21 November 2017

REVIEW: Little Tikes My First Drone

Start 'em young.

If you've ever felt sorry for your kids every time you take a drone for a fly, because they ask to have a go at flying it, but really can't, then you might be interested in this. Drones are everywhere these days, and kids want in. However, safely flying something that is essentially a group of spinning blades is not easy for young 'uns, which is why Little Tike's My First Drone caught our eye. Let's check it out, shall we?

This is a genuinely flying toy designed for kids aged from four years old. They call it a drone, but obviously their is no autonomous flight or GPS with this, and actually it isn't even a quadcopter. Those four small rotors on the main body of the craft aren't real - they merely spin in the down-draft of the gyro-rotors above.

So this is more of a helicopter than a quadcpter, and one that is achingly simple to pilot. The chunky controller features just five large buttons: takeoff, land, rotate left, and rotate right. There is also an emergency stop button in the centre which will bring the My First Drone down in an instant.

Uniquely, the drone itself charges from the controller, which features a pop out charging cable. This is great as kids can then charge it themselves without you having to worry about them messing with power outlets. It also means that the controller works off six AA batteries, which aren't included, so remember to get a stock in, eh? After a charge of about 40 minutes, you're ready to go.

Press the upward pointing arrow on the controller and the drone will raise to about four feet... and stay there. That is because this thing has auto-hover, which is a total Godsend and the secret of why it is so easy to fly. However, it won't stay totally put, as it has been (we assume) programmed to move forwards in the air very slowly. This lets the kids concentrate only on turning left or right - everything else is handled by the chopper. You can press the up button to gain altitude, but only for a few seconds, as it will naturally drop to that ideal height of four feet.

It's great fun to fly, even for grownups, as it is so damn easy. We should know, because as well as testing it ourselves, we also had a very special four year old guest pilot who mastered it in minutes. And, as both gyro blades are protected by a guard ring, it is a lot safer than most other kinds of lying toys.

To land, you press the downwards pointing button on the controller, and the chopper will slowly descend, along with some emergency siren sounds coming from the controller. We got a flight time of around six or seven minutes per charge, which is about average for this kind of toy and price, and after quite heavy use over the past two weeks, the AA batteries don't seem to have given up the ghost quite yet.

So, this is fun, easy to control, and lets kids actually own and fly their very own drone (without mum and dad worrying about them slicing their faces off, or crashing into he neighbours greenhouse. Which we've done before). We heartily recommend the Little Tikes My First Drone.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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