Five Tips for Selecting Holiday Toys and Gifts

This article is specially focused on the needs of grandparents, but applies equally as well for any individual seeking a special gift for a young boy or teen.

Making the decision of what to buy is the first obstacle that must be overcome. What do boys enjoy playing with; what is a good resource for answers to this question; who do I know that can provide useful information. These were the thoughts that crossed my mind as I face the challenge of buying holiday gifts for my grandsons and nephews. Just as my children are adults, so also are the children of my friends, and we have been out of the children business for quite a while. After visiting with other family members, friends and associates, I decided on a toy-such as a car, plane, boat, etc. Yea, I have overcome
my first challenge.

Second, I must find a suitable toy for a nine year and a twelve year old boy. When my son was young he enjoyed playing with cars so I am beginning my research with cars. My son pushed his cars along but now there are motorized toys. I can see him now, down on his knees making zooming sounds and pushing his cars along. Do boys still enjoy these things or do they spend all their time on computer related toys..hmmm.

Next decision-do I select a car, boat or plane. Again, thinking back to my son’s youth he really seemed to enjoy cars. I think I will investigate motorized cars and further refine my selection process. Thank goodness for ‘GOOGLE’. Wow, that search brought back 1,900,000 responses-still way to broad. One of the vendors listed was Amazon. I have had success shopping online there so that is my next stop.

Four, I have decided on the vendor and the broad category-motorized cars. Next, I must determine value for cost and life of the product. Again, remembering my son and his toys I cannot expect a long life for the use of this item. Especially if my boys like the item, they will probably play with it a lot. If they don’t like it too much they may become creative and take it apart. Thus the price decision should reflect purchase of an item that will have a relatively short use time. As a girl I was a ‘tomboy’ and liked cars, and especially trains. I am going to pick an item that I would enjoy playing with even today. But, will field test my choice by getting ideas from other youngsters.

My final challenge is to decide which of the RC cars and trucks that fall in my price range to select. Should I select a truck or a car… hmmm. One solution would be to buy both a truck and car (total cost falling within the price limit allowed.) Another option is to look at the ratings others have given to these two items and then make a choice.

Conclusion: I am just going to have fun looking for and playing with the prospective items I may purchase. I will then make a decision and hope for the best. My family would really laugh if they knew how much turmoil I have undergone in trying to make a selection. But, the deed is done. The younger grandson will receive a remote controlled car.

Remote Control Cars – A Great Hobby for Everyone

Recently I discovered a wonderful hobby, remote control cars. When I was younger I enjoyed building model car kits and gluing them together, then painting them. I eventually advanced to the RC cars or commonly called radio controlled.

Starting your on radio control hobby can be quiet rewarding from the cheaper models starting at less than $50 and the more expensive ones near $1000. It really is like anything else when buying products; you get what you pay for. Today’s cars are very sophisticated with many features found in your own automobile such as shock absorbers, rubber tires, four-wheel drive, aluminum chassis, and brakes.

With your remote control unit you can make your car accelerate, turn left or right, and reverse using the FM transmitter. Plug in crystals allow you to race on different frequencies so you can run against several other cars. Many of the bigger hobby shops have car clubs with their own tracks to run your cars.

Like their bigger predecessors, occasionally you will crash and need parts to repair your car. That is why I recommend buying a car that has replaceable parts. Almost all the cars costing one hundred dollars and up sell enter changeable parts

There are basically two types of remote-controlled cars; electric (battery) and nitro (a type of fuel) which will run according to charging a battery or filling with fuel.

First let us look at the battery-powered car. Battery powered cars are just as sophisticated as the nitro ones, the only difference being electric motor or a gasoline type engine. Running time is based solely on the amount of charge and the type of battery contained in the car. The newer batteries called Lipo can power a car in access of 70 miles per hour using a brushless DC motor. Many people claim the electric cars are faster than the nitro.

Next, let us look at the nitro powered cars. These cars use a blend of fuels to power a piston actuated motor similar to your own automobile. Many models come with pull type starter using a glow plug to fire the engine. I do not recommend these type cars for younger children without strict adult supervision do to the fact you are using gasoline type fuels which could ignite if not properly handled. These types of engines are great for the bigger scale cars and monster trucks.

As you can see, there is more to RC cars than just putting batteries in them and driving them across the living room floor. For anyone who is a car enthusiast and looking for a fun hobby I highly recommend taking a look at remote-controlled cars. This is a great family hobby, for both adults and children that can last for many years.