I’ll have to admit, I let out a hearty chuckle when I opened the box from HobbyTron and saw that World Tech Toys DC Comics Licensed World Tech Toys Joker 2 Channel Infrared RC Helicopter inside leering at me suspiciously. I wasn’t laughing AT the Joker-shaped chopper, mind you… but the fact that it was him inside that box and not Batman or Superman as I’d expected.
I also laughed because it being the Joker meant I was probably lucky to be alive after opening that box. As not a whiff of Smilex Gas poured out of the box and I was still breathing, I cracked the package open, took everything out and in less than two minutes (most of which was spent trying to recall where I put the bulk package of batteries I bought a few weeks ago), I was about ready to fly…
The copter comes fully assembled in the box, so all you need to do is pop six AA batteries into that wireless controller, remove the charging cable from its slot and connect it to the figure. The 7.5″ figure has a 6″ rotor span and that built in LiPo battery didn’t take long to charge. I suppose I could have flown it right away, but I decided to let it sit around for about an hour so I could fly it indoors and outside on a single charge and check out the HobbyTron site while I was waiting just in case I ran into anyone asking where I’d gotten it from. I’d not used a RC controller in a while, but this thing was pretty easy to get into the air and zipping around the room after a few minutes of practice. Once I was confident enough to pull of some near flawless hovering and landings, it was time to take a trip into the daylight and see how this bad guy could do in the open sky.
I found a nearly people-free spot not too far from the home office that used to be a basketball court and there was more than enough room around to not hit any of the trees or other plants surrounding the area. As there was very little wind, I got the Joker into the air with no trouble and about a minute or so of flight time, I hear someone coming from my left ask “Is that a drone?” I laughed and turned to see one of the maintenance guys looking up with his hand above his eyebrows because of the sunlight. I flew the Joker down a bit so it was closer and he laughed. “Oh, it’s the Joker! Cool!” before asking if I got it in the area. I told him it was a HobbyTron RC and there were also Batman and Superman versions available. He whipped out his phone and typed in the website, then thanked me for showing him the chopper as he turned and went on his way with a cheery “Thanks, man – gotta get back to work!” followed by “I’m gonna get one of those for my son’s birthday!” yelled from about 20 feet away. Huh? Who knew the Joker would make people happy?
I’d say my work was done in getting the word out, but I wanted to see the reaction from one more person. I landed the Joker and sat down for a few minutes to have some water and as soon as I got up and got that figure in the air, I heard a bark and some scampering towards my general direction. Ruh-Roh! It wasn’t Scooby-Doo, but a nice-looking and really energetic pit bull that seemed to have a Joker fetish. As it ran around me, jumped up on my leg once and hopping away, started barking up at the copter, I got a tiny bit worried that I’d have to see about landing Mr. Joker on someone’s windowsill until whomever owned the dog showed up. Fortunately, that was about five seconds later, as the guy who owned the dog called it and after running around me a few more times and barking, it dashed back to its owner.
The guy apologized and looked up along with his seemingly smiling dog, asking me what kind of helicopter it was. I told him the same thing I told the maintenance guy, flying the chopper lower, but not so low that his still excited pooch (who he’d thankfully leased, but was still barking up at the sky) could snatch it out of the air with a mighty leap. The guy nodded and smiling, asked if there was a Batman figure and how much it cost and as I’d cleverly checked out the website earlier, I was able to let him know they were on sale for $34.95, had a 90-day warranty and he should probably check out some of the other stuff there if he was into RC stuff, slot cars and a ton of other cool goodies they have on their site. The guy laughed and said I sounded as if I worked for the company, which made me laugh as well. I told him I write about games and such, handed him a card and he went on his merry way, with his dog still a bit hyper.
By this point, I decided to jet back indoors myself before some kid with a slingshot showed up and wanted to try and shoot the Joker out of the sky. Of course, just as I land the thing, some kid and his mom see, the kid runs up and wants to play with it. Eek. as I’m thinking to myself “Hey, kid! Didn’t your mom teach you not to run up to strange guys!” his mom zips up, apologized to me and then said a variation of that to her son. *Whew!* Anyway, the funnier thing about the flight was I was so thrilled to check this thing out that I’d left my darn camera at home (oops), or I’d have taken a few photos of the thing in action. I can safely sat that it works quite well, is lightweight and doesn’t take a lot of effort to fly at all.
Sure, it’s a bit goofy to see at first, but that laugh should turn into a nice solid grin once you’re finding people who see it wanting to take it for a spin. Of course, that’s when you tell them to go get their own, right?