“This hobby ain’t cheap.” It’s been said often and to a large degree it’s true. Hobby-grade RC is high quality and high performance and that costs money. That said, RC is far less expensive than other popular hobbies and interests such as video games (those systems are ridiculous) and don’t even get me started on golf. Come to think of it, I think RC might be getting a bum rap. Case in point, check out these awesome values all under $200. By the way, this isn’t any old RC stuff that can be found for under two bills, this is some seriously cool stuff.
Tamiya Grasshopper $100 It’s a classic and can be found for about $100 at most hobby stores. Sure, it’s a kit, so you have to buy support gear like a radio system and and battery, but Tamiya includes a motor and electronic speed control and if you’re already into RC you probably already that other stuff. So, go out and buy a piece of RC history for less than most people spend on a good LiPo battery pack—you can thank me later.
Venom GPV-1 motorcycle $150 Who knew cool came so cheap? This fully ready-to-run (RTR) street bike comes in at around only $150. That’s a steal considering, um, it’s a freakin’ RC street bike and it includes a 3-channel FM radio system. It also includes a battery and charger. Even the hardcore RC two-wheel guys have had good things to say about this bargain of a bike. Another nice touch is that Venom includes complete assembly instructions in the manual even though it’s a prebuilt RTR.
Vs Tank M1A2 Abrams Desert Battle Tank $150 If blowing by stuff on a street bike doesn’t do it for you, maybe blowing up stuff with a tank will. This tank is assembled and detailed (thank you, thank you, Vs!). It includes everything you need and also shoots an infrared laser beam (who doesn’t like laser beams?) and takes hits from other Vs tanks, so you can have your own RC Red Dawn in your living room or backyard. Vs offers a variety of these tanks, so finding good guys and bad guys shouldn’t be a problem. Oh, about the price; these tanks are under $150.
Traxxas Slash 1/16 Brushed RTR with Charger and Battery $175 This one will have you doing a double take. Traxxas is selling this 1/16-scale Slash with a battery and charger for a low price of around $175. It’s 4WD and features Revo-style suspension with inboard fluid-filled shocks. It also happens to have waterproof electronics. The drivetrain is also brushless-ready by design, so it has some serious speed potential. How much potential? Try over 50mph with Traxxas’ optional VXL-3m system.
Team Associated RC18T2/B2 Team Truck/Buggy $120 It’s Team Associated’s latest and greatest mini design, it’s 4WD, it’s belt driven, it’s a kit (so stop whining about RTRs taking over), it’s essentially two kits in one and it’s fully loaded since it’s been given the Factory Team treatment. And, it’s only about $120. To really add to the value, Associated includes a buggy body and a truck body and all the parts you need for either platform.