My daughter has a new favorite playmate: Tinker Bell. Based on the FlyTech Dragonfly by WowWee (one of TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year” last year), Disney’s endearing fairy has come to life as a magical flying toy!
Made of very light-weight, crash-resistant materials that prevent her from getting hurt, all it takes to get Tinker Bell’s wings fluttering is a slight push of the lady bug button on the flower wand remote control. You launch her from your hand. To get her flying up higher and her wings flapping faster, push the button up, all while pointing the wand at Tinker Bell. To lower her height and flying power, you push the button down. Tinker Bell’s unique wing design allows her to soar, dive, and glide through the air in graceful circular patterns. With only the one button, it’s so easy for little hands to control. When Tinker Bell gets tired, she’ll start to slow-down. The sound of the motor changes, and she’ll fly lower and become less responsive, until she eventually stops flying completely.
The flower wand also serves as a charger, with an LED charge indicator in the center, and requiring 4 AA batteries. 18 minutes of charging gives Tinker Bell enough power to fly for up to 4 minutes. When I first read that in the instructions, it didn’t seem like that much… but 4 minutes is actually quite a long time if you include all the times Tinker Bell falls to the ground and has to be relaunched. I’d say we get 8-10 minutes of playtime before recharging. To conserve energy, Tinker Bell will enter sleep mode if not used for one minute. All it takes to wake her back up is to turn her off and on again. When it’s time for Tinker Bell to rest her wings, she hangs nicely on the flower wand, which sits in a decorative stand for storage.
I actually like that the charge only lasts 4 minutes. It keeps Maya from getting bored with Tinker Bell. She anxiously keeps an eye on the flower wand to see if Tinker Bell is finished charging to play again. The hardest part of using this toy was showing Maya how to launch Tinker Bell from her hand, as opposed to throwing her in the air. She got the hang of it after a few days. I have to admit that I’ve played with her a few times after Maya’s gone to bed at night. Dual-band infrared controls allow you to fly up to two Tinker Bells together in one room, so this might just be going on my personal wish list. It’s just that fun! This video was shot after only having Tinker Bell for one day. The “woooh” that you hear periodically in the video isn’t actually Maya, it’s her baby sister!
The FlyTech Tinker Bell is meant for indoor use only. It’s best to play with her in large spaces, with no fans turned on. I can see it being the perfect toy for the cold winter months when we’ll be stuck inside most of the time. It’s suggested for ages 6 and up, but Maya is barely four years old and enjoys it quite a bit. She wasn’t a huge fan of Tinker Bell to begin with, but since receiving this toy last week, she can’t talk about anything else. Walt Disney Pictures Tinker Bell was just released on Disney DVD last month and will premiere on the Disney Channel this weekend. We will be watching, no doubt with Tinker Bell flying around during the commercial breaks!
You can find the FlyTech Tinker Bell at major retailers nationwide, including Amazon.com, Toys ‘R Us, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, and DisneyShopping.com, for around $39.99 or so. It’s the perfect gift for the little girl in your life, especially if she’s a Disney Fairies fan. If Tinker Bell isn’t your thing, WowWee makes a variety of other flying fairies and butterflies, and for the boys – a dragonfly, bat, and even a dragon that all use similar technology. You can’t go wrong with this gift!