One of the popular toys for children comes in the form of a radio-controlled car. Depending on the manufacturer and model, you can drive forward, backward, turn, and even do things like flip your car or drive it upside down.
Are these just toys, though? As it turns out, there are hobby-grade RC models and there are plenty of people interested in making them or buying them. Is this a legitimate hobby or something else entirely?
Buying a Car or Truck
There are two ways to acquire an RC car that would take you on a journey: ready-to-ride and kit.
Ready-to-ride cars are already made and ready to be taken to the road. On the other hand, there are kits, basically allowing you to build your car from scratch.
This way, you can enjoy the hobby of assembling the car, which is why some people get into it in the first place. It is also a great bonding opportunity with the family. The kit has all the parts you need, the instructions for assembling them and, most likely, a set of tools for fine-tuning. Depending on the kit and model, they can go for anywhere between $100 and $2000.
So, They Are Just Bigger Toys…
Not exactly. While toy RC cars run on batteries, hobby RC cars can choose between the batteries, nitro, and gas. These are not the things you want around kids.
Furthermore, some models can reach speeds of up to 100mph, after some modifications, making them illegal on public roads. It isn’t uncommon for the models to reach 5 pounds in weight and 2 feet in length. You can argue that they are toys, but they are much more intricate and capable.
There are also official races between the hobbyists. Grown men and women, sometimes with entire families, come together to test their little car or truck against others on the road. There are local competitions, as well as international ones.
Is It a Hobby?
Yes, but even more than that. There is a great deal of pleasure that can be derived from hard work that goes into building an RC car, taking it to your first race, and modifying it so that it can break its factory limits. You can search for like-minded individuals online or in your local community. You can get your family to join you in your newfound passion.
Acquiring and maintaining a car may be expensive for a common household, so make sure this is something you really want before spending a lot of money. On the other hand, many hobbies out there are pricy, including travel, sports, or even grabbing a beer every night.