Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars

Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars

Fall 2016 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $99.99

The Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars science kit contains all of the parts needed to assemble approximately 10 different remote control cars (one at a time), a simple, front-back, left-right controller and an instruction manual which outlines experiments to test skill and simple physics.

The kit's parts will be immediately recognized by any child who has mastered Lego kits. The pieces snap together in a similar way, but are small and require good dexterity. The instructions are in picture (diagram) form and are easily followed. Assembly requires 30-40 steps.

Among the kit's highlights are the pages interspersed in the instructions that explain the concepts and history of cars. I was especially impressed with the discussion of the physics of cars. Parent involvement may be helpful to get the most out of these sections, for example linking the explanation of torque back to the kit's adjustable gearbox.

Although $100 is not inexpensive, I was impressed with the kit's value: 260 pieces, including the electric motor and remote control devices, and an 80 page instruction book. The book is a gem.

As a parent (who has built one and fully restored two cars), I cannot recommend Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars more enthusiastically. Children with any interest in cars or in building machines will be mesmerized for hours on end building and testing model cars.

John Green   ©2016 Parents' Choice
John Green is an economist in Washington DC and father of three. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos

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