Christmas Buyers Guide – Best Remote Control Cars 2017

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Christmas Buyers Guide Best remote control cars 2017

Looking to buy a remote control car as a present this Christmas? Then look no further than our Christmas buyers guide which showcases a range of RC cars suitable for all ages and budgets. Our guide covers models suitable for driving or drifting, indoors or out, along with some advice on scale and powertrain for first-time buyers.

All the remote control cars here are tried, tested and loved by RC Geeks staff. With so many models available, our editors have set about curating a list of the best models we sell, grouped by budget. Whatever you opt to purchase, you can be sure our recommendations will result in a great gift.

Stocking Fillers

HPI Racing Q32 Series

This fun little chassis packs in huge entertainment at a bargain basement price. Despite the diminutive 1/32nd size they come with a normal transmitter that charges off of a fly-lead (although a USB charger is available). With a thin decorative plastic body and foam tyres they are best suited to hooning around indoors. The original Q32 has always proved to be a big seller at Christmas time, its pricing making it an ideal stocking filler. There have been other variations on the setup such as the Q32 Trophy truggy with different wheels and a comedy sized wing out the back.

Q32 Chassis

With several F1 fans in the office, our favourite ‘flavour’ has proved to be the Formula Q32 cars. These caricatures of classic race cars are available in white and red or blue and yellow. We have lost count of the amount of modifications we have applied to these bargain cars, from manufacturer gear adjustments to full-on LiPo upgrades and FPV setups with goggles. At this near disposable price the scope of what you can get up to is limited only by your imagination! Shop for HPI Racing Q32 cars on our webstore now.

Maverick Ion Series

The Ion range of cars are ideal for the classic ‘first RC Car’ christmas gift. The 1/18th scale (Around 25cm long) means can be used both indoor and out, and they offer a ‘true’ RC experience without breaking the bank. They include the car battery and slow charger and only require the AA batteries for the transmitter. Spares are readily available and any repairs (from the inevitable crashes) are inexpensive.

Maverick Ion Cars

What has made this range so successful is the sheer variation offered from the a fairly standard chassis. You can buy a Desert TruckShort Course TruckRally CarTruggyBuggy or even a Monster Truck and all are the same price! As such you can customise your chosen vehicle type with components such as the wheels and tyres from another type. Shop for Maverick Ion on our webstore now to check out the different models yourself.

Absima AB2.4 4WD Buggy

Lastly, if it has to be a ‘full size’ car then you can’t go wrong with Absima’s AB2.4 remote control car. It has the classic buggy layout, ideal for tearing around a garden, playground or skatepark. It is quick enough to entertain but not fast enough that a novice would be losing control. It offer solid value, the chassis features design elements usually found on higher-end models such as oil filled shocks, adjustable turnbuckles and a covered transmission.

Like all the other models in this section it includes the battery and charger and only needs 4xAA batteries (for the transmitter) to get you going. You can find the Absima AB2.4 on our webstore, but if you are not a fan of the buggy aesthetic It is also available as a Truggy.

Mid-pack models

HPI Racing Jumpshot  – Short Course Truck

We are fans of short course trucks like these, rear-wheel-drive makes for entertaining drifts and big powerslides on loose surfaces. Its a 1/10th scale model with a length of 560mm and width of 295mm, but its easy to drive and has plenty of adjustment and tuning potential. Its a fun capable vehicle,  the sort of remote control car you wish you had when you were a kid!

HPI Jumpshot SC

The Jumpshot is a relatively new design from HPI Racing, taking pointers such as the robust vertical twin plates chassis, oil filled shocks and double-pad slipper clutches from their halo models. The bottom-access battery door saves you removing the body when swapping out batteries. Grab a Jumpshot here on our webstore and also an extra battery whilst you are at it. Prefer an AWD vehicle? HPI Racing also sell an AWD Monster truck that employs similar benefits.

Maverick Strada DC – Brushless Drift Car

Drifting continues to grow in popularity and if you can’t afford a full size car then the world of RC has your back. This Strada DC is a simple design that offers adjustability where it is needed and a whole heap of traction-breaking power thanks to its brushless electronics. It comes with everything you need to get drifting apart from a set of AA batteries, but we would recommend picking up another battery to keep you drifting post-christmas dinner.

Maverick Strada DC

You can pick up the Strada DC Brushless edition on our webstore, but if your budget is tight you might want to consider the (slower) brushed model with its blue body. If this isn’t the style of car you like, we sell a whole host of on-road (or touring if you will) cars, designed for powering around carparks or drifting around playgrounds.

Traxxas E-Revo – massive potential in a mini body

The E-Revo is a brilliant RC car, offering high-end Traxxas design, build quality and performance on a budget. Don’t be fooled by its size, as whilst its only 350mm long its a highly capable buggy. It features waterproof electronics for all-weather entertainment, and full-time 4WD for that go-anywhere ability sealed differentials, a torque slipper clutch and a large (for its size) 550 size motor.

Traxxas E-Revo

The real value with this Traxxas model is the inclusion of the NiMH battery and charger, meaning all you need to get driving is a set of 4xAA batteries. If you can stretch your budget the E-Revo is also available with a brushless motor setup, which is the model you might have seen in that famous dude-perfect video. The E-Revo is available in Red, Blue and Silver over on our webstore.

Highly Rated Favourites

Traxxas’ Ford Fiesta ST Rally Car

We’ve seen a big increase in rally-spec models thanks to the X-Games and of course Ken ‘DC Shoes’ Block’s Gymkhana stunt series. This fully licensd Ford Fiesta NOS Deegan 38 Rally edition is another solid performer from RC kings Traxxas. Its raised ride height and knobbly tyres make it ideal for a host of terrains from tarmac to grass and dirt,  a perfect all-weather car for the varying UK seasons.

Traxxas Fiesta

As with the majority of Traxxas models, the Fiesta is ready to run, requiring only a battery for the model and four AA’s for the transmitter. You can buy the Traxxas Rally Ford Fiesta today on our webstore.

HPI Savage XS Flux Ford F150 Raptor

RC technology is an innovative field but tried and tested favourites such as the Savage XS still offer great value for money, especially for anyone looking to buy a quality monster truck on a moderate budget. Its all metal drivetrain can put up with some serious abuse and is built for speeds over 65mph when paired with 3S LiPo batteries.

HPI Racing Savage XS Raptor

Updated with a Ford F150 body shell, the Savage XS is the a powerful truck for its relatively compact size. Capable of huge jumps, double back-flips and anything else you can throw at it, it has become a regular Christmas favourite. Pick it up now on our webstore.

Traxxas TRX-4 Land Rover Defender – The iconic favourite

With its instantly recognisable silhouette, the Traxxas Defender has been our favourite model of the year. Its rare to find such a detailed yet robust body on a complete and highly capable chassis, right out of the box. Its the sort of model that you are happy to keep on a shelf for display when you aren’t scaling roots in a muddy forest or rocky defences at the seaside. To give you a small insight into the feature set, it includes remotely lockable differentials, huge ground clearance thanks to portal axles, metal-gear servos and waterproof electronics; Traxxas really have out-done themselves with this model.

Traxxas TRX4

Whilst it is listed as a crawler, its twin-speed remotely switchable transmission means you can kick it up a gear when in open terrain and the transmitter even includes a cruise control feature! Following its release earlier this year we have seen a huge interest in the Defender and we are sure it will be a popular present this christmas. It is one of our most read review blogs and the subsequent brushless conversion coverage has proved just as popular. You can pickup the Defender in grey, red or limited edition green over on our webstore, and don’t forget the battery and charger!

The Ultimate in RC : Money no object!

HPI Racing’s Vorza Flux – A race-grade buggy

The 4WD Vorza Flux HP is HPI’s fastest buggy, able to reach speeds up to 51 mph out of the box (with the right batteries), it will knock on the door of 64mph with a few simple modifications. At 50cm long its a ‘big old beast’ even for a 1/8th scale car, but with the Tork 2200 motor and (programmable) Blur speed controller this thing can really fly!

HPI Vorza

If you want to go fast offroad, its difficult to beat the Vorza! HPI designed this from the ground up for tearing along trails and it includes hardened steel spur and pinion gears, fluid filled front/centre/rear differentials, steel turnbuckle links, a sealed shaft drivetrain, 16mm oil-filled shocks and much more. Its a proven chassis as back in 2010 the Vorza HP broke the record for the longest ramp jump by a remote controlled car! Grab a Vorza Flux here on our webstore and don’t forget to pick up a pair of batteries to get the most out of it.

Traxxas’ X0-1 – The 100mph+ RC Supercar!

The Traxxas XO-1 is one of the fastest production RC cars of all time. How fast? Well it was previously the holder of the World Record for the fastest scale model car, hitting 100mph in under 5 seconds! Its a large model (claimed a 1/7 scale) at 685mm long and also surprisingly heavy, tipping the scales at nearly 5kg without the batteries. As you can imagine it has a mighty power-train to force its way to 100mph and needs to be fed by twin 3S batteries to hit that headline figure.

Traxxas XO-1

So advanced is the speed controller on this model, that with an optional bluetooth module, you can wirelessly receive live telemetry from the model to your Android or iOS smartphone! Needless to say, this is a professional model, aimed at experienced RC enthusiasts and most definitely not a toy suitable for children. You can learn more about the XO-1 from our blog review, or pick up the X0-1 in either blue or white on our webstore.

Traxxas’ X-Maxx – An Unstoppable self-righting beast

The X-Maxx is a big truck that is capable of 50mph+ speeds thanks to its 30, yes you read that right, THIRTY volt power system. Living up to its name, this monster truck will decimate all terrain in its own unstoppable style, seriously it needs to be seen to be believed. It is currently the most expensive model we stock (and the twin 4S batteries are sold seperately!) but if you have to have the ultimate, then this cannot be beaten.

Traxxas Xmaxx

Besides the monster spec it also has some clever tricks up its sleeve, such as the auto-righting system. Roll the truck and at the press of a button the ESC will have you back on your wheels after a very smart pre-programmed set of pulses use the motor inertia to roll the car back over! Grab the X-Maxx from our webstore in blue, red or limited edition green for nitro spec power without the hassle.

Looking for something different ?

Sphero’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen

This top of the line model is packed with personality like nothing we’ve ever stocked before. With its animated eyes, an animatronic moving mouth, and emotive suspension it is like the Pixar cars character has come alive in your lounge! The model features voice clips from ‘Cars’ star Owen Wilson allowing Lightning to speak to his user, a in addition to moving his body in reaction to touches.

 

Do remember that you will need a recent Android or iOS device to use this car as it relies on your device as the remote control. As such you can use your device’s accelerometer as a control input instead of just the standard stick input, just note that the bluetooth-link has a max range of 30m. On the plus side multiple modes of merriment are available with a selection of play modes in the app to keep anyone entertained when Lightning is charging.  Learn more about Lightning McQueen over on our review or order your Lightning McQueen model today.

Scalextric on steroids – Anki Overdrive

Slot car racing has always been a Christmas favourite, with hundreds of Scalextric kits sold through the winter every year. Combining wireless smartphone tech with MarioKart style virtual powerups, Anki have supercharged the concept with their Overdrive racing game.

Anki Overdrive Fast and Furious

The cars are wirelessly controlled via your smartphone, or by their internal AI (allowing you to race against virtual opponents on your own!). Flexible magnetic track tiles mean circuit construction is quick and easy, gone are the slots as cars can now change lanes at anytime as well as navigate jumps and crossroads. For fans of the series, there is even a ‘Fast and Furious’ branded edition with characters and cars from the franchise, for further details see our Overdrive : Fast and Furious blog.

Sphero’s Mini – Robotic Balls

The Sphero mini is a ping pong size, remote control, robotic ball; An ideal stocking filler! Using your smart phone or tablet, you can control the Sphero Mini using various methods and you have access to 3 different action packed virtual games in the app. It can be controlled via onscreen joystick, slingshot, tilt (using your devices accelerometer) , and even ‘face drive’, a system that uses smartphone facial recognition to direct the balls motion! Sphero’s mini includes a set of mini rubber traffic cones and pins so you can have a game of bowling of get creative and make obstacle courses to challenge your family and friends.

Sphero Mini

Turning the entire system on its head, the little round robot can even be used as a controller for your phone, with three in-app games available! Available in white, blue, green, orange and pink, there is a Sphero mini for everyone. You can learn more about the Sphero Mini on our blog or orders yours on our webstore today.

RC Cars from Kits

Finally it is worth mentioning for any ‘serious’ RC gift recipients, we do sell chassis kits. These do require a whole host of supporting components and are only suitable for seasoned hobbyists buying

Sakura D4 kits

Just how big ARE these?

If you are unfamiliar with RC toys it can be difficult to visualise how large they are. For guidance most of our models are ‘scale‘ models, labelled with a fraction such as 1/8, 1/10, 1/18, 1/32, but what does this mean? In simple terms it is the size ratio compared to the ‘real-life’ full size vehicle.

RC Car Scale

For example the HPI Racing Ford Mustang classified as a 1/10th scale model (although it is on the long side) and measures 431mm, 127mm tall and  200mm wide. This is approximately 10% of the size of the actual production car which (according to wikipedia) measures 4784mm long, 1381mm tall and 1916mm wide.

As you can see from our example, in practice there is some variation. This is a product of manufacturers taking artistic license to adjust the design due to limitations of their chassis, or pre-existing elements such as wheels and tyres, to produce a design that just ‘looks right‘. To avoid confusion, wherever possible we include the dimensions of the model in our listing.

With great power comes great responsibility

Its important to note that all of the models you see on this page are electric, powered by batteries. Whilst some include a battery for the model (and indeed some for the transmitter too) many do not. Further to this, some of the high-end models do not include a charger for the model battery either. Please take note of the ‘in the box’ section on our product listings to avoid disappointment on Christmas morning!

The batteries and chargers section of our webstore will have all the supporting products you need to get your RC car running. If you need assistance in selecting the correct parts to match your model, feel free to drop us a message.

Note that many model batteries are user removable (often without tools) allowing them to be ejected for charging, or replaced for batteries with larger capacity/higher burst rate for increased performance. Power systems can appear full of jargon and proprietary standards, so to address this we’ve put together a this blog to help beginners upgrade or just get the most out of their current setups.

Finally, here at RC Geeks, we’re often asked how fast a specific car will go. We’ve made this convenient little blog to help you understand the variables which will contribute to an RC cars top speed, and hopefully give you some idea how fast your RC car can go.

Spares and hop-ups

Accidents can occur, so its good to know that we have your back. Should the worst occur and you damage your model, we can provide the parts you need to get back on the track; Simply use our simple spares finder to find them.

Our higher end models are ripe for modification and we have a wide range of wheels, tyres, bodies, electronics and more to hop-up your car. Check the ‘hop ups’ section for items that are suitable and feel free to contact our engineers to confirm compatibility.

Wheels and tyres

RC Geeks – Quality Gifts and support

The majority of the products here qualify for free next day delivery and we will be fulfilling orders late into December to make all your Christmas dreams come true. Gifting something so specialised can be complicated so feel free to drop us a message if you require buying guidance

We are proud of our car selection and are happy to stand behind it. Whilst there are many cheaper models available on the high-street and in catalogue shops, we prefer to provide cars of a quality that we are confident to support.

Fancy buying something that flies instead? Then check out our Christmas 2017 Quadcopter Buyers Guide.

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