Flying toys have regained their popularity in the past couple years.
Drones are no longer toys for privileged kids, if you know how to shop properly. There are helicopters, quadcopters, hexacopters; there are ones with and without cameras, with and without gyroscopes, with and without first-person view.
A lot of photography and movie companies use drones because they are a lot cheaper than building a rail; many farmers and land surveyors use drones instead of planes because they do not consume nearly as much fuel and do the job just as good, so knowing how to operate a drone can turn into a very necessary and profitable job. Not to mention is it a lot of fun.
In Vancouver, where I live, drones have become so popular, that the law enforcement had to make no-fly zones, and regularly enforce them. And in Netherlands cops even use trained eagles to catch unauthorized drones.
I have two remote control toys: a helicopter and a drone, both have been gifted to me by my friends on my 25th birthday. Both are occasionally used to annoy my girlfriend and to freak out my dog – I'm not sure who hates them more. A friend of mine recently got an FPV version of WLToys V686 (listed below), which we got for “wild” camping to look for good tenting spots around.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
FQ777-124 Mini Pocket Drone
A tiny drone that weighs only 14 gr. (~0.5 oz.) allows for a tru portability. But don't let the size fool you, it is a normal drone in a fun-sized package.Its remote also serves as a charger.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/JhX0Tr
WLToys S977 helicopter with a camera
This helicopter has built-in 1.3 mp camera, LED lights and a 512 mb micro-SD card as a bonus.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/92Q0ID
This small quadcopter is the most purchased one on AliExpress.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/7B1Nq
JJRC H20 Hexacopter
Hexacopters are just like regular quadcopter drones, but instead of 4 motors, they have 6; thus they are more stable and easier to handle.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/4RSmO
Want an RC toy, but are on a budget?
This sub-$10 entry-level helicopter can fly to distances of up to 15 meters (about 50 ft.), with the rechargeable battery that can last 5-7 minutes. Of course, it's not as smooth to control as the more expensive ones, but it can still give you a taste of what the flying remote control toys are about.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/TjAWF1
JJRC H8C quadcopter with and LED light
Price: $45.55 – 79.38 (depending on the add-ons)
This drone has an LED light, 2 mp camera, and no FPV.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/OMaAPG
WLToys V686/V686g quadcopter with FPV
Price: $107.99 – 123.99
As I mentioned above, a friend of mine owns one of these. This drone comes with a built-in camera and an FPV transmitter, which allows you to see the image from the camera in (almost) real-time. The box swears that it can be controlled from as far as 150 meters (~500 ft).
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/KcsyM5
The helicopter I have is pretty similar to this one – the blades, gyro and tail are the same, but the body looks a bit different. It handles nicely indoors, and pretty good outdoors. What I thought was pretty cool is that you can charge the helicopter from the remote. The battery lasts for about 10 minutes of flying.
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/fUzjQ
If you are buying an RC toy, I highly recommend getting a few spare batteries. One battery does not last very long – typically 5-15 minutes depending on the capacity, so it is nice to have an extra one on hands.
A power bank is a good thing to have on hands too for recharging “in the field”.
If you like tiny gadgets, why not watch this video?