Is it a plane, is it a bird? No it’s a Sky Car

We’re overrun in our house with remote control cars, so something has to be pretty special to grab out attention.

Enter the Sky Car – is it it a car? Is it a helicopter – well, yes, it’s both!

Sky-Car

This is a neat little piece of kit (it measures just 19x8x9cm) -– get it out of the box and you could be forgiven for thinking that it feels rather flimsy, but take it from me, it has survived being bashed by a broomstick handle (more of which later) so is far stronger than your first impressions may suggest.

The other thing that might be disappointing for anyone who is overrun with battery-run gadgets is that you’ll need six – yes six! – AA batteries to run the remote control – and the cheap ones won’t last long as we discovered.

However, it does work really well – in fact a bit too well. I took the helicopter out into the field behind our house (we’d tried it indoors and nearly decapitated the cats, so outside it was). Unfortunately while I was busy marvelling at how quickly it had shot up high into the sky, I suddenly realised that it was heading over the hedge and into the field behind – sometimes empty, sometimes full of sheep, so I panicked, dropped it down and got it stuck on a 10ft hedge.

After much muttering, poking and prodding, my lovely husband came to the rescue with a broom handle (hence the bashing it got). I nervously picked it up off the ground, expecting bent rotor blades, missing wheels and so on, only to find it in perfect working order (The makers do include spare blades in the box, so they obviously expect some collateral damage).

This is a cool piece of kit – its headlights turn on when you switch on the sky car, and it can be charged using USB – it took about 20 minutes on my laptop.

However, be aware that it takes a bit of practise to perfect your flying skills – and it moves pretty quickly, so you’ll need more space than you might expect from a small device. Driving it in car mode is far easier!

At a smidge under 30 quid, it’s not bad value, but it is definitely more suitable for an older child or adult than younger kids unless they have a good bit of supervision.

Available from Gizoo

TWIG: Lecci Headphone Splitter, Artificial Moving Ski Slope and iPad USB charger

The Week in Gadgets

Camera makers were unveiling new models at a dizzying rate during this week’s Photokina and we’ll be taking a look at some of these in the coming week. We’ve also got a chance to play with some of the “hot” new Christmas gadgets coming your way – including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, though we still can’t tell you what it costs.

Y-headphone-splitter

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and I fell in love with the Lecci Headphone Splitter. Sometimes one of the best thing about new music is sharing the experience with a friend – it’s at the core of Apple’s new Ping social network or Last.fm. For those of you with more conventional friends, that you actually meet in the flesh, it’s easier to share music with but also loaded with it’s own challenges. How well do you have to know someone before you share earphones? Especially a nice deep pair of inner ears? Instead of choosing between that and menacing everyone else on the bus with your tinny built in speakers, Lecci have made a little Headphone Splitter with a keyring attachment. Simply plug it into your PMP and … well you’ve seen the picture you can work out how it works. Yours for £5.95 from Gizoo.

Sometimes simple ideas get complicated. Ideas like “I want a ski slope in my living room.” We’ve all thought about, sure. But Skiplex Ltd went a little further and made the Artificial Moving Ski Slope – a continous moving ski slope that can mimic baby slopes or black runs. You will of course need a spare room the size of a squash court. And £176,250. You can probably pop it next to your F1 Simulator. Yours from thepresentfinder.

LINDY-iPad-USB

Love your iPad, hate the way it refuses to charge on certain USB ports? LINDY electronics would like you to part with £9.99 to solve that problem. The LINDY USB charging adaptor (which works with all Apple devices) does what it says on the tin. Whilst you can adapt some motherboards to charge iPads you probably can’t be bothered and £9.99 isn’t a great deal for restoring “charge anywhere” convience.