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Real Review by a Real User: Read This First (UPDATED JULY 2012),
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This review is from: William Mark Air Swimmers Remote Control Flying Shark (Toy)
We have the shark, and first of all, let me say that virtually everybody's first reaction upon seeing it is to yell out a four-letter word! If you want to get a good idea of what it looks like and how it flies, look up Airswimmers on the web and watch the videos. They are also on YouTube. It looks and flies just like the videos.
This toy does not work outside, because there are too many air currents, and the slightest breeze will send this large balloon flying out of control. It does not work in small apartments or small rooms, because it is too darn big. You need a decent sized house, or an auditorium, church or basketball court to use this. Our house has normal 8-foot ceilings, and a big family room-kitchen area, which works great. Make sure there are no fans running. And it's a bit too delicate for little kids!
Wow, it really flies! You move forward by flapping the tail back and forth. You steer by flapping more left or more right. You climb and dive with a separate button that tips the shark up or down. With a bit of practice, you can steer wherever you want. Unlike many flying toys, this one really works.
You need to be somewhat adept at assembling delicate things to build this from the kit. There is a detailed video available that shows every step that is a bit easier to follow than the instructions-the video is highly recommended. The link is given in the instructions, or just search for airswimmers on the web. In any case, take your time, and make sure you have a second person to help.
Any store that sells helium balloons can fill this for you. It stays inflated for a long time, then the store can top it off. I bought a tank of helium for this, and my guess is I have a lot of refills remaining. It hasn't deflated appreciably since we got it. The good news is, you use putty (included) to adjust for the amount of helium remaining (neutral buoyancy), so you won't have to refill often.
Like many of you, when we saw this, we had to have it. I assembled it carefully, and it works. We're planning a trip to the community center with a two-story lobby to amaze some of my daughter's friends. It's fun, albeit a bit expensive with the currently inflated prices. Once some more of them make it into the country and the price comes down, expect to see more of them.
It's fun, a bit delicate, it works as advertised. Enjoy!
UPDATE: We've had the shark for a year now. We surprise guests with it every time new folks come over. It still works great, but we've learned a lot over the year. Here's what you need to know:
1. You really want to purchase a helium tank. It gets expensive topping off every 1-2 weeks at the party store, and it is hard to haul around unless you have a large vehicle. Do not top off with air as the manufacturer suggests, as this affects buoyancy. We are still on our first tank, since we are just topping off every few weeks.
2. Be careful not to lose the four rubber bands that hold the tail in place. These are the only small, loose parts and are critical for operation.
3. The shark will fly without needing to attach other helium balloons (as other reviewers have suggested). All you need to do is fill the shark completely, and adjust the trim (forward-back position on the remote control) for level, up or down flight. I have heard that some helium is not pure, but mixed with air, but haven't seen it myself.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2011 9:30:02 PM PST
T. Freeman says:
just ordered a couple from dealfind.com they are on for 25 plus i had a $5 voucher. my 4-year-old son and nephew are gonna love it. thanks for the thorough review.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2011 11:18:31 AM PST
I love how you suprise new guests! I laughed really loud when I read this!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2011 11:44:57 AM PST
My daughter has perfected the technique of sailing it in from the next room. Many priceless reactions.
Posted on Nov 30, 2011 4:55:00 PM PST
RJ Bookman says:
good review... I am still on the fence, ny younest nephew who is 9 would like it, but I think the house is a bit small. I was thinking I would use it out doors but your review really helped. thanks
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2011 5:15:20 PM PST
Outdoors definitely won't work, the slightest wind and the shark will be uncontrollable.
Posted on Dec 4, 2011 2:33:13 AM PST
P. Yu says:
What a great detailed comment! It was just what I was looking for. Do you have a suggestion on a helium tank to buy? By some other comments, it sounds like the tank only fills 1 to 2 times.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2011 7:21:06 AM PST
I purchased the Helium Tank Kit locally. I have filled the shark once and topped it off about 6 times so far. There seems to be a lot of helium left in the tank, but it is difficult to tell!
Posted on Dec 6, 2011 5:29:06 AM PST
My 6 and 4 year old sons have been begging me for this. We live in a house now, but are moving soon and don't know what size house we will be in. I was considering it, thinking I could always take it to the park if it didn't work in our new home. Thank you so much for your detailed review.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011 9:05:02 AM PST
The shark is unlikely to work in a park, because the slightest breeze will take it over. You would need a really still day.
Our house has regular 8 foot ceilings, and the shark works great. You just need enough room. A small apartment, or an old house with small rooms, won't work too well. New two-story houses with a high-ceiling entry way or family room work great.