I’ve seen a lot of toy commercials lately. After all, I watch a lot of cartoons, and it is the season to turn children into super-greedy brats by running tons of advertisements where children will see them the most. Aside from the hottest brands, I often see a lot of ads for obscure toys nobody knows, or cares about, for 11 months out of the year. I’m talking to you, Dr Dreadful Zombie Lab.
Then there is the flying shark.
Yes. A flying shark. The Animal Planet Air Swimmers are basically remote-controlled helium balloons that come in clown fish and shark flavors. The swimmers are about 4 feet long, and use their tails to move in three dimensions with pretty darn realistic swimming action. I’ve seen these on television a lot, but I first saw these bad-boys at Toys R’ Us mid-November when I was picking up this little cutie.
Apparently Toys R’ Us also has an eXtreme (spelled just like that) version that has a higher flying range. They’re pretty cheap too, at $49.99. That’s probably the price you’d pay for one of those little RC helicopters everybody’s been pushing the past 5 years. They’re nowhere near as cool as a flying shark. Probably easier to fly, too.
The only downside I can see is that they’re a balloon. I don’t know if they’re tougher than the aluminum balloons you get at florists, but I don’t think pestering the cat with one of these things would be a good idea. The swimmers also require a steady supply of helium to stay “afloat”. There are “special” Air Swimmer tanks you can get, but they don’t come filled, of course. It is probably easier than taking your shark to the grocery or party supply store to get it filled, though.
I’ve seen some videos, and they look pretty cool. Having a 4-foot fish swimming around in your living room would probably be pretty entertaining for a while. If you are a Dr. Who fan, you can reenact last year’s Christmas special. Well, maybe not. I wouldn’t try riding one. Maybe two strapped together. It could only be cooler if they came with fricken lasers.