Remote control toys are linked with the improvement of hand eye coordination development, which has been shown to be connected to future academic performance. When you think RC, you may stop at cars or helicopters, but there are actually many types of RC vehicles – this includes remote control cranes, which are lots of fun and add an extra element of spatial reasoning and problem solving to play. We took a look at the 7 best RC cranes to help you make a decision with side by side information.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Crane Toy

Best Overall

Top Race RC Crane Toy 1:14 Scale

Upgrade Choice Crane Toy

Upgrade Choice

Hobby Engine Crawler Crane

How to Pick the Best RC CRANE

1. Recommended Age

Age is a key factor when choosing a toy for your child, as you want to make sure the toy is one that they will enjoy and use safely. They may be bored with something designed for younger kids or unable to understand a toy designed for someone older, so double check the age range before you make a purchase to ensure that your child has a toy that’s both fun and safe for them to use. 

2. Moving vs Stationary 

Unique to RC cranes, this feature describes whether the crane itself is a mobile vehicle or whether motion is restricted to the crane’s arm. If you’re looking for something with the same motion functionality as an RC car, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a moving crane. Stationary cranes, as their name indicates, stand in one place; they do, however, feature radio controlled crane arms that can be used to lift and place objects. Moving cranes have this function plus the ability to transport, though, so motion may be a deal breaker for some buyers. 

3. Batteries 

Most remote control products need batteries, but knowing how many, what kind and if they’re included is what’s key. Having the right batteries on hand creates a frustration free experience for everyone, as kids are able to play with their new toy immediately. In the case of RC cranes, most require batteries for the remote control only, but some require batteries for both the remote and the crane. 

4. Size 

Some of the cranes on this list are much larger than others. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t take up much room, you’ll want to make sure to note the dimensions so you don’t end up with something towering nearly to the height of a low ceiling. A very large toy could be unsafe for a very small user, and a very small toy could be uninteresting to an older child. 

5. Safety 

It’s crucial to always be aware of safety hazards when it comes to gear, toys and clothes for babies and children. Knowing if they’re present and what they are is essential to keeping your kids safe. In the case of RC cranes, the safety hazards present (if present) are generally related to choking hazards, so we’ve noted if they’re present in the products we’ve listed here. 

6. Lights and Sounds 

They can be fun and entertaining for kids – but they can also be distracting and annoying to some parents, which is why lights and sounds can be a dealbreaker in purchasing decisions. If you’re looking for them, you’ll want to know they’re there. If you’re looking to avoid them, there’s actually many toys that provide RC functionality without being bright and noisy. 

The Winners

#1

Top Race RC Crane Toy 1:14 Scale

Best Overall

This fully functional Top Race RC 1:14 crane toy features forward, reverse, left and right track motion that’s similar to an RC car in motion, but the extending crane arm offers tons of additional fun. The crane arm extends to 22 inches, so it’s large without being monstrous. The powerful control distance of 100 feet allows kids to roam while playing, encouraging physical activity. It’s lots of fun for playing in the sandbox, and the 1 lb lift capacity and 680 cab rotations are exciting to kids.

Recommended Age: 5+
Moving vs Stationary: Moving
Batteries: 4 AAA not included
Size: 10 x 7 x 14 inches
Safety Hazards: None
Lights and Sounds: Yes

#2

Hobby Engine Crawler Crane

Upgrade Choice

The Hobby Engine Crawler Crane is designed by professionals and has great features. With 2 channel transmitter and all of its parts can be operated individually, forward-reverse. Its battery is rechargeable and it is already included in the package.

Recommended Age: 15+
Moving vs Stationary: Moving
Batteries: 6 AA not included
Size: 37.4 x 8.7 x 37.7 inches
Safety Hazards: None
Lights and Sounds: None

#3

Top Race RC Crane

Best Budget BUy

The 720 degree cabin rotation on this inexpensive Top Race RC Crane makes it a standout, as do engaging lights and sounds that delight kids. The classic bright yellow body catches the eye, and it’s big enough to provide lots of fun while being small enough to store easily. The crane can lift the included bucket and log and transport accessories throughout a pretend construction site. It’s an awesome toy for creative free play and hand eye coordination development.

Recommended Age: 5+
Moving vs Stationary: Moving
Batteries: 2 AA not included
Size: 10 x 7 x 14
Safety Hazards: None
Lights and Sounds: Yes

#4

Bruder Scania R-Series Liebherr Crane

Best Mechanically Controlled Crane

Bruder is known for bringing remarkable craftsmanship in products kids go back to again and again, and the Bruder Liebherr R-Series crane’s sleek detailing and sturdy construction hold true to the brand’s standard. It’s made from a high quality, safe and durable plastic and the crane arm extends an impressive 4 feet. The base stability of the stationary crane is remarkable, and sand can be used for additional counterbalance, just as it is in real life – a great critical thinking lesson for kids in an exciting XL size that’s extra fun and immersive for small users.

Recommended Age: 4 – 10 years
Moving vs Stationary: Stationary
Batteries: 2 AA not included
Size: 24.4 x 7.3 x 10.6 inches
Safety Hazards: Choking hazard
Lights and Sounds: Yes

#5

Liberty Imports RC Wired Tower Crane

This highly detailed, impressive-looking Liberty Wired Tower crane from Liberty Imports is an amazing addition to a pretend construction site, as the unique tower design stands out from other crane and construction toys. The wired crane offers up, down left and right lifting motion as well as 360 degree rotation. It’s able to lift both the bucket it comes with and other objects, and using the controls can help kids improve manual dexterity.

Recommended Age: 3+
Moving vs Stationary: Stationary
Batteries: 3 AA not included
Size: 16 x 12 x 12 inches
Safety Hazards: None
Lights and Sounds: None

#6

Dickie Toys 48" Mega Crane Playset

Best Stationary RC Crane

Both super tall and super safe, this Dickie Mega Crane is thrilling to little users as it often towers over them. The four prong claw and lifting platform attach easily to allow many items to be lifted and placed securely. The 360 degree crane cabin rotation with realistic trolley and winch motion makes it easy for kids to immerse themselves in important creative free play that’s also beneficial to their hand eye coordination development, spatial reasoning and problem solving skills.

Recommended Age: 3 – 5
Moving vs Stationary: Stationary
Batteries: 6 1.5 V R6 not included
Size: 48″
Safety Hazards: Choking hazard
Lights and Sounds: No

#7

Fistone RC Truck Crawler Tower Crane

Compact but impressive, the Fistone Truck Crawler Tower Crane has an astonishing maximum heft of 11.02 lbs, which allows kids to experiment with counterbalancing, an important basic physics concept. The workbench features 680 degree rotation, so it’s easy for your child to get into any position they desire. The 328 foot range is extremely impressive and makes certain that your child won’t be bored by roaming limitations.

Recommended Age: 5+
Moving vs Stationary: Moving
Batteries: 1 LR44 not included
Size: 24 x 14 x 8 inches
Safety Hazards: Choking hazard
Lights and Sounds: No

DIY, Craft and Décor: Ideas for RC Car lovers

Older kids who want to build their own RC crane will love this mechanically inclined, more involved project from Kids’ Resource Center.

This super easy one minute crane from Anthony at Spaghetti Box Kids is an awesome early physics lesson for kids, because it’s never too early to start learning science.

A fun craft for smaller kids from Ali at PBS parents upcycles old cling wrap rolls into a cool cardboard crane they can decorate, but we bet you could use paper towel or toilet tissue rolls, too!

DIY Crane toy

Quick Decision

Top Race RC Crane Toy 1:14 Scale – Best Overall
The 680 degree rotations and fully functional track motion make this a super fun pick

Hobby Engine Crawler Crane – Upgrade Choice
This high end crane is detailed beautifully with full functionality and individually operated parts

Top Race RC Crane – Best Budget Buy
It’s compact but powerful with impressive rotation and lift at a low price

Kids always love Fire Trucks! Here’s a wide quality selection for the Best Fire Truck Toys in 2019.

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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