New Flying Toys for Christmas 2010 From Air Hogs

Air Hogs Vectron Wave UFO
Spin Master is continuing its successful Air Hogs line with some new products each year. Following the success of the Havoc Heli model helicopter line and last year's Zero-Gravity Micro, the company hopes to hit Christmas Gold in 2010 with its Hawk Eye video helicopter and a hangar full of other small fliers.

Vectron Wave

The Air Hogs Vectron Wave is a little flying-saucer type gadget that will, according to materials from Spin Master, automatically set its own hover level thanks to "altitude sensing technology". It appears to be a sort of motorized Frisbee that allows users to control it by slipping a hand under it, and its main use appears to be in a modified game of catch. Might be fun for a while. Maybe.

  • Indoors only - in a minimum space of 13' x 13' x 10' (how many rooms in the average house have 10' ceilings?)
  • Charger takes 6 AA batteries
  • Ages 8+, Beginner

Air Hogs Sharpshooter Helicopter

The Sharpshooter is, according to Spin Master promos, the "first missile equipped" flying model helicopter. The little craft will fire two spring-launched plastic missiles a distance of roughly a meter (3 feet).

Promos for the toy refer to being able to "lock on" to a target and show a glowing target ring. This is more than a bit misleading, and parents may want to counsel kids who watch the promo video. The promo image also shows the two missiles launched simultaneously; the instructions say that they must be launched singly, several seconds apart. Don't expect too much from a $40 toy.

  • Comes with copter, six missiles, and cardboard stand-up targets.
  • Charger takes six AA batteries
  • Ages 10+, Intermediate

A-10A Warthog Model Plane

A schoolyard flier capable of hand-launch or ROG (rise off ground) takeoff, the Warthog uses twin ducted fans and digital proportional control to provide a stand-off lookalike for the famous aircraft.

Flies outdoors

  • Digital proportional control
  • Charger takes six AA batteries
  • Age 10+, Intermediate

Air Hogs Titan Glider

A huge chuck (hand-launch) glider with a 1.2 meter (4 ft.?) wingspan, the Titan offers two flight modes with a flip of the stabilizer (horizontal tail fin). Soar mode promises flights of up to 50 meters (160'??) while Stunt mode lets the plane do loops. Although the plane is made of light foam, repair with white glue and clear tape is simple and effective. Gliders of this type have been available for years but not at this cost and performance level.

  • Winner of Canadian Toy Council's Best Bet Award
  • No batteries required.
  • Ages 5+, Beginner

Helix 360 Four Channel Model Helicopter

Air Hog's first 4-channel remote control toy helicopter with four-axis flight (up/down, lef/right, forward/reverse, and side to side) in digital proportional control. According to some reviewers, this model approaches the "hobby quality" flight of copters costing several hundred dollars. Others are less impressed, but for the $50 USD MSRP, it looks like a bargain if the control is good.

  • Indoor
  • Ages 10+, Advanced

Triple Booster Rocket Gliders

For three flights in one launch, this elastic catapult-launched rocket takes two hitch-hiking gliders on flights up to 5 stories (about 15 m or 50 ft.), claims Spin Master. At apogee (highest point), the gliders detach and soar while the rocket spirals safely to the ground.

  • Outdoors
  • Ages 5+, Beginner
Although these toys are light and generally safe for people and property, they do contain spinning propellers or other potential dangers. Adult supervision is recommended especially for the first few flights and for younger users.