My 10 year old kid wants a decent RC but has limited cash.
whats the lowest price point for something decent that wont be garbage in 6 months.
I just did the same as what you're son is probably going to go through.
I ended up buying a Stamped and Rustler for my two daughters. Both XL-5 (not brushed) and both for $190.
After probably an honest 30 - 40 hours of online research (due to my obsessive behavior patterns and addictive personality traits) I narrowed it down to 1.the Duratrax Evader, 2.the Electrix Ruckus, and 3.the Traxxas Stamped and Rustler. I wanted to keep it 1/10 scale becuase any smaller and then the cars get hung up on grass and then you'd be better off getting a 4x4 but then the price jumps up quite a bit. 1 and 2 were cheaper (they're each about $130 online) and the Evader has incredible durability.
I went with the Traxxas' over the other two because:
A. There's TONS of support and parts for them locally (and everwhere) and I've bought lots of stuff for them already when they break. Every RC will break.
B. The Traxxas' all have a "Training Mode" on the ESC's and that cuts the power in half which is awesome for them to learn on for the first while. And plenty fast enough until you 'accidentally' discover a button that DOUBLES THE POWER. They got pretty excited over that one.
C. The ESC's have a lipo cutoff built in. If you ever want to buy him(her) cheap (but awesome) lipo's online you'll also have to get some sort of Low Voltage detector/cutoff and install it yourself.
and D. They're WATERPROOF!!!! That's a game changer right there. Year round running.
BUT, if I did it all over again, I would have paid $20 more each and just got them some Slash 2WD XL-5's just because the durability of the Slashes is incredible. Like I said they've busted lots of parts on them and I always seem to be buying RPM parts for both of them. But once the RPM parts are on them they're rock solid.
The Stampede's tires suck though. Rustler's are much better.
The Traxxas Bandit is also cheaper than both of those but won't have the bashability simply due to it's small tires and low ground clearance.
The Duratrax evader was my second choice though. It's cheap, goes fast enough, and apparently really tough. It comes with a stress tech 1 years parts guarantee, but you'll have to mail in the part and wait for it to come back before you can get up and running again. But if you're willing to waterproof it yourself, install a lipo detector/cutoff (they're cheap) then that would be a cheap, great way to get into the hobby.
Oh yes. You could always chip in a bit and share it :)
But if you're going to do that then just get a Slash 4x4 that you both can use for the next decade.
And my lunch break is over.