ORIGINAL: Dads like rc too
Another victim of the EPX ''non pro'' line. On one hand it's lot of truck for the money. Like Nitrosports said, back in the day almost all rc's came without a battery or electronics. My first RC back in the early 80's was just a kit or roller. A cheap battery back then was about $35 plus another $150-$180 for the lower end AM radio gear. So really for the price, the Volcano EPX is truly ready to run out of the box. Unfortunately it's not ready to run for long.
I bought a EPX for my daughter who is 8. Without doing much research, I mainly bought it because I felt she just didn't need a brushless setup. I was just as surprised as you that not only did the stock battery which was a 1800 mah nihm only ran it for about 10 minutes, but after three packs the brushed motor smoked. Redcat warrantied it right away and provided excellent customer service, but also informed me that brushed motors run very hot and that I should keep the run time to between 6-7 minutes. I couldn't believe they sell a model with an intended runtime of 6-7 minutes. I figured with all the batteries I had that she could run it while I gas and go with my nitro equipment. It was very disappointing. Price was the obvious factor in my purchase of the Volcano EPX, but had I known about the run times, I would have just bought her a Caldera 10e like her brother has.
If your son seems interested, I would say don't give up yet. My son was one of the major reasons I got back into the hobby. It's really great teaching him how to work on it. He's 10 years old now and knows right away if something doesn't sound right in the drivetrain on his Caldera 10e. We go to the local track and park with our cars and it's a blast doing this together besides just playing video games all the time.
If you can get past the bad first impression do a little research. Like Nitrosports mentioned getting a decent charger will change everything. Unfortunately spending extra money on a good charger is just part of this game no matter what brand of RC you buy. Once you get one it will work for everything. The equipment is also something to look at. Upgrading to just the EPX pro or Caldera 10e line is a major improvement. You can easily find Lipo batteries for around $20. I bought a 4000mah Lipo for $17.99 that will run my sons Caldera 10e for 25 minutes.