Recommend a good R/C car for a 6 year old.

My boy’s bday is coming and my mom wants to give him an R/C car. We have gone through several already. He is a very good driver but the area where he normally plays is rough on the cars. Sooner or later, something comes loose inside and it stops working without visible damage. I have managed to fix some, but my electric skills and tools are very limited.

I would need a car that is really tough. Shock and waterproof are a must. It must run on a rough road and grass. I don’t need a huge range or battery life (if the batteries are rechargeable).

She hasn’t mentioned a price limit but most links she has sent are around $60.

I have seen reviews by the boatload on all sites. I would like to hear from someone who has some experience with several models and can tell me what to look for on product descriptions.

Thanks in advance.

R/C hobbyist here. For 60 bucks, it aint gonna happen. That is ‘toy level’.

You need to step up to ‘hobby grade’. At hobby grade, you get enough power to run on grass, and a design that allows you to fix it, buy spare parts and even hop it up. You are now over 150 bucks, but need 20-30 in constant reserve for parts, etc.

A hobby like R/C teaches kids great skills, responsibility and budget management. Just go ‘hobby grade’… like Kyosho, HPI, and numerous others.

Visit towerhobbies.com or horizonhobby.com for products. These are the two big distributors who own or have exclusive rights to products.

Visit rcuinverse.com and become a member and get more help from the nicest people you will ever meet. This is THE R/C community to belong to.

PM me if you are confused.

What Philster said.

The Tamiya Grasshopper (just as an example) is a car that’s been around for at least 20 years. Its a kit, and a 6 year old might need some help assembling it, but you can expect many years of fun with it. Every part of the car can be replaced/upgraded, and because he built it himself, he will know how to fix anything that might break.
It’s a slightly larger, but in the long run, much better investment.

I was thinking of “toy level”. Moving up to hobby level might be just the move, though. I know this will develop into a long term hobby for him. He just loves the stuff. But isn’t 6 years old a bit too young for that? I am ok with being in charge of assembly to lower the difficulty level for him. I already do that for other things.

Will look into those sites and consider the option. Bear in mind, though, that this is my mom buying this. I can’t just tell her to spend twice what she was thinking. Might have to chip in myself.

Tweak your expectations a bit. Toy-grade cars show ads with them running on grass, but they really can’t do it. Toy-grade cars break, and there are no replacement parts (that are practical to get and use).

Remote Controlled toys are one of the most disposable, underused toys on the market. They make for great ads and marketing, but they can only be used on nice surfaces, and don’t allow for repairs and adjustments (generally speaking).

This looks cool, has all the features, the price you want, but will be a dud if it takes a bad blow. It’ll be in the heap of broken toys with modest use.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&source=hp&q=remote+controlled+trucks&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=14266165767177209955&ei=b1F8S-HsGNPdlAfw3tmfBQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCoQ8wIwAw#ps-sellers

So, what are the best entry level RC cars now?

The OP is really looking for informed opinions, so let’s move this from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, Moderator, GQ

Yeah, I hesitated about where to open. Thanks.

Follow up. After some posting at rcuniverse, which is one great site with a healthy and helpful community, I decided to get a Traxxas Stampede from towerhobbies. I cannot wait for his bday to come (and then for him to go to school so I can play with it).

I decided on the Stampede because it is apparently indestructible, it has a training mode with 50% power, which sounds great for the kid, and then a long upgrade path for the future, if he likes it as a serious hobby.

Thanks for the pointers.