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From robot dinosaurs to fast-moving boats. Kids Pretend Play Set
It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult, toddler, or a literal baby: RC toys are fun to play around with. Whether you’re looking for a new gadget to play with while walking down a sidewalk, or you just need something to occupy those kids at home, remote control toys are truly one of the cheapest thrills you can enjoy just about anywhere.
From cars and boats to helicopters and drones, RC gizmos come in a wide variety of vehicles, figures, and robots, and have a long list of diverse functions. If you’re a parent looking to keep their child’s hands busy, or even an adult just curious about the power that these small toys can hold, we’ve picked out the best RC toys for you to check out down below and pump some new joy into that typical routine.
Many toys operate via remote control, but not all of them are cars. RC toys can range from water-shredding boats to aerial drones. When searching for an RC toy, consider what kind of vehicle or figure you’d like to control with a remote, and take note of what it takes to operate them. A drone, for example, may require proper licensing to operate, depending on its use.
Those adults searching for reliable RC toys may remember that these gadgets sometimes require a large number of batteries to operate. That’s not always the case today. Many modern RC toys rely on rechargeable batteries to operate. Take battery life and operation into consideration when shopping for RC toys to understand how much playtime you can get with them.
It’s vital to pay attention to suggested age recommendations for each product and consider the edges of a toy if buying one for a child. Anything that’s jagged may pose a risk of injury.
To find the best remote control toys out there, we consulted our own guides to the best remote control boats, cars, and helicopters. We also checked out guides from competitor sites like Futura and CNET. Taking critical and user reviews into consideration, we scoured through thousands of reviews and made a list of the most accessible, family-friendly toys on the market today. Every product has at least a 4- out of 5-star average rating, so rest assured that these toys are the best of the best.
Looking for more gadgets to gift young ones for a special occasion? Check out our picks for the best science toys, popping toys, and ride-on toys.
This RC car is a terrific toy for beginners and enthusiasts alike. Sturdy, reinforced frame, this RC car is 1/14 scale, and it has squishy rubber tires that give some great bounce from its suspension.
It’s our pick for Best Overall due to its great speed of 12 mph, and its 2.4 GHz non-interference remote, which allows it to be operated from up to 50 meters away without delay. The battery lasts up to 15 minutes, but with an extra set, you can play it for up to 30.
Over 13,000 reviewers give this a 4.2- out of 5-star average rating, praising it for its inclusion of rechargeable batteries and an extra charger.
Here’s a drone to keep both adults and kids happy. This RC quadcopter can flip and roll in the air, and an altitude hold mode lets it hover in place. It also has an anti-impact design that allows it to withstand harsh tumbles, crashes, and accidents. Many user reviews say it works directly out of the packaging, and that it’s easy enough for a toddler to operate.
Keep in mind, however, that like many drones, this won’t last very long up in the air. After a 60-minute charging time, you’ll only be able to enjoy 7 minutes of flight. But at this price, flying that drone is much more approachable.
The Robot X is a popular STEM toy from Apitor that uses motors, sensors, and building blocks to show children that they can have fun while learning how to code. Buying this set allows children to build one of 12 pre-designed robots, including designs for cars, dinosaurs, helicopters, and more. How do they control these robots? An app, of course.
The free Apitor Kit app lets children and adults control their custom robot with powerful motors and move it in all directions. The catch: You just have to program it to move by writing very basic lines of code. Over 400 reviewers give this remote control custom robot an incredible 4.7- out of 5-star average rating. Many praise the customizable aspects of the Robot X, as well as its compatibility with LEGO products.
Not all RC toys are vehicles, case in point, Grogu, colloquially known as Baby Yoda. This soft, plush 12-inch toy from Mattel is controlled with a simple joystick shaped like a wrist communicator. Strap it to your arm, and toggle through its various modes to play games like hide and seek or follow the leader. This doll has movements that perfectly replicate the Mandalorian star creature.
This bestselling toy has a whopping 4.6- out of 5-star average rating based on over 4,000 reviews. Many reviewers say this doll is perfect for little Star Wars fans at home, though some say it’s not the best for adult collectors.
Our pick for the best RC boat toy is one powerful swimmer. It’s strapped with an anti-capsize hull system that helps it recover rightsize up when a wave pushes it, or if it tips over. It also has an integrated LED light that helps folks use it at night and in low-lit areas, making it easy to see and providing some visibility to the waters ahead.
An auto-pilot makes it easy for the littlest ones to pilot it, while two chargers and a pair of batteries provide it with up to 20 minutes of playtime per session—granted that the boat is at full speed, which is over 20 mph, by the way. This boat even comes with a case, making it pack away easily and protecting it from harm while in transport. It doesn't get much better than this.
Mario Kart and Nintendo fans will love playing with this RC car. This little toy sees Mario sitting in his signature kart racer, waiting for input and direction from a controller that also sports the “M” emblem. It can receive input from up to 100 feet away, and you can easily drift, slide, and do 360-degree spins, with the push of a button. It also has an anti-gravity mode which flips each wheel 90 degrees for fun driving.
This item has over 4,000 reviews and currently stands at a 4.5- out of 5-star average rating. Several fans praise the RC toy for its surprising durability and ease of use. However, some say the number of batteries it needs is excessive.
Here’s a robot dog that can bark, dance, move, sit, do push-ups, and even perform a handstand if you want. You can program it to perform your specific demands, and activate each command with your voice—that’s right, this robot is remote and voice-activated. It’s made with shatterproof ABS plastic to reinforce its body from harm, plus smooth textures to prevent cuts and scratches from kids.
The robot dog has a built-in rechargeable battery, which means batteries are a thing of the past. Many reviewers say the smooth shape of this toy makes it safe for even babies to handle.
Adorable and colorful, this robot has a pair of light-up LED eyes and uses tank tracks instead of relying on wheels to move around. You can control its eyes to make them blink or keep them closed, make it dance through a demo mode, and get it to sing three different songs by way of remote control.
It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and will fully charge in 120 minutes for 100 minutes of playtime. The remote, however, runs on two AA batteries and they aren't included.
Magnetic Stickers Reviewers say this remote controlled robot toy is awesome, affordable, and super cute. Many users report that their kids and grandchildren love playing with this little robot around the home, and say that it’s an awesome toy for kids of all ages.