This article was originally published in the RC Driver’s March 2016 issue.
What was it that got you into RC? Were you interested in models and stumbled upon the world of radio control? Did you see someone bashing an RC vehicle in the street or yard and say you had to have one too? Did you buy several toy store brand machines before researching the hobby side of RC?
For me it was the search for a new hobby and I was introduced to RC by a friend of my father’s. It took me just a short while to catch the RC bug hook line and sinker and I’ve never looked back since. Other friends of mine, however, found the hobby side of RC after being introduced to the toy RC cars first. They went through a number of toys before researching to find a better solution to get their radio control fix.
Nowadays, it seems like RC manufacturers are trying harder and harder to bridge that gap between the toy and hobby world. Now we have hobby grade machines with foam dart missile launchers mounted to them and trucks with bodies that look like skulls. There are buggies with bears in them and plenty of vehicle offerings for the magical $100 price point.
To the hard-core RC guy, those wild, wacky and budget friendly offerings don’t scream, “RC” and in fact many turned their nose up to it, but if we all look back many of us could probably say that the toy side of RC is what got us started. So with cars that bridge the gap making it even easier to find the hobby grade side of RC, I think it’s great exposure for the hobby. Bring on more foam missile machines; they really pumped my kids up to drive RC with me more. Those skull bodies on the truck chassis held my kids captive longer than their pick-up style trucks.
At this time we need all the support we can get for the hobby side of RC and with companies making it super easy to transition from one realm to another, we should see new growth in the hobby. But this effort needs the established RC community to help it along, too. Before you send someone to the shop to spend big bucks on a race machine, consider how the person needs to get into the hobby. They might need to give it a whirl first and a transition car may just be the best route. They may speed more later but for now, easing them into RC could be the best route.
Thanks for being a part of promoting the hobby in the way you see fit. We’re all about the promotion of RC so let us know your story of how you got someone into RC and it may just make the print pages of RC Driver. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject: RC Start.