Air Hogs Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad
- Now you can fly the most iconic ship in the Star Wars universe: the Millennium Falcon Quad with iconic LED lights and authentic sounds!
- The Millennium Falcon uses 4 rotors concealed ion the body of the ship for agile, space-like flight!
- Its 2.4Ghz communication lets you control the Millennium Falcon up to 200 feet away! Activates its hyper-drive stunt with the push of a button!
- The Millennium Falcon is for star fighters aged 8+. 6 x AA batteries required for operation. For indoors and outdoors use.
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Now you can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs with the Flying Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon! Fly the most iconic ship in the Star Wars universe right in your own home! The Ultimate Millennium Falcon takes flight with the power of 4 rotors concealed in the body of the ship. Its authentic lights and sounds bring the Millennium Falcon to life as you fly. Activate Hyperspace mode on the remote control and hold on for a fully loaded hyperspace journey. If your deflector shields go down, youÔÇÖre still in good shape; the Millennium Falcon is constructed from durable high density foam making it resilient to a few photon torpedo hits. With 2.4GHz communication, you can control the Millennium Falcon up to 200 feet away! Join the rebellion and bring Star Wars home with the Millennium Falcon Quad from Air Hogs! Star Wars products are produced by Spin Master under license from Lucasfilm Ltd.
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The drone is encased in the polystyrene body which means that any knocks against walls, ceilings, furniture etc do not do any damage to the propellers. You can pretty much ignore the how-to instructions and figure out how to drive the falcon on-the-fly, though the first few times you may want to make sure that there's nothing in the room to bump the falcon against because the the slightest knock will result in it spinning out of control.
The paint job on the falcon is a bit thin/flimsy. My falcon's paint job is starting to peel where it's come into contact with the walls etc
The battery life is pretty awful. You'll only get around 7-10 minutes of flying time before the lights on the falcon start to flash indicating that the battery is getting low. The battery can be recharged by hooking the falcon up to the controller. If you then hook up the controller to the mains then you'll be able to charge the falcon without draining the controllers batteries. The falcon then takes *forever* to recharge.
The price tag of £100 is a bit steep for a toy that can only be used for ~ 10 minutes and then needs over an hour of downtime to recharge, however, it's a great toy to learn how to use a drone. I would have awarded it 4 stars, but the price tag and short battery life mean that I've only awarded 3.
It's definitely a departure from what I usually cover on my Youtube channel but since this is the Video Gadgets Journal and this absolutely qualifies as a gadget I found it hard to resist purchasing one of these.
To give it an official title the Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Air Hogs - Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad is not only every child's dream but every 30-something-male-adult-with-a-large-disposable-income's dream. Children have to wait until Christmas, I waited until my pay day which just so happened to be the Labour Day weekend it was released.
The box is your typical Star Wars affair with plenty of logos and a design that's very familiar to any collectors out there. The back of the box displays the contents with English and, in this case, a French description of the item because I live in Canada these days. Each of the sides, with the exception of the underneath which lists battery information and safety instructions, displays the same design which helps establish that this product is from the new Star Wars films as I have no idea who this evil looking chap is. Maybe it's a spoiler and he kills Han and Chewie and rides off into the tattooine sunset in the Falcon - you heard it here first folks.
And of course the star of this particular show is the Millennium Falcon which must have made toy companies quiver in a fiscal orgy when they heard it was making a return: One of the most iconic and distinctive spaceships in science fiction. And it looks awesome.
Despite it being a drone no comprises have been made to its shape. You expect drones to be symmetrical to help with weight distribution but not in this case. The Millennium Falcon is shaped and detailed exactly as you would expect save for the cutouts for the rotor blades and power switch.
The reason it is able to look like this is because it's made from high destiny foam which feels like polystyrene used to pack washing machines. You can see this in the material around the rotors. This drone weighs next to nothing - the same as a bag of salad. You can crash into pretty much anything because the forces are so low to both the object and drone that neither is likely to get damaged as you will see later.
The controller looks like someone's idea of a really tacky 3rd party Xbox 360 controller but it does serve a few purposes. Obviously it controls the drone and robs your house's entire supply of double A batteries as it needs six of them.
Quite why is a mystery since the drone has its own 450 mah battery. It might have something to do with the authentic yet very poor quality sound effects that you can play using the controller's shoulder buttons.
But as you can see, you can plug the controller into the mains with the supplied usb cable and then a small charging cable comes out of a compartment in the controller to plug into the drone and charge it.
That takes around 75 minutes and that will give you about 6-9 minutes of flying time with the drone. More on that later.
As for right now let's get into the Millennium Falcon as a quadcopter drone. As a relatively small drone you can fly this indoors as long as you have around 15 square feet of space and if you have experience flying drones it's moderately responsive.
In this shot I've synced two cameras together to show you drone flying and me controlling it.
The left stick controls the throttle and the direction of the Falcon while the right stick moves the drone forwards, backwards, right and left (very much like a videogame first person shooter). The throttle can be a little temperamental; usually it requires feather touches but occasionally demands a serious amount of power when changing direction or sometimes completely randomly.
It does advertise itself as having an onboard Gyro-stabilizer meaning that it should stay perfectly still and float if you control the power correctly but as you're flying time goes on you will find it more and more difficult to control. In reality it's impossible to keep it exactly in one place as I tried various times in my filming. But on the whole, after a learning curve of about an hour you should be able to fly the drone with some confidence and feel pretty cool doing so.
The drone has two distinct sounds, which you can hear as high pitch whirring but if you listen closely you can almost persuade yourself of a constant engine noise that does actually sound like the Falcon itself, or maybe I'm just being nostalgic.
Here's another synced camera shot of me following the drone around the office with a camera attached to my head. You can get a sense of scale and speed here. The drone is small and fairly slow, especially when reversing. But such speeds do allow you to attempt delicate manoeuvres such as trying to fly under this table which I almost succeeded in doing….
On the plus side this failure this does highlight the durability of the drone, as do all these other flying mishaps and crashes.
Also because the rotors are tiny and enclosed it's completely safe and highly entertaining to launch the Falcon from your hand and indeed catch it, almost like a Frisbee - just be careful with the throttle if you decide to do the latter.
When I took the Falcon outside things did get a little more tricky. Remember that lightweight design? Well that ruins the handling of this drone even if there is a whisper of wind. If you consider that most people will be receiving these as Christmas present they might not get them outside the house until spring time. What makes things particularly difficult is when air disturbs the drone enough to make it change direction. That can really confuse your handling especially if it turns 180 degrees as that reverses the controls and if you're not expecting that it won't be long before you crash it.
Obviously in daylight you can see the Falcon in all its glory, but at night the blue lights in the engines and the bright white headlights add another special authentic Star Wars feel. No matter which way you approach this drone and attempt to review it objectively a fan can always fall back to that crucial element - it's a Millennium Falcon drone and it looks amazing.
What's not so amazing are the sound effects...
Couple that with the buttons that don't work most of the time and you have some poor build quality.
To summarise the Millennium Falcon drone as a package it's lightweight and durable, you can fly it indoors which is a great advantage for the holiday season and the controls are decent once you get the hang on it.
On the flipside there's quite a lot wrong with it. It struggles outdoors both with wind and signal. It claims to have an 80ft range but controls are unpredictable at half that distance. You can fly it around the garden which is good, but if you fly it around the park it won't go very far or very quickly.
Battery life is mediocre at around 10 minutes max if you're going flat out. What makes it worse is that the battery is completely enclosed within the drone so you can't replace it with a spare battery. And remember there's a 75 minute wait to recharge.
And let's not forget the price. Wherever you are in the world it's in the triple digit region. This is not a $100 or £100 drone.
But it is Star Wars and it is a Millennium Falcon and it is the spaceship you've always wanted to fly and that carries an irresistible draw. This is the toy equivalent of the dark side of the force. Give in to your temptations!n Drone is now a Reality!
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