Toy companies are constantly finding new ways to innovate kids’ favorite products, and the category of radio-controlled (R/C) toys is no exception. So whether you are looking for a classic R/C toy with more speed and precision or an R/C toy controlled simply by the tilt of an iPhone, technology is bringing the category to new heights. Below is a sampling of some of the latest offerings of R/C choppers, critters, and cars.
The AirRacerX Wifi Racer is a 1/10th scale all-terrain vehicle operated by the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android smartphones. The AirRacerX WiFi Racer comes with a battery and charger. The R/C is for ages 8 and up. It will launch at Radio Shack and Brookstone retail stores this fall.
Animal Planet Air Swimmers are the first giant lightweight, animal-shaped metallic balloons flown by a remote control. More than four feet long, the floating fish are currently available in shark and clownfish designs. Air Swimmers are for indoor use only and come with four AAA batteries. Helium tanks, to inflate the balloons, are sold separately. Air Swimmers are licensed to Discovery’s Animal Planet by UK-based toy company Wow! Stuff.
Bandai’s R/C Roary vehicle, modeled after the title character of Sprout’s preschool series Roary the Racing Car, uses an infrared steering wheel controller to race Roary forward, backward, left, and right. Roary also rumbles when accelerating and makes six lifelike engine sounds and phrases. The R/C is for ages 3 and up.
Chicco offers the easy-to-operate Ducati 1198 R/C for toddlers ages 2 and up. The Ducati 1198 is a miniature motorcycle operated by a remote control shaped like the handlebars of a motorcycle. The Ducati features realistic horn and engine sounds. Users can simply tilt the handlebars in the direction they want to go to steer the miniature motorcycle.
Desk Pets International:
Desk Pets are the world’s first toys to be fully controlled by iPhones, iPads, the iPod Touch, and Android phones. They also go into autonomous mode and use infrared-ray (IR) sensors for navigation. Desk Pets come in four different colors (orange, blue, black, and green) and operate on different frequencies for multi-player bot racing and battling with a smartphone. A retractable USB charger is built into the bot’s body.
Griffin Technology’s indoor R/C helicopter transforms the multi-touch display of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad into a flight control pad using its Helo TC app. The touch-to-fly mode uses the touch display to control the Helo TC’s on-screen throttle and joystick, while the tilt-to-fly mode lets users tilt their device to propel the chopper forward, backward, left, and right. The app also stores up to three flight plans for the chopper. The twin-rotor chopper is made of a lightweight metal frame and polycarbonate body. It runs on a built-in battery rechargeable with any USB power source.
Innovation First’s Hexbug Spider is a robotic spider that uses an infrared remote control to steer the robotic spider 360 degrees and maneuver it around objects using its LED forward eye for sight. The remote also controls multiple bugs at once. The robotic spider and remote operate on cell batteries, which are included. They come in five translucent colors: red, blue, green, orange, and teal.
Interactive Toy Concepts:
Interactive Toy Concepts offers a line of full-function R/C vehicles inspired by Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor Battle Series video game, including an attack helicopter, ATV, a technical truck, a battle tank, and assault vehicle. All vehicles interact through two-way infrared battle technology, and each has its own unique battle damage characteristics with realistic battle sounds. Toys are for ages 12 and up.
The Remote Controlled Animated Robot is one of the latest additions to Kid Galaxy’s My First R/C line. The bot’s animated eyes, working lights and sounds, and spin-and-go features are operated with an easy two-button remote control. It is for ages 3 and up. The bot and remote control operate on three AAA and two AA batteries.
Nitro Speeders are the newest generation of Mattel’s micro R/C Hot Wheels. The Nitro Speeders come with their own carrying case, which also serves as the remote control and portable charger. They can reach scale speeds of 600 MPH and do full 360-degree loops. The racers, for ages 8 and up, include a Team Hot Wheels Ford Mustang, a Supercharged Camaro (pictured), and a Ken Block Fiesta Rally Car.
Operating on a 2.4 ghz radio frequency, Spin Master’s new Air Hogs Hyperactive Pro R/C vehicle reaches speeds of more than 20 MPH. Features such as a pistol grip controller and charger and a wide stance, dune buggy-inspired design increase Air Hogs’ precision and speeds for indoor and outdoor play. Air Hogs are for ages 12 and up.
Swann introduced its first range of R/C helicopters, including a line of eight choppers powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. The choppers use Swann’s easy-fly gyro technology, which uses an infrared remote control for multi-directional flying and stunts. Each chopper comes with a landing pad and a spare set of replacement rotors. The helicopters are for ages 14 and up. Pictured is the Micro Hornet.
Uncle Milton adds to its line of Horrible Pets this fall with the R/C Rat. Use the remote control to make the rodent scurry around the room. Its features such as gnawed ears, a wounded eye, ragged fur, and tail make it even more life-like. The R/C Rat is for ages 6 and up.
Wild Planet’s Spy Video Car VX6 is an R/C vehicle that transmits live video to a color LCD screen on the remote control. The car can even transmit live feed through walls and drive in complete darkness using its infrared night vision. The car is for ages 8 and up.
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