Review: WowWee Flytech Bladestar flying toy (Verdict: Clever but dull)

Like a lot of WowWee products, the Flytech Bladestar is more impressive as an engineering feat than as a toy. Infrared hoverdiscs have been around for ages, but the Bladestar has its own sensors inside — presumably another little IR blaster — that can let it sense light-colored objects like walls (or ghosts). In this “Autopilot” mode all you need control is the altitude via the throttle, sending it up or down as it meanders around a room. It’s fun for a second.

In “R/C mode” you can steer it in four directions. The Bladestar cleverly modulates its two fans to make forward motion. Unfortunately the infrared receivers inside the Bladestar aren’t very responsive, meaning it’s quite possible to have the Bladestar crash into a wall or ceiling or pet before it responds to your correction. Or worse, refuse to shut off as it thrashes on the ground, denting the light but sturdy foam wings.

There’s nothing wrong with the Bladestar, per se. It does exactly what it aims to do. It’s just that it’s only amusing for a bit. (I handed it over our backyard wall to the neighbor kids; they returned it in a few minutes and went back to playing basketball.) At $40 you’d be better off buying two of the tiny little foam helicopters available nearly everywhere. They may not be as technologically advanced, but they’re a lot more fun to fly.

Flytech Bladestar product page [BladestarOnline.com]
Flytech Bladestar catalog page [Amazon]

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12 Responses to Review: WowWee Flytech Bladestar flying toy (Verdict: Clever but dull)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Strap a couple of razor blades to the rotors – et voila! Your very own Half Life style Manhack….

  2. agraham999 says:

    I disagree…my dog is annoyed and confused by the sound from the video alone…this cold be rather entertaining if the actual device didn’t make her shit on the floor and hide under the bed. Yeah…I’ll skip it and stick to her watching other dogs on the plasma tv.

  3. Abbey says:

    @ #3 – My roommate was also annoyed and confused by the noise, but she didn’t shit on the floor (“not yet!” – roommate).

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope that annoying buzz is not intentional.

    Hey do you have any toys that sound like wasps or mosquitoes? That would be a very soothing toy to have around.

  5. Mark Crummett says:

    All I want to do is hit it with a rolled up newspaper.

  6. Takuan says:

    or block a CCTV camera

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does this completely terrify anyone else?

  8. tony1tf says:

    I bought one of these yesterday being heavily discounted at Argos here in England. I cant get the obstacle avoidance to work – seems to be attracted to ceilngs till it collapses. However, the effect on our 18 year old cat was amazing – she chased it around and batted it out of the air at every opportunity. She hasn’t reacted to birds in the garden this way for years. So it was worth buying just to see this transformation. I like the idea of re-use on a more powerful chassis – keep us posted.

  9. jimkirk says:

    Add a wireless video camera and laser beam, and I want a fleet of them patrolling my secret lair.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I just received one of these of xmas from a coworker – I have to say one of these things has way better control than any of the other cheap r/c helicopter things out there. It still is twitchy, but at least it goes in the direction commanded more than half the time, unlike the others. I think it also has tremendous hacking potential: take the controller, hook up the singular IR LED to a large high-brightness LED array, then hook up the internals on the Bladestar itself up to a custom built large-winged “Bladestar” (use parts from cheapo free-flight planes from Harbor Freight), and add some flashing high-brightness LEDs to the wingblades – fly it at night and instant UFO to scare the neighbors (indeed, it would be fun just to make a free-flight version from Harbor Freight junk to release-and-go – imagine the next day’s local news stories!)…

  11. mdh says:

    This could be a review for decaf coffee. Awesome.

  12. Takuan says:

    with one visible light LED it could illuminate a dark room

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