Crabfu’s R/C vehicle gift guide

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4024 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4024 Articles

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When we asked some of our maker family what they had on their holiday wish lists, I-Wei Huang, aka Crabfu, responded with so many R/C vehicles (this…er-hurm.. grown man likes toys as much as I do!), we decided to make it into a mini, unofficial gift guide. Thanks, I-Wei! And to all you fellow Peter Pans out there, enjoy!

Beginner R/C

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E-flite Blade mCX ($120, E-flite)
Indoor-only micro-coaxial (mCX) helicopter. Very easy to fly, with four channels for full control. Comes in BNF (Bind and Fly) or RTF (Ready to Fly).


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ParkZone Vapor ($100, ParkZone)
Indoor 3-channel plane. Easy to fly and maneuverable in small areas. (I’ve hacked mine to become a biplane Comes in BNF or RTF.


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Micro Rock Crawler ($120, Losi)
1/24-scale rock crawler. I just got one of these and it’s great fun for indoor crawling. Comes in BND (Bind and Drive) or RTR (Ready to Run) models.


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Mini Rock Crawler ($240, Losi)
A bit larger than the micro, great for couch crawling. Comes in RTR.


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Rovio ($224, WowWee)
Awesome little robot camera that you can drive over the internet. Here’s my review on Trossen Robotics.

Intermediate/Advanced R/C

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Ultra-Micro Sukhoi ($100, ParkZone)
Currently my favorite R/C airplane, it is tiny and quick. Made of foam and nearly indestructible. Full function, 4-channels, and comes in BNF.


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Blade MSR ($150, E-flite)
Cool fixed-pitch heli. Very easy to fly for a single rotor helicopter, but much harder to fly than a coaxial. It is tame compared to a control-pitch heli, but rather twitchy and unstable if you were to compare it to an mCX. Great for indoors, but can’t handle much of a breeze outside.