What child will refuse such a toy as a radio-controlled car? It will easily provide vivid emotions for both children and parents. But such cars come in different sizes and capabilities. So, how to choose a suitable model for your child?
Children love to explore the world, and toys play a significant role in this process. Children like to control toys with simple movements, forcing them to overcome obstacles and overtake other models. At the same time, the child improves his reaction and hand motor skills. In addition, with the help of such cars, children gain initial knowledge about the rules of the road.
Let’s take a closer look at the toy
According to gagadget.com, a kit usually consists of the car itself, a control panel, batteries, a charger and additional parts. The exact composition of the kit depends on the cost of the toy and the manufacturer. The simplest are plastic cars. To increase the strength of the model, metal parts are sometimes used, and for some cars the body is entirely made up of metal. The most expensive cars are made of carbon fiber – it is a very light and durable material.
Cars vary in color and design: many of them are as similar as possible and look like their real prototypes, and some are painted in bright colors, making the toy almost impossible to lose. Transformer cars completely change their appearance at the touch of a button, turning from a car to a robot and vice versa.
Radio controlled cars are equipped with various additional functions for entertainment and realism. For example, some cars can ride the rear wheels and rotate 360 degrees. Other cars are equipped with sound (siren, engine roar, horn) or light (backlight, headlights) signals, the ability to roll over when falling onto the roof (auto-changer). Thanks to such functions, playing with your favorite car is like the show – the child gets the opportunity to drive almost a real car, like an adult.
How to choose a radio-controlled car?
Radio-controlled cars are considered a traditional gift for boys, but in fact, girls will also be delighted with such a surprise, so it is important to choose the right option from the existing variety.
Such toys vary in:
• Type of engine;
• Manageability (depends on the type of chassis and other design features).
When choosing a car, focus on the preferences of the child, their daily interests, and the purchase budget.There are models for children under 3 years old, from 3 to 6 years old, from 6 to 8 years old, and for over 8 years old.
Scale and dimensions
Manufacturers are carefully trying to copy real car models. The size of the model depends on the size and accuracy of the details: the more it looks like the original, the higher the price. To comply with the desired size using scaling, the most common toys are cars on a scale of 1:14, 1:16 and 1:24.
The buyer should evaluate the place for the child’s games – where will the car be used most often? For example, if the car is gonna be played with in an apartment, then a model on a scale of 1:5 is not the best option, but 1:10 or less will be most suitable for such purposes. The larger the denominator in such a fraction, the smaller the size of the car (but with the same scale, the models of the race cars and trucks will differ in size). Large cars are designed for outside use and sometimes have more functions than their smaller brothers, so this gift is suitable for outdoor enthusiasts.
Do not forget that the scale and dimensions of the toy affect the weight. Therefore, if the child does not calculate his strength and tries to raise the car, then he may not be able to hold it and might drop the car, breaking it or injuring himself.
The most common and popular option for a child is a radio-controlled car with an electric motor. Most children will be happy with such a gift, but if your child has reached certain heights in this business, is engaged in this sport and is seriously interested in cars, then choose models equipped with internal combustion engines. These are more noisy toys, quite realistic due to their large size (scale 1:10, 1: 8, and some 1: 5), are fueled with methanol-based fuel and are capable of developing an impressive speed (up to 70 km / h). Cars with internal combustion engines, like ordinary cars, emit combustion products, therefore, are not suitable for playing at home, and require a certain level of professionalism and knowledge.
Electric motors for radio-controlled toys also have their own characteristics:
• Limited operating time without recharging (from 15 minutes to an hour);
• Noiselessness and absence of unpleasant odors;
• Suitable for games in the apartment/house and outdoors.
In order for the emotions from playing with a radio-controlled car to be bright and genuine, the car must obey its owner. This is achieved through a combination of the type of wheels and the drive, the capabilities of the control panel and the user’s skills.
Type of chassis and drive
Cars, regardless of their size, are conditionally divided into classes according to the type of wheels:
• Models with a traditional chassis (they are also called road or highway, with tires of small diameter, smooth or with a barely noticeable tread pattern). Suitable for flat surfaces, low pile carpets (an example is the Lamborghini Aventador);
• Cars with “monster”, “trucks”, “rally”, “buggy” chassis and others (large diameter tires with deep tread). Suitable for outdoor games, riding over rough terrain, asphalt, gravel; for greater stability they are equipped with shock absorbers. Amphibian cars, which are not afraid of water obstacles, snow, clay, etc.
Some expensive cars have the ability to change the suspension, so that the machine gets the ability to move faster across different types of terrain with simple manipulations.
As in real cars, radio-controlled models differ in the type of drive:
• Rear-wheel drive (provide speed and sufficient cross-country ability, optimal for use at home, in the office or for racing with friends).
• All-wheel drive (complete stability and the ability to overcome the most difficult obstacles. This type of drive is found in models for drift, circuit racing, and in all-terrain vehicles.
Front-wheel drive cars are almost not available on the market because of their low stability.
Cars of the budget segment can only move in a straight line (back or forward), and for turns you will have to rearrange the toy manually. Such models are suitable for novice users because of the ease of management. Older children will like cars with the unlimited freedom of movement.
It is worth considering that in some models the user can adjust the speed directly from the control panel, while in others the car always moves to the maximum of its capabilities.
The remote control can come in different shapes:
• In the form of a joystick from a game console;
• In the form of a gun;
• In the form of a steering wheel with pedals and switches.
This accessory should feel comfortably in the hands of the child, not slip out, while the player should not experience inconvenience when pressing the buttons. Also, the control panels differ in range (from 10 to 100 m) – it is usually more convenient to direct your car while away from it than to constantly move behind the toy.
Also, an important characteristic of the control panel is the radio frequency and the number of channels. For example, models with a frequency of 2.4 GHz control panel are more protected from interference. The number of channels is important if you need to adjust several parameters at the same time (direction of movement, speed, angle of rotation of the wheels, etc.).
Nowadays, the cars with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi control are gaining popularity. Such solutions will appeal to adolescents and older users, because thanks to this, a car (for example, Happy Cow I-Spy) can be controlled using a special application installed on a tablet or smartphone. And now you do not need to carry a control panel with you because it is built into your favorite gadget.
For the correct operation of the control panels and models with electric motors, it is necessary to take care of the presence of a sufficient number of batteries. Even expensive radio-controlled cars run out of battery quickly, and so that the game does not suddenly end, you always need to have a backup power source. AA, AAA and Krona batteries are used in different cars in different quantities, depending on the power of the toy. Some models are equipped with rechargeable batteries, making it easier to use your favorite toy: come home and charge it. To “restore the power”, cars need from 2 to 4 hours.
Do not forget that a radio-controlled car is a toy that requires at least some minimal responsibility and care. Therefore, adults should explain the basic rules for operating the car to the child and show their own example. That way the radio-controlled car will last a long time and bring a lot of unforgettable moments.