PicooZ RC Helicopter

Every year, there are a handful of toys that end up on the holiday gift wish lists of kids all over the country. I can remember 5 years ago when it was the Bit Char-G / Microsizer tiny remote controlled cars. Even my Dad stood in line at Radio Shack to get one (for himself!). This year one of the popular toys is again a remote controlled device. But this time it is not a car… it’s a tiny helicopter called the PicooZ.

When the people at Hobbytron asked if I would like to review the PicooZ, I was happy to comply as I knew this review would be way more fun than work!

Package Contents

PicooZ helicopter
Handheld transmitter
Spare Tail Propeller
Aluminum labels
Instruction Manual

From the images of the PicooZ on Hobbytron’s site, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of this toy. I will have to say that I was somewhat disappointed when I first removed the PicooZ from the package. I say this because the helicopter is made mostly of styrofoam.

Weighing in at an almost feather weight of 0.4 ounces, the PicooZ is small and fragile feeling. The body is styrofoam while the tail part is a thin tape covered plastic strip. The 3 rotor blades are made of a thin flexible plastic.

In contrast, the handheld transmitter is a robust plastic module with 2 thumb controlled joysticks that control power and direction. The transmitter is powered by 6 AA batteries (not included). In addition to controlling the PicooZ, it also charges the Li-poly battery in the helicopter.

On the Left side of the PicooZ there is a very small power switch and next to it, a socket for the charger plug.

The charger cable is located under a small cover on the top of the transmitter. Charging for 20-30 minutes will yield approximately 5-6 minutes of flying time. When I first read that, I thought that only having 5 minutes of ‘play’ for a 30 minute wait was pretty lame. I’m happy to say that in reality it feels like you have more time than just 5 minutes.

Getting your helicopter off the ground is an easy task. You just flip the power switch on both the transmitter and helicopter and then press the throttle stick upward. The rotors will start turning and the PicooZ will lift off the ground. Like I said, getting the PicooZ off the ground is easy. Now, controlling it is another matter entirely ;o) It takes a lot of practice let me tell you! I crash way more often than I’d like to admit. It’s really hard to keep from just letting go of the throttle when the PicooZ starts going too high. As soon as you left off the throttle, the copter drops like a rock. Once you can learn to ease off the throttle and make small movements, things work a whole lot better.

See it in action…


Click on image to play the QuickTime video (2min 07sec, 4.2mb). The video is encoded in the H.264 codec. You will need the latest version of Quicktime to view it. VLC is another free viewer.

The PicooZ is a lot of fun to play with. Just don’t think you’ll be able to fly perfect as soon as you take it out of the box. The good thing is that despite how fragile this little guy appears to be, it has survived crashing onto my garage roof, crashing several feet to my office floor, crashing into walls, etc. Although kids will would love this toy, I recommend giving the PicooZ to older more patient kids as I’m still not entirely confident how many hard crashes this tiny copter can withstand. Happy flying!

 

Product Information

Price:39.0
Manufacturer:Silverlit Toys
Retailer:HobbyTron
Pros:
  • Fun!
  • Fun!
  • and more fun!
Cons:
  • Hard to control
  • Feels fragile
  • Hard to control
Posted in: Geek Toys

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Julie December 12, 2006, 2:53 am

    Post your comments on the PicooZ RC Helicopter review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/picooz_rc_helicopter

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • moldor December 12, 2006, 10:00 am

    Interesting toy – the video is a bit washed out for detail tho…

    Remind me to send you a copy of the helicopter simulator sometime – far less painful than crashing outside…:-)

  • Julie December 12, 2006, 12:41 pm

    I know the video is pretty bad. I am seriously considering a different camera. The more I use the Sanyo Xacti, the more it annoys me.

  • allen_tec December 13, 2006, 1:38 am

    I bought mine from ThinkGeek and had it since last week thursday and I also crashed it lots of times into walls, ceilings and furniture. I had to fix it though… the rectangular plate under the main rotor can loose and dropped out on Friday morning. A small amount of Krazy Glue on the tiny posts allowed the plate to be fixed back in place. My copter also came with the seam on the underside, where the tail joins the body splitting… I was going to leave it, but the split appeared to be growing and this evening I patched it up, again using Krazy Glue. Looks good and ok so far, will let the glue cure overnight before another flight. Seems most repair can be done and up flying again.

    Also, the black paint or what ever it is on the cockpit window is rubbing off. I was reading that typical latex paint would add weight to the copter. I wonder if black magic marker would be the way to go?

    Overall, I am happy with it. Its fun and feels good when can complete a flight without a crash. I am left wishing for a more advanced helicopter though. The other models hobbytron has listed look awesome.

  • Mike May 3, 2009, 8:07 am

    Good review…

    I think for the price and the amount of fun I’ve had so far with the Picooz, it’s been well worth it. You are quite right, you need to practice a lot and not go hell for leather the second you take it out of the box.

    I have also noticed the helicopter splitting although a simple and fun fix has been to place those aluminium strips on the front and back of the copter. It actually behaves differently as a result in a positive manner, mean more control.

    It’s a brilliant toy. I am definitely getting another one, so that while it charges for 20 minutes, I have another one to play with.

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