By Callum Mellon
Friday 13th April 2012
When growing up I always wanted a remote control helicopter. It was a big deal to me to have remote controlled toys. The down side was always monetary problems. I could never afford the hundred pounds plus they always cost.
The years went by and I still never got round to buying one, things in my life changed that made it more and more difficult to get one, (such as moving in with my girlfriend, who already has to put up with an Xbox and Star Wars Statues.) Then the Griffin Helo TC Assault came along and changed it all.
So a little background info before I divulge my review.
Back in 2011 the gadget company Griffin, (known more for their FM transmitters and accessories for iPods and iPhones,) launched the Helo TC remote controlled helicopter, which was controlled via an app on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It was an amazing little piece of technology, and became an amazing Christmas gift.
January this year, Griffin announced the Helo TC Assault, the new and updated version which could now fire missiles. Sexy.
Indoor use only (Real light destroys link between your smart phone and the helicopter, and it will crash. Horrifically. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
- Flight Time Approx. 8 Minutes
- Charge Time Approx. 40 Minutes
- Approx. 7” Long
- Plastic with LED Light on front
- Slimmer design than old model (See review for information)
- Comes with battery sled to send your commands to the Helicopter
- o THIS DOES NEED 4x AAA BATTERIES NOT PROVIDED
- That being said Helicopter uses PolyLithium rechargeable battery that charges from unique USB Cable
- Launches ‘Redeye missiles’ –Up to 2 at a time! (Comes with 6.)
- Comes with spare parts for those fatal crashes!
- Recommended 14 years and older
- App To control it runs on all iOS devices and Android devices.
- RRP £49.99
When Griffin gave me the helicopter I felt like Christmas has come early. The box looks sleek and provocative, making me wonder if those dog fights I always dreamed of having could now be truly possible.
So I got it home, laid it on my table and started to unbox. Griffin kindly gave easily to follow instructions on getting my Helicopter of Living Room Mass Destruction up and going. So I unpacked it, put the Helicopter on charge via the USB cable to my Xbox, Started downloaded the free app that controls the helicopter onto my phone and ran down to the shop to buy some batteries for the sled.
Now, at first when I saw the sled, I was wondering why it needed to be so big and bulky. It seemed to me that it would actually make it harder to use. I was oh so definitely wrong. The sled itself is made of rubber coated plastic and needs 4x AAA batteries to run. It is built in a shape that when attached to your smart phone makes it comfortable to hold for controlling the helicopter and also a lot easier to steer when in tilt mode, but more on tilt mode later.
The Helicopter itself is beautiful compared to other small ones on the market, including its predecessor. The older model was just the same as any of the other helicopters out there, with the same looks as the Gyro Flyer.
The designers of the assault to me seem to have decided to attract the ten year old in me who still wants to play soldiers. Its slim, black, looks more like it belongs in a Saturday morning cartoon or a Michael Bay Movie. It also fires plastic missiles for you to lose within the first day!
The App is incredibly easy to use once you set it for yourself. The beginner mode for me just never seemed to get the helicopter off the floor, but once I put it into expert mode it was just so natural to fly it around my flat.
So would I say it’s worth buying? Well that all depends on…
With other small indoor RC Helicopters on the market starting at £20, the RRP of £50 seems quite steep. Yes it does work with your phone, which means that’s one less controller to lose, but so does the older model which you can still pick up for approximately £30 if you shop around. The extra twenty pounds seems to buy you a slimmer, cooler designed helicopter and 6 plastic missiles for you to lose.
Now if you do use all the spare parts and lose all the missiles, you can order replacement packs from Griffin from themselves for around £15. This is a plus for Griffin in my books as trying to get replacements from the other companies can be quite complicated.
An extremely fun little toy, with no real use apart from trying to recreate some iconic moments from platoon with toy soldiers, but for the price of £50 in my opinion it just isn’t worth it.
If you are in the market, (and all guys out there are always in the market for RC toys,) I would suggest buying the older model. It’s not as nice looking, slightly more expensive than others on the market, but you do get to fly a helicopter still with your phone.
If however you want to shoot things with a helicopter controlling it from your phone, then the Helo TC Assault is for you.
If You would like anything Gadget / Geek Wise, You can contact Callum at: