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Another toy to buy “for the kids” – battling infrared helicopters

Take a look at the cool video on the Amazon site for these battling Air Hogs R/C AH-64 Apache Havoc Heli Indoor Infrared Micro Helicopters. They come two to set for $69.99, which is about $10 bucks off two bought separately. The cool thing though is that the pair comes equipped with laser sensors, so you can actually “shoot” the other helicopter down (actually, it just gives it a momentary tailspin). The real live video game quality of flying infrared controlled helicopters can’t be beat, and this added dimension made this toy a Time Magazine toy of the year for 2007.

In my experience, these helicopters take a lot of work to get flying properly; work that probably involves losing a tail rotor or top rotor (or several), so buy extra or you’ll have six minutes of fun, interrupted by ten days of waiting for spare parts. Because they are not super easy to fly, and each collision risks breaking the fragile rotors, I have never even shown this helicopter to my four and eight-year-olds. They would not be able to watch patiently while I fly it, and it would just end with one of us crying, probably me. I fly mine only in the bedroom, where I can control most crashes into the bed. This video shows amazing control though, so maybe they’ve improved controls.