Pros: Fun, simple, inexpensive, scientifically educational
Cons: Needs large space, not as durable as hoped
I received this toy as a gift from my wife last year. She had obviously noticed that every time we went to Target, my son and I would stop in front of the AirHogs display unit, pump up the engine, and spin the prop.
Now, this is not the best toy that SpinMaster has made. Unfortunately, their best toy was discontinued; a top that was spun onto a slick board that increased its rotation as you wobbled the board (so it would keep going) - if anyone knows where one is, I want another.
So, I guess this is the second-best toy they have made, but the best one currently in production.
Back to the point of this whole review. The AirHog instructional video that came with the plane was excruciatingly (and unintentionally) funny. About every 30 seconds, there is a shot of the plane and a deep WWF voiceover shouts "Air Hogs!". By the end of the video, my son and I were shouting "Air Hogs" back and forth at each other and laughing ourselves silly while my daughter rolled on the floor helpless with giggles and my wife cringed in embarrassment.
However, once we had calmed ourselves down, we grabbed the plane and boldly set off to the nearby park - a big one. A side note here: make sure that you are launching this sucker in a very large space, as you have basically no control over where it goes once the winds take it. We pumped up the plane - a real chore for my 5-year-old... impossible for my 3-year-old, and let it go.
The first couple flights were not too spectacular, but once I figured out how to adjust the ailerons, rudder, and all that other airplane-technical-stuff, we had a number of great flights. The kids would chase it all over the park, trying to catch it. And when they did, the soft propeller and low torque would obviate the need for stitches and splints when they invariably stuck their fingers in the turning propeller.
I loved my Air Hog, and found it to be decently durable if used properly (i.e. no propeller wedgies or action figure rides or model rocket/airplane crash simulations). It still has the original wing on it, and we'll probably take it out to the park this afternoon, as I just got myself all excited again.
Big fun for a reasonable price.