One of the more interesting innovations we witnessed at the London Toy Fair in January was the Ninjago Airjitzu flyers which are essentially 'playground toys' that replace the Ninjago spinners and Chima Speedorz. I get the impression that the latter were not good sellers: the first ones were virtually impossible to operate properly and although last year's redesigned ones were easier to use I think the damage to their reputation was already done because the shops are now awash with them at bargain prices.
They've just landed in the shops so I headed down to my local Smyths this morning and forked out £7.99 for the red one.
It's packed in an odd-shaped box, sort of a hexagonal shape at the bottom and flat at the top.
In case the front leaves any doubt about what it does, the back illustrates it perfectly.
Here are the new parts that form the guts of the flyer:
The clear dome is likely to be of most interest to MOC-ers. It's connected to the circular black piece in the image above by two Technic pins. The assembly is then twisted into the red spinner, bit like fitting a bayonet-fitting lens to a camera.
Kai is sporting a funky new outfit for this set, printed front and back.
As well as the functional parts, a number are provided to build a handle assembly, plus a few extra weapons for good measure.
Here's the dome fitted into the flying disc. Kai only just fits in it with a couple of mm to spare all round.
A brown Fez: nice...
This is where, if I were a competent video reviewer, I'd place a video of it flying. Unfortunately I'm not, so you'll have to take my word for it that it does indeed fly very well. You need to give it a good yank to get it to climb to a decent height although it doesn't take much to get it to hit the ceiling. I haven't tried it outside yet to see how high I can get it to go but I reckon 4-5m should be possible. Unlike the first Speedors which were badly designed and almost impossible to play with, anyone will be able to pick one these up, pull the cord and have it flying in no time.
This is definitely a set that's better to play with than to build and display. I don't think there's a need to own them all, but it's worth buying one just for the fun of flying it.
I guess time will tell whether they'll catch on as a playground craze or whether they'll be in the bargain bin this time next year...