Wednesday, December 21, 2011

holiday gift guide: toys (part 2)

even though zoe asked for a set of dollhouse people for christmas, i recognize that she is a little young for most of what plan toys has to offer. 
if you are in the same boat, you may want to take a look at horizon hobby.  all of my kids, from lilianna up to zoe love, love, love anything that is remote controlled.  zoe has a remote controlled robot, tate has an rc mater and tessa has an rc strawberry shortcake car (and lilianna just steals whoever's rc she can get and plays with it until someone takes it away from her).

zoe is at that awkward age where she is ready for something a little more advanced, but not old enough yet for the investment that the higher tech remote controlled vehicles require.  when we came to the horizon hobby booth at the chicago toy and game fair, i started to think we might have found something that could bridge that gap.

the blade scout rtf 3-ch heli is "the perfect place to get started" (as they say on their website).  for only $49.99, a major investment isn't required.  yet this is a quality helicopter that is great for working on eye-hand coordination and the finer points of remote controlling.

zoe, tessa and tate all gave flying it a try (thank you to the very, very patient sales people who worked with my kids!).  with a little practice, it actually wasn't that hard for them to manage.

i asked a lot of questions of the sales representative.  for us, $50 is a big investment, and i wanted to know exactly what we were getting ourselves into.  the more answers i received, the happier i was with this option.

the helicopter is so light that it is only recommended for indoor use (no worries about telephone lines, etc.).  it is also so light that it can knock into something like a lamp without knocking it over (that is good because my kids have a lot of learning to do when it comes to controlling the helicopter).  the battery is rechargeable.  it is recommended to buy an additional battery so that one can charge while you use the other one, but this isn't necessary.  my fears of burning through multitudes of batteries were also put to rest.

overall, i couldn't see any reason that this wouldn't be the perfect choice for zoe.  she had very quickly determined that this was the gift she really, really, really wanted from santa.  in our house, santa has pretty shallow pockets so i was a little nervous about granting her wish.  i am forever indebted to the sales representative who set one aside for me to take home for zoe.

his generosity has in no way biased my review because i had already determined that we would find a way to get one for zoe.  i like absolutely everything i have heard and observed about this helicopter.  i think they have done a great job of accomplishing their goal of creating an entry-level remote-controlled vehicle for those who are considering entering the world of hobby flying (i don't really know the official name for this--that is how entry-level i am!) that is affordable yet technical.  i really can't wait to see zoe's face when she opens this present on christmas day.

thank you, santa! (who, in this case, looks surprisingly like a horizon hobby sales representative!)

while i received a free helicopter from horizon hobby, i have not received any other compensation for writing this post.  this is a toy that we really enjoyed when we used our free pass to the chicago toy and game fair.  the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

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