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Dan Lambskin

Remote Control Car Guys

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Anyone into this hobby?

my soon to be 8 year old is asking for one for his birthday and I’m looking for something in between a cheap $20 POS you’d find at Wal-Mart and a full blown hobby car that’s gonna set me back half a rack.  something in the $50-$100 range that would be a good enough starter car to keep him interested but not piss me off if he loses interest after a week

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I would look at the entry level Traxxas trucks.  These are high-end entry level, very cool trucks.  Cool enough for an adult to drive if/when he loses interest 😉

Stampede is more of a monster truck that will do well on any surface/terrain.  https://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/base-stampede-36054-4

Rustler and Slash are nice on pavement/dirt/gravel:

https://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/rustler-standard

https://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/58024slash

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ECX Amp which is ready to run around $140 and you can find in a hobby store.  We have a few and my kids were around 10 at the time.

They even have a version that you can semi make yourself which I did with my older son.  Which was fun to do together.

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6 hours ago, Dan Lambskin said:

Anyone into this hobby?

my soon to be 8 year old is asking for one for his birthday and I’m looking for something in between a cheap $20 POS you’d find at Wal-Mart and a full blown hobby car that’s gonna set me back half a rack.  something in the $50-$100 range that would be a good enough starter car to keep him interested but not piss me off if he loses interest after a week

The Traxxas are great, but quite a bit above your price range given. I don't know a lot about the ECXs, but those seem above your budget given as well. And if it's for an 8 year old, I think those are all overkill IMO.

Amazon is littered with RC cars in your price range. They're pretty much all from China. I bought one for my dad a couple of years ago and it has been great for just taking it out and playing with the grandkids. Here are my thoughts:

1) The Chinese RC cars on Amazon will outperform junk from Walmart, etc by a ton. They really will zip around at around 30 mph which will amaze you.

2) The quality won't be nearly as high as a Traxxas or other more serious RC car.

3) The Chinese Amazon cars are all fairly similar. The biggest differentiator is usually initial QA/QC of the cars and customer service from the company selling the cars. Look for a bunch of good, legit seeming, reviews and reviews that mention that the company replaced broken parts easily.

4) Have him drive it in a large open area, especially to start. Driving a car that runs that fast can be a bit tricky, especially at first. And if you hit a wall, pole, tree, etc at 30 mph, you WILL break something on it.

I don't have any familiarity with this specific company or car, but the reviews seem pretty good, the company seems to be responsive and the price is really good.

If you get him something in this range and he loves it, you can always move on to something like a Traxxas in the $170-200 range later. If he loves it for a week and is done, at least you're only out $50 instead of 3-4 times that much.

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Thanks guys.  I may look at putting it off until Xmas and go for the better car, but then that’s like 3 months he cant use it 

will check into the amazon ones as well, a lot of the 5* reviews seemed less than genuine to me and the 1* were pretty scathing, but for $50 it’s probably worth the risk

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i have a traxxas slash..  thought I wanted to get into this hobby.

But then there is maintenance and stuff on these cars..  tires need changed..  i've had to do the shocks and springs.. and well...  I didn't want to get into something where i had to fix stuff up.

I have fun with the car from time to time, but I kind of wish I had a $50 model that when it didn't work well anymore than I could just throw away and buy another one.. rather than throw money and time into repairs on  a $300 model.

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I bought my kids an RC18mt about 10 years ago. They are a smaller scale awd trucks. I see they have discontinued this model, but there is probably something similar out there. The kit came ready to run and was around $125 new. You can run these in the house when you can't get to a track.

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I have a 7 year old who has already gone though 2 of the $50-ish chinesed ones: little dude just crashes them into EVERYTHING. I was able to hobble them together into one working, but limited, car... he did lose interest in it fairly quickly once broken.  I am kinda hoping he gets into it a bit again because I always wanted a real good one when I was younger :oldunsure:

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If you're just starting out I would humbly make a couple of suggestions :

1.) I would start off with one of the $50.00 trucks as suggested and just see where he goes with it.  I think like a lot of kids, he'll either really be into it or it will fade fast.  And, either way, you won't have a lot tied up into it, he can learn on it, have fun with it and if he wrecks it beyond repair, it's $50.00.  If he loses interest, it's $50.00 and if he wants to go forward more with it, then this is a good way to start.

2.) Years ago, I bought a really nice set up from a co-worker.  I was talking to him about it and he said "I have a really nice set up if you're interested."  It was a carbon/aluminum 4wd touring car frame, a remote, 3 bodies, extra batteries and a bunch of spare parts for $150.00.  I ended up buying a then newer style remote and my son and I played with that car for a number of years until he lost interest.  I have no idea what we did with it but I had maybe $250 in total into it.  

3.) The local hobby shop was great, it's just a couple of miles from my house, they buy and sell trade in equipment there as well as new equipment and parts, the staff was really friendly and helpful, they had some nice indoor and outdoor tracks plus racing events, workbenches to work on your cars/trucks, etc. 

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When I got out of the hobby about 20-25 years ago, gas powered RC was starting to take off.  I preferred the battery pack ones because they were so easy to charge and get going.  

I see that Kyosho is still around....maybe something like THIS?

It's above your $50 to $100 range but will most likely be faster and more fun than something in the lower range.

Maybe go into a hobby shop and see if they something used?

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I don't think I would give an 8 year old something that goes 30 MPH unless
it would be restricted to use in an enclosed space with no chance of him
running it into somebody or a pet.

We're talking about something that weighs about 3 and a half pounds
going that fast. He will break something, either parts on the car or
something else.

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