Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Whether you're a beginner or an avid hobbyist, RC toys are a fantastic way to spend time outside with friends, family, or other enthusiasts. There's nothing quite like the feeling of taking to the skies, roads or lakes with your favorite RC helicopter, monster truck or boat.
The popularity of remote control toys doesn't show any signs of slowing down. While some people enjoy the thrill of assembling and painting their vehicles before taking them out to play, others appreciate the ready-to-roll (or fly, or float!) models with no assembly required. Either way, you can find thousands of social media channels, online groups, and face-to-face meet-ups dedicated to RC toys - full of helpful hints, troubleshooting tips, and events where you can get together with RC toy fans just like you.
Tuesday, December 6th
Shopping for remote control toys at RC Superstore is like a breath of fresh air. Do you want a store that knows everything about the RC industry? You got it. Want excellent customer service? You'll get that too. Great prices, reasonable (or free!) shipping, and a hassle-free online experience? You guessed it. There aren't many places to buy RC toys that can deliver all of those things, but RC Superstore does - and then some.
Plenty Of Remot Control Toys
This retailer is family-owned and operated out of Minnesota, in business since 2002. While their mainstay brand of RC boats, trucks and race cars is Traxxas, you'll have plenty of options from that manufacturer. Although many of their top-selling RC toys were out of stock during our most recent visit, we still found lots of toys that caught our attention.
When you click on a remote control toy, be prepared for a LOT of details - just as you would expect from a store that specializes in all things RC. Customer reviews, videos, specifications and extremely detailed features lists are just a few of the things you'll find. Who wouldn't want to "bury the throttle...and shred the ground underneath"? Sounds like a good time!
Great Resource For Parts
RC Superstore is also an excellent resource if you need parts. From the small "fiddly bits" like screws, to "oops, I broke it" pieces like helicopter rotors and more, you'll probably find them here - especially if it's the Traxxas brand.
Helpful, Friendly Advice
Need a little guidance on your purchase? Give their remote control experts a call during Central business hours. Customers say that they got excellent advice for their purchases, whether they were brand-new to the hobby, avid enthusiasts, or shopping for a gift.
Free Shipping Over $99
Shipping fees are very reasonable here. You'll get it free if your order is over $99; otherwise, you'll pay $6.95. This applies in the continental United States; fees vary if you're sending remote control toys to Hawaii or Alaska.
30 Day Return Policy
If you need to return your order, it has to be in unopened, unused condition to be eligible for a refund. RC Superstore gives you 30 days from their shipping date to initiate a return request, and once that's been approved you have another 14 days to send it back. While the store won't charge any restocking fees, you're responsible for the return shipping costs.
The biggest reason to order your remote control toys from RC Superstore is their reputation. Not only does the Better Business Bureau give them an "A+" rating, but there are also zero complaints registered on the BBB site. You literally won't find that with any other RC toy shop in our review. Better yet, we found thousands of glowing reviews from happy customers. Quick delivery, items exactly as described and working perfectly right out of the box, and helpful customer service representatives are just a few of the compliments given to RC Superstore in the last 12 months.
RC Superstore has all the right stuff when it comes to remote control toys. Expertise, selection, and phenomenal customer service are just a few of the reasons this retailer earns a first-place finish among stores offering RC cars, drones and more. We're confident that you'll love everything about the experience of making a purchase from RC Superstore. They earn our top ranking.
Geekbuying is a store for tech enthusiasts of all types. From smartphones to headphones and beyond, this retailer has an extensive inventory of gadgets and gifts.
Lots Of RC Quadcopters
Their selection of remote control toys includes RC drones, vehicles, robots, and parts. The inventory heavily leans toward RC quadcopters - which, incidentally, seem to be specifically excluded from many of Geekbuying's warranty and repair guarantees (so be sure to read the fine print if you're shopping for one of those!).
Ship From The U.S. Or Overseas
As you browse the options for RC toys, you may want to set the filter at the top to "Ships from United States", if you don't want to have to wait for your order to come from overseas. However, at the time of our review, the only items in the US warehouse seemed to be four colors of ride-on vehicles for small children. You may have to wait for your remote control car or copter to come from China or elsewhere after all. But, ouch on the shipping costs if that's the case: on a $69.99 Remo Hobby 1631 SMAX, you'll pay $46.52 in delivery fees!
Returns Allowed Within 14 Days
Geekbuying allows you to return your RC toys within 14 days of purchase, as long as the box hasn't been opened. Fortunately, they have warehouses in the US, so you won't have to pay for return shipping all the way to China.
Phones Answered During Business Hours - In China
If you want to contact someone on Geekbuying's customer service team, be aware that you'll have to think in terms of regular business hours - in China! You can start a live chat, or make a call to the international phone number on their website; definitely no US-based toll-free number (or customer service!) with this retailer.
Many Positive Reviews
That being said, we found a surprising number of positive reviews for this company. Out of 11,000+ customer ratings, more than 9,000 gave Geekbuying 4 or 5 stars. On the other hand, it looks like when this company fails, it does so in spectacular fashion: from expensive fitness equipment that goes unrefunded even though it didn't arrive in working condition, to charging customers for orders that never arrive, there's no shortage of complaints too. Delivery is either much faster than expected - or slower than promised. You'll get a response from customer service right away - or maybe in a month.
Take Your Chances
So, if you have some flexibility with the timeframe in which you need your remote control toy to arrive and you're willing to gamble a bit (Will it come? Will it work?), Geekbuying might deliver an excellent deal on your next RC toy. Otherwise, choose another retailer for more reliable customer service.
HobbyTron is a remote control toy specialist, with some of the most popular RC vehicles and brands on the market. The site makes it easy to find what you want with links at the top of the page: jump right to the helicopters, boats, trucks or airplanes you want to browse, or shop all departments if you're looking for something more specific. You'll even find refurbished RC toys to save a little money on your purchase.
Not many retailers can compete with HobbyTron's inventory. In the RC Cars category alone, there were over 1400 to choose from: brushless, drift, electric, nitro, you name it. In fact, this store has over 144,000 RC toys at any given time, from brands like Traxxas, Redcat Racing, Syma, and more. We spotted quite a few that were marked as out of stock (e.g. almost all of the RC tanks), so keep an eye out before you get too excited about anything you see on the site.
Plenty Of Details
Each product page offers plenty of details about the remote control toy. We found it helpful that the ones that can be used immediately were all marked as RTR (Ready To Run - or Race, if you like!). You'll have to add items to your cart to determine your shipping costs; on a $19.99 RC excavator we wanted, for example, our shipping fees were a reasonable $4.99. Some of the remote control toys were labeled with free shipping": HobbyTron doesn't charge for delivery if your order is over $99 and you live in the lower 48 states. Several brands are also excluded from that promotion, as well as sale/refurbished/daily deal items.
Restocking Fee Of 20% On Returns
HobbyTron's return policy period is in line with the industry average of 30 days. But, you'll be charged a restocking fee of 20% here, unlike many of their rivals that don't penalize you for sending items back.
Drop In The Rankings
This retailer used to be our #1 pick for remote control toys online. Wondering why they've dropped so far in the rankings? With an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau (under the name of their parent company, World Tech Toys) and hundreds of reviews from disgruntled customers over the past year, there's no way this store could still get our highest recommendation. Poor customer service - lack of response to emails, orders charged to credit cards without ever being shipped, and rude representatives - is just the tip of the iceberg. We lost track of how many complaints we found that said that the RC toys didn't work right out of the box - and then HobbyTron wanted the customer to pay return shipping fees of $20.
HobbyTron advertises a "45 Day True Warranty": they'll repair or replace any defective product. Sounds great, but when customers are saying that their RC toys never worked and that company reps claimed that it was due to damage from use, that's not much of a guarantee.
The only thing worse than no customer service is bad customer service, and by the looks of it, that's where HobbyTron is headed. Unfortunately, we can no longer get behind this retailer as a first-rate source of remote control toys.
RC Envy is a Canadian supplier of remote control toys, from fully-assembled drones to RC car bases that you can customize as you wish. Because this is an RC specialty shop, you'll find items here that might not be available with a more generic retailer, like spare parts, action cameras, LEDs and other accessories.
Prices at this retailer were higher than average. As an example, the Redcat Racing Everest GEN7 Pro 1/10 4WD RTR Scale Rock Crawler was selling for $280 on the RC Envy site, but just $249.99 at another large-scale seller we referenced. The product description offered a price match, but there wasn't anything on the site to explain the eligibility requirements.
High Shipping Fees
Because all of the RC toys at this store ship from Canada, you can expect higher shipping rates than many of the retailers in our review. You'll pay a flat rate of $20 on any order under $250, but RC Envy will deliver for free if your purchase total is over that amount. You might find a lower free shipping threshold when you place your order: the shipping policy stated $250, but a banner on the homepage said that customers only had to spend more than $200 to qualify.
30 Day Return Window For Unopened Items
If you choose to return your remote control toy, you've got 30 days to request a Return Merchandise Authorization number and send it in. Keep in mind that you're responsible for the return shipping costs - to Canada. Also, RC Envy won't accept your return if you opened the box: it has to be new and unopened to be eligible for a refund.
Spars Customer Feedback
RC Envy hasn't left much of a footprint on the remote control toy industry. We had a hard time finding any customer feedback at all, which makes it challenging to know how well the company is doing when it comes to on-time delivery and meeting expectations. When we followed the link to RC Envy's Facebook page (from the site's "like us" on the homepage), we found only a handful of posts each year. This company doesn't seem to be doing a high volume of business, online or in person. Even their main quadcopter/drone page encouraged us to "check back in early 2015" - which was several years prior to the time of this review.
Couple that with the fact that the site URL wasn't secure - an update that should have been done years previously - and you'll see why RC Envy doesn't get one of our highest recommendations for a retailer that's keeping up with the times in the RC toys marketplace.
Trend Times isn't going to blow you away with a slick website or thousands of options for remote control toys. You'll have to look throughout the whole site to see everything they offer: you'll see tabs at the top of the site for RC cars, boats and helicopters, but if you scroll down you'll also find links for tanks, motorcycles, planes and more.
Thousands Of Choices - If You Know Where To Look
That's a must, because if you were only looking at the results found by clicking on those tabs, you'd think that Trend Times only had six remote control toys in their inventory. On the other hand, using the Remote Control cars link further down, you'll get thousands of choices, including manufacturer-specific RC cars like Ford and Audi.
How To Buy? We Still Don't Know.
Another puzzling aspect of buying remote control toys from this retailer is that all of the products we checked out had to be purchased through Trend Times' eBay store. But, when we tried to do that, we were taken to the results list for a generic search string of "remote control Ford Mustang", not to a store specific to Trend Times. In the end, we weren't sure how to buy any of the RC toys listed on this site!
14 Day Return Policy Plus A 25% Restocking Fee
The store offers a 14-day return policy, with a 25% restocking fee taken from any refunds offered. Of course, we're not sure how that works if most (if not all) orders are routed through an eBay store.
Unsurprisingly, Trend Times has a reputation that's disappointing. Their "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau comes from the 30+ complaints filed against them. True, that's not a very high number, but what struck us was the argumentative nature of Trend Times' responses to those complaints. "This is really sad as the customer is not being reasonable." "She is just trying to torment people because she did not want to spend the money on expedited shipping." "Retail business is really absurd." It's unprofessional to have that kind of back-and-forth with customers who received items that didn't match the description online or that didn't work, and who didn't get the promised resolutions to their problems. It seems that Trend Times doesn't subscribe to the adage, "The customer is always right."
Better Choices Elsewhere
There are online stores that are easy to shop and have a fantastic selection of remote control toys, backed by solid return policies and a commitment to customer service. Trend Times is not one of them. We recommend that you buy your RC toys from a higher-ranked retailer in our review.
TomTop carries a wide range of remote control toys and other hobby products. At the time of our most recent visit, there were nearly 2500 to choose from, including boats, airplanes, cars, helicopters and more.
While browsing the TomTop site, we got a pop-up offering an 8% discount. All we had to do was click to reveal the coupon code - no need to sign up for an email newsletter or anything else.
To find the RC toy you're looking for, you'll probably want to use the links on the left side of the page to narrow down the options: robots, quadcopters, and so on. Once you're on the main product page, you can sort by price, most popular items, and so on.
If you know anything about remote control toys, you're going to be impressed by the prices you find on TomTop. For example, the ZLRC Beast SG906 5G Wifi GPS FPV Drone with 4K Camera was selling for $139.99 with free shipping - down from an estimated retail price of $295.22. The lowest price we found elsewhere was $225.
Failing Grade And Scam Reports
However, TomTop earns our lowest rating among retailers of remote control toys. Why? Just take a look at what some customers have said about their experience: "scam", "do not buy anything from this website", "false advertising", "fake return address", and so on. The Better Business Bureau agrees, giving TomTop an "F" grade for failure to respond to more than two dozen of the 65+ complaints filed.
Broken Upon Delivery
Many shoppers said that the items they bought from TomTop were broken from day one - but instead of offering a refund, the company recommended that the customers take the products somewhere local to be repaired. Not that a refund would do much good: you only have 14 days for returns, and you'll have to send your RC toy all the way back to China to do it. Most of the time, you'll spend more to ship your returns back to TomTop than you paid for your whole order.
Run Away, Don't Walk
For all of those reasons, we can't think of a good reason to buy your remote control toys from TomTop. It's practically a guarantee that you'll have a better customer experience with any other retailer.
Best of all, online shopping has made it fast and easy to find the perfect remote control toys for every budget and experience level. There's no need to hunt up one of the few remaining brick-and-mortar hobby shops, make the drive, and then be frustrated by a small inventory and high prices - because the best selection is just a few clicks away.
However, not all online retailers of remote control toys are created equal. How can you make sure you're choosing the best one for your RC purchase? Here are several factors to evaluate before you order:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online stores for buying remote control toys. We hope this information helps you find the perfect plane, boat or car for endless hours of fun!
Select any 2 Remote Control Toy Stores to compare them head to head
YAHOO!News on MSN
Amazon Is Packed with Cyber Week Deals on Toys and Games to Give as ...
Amazon's Cyber Week sale is still in action, and there are plenty of toys and games that are discounted. Shoppers can score markdowns on card games, building sets, and arts and crafts from brands like ...
Fri, 02 Dec 2022