Helicopters are awesome. Unfortunately, most people can’t afford to buy one, and if they could, wouldn’t know how to fly it. Toy manufacturers noticed this injustice and have been hard at work creating simple, cheap models for us to pilot. At this year’s London Toy Festival, we looked at hundreds of helicopters with innovative features, cool aesthetics and unique control styles – here’s our pick of the bunch.
1. The Flying Skybot
Bring aerial death from above for up to eight minutes with the Gyro Flying Skybot from Terox Toys. It’s got two rotors on the top, and a tiny tail rotor on the rear for increased stability. It’ll charge in 20-30 minutes and can be controlled up to 10 metres away. Did we mention it’s in the shape of a Transformer?
2. iPhone Controlled Helicopter
Also from Terox Toys, the iPhone ‘copter costs £49.99 and comes with an IR unit to plug into the iPhone. From there, download the app and you’ll be able to fly your helicopter straight from your mobile. It comes with a remote, too, but that’s mainly for squares. Six – eight minutes in the air off a 20 – 30 minute charge.
3. Airhogs HawkEye
The ever first indoor helicopter with a built-in video camera has landed. It can take five minutes of footage at 320×240, or hundreds of photos at a resolution of 640×480. And you needn’t worry about voyeurs, either – there’s a big red light to indicate when filming has started.
Once you’re done, plug the helicopter into the remote, then the remote into your computers USB and drag and drop your files – no special software, no system compatibility issues. A nice touch: the ‘copter will charge while you upload.
When you buy the HawkEye, you also gain access to the company’s online editing software. Mass-up videos, change the length, and add images and sounds until you’ve got a complete story. Then post to YouTube and Facebook. Their web site is at www.airhogs.com
4. Airhogs Sharpshooter
For every creative-type, there’s someone equally as destructive. Those people are covered by the Sharpshooter. The Sharpshooter can carry two rockets, perfect for shooting at the HawkEye and annoying a budding director. Or, send it across the office and spill someone’s tea. You needn’t worry about losing a rocket, either – six are included.
5. The Halo Flying Hornet
We know we’re suckers for liking a shameless cash-in, but the Flying Hornet from IMC Toys looks pretty awesome – even if you’re not a Halo fan. The extra plastic bits don’t do anything, but they sure look cool.