questionswhat are the best rechargeable batteries?

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Sanyo Eneloops, or any good variety of the "low self discharge" NiMH batteries + a smart charger.

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We nearly always buy Rayovac NiMH batteries. They are easy to find, a little cheaper than the other big battery brands, and we have a good track record with them.

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I agree with @narfcake on the eneloops, and here is a charger suggestion: http://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Technology-BC-700-Battery-Charger/dp/B000RSOV50/

The initial expense is completely worth it, IMO, especially if you don't want to discover that the batteries are dead when you need them (or have to be switching the batteries out all the time).

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@narfcake: And I think Costco carries them. We have lots of the Sanyo rechargeables, they seem to work well.

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Eneloops for sure, you can get 'rebranded' versions too with other manufacturers labels on them, but the same inherent technology.

Great batteries.

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Came to make sure Eneloops were mentioned. Leaving happy :)

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I, too, can recommend Eneloops--I use the 1500s.

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As others have said ... Eneloops are the best.

As for the DX 14500 battery you found -- beware. That puts out 4.2v fully charged, where a AA alkaline puts out 1.5v. Even the NiZn batteries only put out 1.9v.

While a toy that's not electronic and just has motors is likely to be more tolerant of higher voltages than electronics ... almost 3x the voltage is likely to fry stuff. I suggest not using those unless you know what you're doing.

(You could use them in a toy that takes 3xAA batteries in series, however -- just put in one of those, and make "shunts" to fill the other two slots that are just metal to short it out. You could take a dead AA battery and wrap it in tinfoil and then tape around the tube (leave the ends alone) to make one, for example.)