You've all seen this popular item. They cost around $25. They are typically sold at mall kiosks. While this may entertain beginners or younger pilots initially, don't count on that fun lasting more than a week. They're not suitable as a Big Boy Toy. Their coaxial design (two props, counter-rotating, one on top of the other) is stable in zero-wind conditions, but they can't be flown in any type of wind or breeze, including drafts from AC vents. Another drawback that prevents them from being flown outside is the use an IR or Infrared Controller. IR controllers are used on cheaper, throw-away toys. They only have 3-channel control (Throttle, Rudder and Elevator). Some even can be controlled with your smart phone, which is just a gimmick and doesn't give you the precision you need when flying. You want a proper 2.4 Ghz controller and 4 or more channel control (4th channel is aileron control or side-to-side movement).
Fixed Pitch Single Prop.......the next step
These are what the mall kiosks should be selling. They can be purchased for ~$45 online and have a proper 2.4 Ghz controller and 4 channel control and can be flown outside in mild wind. There are a lot of aftermarket modifications you can do to them and they are just as robust as the coaxial shown above. They have controller settings called dual rates that allow the beginner to start out easy at first but then switch the controller to advanced mode when the pilot matures in skill. They have changeable batteries so that you can buy spares and not have to wait an hour for the battery to recharge. There are replacement parts you can buy to keep them running when you have a mishap. We would carry these, but quadcopters allow so much more versatility for the same price, read on.
Micro Quads, the New Hawtness. The Elmo of RC aircraft.
Micro Quads are the hottest thing on the market now and it's what we sell. Their 4 rotor design (hence the name quad-copter) makes them both stable and nimble. They are priced the same as the fixed pitch heli's but have additional benefits. Coaxials and fixed pitch heli's both have single-axis gyros to help hold their tail, making them easier to control. Quads have stabilization systems active in 3 axis'. The addition of accelerometers and/or advanced chip programming to allow them to fly in adverse wind conditions that you wouldn't dare take a coax or fixed pitch helicopter. Beginners can handle up to 10 mph winds. Those with some experience can handle 10-20 mph winds. Their size and stability make them perfect for both inside and outside flight. They have less moving parts as the props are directly driven so there are less parts to break. They can even do manual\automatic flips. Many now come with LED lighting so you can fly them at night. These are toys that you won't get bored of and are perfect for both beginner and expert alike and neither rain, wind, sleet, nor gloom of night will prevent you from flying as their versatility allows them to be flown anywhere.