Radio Controlled Childhood

Geek Culture

Misspent YouthMisspent Youth

Misspent Youth Recorded in the Family Album

I was reminiscing with a friend recently about our misspent youth with Radio Controlled cars. We enthused for hours about saving up for a real hobbyist vehicle and then waiting for it to arrive in the post. Then there were the hours of frustration trying to put it together.

But it was all so worth it. We both agreed there was a tremendous sense of achievement in racing something you had essentially built yourself.

I resolved to make sure my kids could have this sort of ownership of whatever hobbies they took to – cars, games or craft. My friend was inspired to write his childhood R/C experience up for prosperity in his Radio Controlled Car blog. Here’s a few things he included from his R/C childhood:

My wait continued until several years worth of pocket money accumulated and I was able to satisfy my boyhood R/C fantasies with the object of my dreams. A full-in-the-flesh Tamiya Hornet. Oh boy. And did I love that car. I loved everything about it. The big proper springy spring sock absorbers. The meaty 540 motor. The dune buggy styling. The bendy front and side rail bumpers. And before I got a chance to get too used to the car, I got the customizing bug.

It would go something like this. I’d see a friends car, like Mark from the new estate’s Tamiya Fox with the ‘ooooh so shiny’ gold wheels. And I’d want them. So that would be the next 3 Saturdays gone, as I would trawl round Leamington Spa’s toy and model emporiums in search of new wheels. But having only birthday and pocket money, I would often have to resign myself to buying a pair at a time.

Thinking back, it was so much fun tweaking a very basic car, and I can almost taste the boyish agony of saving every 50p until I could afford a new Technigold motor. Soon after that it was body-shells: polycarbonate moldings that made the car look like a touring car. I initially bought a universal Le Mans style body which i had to cut down to let the wheels turn. Then I upgraded to a BMW 3 series with wide arches. Happy times.

Whether you had a childhood around R/C cars, computers, board games or other pursuits, I think it’s a great think to share this with our kids.

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