After spending 11 hours testing, reviewing, and researching the market for RC car kits, we’ve concluded Tamiya TT-02 to be the best RC kit overall, for most users.
We have considered the most critical factors in the world of RC kit building – which are complexity, time to build, building experience, component quality, and the end product.
In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the top 10 of the best RC kits on the market, and depending on your preferences and budget – we are sure to have a perfect pick for you!
Table of Contents
Best RC Kit Overall - Tamiya TT-02
TT-02 Ford Mustang GT is the latest TT-02 platform-based DYI build kit from Tamiya.
The body of this Ford Mustang is an absolute masterpiece, which is one of the key selling points for Tamiya.
The attention to detail is mind-blowing, and let me tell you, photos don’t do it justice.
Assembling this beauty is a joy. The chassis itself comes together like a breeze with building instructions that are intuitive and easy to follow. I spent about an hour and a half on it, and I was already grinning.
About the body – you might think it’s just two colors, but don’t be fooled. Applying over 90 decals and perfecting that gunmetal and black paint job took me around three to four hours. But man, was it worth it! The result is a head-turning scale Mustang that’s a pure joy to drive.
The heart of this beast lies in its 540 Torque Tuned motor. It’s a step up from the standard silver can motor and offers just the right balance of power for some exciting on-road fun.
The TBL EO2 SP controller is another ace up its sleeve. You can run brushed or even upgrade to brushless motors with this gem.
Driving the ready-to-go kit is great with chassis handling like a dream, especially on smooth surfaces. The handling felt solid, and it took corners like a champ.
The scale details, including the faux disc brakes, add to the realism and make this Mustang a standout.
This kit is a 30th-anniversary tribute to Mr. M Tamiya, the founder of the company. It’s a true collector’s gem, commemorating Tamiya USA’s establishment. Building it was an honor, knowing the legacy it represents. So, while I didn’t put in ball bearings initially, this one’s going on my shelf as an homage. Lastly, the TT-02 chassis is full of upgrade potential, in case you want to up your game later.
If you’re seeking a build that’s not only a blast to put together but also guarantees eye-catching, scale-driving excitement, the Tamiya TT-02 Ford Mustang GT is the one. It’s an RC car with history, style, and performance all rolled into one. Get ready to hit the road or even a race track with this beauty – I sure did, and I loved every minute of it!
|Detailed, quality body with 90 decals|
|Adjustable wheel base|
|Speed controller ready for brushless|
|Friction damper shocks|
|Electronics not included|
Best Budget RC Kit - ECX AMP MT
The foundation of the ECX AMP vehicles is a two-piece chassis constructed from injection-molded nylon composite. This design ensures robustness while incorporating a touch of flexibility, facilitating resilience against impacts.
The AMP models sport fully independent suspension systems, characterized by smoothness and efficiency. Each corner features a composite-bodied, oil-filled coil-over shock with dual bottom seals, minimizing oil leakage and contaminants. Shock preload adjustment is facilitated through provided spacers. The suspension arms, akin to the chassis, exhibit durability combined with enough elasticity to withstand collisions.
Steering within the AMP vehicles relies on a waterproof Spektrum S607 servo, known for its decent speed and torque. This servo connects to a dual bellcrank-style steering mechanism, including a spring-loaded servo saver on one side to protect gears during heavy impacts.
The AMP vehicles arrive fully equipped with everything you’ll need for your build, including the 1800mAh NiMH battery with a trickle-type wall charger. A unique feature for a 1/10-scale is the combined ESC/receiver unit fixed to the chassis’s right side. Power wires equipped with a high-current EC3 connector extend from the battery to the ESC/receiver. The compact 2.4GHz transmitter, while not ideal for larger hands, is well-suited for entry-level users and young enthusiasts.
The AMP DB variant is available with either a black/yellow or white/red buggy body, complete with a functional rear wing for improved traction. On the other hand, the AMP MT arrives with a black/green or white/orange open-wheeled pickup truck body. Both models share a set of versatile all-terrain tires, performing admirably in diverse environments. The only tire distinction lies in the narrower front tires on the DB version compared to those on the MT.
|Top value RC kit|
|Comes with everyting you need in the box|
|Plenty of upgrade parts available|
|Extremely robust and flexible chassis|
|Not recommended to use LiPo battery|
Best Advanced RC Kit - Gmade Buffalo
Gmade Buffalo GS02F Scale Crawler Kit – a true masterpiece for passionate scale modelers who love building.
I spent a whole week putting this beauty together, and let me tell you, it was worth every moment. If you’re a true hobbyist who enjoys the satisfaction of constructing from scratch, the Buffalo is your dream come true.
Unlike other kits, Gmade really went all-in on the true builder experience here.
From various screw types to meticulous part hunting, this is a project that caters to your inner modeler.
What struck me most during assembly was the impeccable fit and finish. The attention to detail is remarkable, and the quality shines through every step. The steel ladder frame, twin rails, and steel axles are all thoughtfully designed for durability while retaining a lightweight feel.
When it comes to the body, the Chevrolet-style blazer body screams authenticity, even if it’s not licensed. The graphics package adds a touch of flair, and the utility-style roof rack, complete with a light bar, enhances the rugged vibe.
The Buffalo doesn’t just look the part; it excels in practicality too. The motor placement up front adds weight to those front wheels, ensuring excellent traction and control. Shifting gears is a blast, offering both the power for off-road thrills and the precision for technical crawling.
On the trails, the Buffalo’s smooth driveline offers a stealthy quietness, and the suspension proves its mettle by conquering a variety of terrains. Climbing rocks, tackling inclines, or just maneuvering through obstacles – it handles it all with grace. Even though the suspension is relatively stiff, it strikes a balance between handling and articulation, and I found myself pushing this truck to its limits without a hitch.
Lastly, Buffalo is very customization friendly. You can add lights, experiment with different weights, and possibly fit an interior to enhance its realism.
In conclusion, the Gmade Buffalo GS02F Scale Crawler Kit is a true gem for builders and enthusiasts alike. From its meticulous construction process to its impressive on-trail performance, this kit has all the makings of an instant classic.
|Unparalleled attention to details|
|A very capable RC crawler|
|A gem for experienced RC kit builders|
Best Off Road RC Kit - Traxxas Slash
The 1/10 Slash Short Course racing truck kit is a DYI version of the highly popular Traxxas Slash stadium truck that the company is known for.
Now you can construct your Slash from scratch with all essential components and electronics provided in the package, except the battery and the charger.
The convenience of a TQ™ 2.4GHz radio system, a potent Titan® electric motor, and a waterproof XL-5 electronic speed control comes in the box.
Neatly organized parts in labeled bags, accompanied by a vivid color manual, ensure a rewarding and enjoyable building process. The Slash assembly kit suits drivers of various ages and skill levels, offering the Traxxas way of RC fun—swift, enjoyable, and user-friendly.
The Slash 2WD Kit is not confined to advanced hobbyists. Traxxas invests effort into crafting an easily comprehensible and enjoyable full-color instruction book. Each section aligns with a labeled bag featuring step-by-step assembly guidelines. Accurate-to-scale part visuals and ruler charts simplify the differentiation of screws, bearings, and gears. Valuable assembly tips and clear visuals alleviate assembly frustrations. Embrace the workbench and outdoor excitement with the new Slash 2WD kit.
The Slash 2WD kit arrives primed for assembly, inclusive of a pre-cut clear body and a comprehensive color instruction guide for gratifying and fun building. Knowledgeable representatives are at your service via phone, website, or email for addressing queries.
|Best in class instructions|
|Traxxas build quality|
Most Authentic RC Kit - Vanquish VS4-10
Welcome the new Vanquish VS4-10 Phoenix Straight Axle Edition. This is a game-changer, a true testament to Vanquish’s commitment to excellence in the RC world.
The F10 straight axles are the star here, giving the truck a more realistic look and an exciting driving dynamic. But it’s not just about aesthetics.
The VS4-10 still carries all the exceptional features that made the Phoenix version a standout – just in a straight axle setup.
One of the most impressive aspects is the attention to detail in the design.
The aluminum oil cap is a small touch that speaks volumes about Vanquish’s dedication to quality. The straight axles, despite their simplicity, are robust and well-constructed, adding a hint of elegance to the chassis. I found the construction process to be smooth and straightforward, and the weight savings from omitting certain shifting servos only enhance its agility.
Performance-wise, the VS4-10 Straight Axle Edition doesn’t disappoint. With a Castle Copperhead 10 ESC and a 2850 censored slate brushless motor, it delivers power in a controlled and exhilarating manner. The included Reefs RC Triple Eight steering servo ensures precise control, while the upgraded 90mm shocks offer impressive dampening without any leakage concerns.
What truly sets this kit apart is its versatility. The selectable overdrive and dig options add an extra layer of excitement and challenge to your off-road adventures. And trust me, I had a blast experimenting with different setups. Whether you’re a seasoned RC pro or a newcomer, you’ll find joy in customizing this kit to your preferences.
As an RC enthusiast who appreciates realism, I’m head over heels for the straight axle setup. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about reflecting the design of real-world off-road vehicles. And this kit nails it, down to the finer details like the redesigned steering and panhard links.
Now, I know you might be wondering about the portal axles. While they have their merits, the straight axle design offers a lower center of gravity, making this truck even more stable in challenging terrains. Plus, I can’t help but feel that the straight axles give the truck a sleeker and more aggressive look. It’s a personal preference, but I’m sold on the straight axle concept.
If you’re looking to elevate your RC game, the Vanquish VS4-10 Straight Axle Edition is the way to go. It’s not just about driving a truck; it’s about embracing a passion, a lifestyle, and a community. With its impeccable design, performance, and customization options, this kit has earned its spot as a leader in the market. So go ahead, conquer those trails, tackle those rocks, and experience RC off-roading like never before.
|Top of the class authenticity|
|Great, grippy tires|
|Lightweigh and stable truck|
|ESC and motor not included|
Best Retro RC Kit - Kyosho Tomahawk
Are you ready for a thrilling ride that’s both a blast to build and a joy to drive into a distant retro past? Look no further than the Kyosho Tomahawk!
The build process was a treat in itself. The kit comes with all the high-quality parts neatly organized and labeled.
What struck me immediately was the attention to detail and the metal components that make up a significant portion of the car.
As I pieced it together, I couldn’t help but admire the precision engineering that went into this vehicle, especially into the aluminum parts.
The assembly was a breeze, thanks to the clear instructions provided in the box. It’s a perfect entry point for newcomers to the world of RC cars, as well as a satisfying project for experienced builders. The icing on the cake was the already-cut body, which meant less time masking and more time enjoying the build.
Once assembled, the Tomahawk’s packs some decent performance with the 490 size motor. It provides decent power for good acceleration, and the suspension system soaked up bumps and jumps with ease. Whether I was tearing through rough terrain or performing slick maneuvers on a track, the Tomahawk handled like a dream.
The attention to detail extends to the body design, with a vibrant red finish that’s both eye-catching and rugged. And let’s not forget the driver figure that adds a touch of personality. The easy customization options for the lights and details allowed me to tailor the Tomahawk to my taste.
The Tomahawk isn’t just about speed; it’s about conquering challenges with flair. The inclusion of metal protection bars at the back and aluminum collars adds an extra layer of durability. It’s reassuring to know that the Tomahawk is ready for whatever obstacles I throw at it.
If you’re on the hunt for an RC car that combines classic design with modern performance, the Kyosho Tomahawk deserves a spot in your collection. It’s an investment that promises countless hours of fun, exploration, and a dash of nostalgia. Get ready to let loose and experience the thrill of the Tomahawk for yourself!
|Brilliant retro design|
|Lots of aluminum parts|
|High quality build|
|Does not come with the motor & ESC|
Best RC Kit For Kids - Tamiya Comical Avante
When it comes to fun RC buggies, the Tamiya Comical Avante is in a league of its own.
If you’re a fan of the classic Avanti, you’re in for a treat, because this comical rendition takes the excitement to a whole new level.
The first thing that catches your eye is the body – a perfect replica of the original Avanti, complete with that iconic exaggerated look.
The pre-painted metallic blue finish is simply stunning and pays homage to Tamiya’s attention to detail. The little touches, like the new paranoid Perry driver figure with the motocross helmet, add a playful vibe that’s hard to resist.
Under the hood, the GFO-1 platform delivers some decent performance and durability. The drivetrain is equipped with gear differentials, metal outdrives, and even metal axle shafts, ensuring this beast can handle whatever terrain you throw at it. And let’s not forget the oil-filled CVA shocks – they give this buggy a smooth, controlled ride that’s just begging for action.
Speaking of action, the fun doesn’t stop when you hit the dirt. The Comical Avante’s four-wheel drive system takes the excitement up a notch. It’s incredibly responsive, providing a planted front end and a stable drive, even over jumps and bumps. In addition, the buggy is built tough and handles tumbles and rough terrain with ease.
Assembling the Comical Avante was a breeze, thanks to Tamiya’s meticulous instructions. The monocoque chassis design, coupled with oil-filled shocks, delivers both performance and accessibility. Keep in mind that the kit does not come with ball bearings, so if you are planning to use it regularly – I suggest you get yourself a set in advance.
The included 540 motor is fine for starters, but the Tamiya TBLM platform the kit is based on – opens up a world of possibilities with alternative upgrade parts available. With the right gearing, you can unleash even more speed and excitement, making those wide turns and jumps even more exhilarating.
One feature I absolutely adore is the option to add LED lights. It’s like customizing your own little beast, and I’ve already added them to mine for those late-night off-road adventures. Coupled with body customization such as fog lights, exhaust tips, and decals make it a true canvas for personalization.
In conclusion, the Tamiya Comical Avante is a great and most importantly fun kit to build. It is more than just a remote control car – it’s an experience. From the stunning body to the four-wheel drive thrill, this buggy brings the past into the present with a twist of fun and excitement. So, if you’re seeking a new level of RC fun, the Comical Avante is ready to take you on a ride!
|Great to assemble with kids|
|Exceptional fun factor|
|Flexibility of the TBLM platform|
Best Competition RC Kit - Losi 8IGHT XE
Team Losi Racing 8IGHT platform was designed for 1/8 scale buggy and truggy racing inspired by Losi winning RC cars.
8IGHT XE has a fresh design despite it retaining a few familiar elements from previous versions, it has been completely rebuilt from the ground up.
The wider cab-forward body is an absolute winner in my book. Not only does it look sleek and aerodynamic, but it also adds a sense of stability to the buggy’s stance.
One standout feature is the revamped rear wing.
They’ve put some thought into reducing drag while maintaining downforce, offering both a standard wicker bill and a smaller one for those seeking less resistance. Plus, the aluminum wing buttons are a nice touch, adding a touch of durability to the package.
The optimization of the shocks is quite evident as they handle bumps with grace and precision, and the bleeder cap is a smart addition. Moreover, they even provide bladder options. The shock towers—front and rear—are built for greatness, showcasing the precision that Team Losi Racing is known for.
The suspension arms have received a solid upgrade, with narrower pivots and optional inserts for that extra fine-tuning. Steering-wise, they’ve introduced a new elastomer-based servo saver setup. It’s impressive how they’ve gone above and beyond in making even the tiniest details count.
The rear shocks and hubs offer you the choice to place the rear shocks in the front for distinct performance advantages. It’s all about flexibility and adaptability if you are planning to race it.
As for handling, this is what Losi buggies and truggies are known for – a wider setup and smoother handling compared to its predecessors have made a sizable difference. It navigates the track’s twists, turns, and jumps with an elegance that’s hard to beat.
It’s clear that TLR have poured their heart and soul into this iteration of 8EIGHT-XE. So, if you’re a fan of precision engineering, stunning design, and a performance that makes you want to hit the track time and again, this buggy might just be your new best friend. Don’t take my word for it—take it to the track and experience the rush for yourself!
|Time tested and proven platform|
|Lots of upgrades in the kit|
|Easy gearbox, diff case access|
Best Rock Crawler RC Kit - Axial Capra
If you’re on the lookout for an RC vehicle that takes your off-road adventures to the next level, then Axial Capra might be the kit for you.
The Axial Capra is a 1.9 unlimited trail buggy that’s designed for those who crave adventure and challenges.
The building process was a treat as the attention to detail that Axial poured into this kit was impressive.
The cage design is not just for show – it’s a composite plastic roll cage that adds to the rugged look and feel of this buggy.
Putting it together was a joy, although it did require a bit of patience and a good set of tools.
With its Currie F9 portal axles, you get unbeatable ground clearance, making those rocky terrains look easy to pass. The steel gears in the axles ensure durability and strength, which is crucial when you’re pushing the limits. And speaking of pushing limits, the 45-degree steering capability allows for tight turns that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.
The suspension system is on point. The large bore shocks with aluminum bodies provide a smooth ride over all sorts of rough terrain. And even though it comes with its own wheels, I would opt for Pro-Line Hyrax tires for that extra grip and control.
What truly sets the Axial Capra apart is the attention Axial paid to the little things. The attention to detail on the interior and exterior – from the molded side panels to the light bar – just makes you appreciate the craftsmanship. The adjustable battery compartment gives you flexibility with your power setup, and the metal components throughout the build give you the peace of mind that this rig is built to last.
if you’re looking for an RC experience building one of the best RC crawlers on the market, the Axial Capra is your go-to kit. Whether you’re tackling trails, climbing rocks, or just showing off its killer design, the Axial Capra will undoubtedly leave you with memories of exhilarating adventures.
|Attention to details|
|DIG transmission capable|
|One of the most capable rock crawlers made|
|Tricky build that needs some tooling|
How To Choose the Best RC Car Kit - Buying Guide
In the world of exhilarating hobbies, few experiences match the sheer excitement of controlling a high-speed, precision-engineered RC car.
These miniature marvels offer enthusiasts of all ages an opportunity to dive into a world of fast-paced racing, skillful maneuvering, and endless customization.
Whether you’re a novice seeking an entry point into the realm of remote control vehicles or a seasoned hobbyist in search of the next adrenaline-pumping challenge, choosing the perfect RC car kit can make all the difference.
This comprehensive review guide is your compass in navigating the expansive landscape of RC car kits, unveiling the key features, benefits, and considerations that define exceptional products. From the thrill of assembling your own vehicle to dominating diverse terrains with power and finesse, join us as we explore the must-have features and intricate nuances that elevate RC car kits into a league of their own.
1. Build Complexity
The build complexity of an RC car kit refers to the level of difficulty in assembling the car. For beginners, a simple and straightforward assembly process with detailed step-by-step instructions is often preferred. On the other hand, experienced hobbyists might be drawn to more intricate builds that challenge their skills. Choosing the right level of build complexity ensures that users have an enjoyable and satisfying experience. Novices can build their confidence while more advanced users can tackle complex components for a sense of accomplishment. When reviewing a product, describe the assembly process in a way that highlights its accessibility for beginners or its complexity for those seeking a challenge.
2. Customization Options
Customization options are a significant aspect of RC car kits, allowing users to personalize their vehicles according to their preferences and style. These options can include interchangeable body shells, various wheel choices, and performance upgrades. The ability to customize an RC car encourages creativity and allows users to adapt their vehicles for specific tracks or conditions. When reviewing a kit, focus on the range of customizable parts available and how they can be easily integrated into the overall build. Highlight the flexibility users have to modify both the appearance and performance of their RC cars.
3. Speed and Performance
Speed and performance are key factors for users interested in racing and competitions. Different RC car kits offer varying speed capabilities and performance features, such as acceleration, top speed, and handling. The level of speed and performance a kit provides can greatly influence the excitement of racing experiences and the competitiveness of users. When reviewing a product, discuss the specific speed and performance attributes it offers. Highlight any advanced features that contribute to exceptional acceleration, top speeds, and overall performance on the track.
4. Terrain Versatility
The ability of an RC car kit to navigate various terrains is essential for outdoor play and racing. Different kits may excel on specific surfaces like pavement, dirt, grass, or sand. Users who want to explore different environments will prioritize a kit that offers terrain versatility. When reviewing a kit, emphasize its compatibility with various terrains and surfaces. Mention any specialized features such as off-road tires or adjustable suspensions that contribute to better performance on different types of ground.
5. Power Source (Electric/Nitro)
RC car kits come in two main power sources: electric and nitro-powered. Electric cars are generally more user-friendly and easier to maintain, making them ideal for beginners. Nitro cars, on the other hand, provide a more authentic experience with realistic engine sounds and higher speeds. The choice of power source depends on the user’s preferences and experience level. When reviewing a product, provide a balanced comparison between electric and nitro-powered kits. Highlight the convenience and ease of use for electric kits and the excitement and realism of nitro engines.
6. Remote Control System
The remote control system is a critical component of an RC car kit, allowing users to control the car’s movements. Different systems offer varying ranges and functionalities, influencing the car’s responsiveness and maneuverability. A reliable remote control system ensures precise control, enhancing the overall driving experience. When reviewing a kit, describe the features of the remote control system, such as its range, sensitivity, and available channels. Emphasize how the system contributes to smooth and accurate control of the RC car.
7. Durability and Build Quality
Durability and build quality are essential considerations for RC car kits, especially for users who enjoy intense driving or competitive racing. A well-constructed car with high build quality can withstand crashes and impacts, leading to less maintenance and greater longevity. When reviewing a kit, highlight the durable materials used in its construction, such as reinforced plastics or metal components. Discuss the design elements that contribute to crash resistance and overall build quality, ensuring the car’s ability to withstand demanding usage.
8. Battery Life and Charging Time
For electric RC car kits, battery life and charging time are crucial factors that impact the duration of playtime and downtime between charges. Longer battery life and shorter charging times maximize the enjoyment of the RC car and minimize interruptions. When reviewing a product, specify the average battery life and provide information about the included charger. Highlight any features that contribute to fast charging or options for upgrading to higher-capacity batteries, ensuring extended and uninterrupted play sessions.
9. Support and Community
A brand that offers active user communities and support resources adds significant value to an RC car kit. These communities provide users with opportunities to share experiences, troubleshoot issues, and learn from others. Access to a supportive community enhances users’ understanding, troubleshooting capabilities, and overall satisfaction. When reviewing a kit, highlight any official forums, social media groups, or resources provided by the manufacturer. Emphasize the benefits of connecting with fellow enthusiasts and the potential for valuable insights and assistance.
10. Price and Value
Price and value are essential considerations when evaluating an RC car kit. Users want to ensure that the features and performance offered by the kit justify the investment. A balanced price-to-value ratio ensures user satisfaction and confidence in their purchase decision. When reviewing a product, discuss the price range in relation to the features and benefits it provides. Highlight any standout features that contribute to the kit’s value and make it a worthwhile investment for users seeking high-quality performance and components.
An RC car kit is a package containing all the components you need to build your own remote-controlled car from scratch. Inside the kit, you'll find the chassis, tires, electronic components, and a detailed instruction manual. Follow the step-by-step guide to assemble the car using the provided tools. It's a rewarding experience that offers both the joy of building and the excitement of driving your creation.
RC car kits offer a hands-on experience, enhancing your understanding of car mechanics and electronics. They promote creativity and problem-solving while allowing customization to fit your preferences. By building it yourself, you gain a deeper connection with the car, which often leads to better maintenance and a greater sense of accomplishment when racing.
While building an RC car can be straightforward, issues like misaligned gears, loose wires, or improperly attached components might arise. The included manual usually addresses these, but if you're stuck, many online forums and communities are ready to help. Patience is key, and troubleshooting these hiccups can further your learning experience.
RC car kits provide exceptional value for money. While pre-assembled cars are convenient, kits offer a deeper understanding of your vehicle. You learn about each part's function and how they come together, making repairs easier. Kits also let you choose higher quality parts, potentially resulting in better performance and durability.
Certainly! RC car kits allow you to tailor every aspect of your car. From the motor to the suspension, you're in control. This level of customization is rarely found in ready-to-run cars. Additionally, kits often use higher-grade materials, offering improved performance. Remember, the pride of driving something you've built is unparalleled.
Yes, most reputable manufacturers provide a warranty on the components included in the kit. Warranties typically cover defects in materials or workmanship. It's essential to carefully read and understand the warranty terms provided by the manufacturer.
Yes, most of the time. One of the advantages of RC car kits is the ability to upgrade and modify your car as your skills and preferences evolve. From swapping out the motor to upgrading the suspension, there's a wide range of aftermarket parts available that can enhance your car's performance and appearance. Just make sure the new parts are compatible with your kit.
Remember, building and driving an RC car from a kit is not just a hobby; it's an adventure that combines learning, creativity, and excitement. If you're new to the world of RC cars, don't be afraid to start with a kit. The process will provide you with valuable skills and a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of these amazing machines.