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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