There is always that one toy or item that your child really wants for Christmas and that they will go on and on and on about! This year my son started early constantly telling me that he was definitely going to ask Father Christmas for the Air Hogs vectron wave toy which seems to on during every advert break in between the children's TV shows from about August onwards! I was torn with this item simply because it looked much like it would be better on the advert than it would be in real life and it wasn't a cheap item by any means. When I saw it selling on Smyths toys for £19.99 including free postage and packing I decided to purchase it for my son and hoped for the best.
==What is it?==
The air hogs vectron wave came packaged in an oddly shaped box which was a nightmare to wrap up for Christmas! On the front of the box there was a clear panel so you could see inside to the product which is basically a small disk around the size of a side plate and which has a plastic top with gaps spaced evenly around it. The idea of this product is that it works using infra red technology so that you control it using only your hands as it flies in the air it will hover over your hand and then rise again when you move your hand and such like. You are also told that you can use the product to play a form of catch with.
The air hogs vectron wave comes with a charging unit which requires six AA batteries which are not provided and on this charger unit there is a red cut off button which will stop the vectron wave from hovering should you need it to.
My son was so excited when he saw that he had got the air hogs vectron wave for Christmas and was keen to have a go with it almost immediately but due to the fact that Christmas morning is always manic I managed to put him off until later on in the evening before we played with it. Unpacking the item from the box was simple and I was quite surprised at the size of the product and the charging unit because they are quite small really and the amount of packing used was ridiculous really. Also in the box were instructions on how to use the product but it is quite self explanatory really.
I have to say that I was immediately annoyed by the fact that the charging unit needed six AA batteries because it just seems so many and we all know that buying good batteries is not cheap at all. The actual vectron wave unit is charged via the charging unit so does not need any batteries thank goodness!
As I got the vectron wave ready to be played with I was surprised at how light it actually felt. Whilst I realise that the item is meant to hover in the air and so needs to be light I was shocked that it seemed to be basically made of a tough polystyrene which I thought would potentially break quite easily to be honest. There are some wires on the underside of the product which seem to be sellotaped on to it which seems a little odd but I guess they need to keep the weight down to a minimum.
For the first play you do need to charge the vectron wave up and this is done by lifting a little lid off the charging unit to release a wire which slots in the vectron wave unit near the on and off switch. You need to ensure you switch the vectron wave on to charge mode and then leave it for around half an hour to charge. You will know when it is charged as the colour of the light on the charger changes to let you know it is fully charged.
I was fully expecting that once the product had been charged for half an hour that it would be ready to go perhaps for the equivalent time but this is not the case at all with this product. I would say you get around ten to fifteen minutes of play as a maximum per charge which does seem quite ridiculous in my opinion.
My son was keen to have a play with the product and so he switched it on ready to go. Now I have to say here you need to allow the product to rise and then drop a little twice before you begin to play with it as advised by the manufacturers as otherwise the product may behave quite erratically. Once the product is ready to go you can put your hand underneath it and it will hover just above it which is something that my son thinks is really cool. You can also try and play catch with the product but my son and I have found this impossible as the vectron wave simply goes off on a mad do and ends up crashing in to a wall or the ceiling and then falling down on to the floor. My son does like to play with the product and will spend a couple of minutes just playing with it and allowing it to hover over his hand but he does soon get bored with it, especially when it needs charging again and so as I initially feared he doesn't really play with it much at all! We have had the product obviously since Christmas day and it hasn't been played with much at all, perhaps five times, and already the six batteries in the charger need replacing as well so I can see this toy soon ending up at the bottom of his toy box and just brought out every now and then.
What is a shame with this product is the fact that despite following the instructions to let the vectron wave settle in the air before you place you hand under it, it can still behave very erratically and so we lost it behind the Christmas tree after it had flown in to it and spun around like mad in there, it has hit the ceiling or walls many times and spun out of control too. Whilst you do have the stop button on the charger the vectron wave spins out of control so quickly that you don't have the time to stop it before it hits the wall or the ground which I fear will cause it to break eventually.
I cannot recommend that anyone would pay £20.00 or more for this toy because it just isn't worth it at all. Clearly the manufacturers have some clever people working for their advertising team because the ad does draw children in and make them want the product but it is just over priced in my opinion. If this cost £10.00 I would say give it a go because it does offer short bursts of fun and all of my son's friends have been impressed with the item and think it is really cool but I think the novelty of it soon wears off sadly.
Should you be interested the product is selling on amazon for £28.00 but I would say don't purchase it.
Thank you for reading my review!
Why is there always one thing that my son is desperate to have for Christmas and it ends up being a complete let down!?! The adverts were all over the television for this toy that when turned on would spin around in the air. As it comes back to land you put your hand (or a paddle board) underneath it and activate the sensors making it rise again. Watching the adverts I thought both my children would have a good time with this and maybe even play together (can you believe it!). My mother was having trouble thinking of what to buy for the boys so I handed this idea over to her and sent her a link to it on Amazon.
So many places were out of stock of this highly wanted toy. Even Amazon was out of stock for a while. Everywhere I found had none left. I was starting to get a headache over it but my mother got an e-mail last minute from Amazon saying it was back in stock so we finally got our hands on one.
From Amazon (Currently £24.99):
* Item Weight: 5 g
* Boxed-product Weight: 449 g
* Batteries: 6 AA batteries required.
* Manufacturer recommended age: 8 - 10 years
Both boys were very happy to open this toy and we got the batteries in and then connected the charger to the toy itself and started the power-up. The boys were desperate to take it outside but they'd have to wait. By the time Christmas dinner was done we were ready to take the kids out for a play. For a moment the toy did exactly what it said on the box but it was a flashing moment. The wind wasn't very much at all but it seemed enough to interrupt play. We played with a football instead and after our kick-about decided to play with the Vectron Wave at home where the wind couldn't get in the way.
Nothing was going to plan with this toy so far and it was about to get worse. We turned it on and before we could put a hand under it the toys would go off spinning sideways to the floor. We thought maybe it needed another charge but the same thing kept happening.
The toy itself doesn't look worth the money you pay as it's made of foam and tape. I was a bit shocked to see it when it came out the box as I was expecting something of more quality. I would put this toy in the novelty toys category and it needs some updates to be worthy of the price tag.
On one of our tries with this toy my son lunged to catch it before it hit the floor catching his fingers in the blades. They are plastic and didn't do him any harm but gave him a shock and put him off playing with it again.
Don't be sucked in by the adverts, it's not worth the money.
© oioiyou 2012
The Vectron Wave is one of the toys that were heavily advertised pre-Christmas 2010 and looked incredibly exciting. Hovering on its own and controlled by your hand this futuristic toy had us from the get go. Like most of these gadgets however, does it have any real longevity?
The early signs are good as it looks very much like a UFO coming out of the box. With its distinctive look and bright colouring my daughter and I were very excited. The Wave itself requires very little assembly. The only thing you attach to it is a plastic stick that clips into the top and acts as a handle in which you can grab hold and toss it. The box deceptively makes this look like an antenna but this is certainly not the case and all the wiring is stored away securely inside. The design is very futuristic but on close inspection it is also very cheap. All plastic and polystyrene to keep it light, it doesn't look durable and the plastic blade looks flimsy.
Once your throwing arm is snapped into place you might think you are ready to go but unfortunately we encountered our first issue with the Vectron Wave, a lack of batteries. To charge the device you plug it into a charging unit but this unit doesn't run off the mains but rather needs SIX AA batteries which are not included. The lack of these batteries is a massive drawback. Most of the remote control devices we have owned of any quality have chargeable batteries inbuilt that you then plug into the mains. However, because the Vectron Wave needs to be very light to work, it relies on a short charge rather than internal batteries. Charging doesn't take long (around an hour) but this does mean that you get very little playtime out of the device. On average we can operate the Vectron Wave for no more than fifteen minutes before it starts to die.
Fortunately playtime is all kinds of fun! We learnt early on the Vectron Wave needs lots of room. The manufacturer recommends a room of 4x4 meters or more and that sounds about right. Turning the device on is like setting off a firework as you flip the switch and stand well back. The Vectron Wave's blade underneath spins rapidly and it starts to rise eventually reaching the ceiling. On our first attempt it hit the lightshade veering wildly around the room knocking into me, my wife and then the dog much to her annoyance. The reset button on the charging unit which turns the Vectron Wave off remotely became my best friend before it turned into a scene from a horror movie. There is a reason this product is recommended for ages 8 and up and I think they have that about right. By our fourth attempt and lots of room clearing we soon got the hang of the initial launch procedure. The Vectron Wave rises to the ceiling once then descends while it's motion sensors decide where the floor is. When it rises again and starts to lower it will hover about halfway between floor and ceiling and is then ready for playing with.
There are a few things you can do with the Vectron Wave but one of the most fun is simply putting your hand underneath it and watching it rise up thanks to the sensors. As it rises and descends we all started to become more confident and took turns showboating our skills as if we were magicians and doing daring headers with it as if we were Premier League footballers. You can also holding the stick on the top if you have the required co-ordination and it will continue to spin wildly in the air. You can then try and toss it across to someone else which usually results in them fearfully jumping out the way! There is definitely a knack to this as it often boomerangs back at you to the point were you reflexively duck.
All this is undoubtedly a tonne of fun. Unfortunately after less than fifteen minutes it is all over far to quickly and you are back to putting it on charge or packing it away. This leads to another issue, the packaging simply isn't efficient to store the Vectron Wave. The product itself is required to be flimsy to keep flight but this makes it very delicate. A thin cardboard box is therefore not the right thing to store it in and we have already had a few lucky escapes were my fortunately light footed daughter has stepped on it. If the polystyrene breaks the device is renders useless and this is very possible is this box. We soon decided a solid plastic box was more suitable otherwise we would have been lucky if it lasted out the week. Would it have killed them to give you a decent container?
The Vectron Wave is undoubtedly fun although the durability of it and the short charge means it might only be fun in the short term and considering we paid twenty quid for it, I wouldn't call it excellent value. If ever there was a case for being able to give something two and a half stars, this would be it. Tentatively recommended.