Gadgets 246

Published on November 27th, 2008 | by Greg


WowWee’s Bladestar: Not Quite Flying High

It’s hard not to like miniature toy helicopters. They zip right up, make fairly remarkable twists and turns, and are fairly easy to control. Most of them though, have a tendency to touch a wall and go down fast.

Which is why WowWee created the Bladestar, which has sensors inside to detect walls and thus avoid them. You need to enable the special mode, via a very large remote that (like many such devices) also serves as a charger. Unfortunately, this mode takes away some of the fun of control… if you can get it to work, which we could not at times despite following the instructions carefully. In normal mode, it’s easy for the copter to touch something and immediately crash but keep spinning on the ground, damaging the mostly-sturdy and easily-replaceable blades- a few crashes like that, and you’ll need to change the blades, and there are only two sets included.

Of course, the devices require a large room, and can’t really be used outside. And the batteries only last for a few minutes before a recharge is required. The Bladestar gets a little closer to a device that we’d like- a sorta-neat dogfight mode, a decent price ($40)- but still won’t keep the attention of most older kids or adults for more than a few tries.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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