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289 of 294 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Starter Kit for New Rocketeers
These are the first rockets I have purchased as an adult (I had one as a kid.....over 25 years ago), and I love them. This kit was nice for 2 reasons - it came with its own launcher, and there are 2 different levels of rockets to build. The taller "Amazon" rocket was much easier to build and took me around an hour or so to build (with the help of my 5 year old). The...
Published on May 15, 2010 by Amazon Customer

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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't include everything
The product was fine, it was given as a gift to a younger cousin. What I was most upset about is the description given on the item. It said everything was included. When the package arrived on the back of the box in small print said recovery wadding and jet engine packs not included. Two very important items to set off the rocket. I ended up having to or order those items...
Published 20 months ago by Dawn


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289 of 294 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Starter Kit for New Rocketeers, May 15, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
These are the first rockets I have purchased as an adult (I had one as a kid.....over 25 years ago), and I love them. This kit was nice for 2 reasons - it came with its own launcher, and there are 2 different levels of rockets to build. The taller "Amazon" rocket was much easier to build and took me around an hour or so to build (with the help of my 5 year old). The smaller one took a bit longer (plus the time needed to wait for the paint to dry).

Being someone who is completely inept at building things, I was able to build these rockets with very little difficulty. The launcher was very easy to set up and use, and after giving my boys a little instruction, they were able to launch them with me standing off in the distance. Of course they had a blast watching these 2 launch but even more fun chasing them down through a corn field once the parachutes deployed. As advertised, the "Crossfire" goes quite higher than the "Amazon".

After 9 launches of these 2 rockets and 3 other ones that I purchased at the same time, the boys were ready to go kite flying, but they are still well worth the money. Plus it's a great way for dads to spend time with their kids while building them and finally launching them into orbit!

UPDATE: After reading several of the negative reviews (which have nothing to do with the product itself), I thought I'd better add that YOU WILL NEED TO BUY ENGINES AND IGNITERS for these rockets. Also, if you want them to look like the ones photographed, you will need paint as well. Even though the product description seems self explanatory online, I understand that some smartphones aren't picking up this product description. All that said, still well worth the money even with the extras (which you can also pick up on Amazon for a fraction of the store cost).
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starter Set, July 12, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
I bought this starter set for me and my two boys (Ages 7 & 4) to build together and launch. The Amazon was quite easy to build, with only some plastic cement, sandpaper, and a hobby knife needed - everything else is included. Some of the parts (threading the parachute and shock cord) are a little hard for small children to handle, but they can certainly participate in the gluing and applying the plastic cement and labels. I haven't tried the Crossfire yet, but I do know it will be a little more complicated.

The included launch system was what sold this for me, as without it I would have been unsure of exactly what else was needed to launch. I reviewed beforehand to make sure that I purchased separately the engines (with igniters) and recovery wadding, as these are not included in the launch set. These aren't expensive - but you definitely want to make sure that you have everything you need before building, as it's no fun to start a project with your kids that you can't finish. Mine tend lose interest fast that way.

Launching was easy with the instructions provided, and the boys (and Dad) had a blast. Even a hard landing in the parking lot didn't damage the Amazon. The boys (and Dad) are interested in building more (at least for now), so we'll try to get a little more adventurous with the next one.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fathers, sons and rockets!, January 20, 2012
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
It's just one of those great moments you remember: going out with your dad to set off your rocket for the first time. So cool when it takes off. Crossing your fingers that the parachute will deploy. Then running to see if it landed in one piece. My wife told me that she overhead my son describng our first launch to his friends as if we had set off an intercontinental missile.

Other items you'll need:
-A field! The instructions say "500 ft square". I think that's very poorly worded. It definitely DOES NOT mean 500 square feet and it doesn't mean 125' on each of 4 sides. They likely mean an area that is 500' x 500', or over 5 acres! You just need access to a very big area: the instructions say "football fields and playgrounds are great". Also, an area without other people, overhead trees, powerlines, etc. On a day without wind. The Estes and National Association of Rocketry websites have safety guidelines. I guess I've become the dad in bringing this all up. But finding open fields has become a bit harder where I live. Besides the safety concerns, if you set off your rocket in a small area, be prepared to be staring up at it lodged in branches.
-Model cement, carpenters glue, masking tape, fine sand paper, ruler, pencil, and a utility/X-acto knife.
-Engines and wadding: Amazon doesn't seem to always have these available in the sizes you need. The Estes site has a local retailer search.
-For painting second rocket, you can get spray white primer, white, glossy red, and a clear coat. You're going to be painting cardboard and plastic, so select accordingly.

Assembly: The nice thing about this kit is you can get out there with the bigger rocket pretty quickly. Personally, I'd assemble day 1 and head out for launch day 2. But you don't have to wait that long. My 9 year old hasn't assembled model cars and planes like I had when I was his age, but the rockets in this kit are pretty easy for parent & child to do together. The second rocket will need drying time between paint coats, so if there's that time when your child is moping aroud complaining he's bored, suggest you add a coat.

This kit is a great start. Keep in mind you'll probably have to spend another $20-30 on engines and supplies. The Estes website is great for resources.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as shown, but who cares?, June 5, 2013
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
You won't get the Porta-Pad II and Electron Beam controller as shown in the picture, you'll get the Astron II pad and controller, which, according to the Estes website, is the newest launch set in their line-up. Doesn't really matter one way or another, unless you're purchasing batteries specifically for this set prior to arrival. The Astron II controller uses a 9V battery instead of the 4AA batteries that the product description tells you that you need. Also, you don't really need "plastic model cement," I use Loctite Control Gel super glue and it works great.

I got this kit getting back into rockets after about a 25 year break. Didn't see the point in getting one rocket with a launch set when I could get two rockets for a couple of dollars more. I was really expecting to like the Crossfire more than the Amazon, because faster and higher is always better with rockets, right? Wrong.

I built the Amazon first, since I'm a crawl before you walk guy. Used the super glue for everything except the shock-cord-to-body-tube attachment. Used white glue for that. Total building/decorating time was about half an hour, checking the instructions constantly to see what I was supposed to be doing. This is my favorite of the two in the set. It's big, it's easy to follow as it accelerates, and it's easy to track on the way down. After the last launch, I decided that I need to cut a hole in the parachute to speed decent, because I have varying wind layers where I live. I recommend the C6-3 engines over the C6-5 just because I don't really like watching my rockets nose dive for several seconds before the recovery system deploys, shortly after apogee makes me much happier.

The Crossfire is a fun rocket. It goes high, fast, which is super cool. However, I've found that trying to go too high, too fast is a pain in the feet. I won't launch this rocket with anything more powerful than a B engine, because on every C launch it goes about 100' in the air and then careens to the side at about a 35 degree angle and I end up hiking forever to get to it. Which indicates to me that maybe C engines are too powerful for the stability level of the rocket. Every A engine and B engine launch has been straight as an arrow in the vertical realm, and I haven't gone more than about 50 feet to recover it.

As for the launch system, it's decent and does what it's supposed to do. I was hoping that the two-piece launch rod was a screw together contraption that I could take apart for transportation and storage. It's not. It's held together with a roll pin, so you hammer it together and it doesn't come apart with any sort of ease. Which wouldn't be so bad if the joint didn't leave an uneven surface for a launch lug to catch on. I replaced mine with a 1/8" x 36" music wire. When I get something that needs the "Maxi-Rod" I'll go to my nearest home center and get a 3/16" metal rod for 1/4 the price of the Estes Maxi-Rod and it won't have a lip on it.

Update 9/9/13:
So I'm thinking that I may have gotten a bum set of C6-5 engines the first time. I had purchased two 3-packs of them, seperately for the different rockets. After the second time of chasing down the Crossfire I stopped using the C6-5s, leaving me with a leftover. Went out to launch the Amazon and lose some mini rockets and used the leftover engine. The Amazon went about 50' up then careened off creating a long walk for me. Intrigued, I decided to launch the Crossfire on one again the next week. The Crossfire on a C6-5 is impressive, as long as it's a good engine. Flight was beautifully straight, nearly out of sight. Make sure there's no wind and it's fun on C engines, I still stick to B engines, though, as I find them more fun with the better chance of recovery.

As for the launch pad, apparently it's not designed for 3\16" rods. I got one and tried to install it to no avail. I ended up drilling out the rod holder about half way through. That way I can secure a bigger rod in the top part of the holder, and still have enough to hold the smaller rod.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't include everything, December 29, 2012
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
The product was fine, it was given as a gift to a younger cousin. What I was most upset about is the description given on the item. It said everything was included. When the package arrived on the back of the box in small print said recovery wadding and jet engine packs not included. Two very important items to set off the rocket. I ended up having to or order those items seperatly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy if you're looking for the black Porta Pad II launch pad, November 30, 2013
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
My lowered rating does not reflect the rockets themselves, which are just fine. The low rating is because the set no longer comes with the black Porta Pad II launch pad pictured here. Instead, it comes with a flimsier, cheaper, substantially inferior launch pad (the orange Astron). Another reviewer also pointed this out. I've been informed that Estes no longer sells this set with that particular launch pad. I thought I was getting a killer deal originally (as opposed to buying the Porta Pad II launch pad and controller seperately). And that was the main reason I purchased this set. I'm just getting back into rocketry with my son after 15 years, and I needed a new Estes launch pad that was on par with what I had 15 years ago. The included Astron pad is not. And technically, you need a longerlaunch rod to launch the larger rocket (you can get a 1/8-inch 4-foot rod at Home Depot instead).

Anyway, the rockets themselves are decent starter rockets -- about what you would expect from Estes. And it would've been a great starter deal for someone in my position had the launch pad been correct. Instead, I returned it and decided to spend a little more on the Porta Pad II and launch controller separately, and buy different individual rockets separately.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Performs acceptably, October 28, 2011
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
Pro: the package includes two rockets and thus it is more economical than buying two individual ones.

The assembly was a good experience (challenging) for a 5th grader, but he was able to assemble correctly and launch both.

Warning: there are no engines! Be sure to order. While this package and similar ones have good prices on Amazon, the engines don't (because of the shipping costs). You may be able to buy the engines at local stores to avoid shipping.

Overall a good experience (but not a perfect one). Four stars should suffice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome thing to do with your child!, May 25, 2012
By 
Chad N. Klink (Beaver Dam, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
My 5 year old boy's face lit up unbelievably when he opened the package which contained this kit. This is pretty advanced for a child this age, but we broke it up into a couple of days and I did much of the menial labor. He still learned quite a bit from this and it was an incredible bonding experience that I'm sure you'll treasure forever as well. If I had to do it again, here's what I'd do differently:

Have glue ready to go. Sure, I had wood glue (Elmers is fine) down in the basement, but no plastic model glue for the larger, black rocket which had plastic stabilizer fins and motor mount.

Sandpaper: The smaller rocket uses balsa stabilizer fins and need to be sanded. The instructions show to taper the leading edges, but you should spend the extra time sanding the flat surfaces so the paint job you'll give it looks better. 120 grit or higher should be fine.

This was my boy's first rocket. The last one I had built was 10 years ago with his older sisters. We should have started with the larger black rocket first, since it's easier. Its parts are plastic and snap/glue together and it needs no paint. The smaller rocket's pieces need to be snapped/cut out of the sheets, sanded, painted, etc. The motor mount assembly requires measuring, marking and carefully reading the instructions to get it built correctly. The rate at which the black rocket comes together is faster, which makes it easier to hold the attention of a young child.

The price of engines is astronomical these days. The best bang for the buck (that I found) is the bulk pack (24) of engines/igniters/wadding for roughly $50 and will provide consumables for several excursions. The bulk pack I had included a "C" engine by mistake (can't wait to stuff that into one of these rockets!). The "B" engines really send the small rocket up there, so watch your wind speed and direction and compensate with your launch angle. Find a large, open space for this one! The larger rocket, could take a "C" engine since it's heavier. It gets up 250 feet or so with the "B".

5 stars for a great product! Bring a video camera so you can relive this over and over as I do. I put a video on youtube about this. Since links aren't allowed, search for "Jack's Introduction To Model Rocketry" if you want to see this product in action.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family rocket fun, August 12, 2012
By 
PKJ "PKJ" (Saint Charles, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
Bought the kit this week and was hoping to spend some quality time with the family. My son and I build the rockets together last night. The big Amazon rocket was easy but the smaller CrossFire was a bit tricky for a beginner like me. Luckly my 12 years old son had build rockets before in school as science projects and we were able to complete the build. Just being able to build the rockets together with my son (without him playing on the computer) was a major success :-)

We took both rockets to the park today and AMAZINGLY THEY FLEW !!!!

I had bought both B6-4 and A8-3 engines. I first tried the A8-3 engine on Amazon. It flew 10 feet and pop the parachute. It was more funny than embarrassing. B6-4 was much better. B6-4 drove the CrossFire out of sight while it pushed Amazon to a respectable distance. Wish I had bought bigger rocket engines to the park :-) Next time, I think I will try C6 engines. My 11 years old girl did most of the launch while my 9 yr old girl tried to catch the rockets as they came down on parachutes. My son was just happy that his creation flew higher than mine.

I paid $24 for the kit. I would have paid far more for the family memory :-)

I would have given the kit a 5 stars if it had came with plastic glues and if the instruction for the Crossfire was a litter clearer.

Bottom-line, this is a great kit for family fun. You just need your own Elmers wood Glue, Plastic glue, engines and igniters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners!, June 18, 2012
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This review is from: Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (Toy)
My 10 year old son and I built the "Amazon" rocket yesterday. Neither of us had ever built a model rocket before, and this particular one was surprisingly simple and straight forward. The rocket is made from a combination of carboard tubes, plastic fins, tip, and parachute. There is no painting involved in building this rocket. The instructions were clear, and we had the rocket and the launch pad assembled in about an hour and a half.

The other rocket in the set, the "Crossfire", has pieces made out of wood instead of plastic, which means that the rocket does need to be painted. I suppose it would still fly if it wasn't painted, but it just wouldn't look as cool. The Crossfire is a little more advanced rocket than the Amazon, and we will work on that one after we get some successful launches with the Amazon first.

Being new to model rockets myself, and not knowing exactly what materials are needed, I learned from reading on the internet that you also need model cement, recovery wadding, engines, and ignitors(usually included in package with engines). These items are not included in this set and must be purchased separately. I found all of these items at my local Hobby Lobby store, although I'm sure they can be purchased on Amazon too.

We haven't had a chance to launch the rocket yet, so I will report back later with our launch experiences. Overall, this is an excellent starter set for adults or kids who think it may be fun to build and launch a model rocket into the air. At just $25 on Amazon, this set is a great value too, because if you bought these two rockets and launch pad separately you would be in over $60. Very pleased with this purchase.
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Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set
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