The Infrared Remote Flying Astronaut is another fun remote control toy from Discovery Kids. Although an online retailer recommended it for boys 8 and up, I think there are probably a lot of little girls out there who would enjoy it as well. It's easy to fly even for beginners and clutzy product reviewers.
In the Box
- Discovery Kids Flying Astronaut: Plastic body with 4 levels of flexible rotors secured to the top of his helmet. He stands about 5" tall including the propellors.
- Infrared Transmitter: Includes a power switch, trim control, and 2 joystick controls that handle Throttle and Directional functions.
- Printed Instructions for setting up and using the Astronaut.
The Infrared Transmitter is small (about 4.5" x 4.4" x 1.5") with 2 joystick controls on top. The left stick controls the Throttle (ascending and descending control) and the right stick controls direction (right/left). The Trim Control is a small red wheel that can be adjusted to get the Astronaut to fly straight instead of spiraling out of control. Directions for trimming the Astronaut are included on the instruction sheet. The Transmitter includes a band selector that will allow you to control up to 3 Astronauts with the same controller. Instructions for this are included.
The Astronaut is a cute little guy in a white space suit with an oxygen pack on his back. On the lower area of the pack is a jumper type plug where you connect the charging cable from the transmitter. The Astronaut will charge his battery directly from the 6 AA batteries in the transmitter. Charging time is estimated to be approx. 20 to 30 minutes for a full charge and flying time is said to be about 5 to 8 minutes on a charge.
The first thing you will need to do before you can fly is remove the lid to the battery compartment which is on the back of the transmitter. The screw remains attached to the door so it can't get lost in the process. Carefully orient the batteries according to the + and - signs or the astronaut won't fly. Once that's accomplished, close the battery compartment and turn the transmitter over again. On the side with the joystick controls, look at the center bottom and find a down arrow that says 'Open' and slide it open. Extend the little charging cable out and connect it to the charging port on the back of the Astronaut. Then turn on the power switch on the Transmitter and the charging light will come on and stay on until it's done charging. When the light goes off, it's time for take off.
The Discovery Kids Infrared Remote Flying Astronaut is intended for Indoor Use Only. The instructions say 'Do Not Use It Outdoors.' I'm stressing this because the retailer's website provides product details that state it is for 'Indoor/Outdoor use' and then the next line says 'Outdoor Use Only.' Please follow the directions you receive with the product, not what you read online.
The instructions recommend a roomy, indoor space, 10 feet across and 10 feet high, which is free of any obstacles. Parental supervision is strongly recommended. Do not operate the toy while sitting on the floor or a chair. You need to be able to get out of the way if the Astronaut makes an unexpected turn in your direction. Keep it away from other people, your face, hair, and pets to avoid injury.
After my experience with the Animal Planet R/C Pterodactyl which required some help from my husband to toss it into the air for me, I was pleased to be able to handle the flight of the Astronaut all on my own. It was really very easy. I started the rotors spinning and just gave the Astronaut a little toss into the air and he started to fly gently forward and I used the joystick controls to guide him around the room. It was fun, easy, and I was starting to feel pretty good about my flying ability until I crashed the Astronaut into a chair. No damage done. His durable little body bounced back ready to fly again another day.
The Discovery Kids Infrared Remote Flying Astronaut is available from Bealls Department Store in Florida as well as their online Bealls Florida outlet. Bealls is also a Marketplace seller on Amazon so be sure to check prices at both online resources before you buy in case one has a lower price than the other. This is another great gift for family fun time.