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Choosing RC Toys

Electric radio controlled toys are normally powered by motors with rechargeable batteries and are guided by the operator via a transmitter. Toys are available in a wide variety of styles and different price points, from entry level vehicles for beginners or smaller children all the way up to very fast, high performance radio controlled vehicles for more skilled hobbyists. 

Radio controlled boats:

Most toy boats can be controlled from up to 300 ft away, which allows plenty of room for exciting adventures or friendly races at the waterfront. Some boats can exceed 40 mph in speed, while others may go 5-10 mph. Ready-to-run electric boats are packaged with a transmitter, batteries for the transmitter and motor, plus an AC charger. A display stand is frequently included addition to the craft itself.  

Before buying a boat, you'll want to think about what design style and size would suit you best. Some people want realistic scale versions of offshore racing boats or models of naval vessels such as battleships and destroyers. Others prefer to enjoy their afternoon at a more leisurely pace with a sailboat or to lose themselves in fantasy imagining being on the high seas at the helm of a pirate ship. Electric radio controlled boats are available in many configurations to suit anyone's desires!

The majority of radio controlled boats can operate for approximately 20 minutes on a single battery charge, but the duration can vary. This is another thing to consider when looking at radio control toys. Flying toys like helicopters are also exciting, but most cheaper radio controlled helicopters have a short run time before they need to be recharged. If you are choosing among the least expensive toys, you might prefer an electric boat or tank over either a helicopter or plane for this reason.

Radio controlled helicopters:

Like boats, radio controlled helicopters are available in a variety of sizes, configurations and price points. RC helicopters can usually be controlled from a distance of 100 ft (approximately 30 m) or more. The smallest helicopters can fit in your hand, while larger ones are a few feet or more long. The tiniest mini-sized helos are wonderful for indoor flying, but can only be used outdoors in light wind conditions.

Helicopter models vary greatly in their speed and maneuverability. Helis with more flexible and powerful control systems are quite fast and can even be used for aerobatic flying, but these are also much more challenging to handle for beginners and are more expensive to purchase. A quick way to judge whether a radio controlled helicopter is suitable for novice, intermediate, or advanced level R/C enthusiasts is to look at the type of controller provided with it. There are 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-channel controllers. As you might expect, more channels means more knobs to adjust. The biggest difference between the entry level and advanced helicopters is that the entry level models have fixed pitch rotors while the most elaborate helis allow variable pitch. Some tiny size rc helis come with just 2CH controls. The mini-size radio controlled helicopters that RCTO offers feature a 3CH system. We recommend 3CH or perhaps 4CH coaxial rotor helicopters for novice helicopter pilots of any age who want to get flying quickly and offer suitable models for less than $50 (US dollars). Tandem helicopters designs, such as models of the US Army CH-47 Chinook, are especially nice helicopters for beginners who want to fly quickly and have some fun. We advise 6CH collective pitch models for intermediate to expert pilots and suggest that R/C pilots not attempt to fly 6CH models until they have gained some experience flying a 4CH model, although this can be done by people who want to invest sufficient simulator and practice time to learning how to maneuver the helicopters without crashing them.

Simpler 2- and 3CH radio controlled helicopters do still require some patience to learn how to fly and hover. For this reason, some smaller children might be better off receiving toy boats or trucks as presents rather than helicopters. Flight time is another consideration. The cheapest models of radio controlled helicopters may only fly for 5-8 minutes per battery charge.

Radio controlled tanks:

Radio controlled tanks can be great toys for all ages. The Challenger Amphibious Tank and the Infrared Tank are suitable for younger children (or adults!), while the Airsoft battle tanks are not. Infrared Tanks fire infrared "weapons" that can be detected by targeted tanks. Tanks that record a hit can make noise and shake. Our product area includes a video demonstration of this. All models with "Airsoft" in the product name will fire standard Airsoft pellets through their main gun, which is why they are not recommended for unsupervised use by small children. Some models include smoke or sound effects as well.