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Get a Walkera Runner 250 racing quadcopter for $179

From the Cheapskate: Take your first step into the cool world of drone racing with this surprisingly affordable model, which includes a first-person-view camera and 5.8GHz video transmitter. Plus: four bonus deals!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


walkera-runner-250.jpg

Hello, sexy!

Walkera

I've shared a lot of drone deals in this space, all of them for hobbyist models designed primarily for shooting video and/or basic flying fun.

Today, let's talk racing. It's a rapidly growing sport, as detailed in this compelling Wired article and CNET's "Day at the drone races," one that demands a flying machine a bit more sophisticated than your stock DJI Phantom.

If you're itching to get started, here's a surprisingly affordable first step: For a limited time, and while supplies last, B&H Photo has the Walkera Runner 250 ready-to-fly racing quadcopter and Devo 7 controller for $179 shipped.

Full disclosure: I know very little about drone racing and even less about this model. I do know that it includes two key features: a first-person-video (FPV) camera and a 5.8GHz transmitter. You also get an OSD module that delivers telemetry data to the controller -- which, incidentally, usually sells separately and typically runs at least $60-70 all by itself.

Not included: FPV goggles. I know even less about those, or what they cost. Looks like you can spend as little as $100 or as much as $600.

One other thing I should mention: Although I haven't found many reviews of the Runner 250, the smattering of user reviews on YouTube all indicate this is not for beginners; you should be an adept drone flyer before moving up to something like this.

That said, most of the folks who posted video reviews said the Runnera 250 was a lot of fun to fly, despite lacking advanced features like GPS and return-to-home. Here's a good, quick overview of what it's like to fly it with FPV googles, and a longer, more detailed review that includes in-flight video.

To me this feels like a lot of bang for the drone buck, something that might have cost $1,000 just a couple years ago. If you think you might enjoy drone racing but don't have a ton of money to invest in it, this might be a good place to start.

A mere $8 for these adorable kid-friendly 'phones. Awwww!

iClever

Bonus deal: Game time! Do you like a little mystery in your life? Then here's an interesting way to add some: Square Enix is offering its Holiday Surprise Box for $9.99. You'll receive seven downloadable PC games, the names of which will be revealed on Dec. 20. Total value: over $80, according to Square Enix. Last year's box included Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut, Final Fantasy VIII and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. Fun!

Bonus deal No. 2: Game time for PS4 owners! For a limited time, and very much while supplies last, Gamestop has Star Wars Battlefront: Deluxe Edition (PS4) for just $9.99. If you can find an in-store copy to pick up, the only additional cost is sales tax; otherwise you can get it shipped for an extra $4.99 -- still a killer deal. I will note, however, that Amazon currently has the Standard Edition for the same $9.99 price. Just take note that there's not a ton of single-player activity; this game is really meant for multiplayer.

Bonus deal No. 3: Game time for mobile! Ending very soon, Implosion - Never Lose Hope is free for iOS and Android. Regular price: $9.99. This console-quality action outing has earned top marks from critics and players alike.

Bonus deal No. 4: Let's face it: Kids don't need super-high-quality headphones. What they need is a comfortable, kid-friendly pair of ear cups with volume-limiting hardware, a tangle-resistant cord and, if possible, adorable reindeer horns.

Like this: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the iClever Boostcare kids headphone with removable silicone reindeer horns for $7.99, shipped free with Prime. That's after applying coupon code BIGHS037 at checkout. Incidentally, these were featured in CNET's Tech stocking stuffers under $50.

Fakespot says the overwhelmingly positive reviews are not to be trusted, but what exactly are you expecting for $7.99? As long as they work -- and obviously you can return them if they don't -- the photo ops alone are probably worth the eight bucks. Just saying. Also, FYI, you can order more than one at this price!