Review of the WowWee FlyTech Lightstar: A UFO In Your Living RoomPosted by Peter Redmer on Monday, 23 February 2009
It's a bird, it's a plane... it's a Lightstar? Cheesy, I know, but that's what you'll say to yourself the first time you fire up this innovative flying wing and see its colorful neon lights spinning in mid-air. It's definitely very UFO-like, and while it's a simple flyer with only vertical movement, the Lightstar is a blast to fly and play with.
Unboxing the Lightstar
I was pumped to open up my Lightstar and with knife and scissors in hand, proceeded to gingerly open the bright blue box.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that I really didn't need the array of tools I came prepared with. The box was extremely easy to open and none of the "signature" WowWee wire-ties were present. Yet, the Lightstar was secured nicely in its plastic shell sans annoying restraints. Woo hoo!
I have to say that the Lightstar feels quite solid. Unlike its larger cousin, the Bladestar, the Lightstar is made (seemingly) from a single piece of foam. A monocoque chassis, if you will.
Rather than two prop driven motors, the Lightstar has only one. On the other extension lies a light module, which you'll get to see in action later. There's two replacement props included... don't lose them, as you'll almost definitely need them later.
The Lightstar Remote
The remote for the Lightstar is extremely simple, and takes two AA size batteries. There's ony one control - a "wheel" of sorts that adjusts the speed of the motor. There are three indicator lights above the wheel which show you how fast the motor is spinning. You can also select one of three channels, as three Lightstars can be flown at once.
Charging Lightstar is easy. There's a charging cable that easily snaps out of the side of the remote. It feels a lot higher quality than the charging wires used in other flying models I've played with and doesn't feel easily breakable. It's also very easy to snap into the Lightstar.
Now, to the fun part, of course - getting Lightstar in the air. Lightstar is designed to be flown indoors exclusively, and while it feels sturdy for such a small flyer, I definitely wouldn't venture with it outdoors.
Once you're all charged up and ready to go (will take about 10 minutes) you'll get about 4 minutes of airtime. Launching the Lightstar will either be super easy or a little more difficult depending on the size of your room. Either way, you'll want to hold the Lightstar up in the air and ensure that you aren't pushing it forward, back, or to the side - as well as not tilting it either. If you do so, it will likely careen into the nearest wall or object, especially in a smaller room.
Speaking of smaller rooms... here's a trick for launching the Lightstar that I found extremely useful. As you can tell from the pics, the Lightstar spins clockwise. First, start off at about 3/4 speed. Hold onto the white box that holds the light assembly, and when launching, give it a little "starter" spin... again, ensure that you aren't pushing or tilting it in the process. This is, of course, difficult to do when spinning, but you'll get the hang of it.
Once the Lightstar is airborne and stable, it's actually pretty amazing how it can hover consistently in one place without moving much... this is where it's UFO-like behavior really comes out. And when you switch out the lights... well, just see for yourself in the video!
Overall, the Lightstar performs exactly as I expected. It's a simple to fly, flashy, and fun toy. It won't spin the heads of the R/C aficionado, but that's not the point. The Lightstar would be a great toy for kids, but as an "adult" (I use that term loosely when referring to myself) I had a great time playing with Lightstar. I caught myself staring at its cool green and blue spinny lights like some kind of visualizer screen saver, mesmerized. In addition, it's a blast to run the thing into walls and other objects to see what happens ;)
And for $20 USD, it's about the most fun you can have with a flying toy. Competing toys at higher price points aren't anywhere near as fun as the Lightstar! It doesn't seem to be available anywhere online as of the time of this article, but check at your local Target store.