Toy Grade vs Hobby Grade RC Cars

One of the first things to understand when looking to by an RC car is what grade it is. There are two – toy grade and hobby grade. In this article we want to look at each one in more detail giving examples so you can understand which one you should buy and why.

What are Toy Grade RC Cars?

A toy grade RC Car is a car that is designed as a one off full assembled toy. They look great and are very affordable in price but they cannot be adapted, personalised or have parts replaced when damaged. They are also slower than a hobby grade car with a more limited range.

They are still a great option for beginners and particularly children who are looking to get started in the radio controlled world.


  • Ideal Christmas/Birthday gift for a Child
  • Perfect for a beginner on a limited budget.


  • When it breaks it breaks – nothing you can do about it.
  • Its performance is not as good as a hobby grade.

What are Hobby Grade RC Cars?

Hobby grade RC cars are a type of car that allows for parts to be changed or upgraded. This is ideal for when parts are damaged. They are typically more expensive but will last a lot longer than the toy grade alternative.

When each individual part can be replaced the car can be saved when a part breaks. You simply buy the part you need and with a little help replace the part. The car lives on making it much better value for money despite its higher initial cost.


  • Better performance
  • More choice
  • Changeable parts


  • More expensive

Toy Grade vs Hobby Grade: Examples

One of the best ways to see the difference is to see some examples. Below are two of each starting with toy grade. The first is clearly a toy grade car designed for kids. We put it in to show the real range of models there are starting with RC cars for 5 year olds right through to the petrol powered beasts only adults should drive.

Geekera Remote Control Car

We start with the Geekera Remote Control Car. This vehicle has been chosen because as toy grade RC cars go they do not come much more exciting – and affordable. This car is ideal for anyone looking to buy a child a present.

The vehicle is brightly coloured green making it attractive all children. It has a chargeable battery in the car with two AA batteries in the controller. It comes with LED lights, $ wheel drive and can do stunts because of its fantastic design.

The design is particularly interesting. It is designed so no matter which way up it is the wheels will still touch the ground. This is a really good feature as a standard RC car can if driven badly be tipped over. Once that happens you have to go to get it. With this design you shouldn’t have that problem – your child can go crazy.

As said above this is a great toy to give a child as a Christmas or birthday present. It costs less than £30 and has everything that a remote control needs for a young child.


ANTAPRCIS RC Remote Control Car

This is the Antaprcis RC Remote Control Car and as you can see it is much more what you think of when imagining an RC Car. Despite this the car is still toy grade and costs under £40. It looks amazing though right?

The vehicle is designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. Perhaps a child’s last toy grade car?

This 1:16 scale car is 31 cm long by 19 wide and 12 cm tall. It weighs just 531 grams and can really move. It is made from a non toxic ABS plastic and is powered by an electric motor.

This car is ideal for getting a child into radio controlled cars. It could also be good for getting an adult into the hobby too. It is an affordable vehicle which means it you find that RC cars are not for you you haven’t broken the bank.

The best thing about this car other than the looks, the performance and the price is that it is ideal for helping kids to develop their hand eye co-ordination. It is one of the many benefits of radio controlled cars.


Subaru WRX Style Drift RC Car

The Subaru WRX Style Drift RC Car is the perfect example of a beginners hobby grade RC car. As you can see it looks just like the real thing only one tenth of the size (1:10 Scale).

Available from Nitrotek this car is available in a number of different shells. It costs just over £100 which is a good amount for any adult looking to get into the hobby.

As with all hobby grade it can be upgraded with broken parts easily swopped out. We think this is one of the most stunning RC cars out there. It makes the perfect example of what hobby grade models can provide.

Marauder Petrol RC Truck

The Marauder Petrol RC Truck is for us one of the very best petrol powered RC Cars. It is a monster of a vehicle that is not only fast but powerful too.

It is officially 1:5 scale with dimensions of 860mm long by  430mm wide and 300mm tall. With a run time of 20-30 minutes this truck will provide plenty of fun. What is better is because it can be toped up easily you can spend much more time driving than you would with a chargeable vehicle.

This is definitely a vehicle for adults and for those with a little more experience. It is tough to drive as a first car although not impossible. It is however a fantastic example of a hobby grade with each and every part replaceable individually.



For those looking to buy a RC car for a child or want a cheap car to test your interest a toy grade RC car is ideal. For those wanting to get into the hobby on a more serious level with the ability to change broken parts or have a large budget a hobby grade is more appropriate. Ultimately it depends on your particular circumstances.

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