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Our Favorite Flying Toys for Kids
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The two-in-one Air Hogs Switchblade Transforming Stunt Flier takes off by spinning vertically into the sky; when it's high enough the "morph" button changes it, midair, into a forward-flying plane. Extra propellers and a built-in battery ensure that this UFO-plane hybrid will bring hours of fun. Ages 7 and up.
Play to Grin
Cheery swirls, sunbursts, and a smiley face decorate these Pocket Discs, handmade in Guatemala. The Classic disc is featherweight, making it (relatively!) safe for playroom tossing; the Sport one is heavier and will fly farther outdoors. Ages 5 and up.
Army games, safari adventurers, traffic and weather reporting -- name it, and the Vertigo Sky Hawk helicopter can play along as it swooshes all over the backyard. It's a cinch to steer and fly and sports smart double-duty features: The remote control is also the charging station when the copter is idle, and the package it comes in can be used as a helipad. Ages 6 and up.
The beauty of the remote-control FlyTech Crash FX is that it's supposed to fall apart, making it ideal for kids who are known for trashing their toys. This aircraft maneuvers easily around doorways, furniture, and trees, so your pilot-to-be can avoid (or, more likely, cause) collisions. The magnetic wings and tail break off in neat sections and then snap back together easily after a bumpy flight. Ages 8 and up.
Play It Forward
The simple Monkey Business Sports SkyRockets are propelled with kid power, using a handheld elastic launcher. The colorful red-and-yellow foil rockets hook into the slinglike loop and then shoot upward for hundreds of feet, but land sorftly (they're made of foam). The set comes with a mid-range rocket and two long-range ones, for targets both near and far. Ages 8 and up.
Sky's The Limit
Every childhood should have a kite like the Snap Stunt in it -- a beauty to behold, with a brilliantly colored, stylish design. This vibrant version is so easy to assemble, your kid can do it herself (just attach the bar and the strings); it also weaves and bobs well in strong winds, so go ahead and bring it to a wide-open space. Available in two other models. Ages 8 and up.
3, 2, 1...
He'll get to load up the side tube of the Blast Pad with a foam-topped missile, back up a few yards, and then take a running, flying leap onto the launching pad. The force of his weight sends air through the hose, pushing the missile skyward. It's so awesome. Ages 8 and up.