When you’re a kid, it’s almost impossible to think that anyone could have more fun than you’re having at any given moment. But eventually you get older and notice the world changing around you. All of the “simple” knick-knacks you grew up with are replaced complicated pieces of machinery that you can’t even begin to comprehend. But even as you resign yourself to letting the new kids have their fun, you’d give anything for one of your childhood favorites to make a comeback.
Well, one such classic toy is evolving with the times: the radio-controlled (R/C) racing car. Created in the 1960s, the R/C car was an electronically-assisted step up from the self-propelled toy cars kids used. It became a staple of neighborhood playtime in the ‘80s and early-‘90s, despite a few glitches (close proximity with other R/C could allow a user to commandeer control someone else's car). As the new millennium dawned, rising prices drove the R/C to become a niche item.
That hasn’t stopped the smart device generation from resurrecting the R/C in a bold new way. They’re even looking to some of their favorite movies and tv shows for inspiration.
There have been films about Batman nearly as long as there have been films. Though the producers may change and the details may evolve, one lasting detail of the Caped Crusader’s cinematic exploits is his use of iconic custom-made vehicle, the Batmobile.
The first is a 29-inch model based on the design used in the 1989 blockbuster Batman. Though not fully R/C, it does allow the user to remote-control the car’s lights and machine gun turrets that activate on command. If you prefer a more modern design with a bit more control, you can try the 1:12 scale model version of “The Tumbler” from Batman Begins. It’s fully R/C, allows you to control both the lights and doors, and even features a 480p on-board camera that allows you to view driving from your mobile device.
At starting prices of $1,000, neither of these models is very cheap. But if you’re willing to spend the dough, you can indulge the Dark Knight in your life.
Tokyo Drift Away
The success of the Fast and the Furious movies caught nearly everyone by surprise. What started with a low-budget racing film has evolved into a seven-film franchise for which the revenues have only increased with each subsequent entry. The most recent sequel recently became the fastest film in history to gross $1 billion in revenue during its initial release.
Although you might not have the money (or the insurance coverage) to try out the films’ stunts in actual cars, you can still get a kick out of this tribute video the Falkan Tires company made with R/C cars. The nearly three-minute video uses R/C cars over dry ice to simulate “drifting”, a driving technique popular in Japan and introduced to western audiences via the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Because who said every film you act out with R/C cars had to be a superhero flick?
Dark Side Drones
By now, it’s safe to say that you’re aware of a new Star Wars film coming out this December. Well, one enthusiastic fan decided to combine his love of the classic trilogy with his new hobby. Oliver C has made quadcopter drones designed to resemble ships used by The Galactic Empire. His latest creation is the Star Destroyer below, following his TIE Fighter design and his Millennium Falcon model.
No one knows if he’s going to design another soon, but with the new film half-a-year away, he’s got plenty of time to decide.