40 degrees celsius. Brushless models are capable of way more, with speeds of up to 100km/h with the right battery pack. They are appropriate for children 14+.
4. RC Cars
Remote control cars are available in a range of colourful 4WD truck designs. Most models are made of plastic and rubber, with big, rubber wheels. Their features include standard handling, transmitter power, off road racing abilities, rechargeable batteries, shock absorbers and speed ranges.
Most models will be able to reach speeds of up to 36km/h. Controls can still transmit signal roughly 50 - 80 metres away from the control console, and cars can race for up to 20 minutes before needing recharging.
Some models have an inbuilt WiFi and camera setting, allowing for photography and video streaming to screen consoles.
5. RC Tanks
Remote control tanks are a great entertainment activity for children, or adults. Models come in a range of colours, and sizes. Some of their features include, assembly kits, movement and handling ranges, light and sound effects and gun barrel control systems.
Their remote control units usually include a radio control system, and remote control. Most models are battery powered, running and charging time varies.
Ideally, tanks are used in a group setting, some radio technology allows for over 20 tanks to be on the same frequency. Speed and handling varies between models, however forward, reverse, left and right handling is standard.
These are recommended for ages 14 and up, with some models coming with built-in airsoft shooting capabilities, which can propel plastic bb bullets up to 10m. Perfect for sending your enemy running.
How much do RC toys cost?
You'll find a wide range of remote control toys on offer from super cheap such as $50 - $100, up to thousands of dollars. Usually two factors distinguish the difference in price. The first is the size of the toy, which is usually referenced as a scale of the original size of the model. For example a remote control car may be 1/24 scale, which is a very small model. Most commonly, larger models are 1/10 or 1/6 scale but these usually cost upwards of $250-$1000.
Secondly, the type of motor in the RC toy will impact price. Of course there's petrol powered which is expensive, but most are electric, and with that there is two types of motor, brushed and brushless. Nearly all the budget options are going to be brushed engine, which means the device will be fairly slow. Take a model car for example, a brushed motor may push 20-30km/h. A brushless engine, much more expensive, could easily push 100km/h with the right batteries.
When it comes to RC helicopters, tanks and drones it's going to be a brushed motor which will keep your costs down, but performance will be limited. Older children will quickly get bored of brushed motors, so you may need to spend a bit more $ and go for brushless. A brushless powered boat, or car that can hit upwards of 80km/h will be far more entertaining than a brushed version.
However this does bring me to the final point, if you're looking for ease of use, and just putting in some batteries, a brushed version is a much better option. If you want to spend time learning how to look after your RC toys, and are willing to put in work to look after them, brushless is a much better option for your budget.