Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Air Hogs Sky Stunt

Air Hogs Sky Stunt

Spring 2013 Toys
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Spin Master Toys
Price: $39.99

The Air Hogs Sky Stunt is a clever remote-controlled airplane designed to perform high-speed stunts, including flips, stalls, and corkscrews. Basic flight is straightforward: The plane is launched by hand at half-throttle (it helps to have a friend on hand for the takeoff), and then players have control over the throttle and the direction through the remote. The plane takes abuse well, handling numerous crash-landings into trees and bushes without showing any signs of damage. It is a good toy for learning remote-control flight, something that's almost always more tricky than one expects. The plane also has an excellent range; generally it was best to fly it over an open field, so as to make it easily retrievable in the case of (frequent) emergency landings.

Once basic flight is managed, the "stunt" button comes into play. The manual encourages trial-and-error with this button—long presses versus staccato tapping yield rather different results—something that an average 10-year-old approaches with glee. Young testers took the plane out for hours on end every day, learning a new trick nearly every time out and enjoying the challenge of perfecting their skills.

The plane eats through batteries (the plane itself is rechargeable from the controller batteries, but the controller uses 6 AAs), but when the plane runs out of power it tends to glide down smoothly (unless in the middle of a steep climb or descent trick). It also comes with two replacement propellers, something (happily) not needed during the testing phase.

Emily Crawford   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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