Aero R/C cars (TOMY)
Remote-controlled model cars are usually expensive toys that most kids can't afford to buy with just their pocket money. But a new remote-control car that is much cheaper than previous models is now on the market, and thanks to its affordable price tag it has become a big hit with car-loving kids and adults alike.
This new line of model cars, released by toy manufacturer Tomy, is called the Tomitech Aero R/C, and each one costs just around ¥1,000 (about $8.70). (Takara and Tomy have merged to become TOMY Co. Ltd.) There are currently 15 different models in the Aero R/C line-up, and each is a little over 10 centimeters in overall length.
Instead of racing cars, the vehicles are modeled after passenger cars that are actually driven on public roads, such the Nissan March (Micra). All are familiar models in Japan, and there are even minivans like Honda's Odyssey and Stepwagon.
The low price isn't the only attraction of the Aero R/C cars. Each car comes as an assembly kit, and when you put together the pieces, the result is a detailed model about 1/28 the size of a real car.
Using the controller included in the kit, owners can "drive" the cars and even hold races. They can even customize their cars by replacing parts like the motor, tires, and wheels, which are sold separately for a few hundred yen (a few dollars) each. This can give the cars added flair and speed.
The Aero R/C series also features a special selection of cars that are a bit more expensive. Aero R/C cars offer just about everything that boys love to do: building, collecting, and driving. "A lot of the cars are bought by customers in their twenties and thirties, and many parents and children buy and play with the cars together," said Tomy's Aero R/C team leader Hasegawa Toshio.
New models are planned for release in the future, and the Aero R/C cars are also set to go on sale throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. Soon, fathers and children all over the world might be seen racing these realistic-looking remote-control cars around.
(Updated in March 2006)