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1045 of 1067 found the following review helpful:
Real Review by a Real User: Read This First (UPDATED JULY 2012)Sep 04, 2011
By Dave Millman
We have the shark, and first of all, let me say that virtually everybody's first reaction upon seeing it is to yell out a four-letter word! If you want to get a good idea of what it looks like and how it flies, look up Airswimmers on the web and watch the videos. They are also on YouTube. It looks and flies just like the videos.
This toy does not work outside, because there are too many air currents, and the slightest breeze will send this large balloon flying out of control. It does not work in small apartments or small rooms, because it is too darn big. You need a decent sized house, or an auditorium, church or basketball court to use this. Our house has normal 8-foot ceilings, and a big family room-kitchen area, which works great. Make sure there are no fans running. And it's a bit too delicate for little kids!
Wow, it really flies! You move forward by flapping the tail back and forth. You steer by flapping more left or more right. You climb and dive with a separate button that tips the shark up or down. With a bit of practice, you can steer wherever you want. Unlike many flying toys, this one really works.
You need to be somewhat adept at assembling delicate things to build this from the kit. There is a detailed video available that shows every step that is a bit easier to follow than the instructions-the video is highly recommended. The link is given in the instructions, or just search for airswimmers on the web. In any case, take your time, and make sure you have a second person to help.
Any store that sells helium balloons can fill this for you. It stays inflated for a long time, then the store can top it off. I bought a tank of helium for this, and my guess is I have a lot of refills remaining. It hasn't deflated appreciably since we got it. The good news is, you use putty (included) to adjust for the amount of helium remaining (neutral buoyancy), so you won't have to refill often.
Like many of you, when we saw this, we had to have it. I assembled it carefully, and it works. We're planning a trip to the community center with a two-story lobby to amaze some of my daughter's friends. It's fun, albeit a bit expensive with the currently inflated prices. Once some more of them make it into the country and the price comes down, expect to see more of them.
It's fun, a bit delicate, it works as advertised. Enjoy!
UPDATE: We've had the shark for a year now. We surprise guests with it every time new folks come over. It still works great, but we've learned a lot over the year. Here's what you need to know:
1. You really want to purchase a helium tank. It gets expensive topping off every 1-2 weeks at the party store, and it is hard to haul around unless you have a large vehicle. Do not top off with air as the manufacturer suggests, as this affects buoyancy. We are still on our first tank, since we are just topping off every few weeks.
2. Be careful not to lose the four rubber bands that hold the tail in place. These are the only small, loose parts and are critical for operation.
3. The shark will fly without needing to attach other helium balloons (as other reviewers have suggested). All you need to do is fill the shark completely, and adjust the trim (forward-back position on the remote control) for level, up or down flight. I have heard that some helium is not pure, but mixed with air, but haven't seen it myself.
2650 of 2718 found the following review helpful:
Perfect SharknadoAug 21, 2013
By George Takei
Brad and I caught Sharknado on ScyFy and had a good laugh. Brad in particular kept going on about how preposterous the whole notion was of a freak hurricane in LA bringing a deluge of airborne sharks.
You can guess the prank I pulled next. I waited until we had planned one of our home camping adventures in our backyard (Note: the AIR SWIMMER flying shark requires a good amount of space to operate, and definitely don't try it in high winds). I was in my Eagle Scout outfit and had just blown a rousing "Taps" on the trumpet to bring an end to our day. Brad had just doused our small fire carefully and plished off his fourth s'more, and true to form had broken out his harmonica to begin a lonesome "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
I excused myself, claiming I needed to go "visit nature" before turning in. When I was just out of sight, I ducked behind our tool shed and grabbed the AIR SWIMMER remote controls. To add to the ruse, I used my Bluetooth enabled smartphone to play the theme from Jaws on the jambox I'd hidden inside the tent.
The harmonica playing stopped. "George?" Brad called out, standing slowly up and wiping some sticky marshmellow from his chin.
It was a low, unmistakable rumbling, as if from the depth of the darkest ocean. Brad's flashlight was out, scanning the tree-tops. Preposterous indeed! At just the right moment, I maneuvered the Air Swimmer into the clearing.
Brad's flashlight flew up, illuminating the terrible jaws of this Jaws. I'd painted the mouth and teeth with a bit of red and hung a stuffed sleeve and fake hand from it for added effect. He yelled and fell back into the tent, tangling himself amongst the cords and nylon. The AIR SWIMMER dove down, and he screamed again, then, to his credit, he managed to grab hold of a flare gun and fired. The flare struck and propelled my Jaws up and into the air, then burst its guts across much of lower Hollywood.
Thankfully, by the time the authorities arrived we had packed up the evidence and were sipping chamomile tea in our kitchen.
"Did you happen to see a flying shark in the vicinity?" the officer asked.
"You've been watching too much television," I replied, returning to my tea. Brad rolled his eyes and had another s'more.
189 of 201 found the following review helpful:
a good startAug 26, 2011
I have the shark and first off, it looks way cool. People who see it flying are intrigued and delighted. The only thing that could be improved would be the radio reception. Line of sight is critical and even then, it doesnt seem to have the claimed 40ft range. This would be an excellent revision/upgrade. Also it would be nice if repacement parts were provided or at least available by the manufacturer, so you dont have to scrap a whole shark if a fin breaks. Overall it is way fun though! hours of entertainment and soooo many great applications (i enjoy flying mine at the high ceilinged local bar). Until there is a model with better remote reception, this thing really cant be beat for the money. Youl love it.
75 of 86 found the following review helpful:
Innovative, cool, LOTS of fun, but faults have to be notedSep 30, 2011
By Martin Acuna
First off, the thing is just really cool, assuming that you have:
- High ceilings, big rooms, or another way to really get it to show off it's "air swimming' capabilities. the thing has to have room to actually flap its tail fin around for momentum, as that's how it get around - it's not propelled by a propeller or anything like that.
- Time, like two ro three hours of time, to properly set the thing up. The process is well-documented in the instructions and in vids online, but you'll still wind going, "Wait, what???" at least a couple of times. Also, the RC takes some getting used to, because you actually have to make the thing 'swim,' no just joggle a joystick around to make it fly. It's part of the fun, but takes some adjustment - especially that last bit where you put in bits of putty counterweight (included) to get it to float neautrally.
- Packing tape on hand. The bits that they give you in the kit are good, but you will wind up tearing or folding or otherwise making them unusuable. Regular packing tape and good scissors will get you out of that jam.
- QUALITY helium. I never knew that there was more than one kind of helium, so I took it to the dollar store, where they charged me 10 bucks to fill it based on the size, and it stopped floating after the weekend. Instructions say something about blah-blah-blah percentage of helium per whatever, but I got bored. Got a small party tank from ARNEs, and it's stayed afloat for days now, and I've got lots of leftover.
- Also, once the thing starts deflating, the essential rubber bands fall off. You need those to keep the rear fin and other stuff together.
Overall, this is just a really cool toy. Well-designed, nicely implemented, worth the 40-something bucks that I snagged it for. Just remember to include the cost of gas and batteries. Suggestion for the makers (since I know you're all just obsessing over your Amazon reviews and such,) but the IR control technology is way over. I understand that it's cheap, but I'd have paid extra to have RF controls so I could sit in comfort and not have to follow the thing around when I swim it. You've probably heard this a bunch of times before, so what's once more gonna hurt?
Long story long, this is a super-cool attention-getter, and will keep you obsessed until it stops floating. Get the good helium. Get good batteries. Take your time putting it together. Enjoy it. There's no other toy out there like it.
104 of 123 found the following review helpful:
My shark worked for one dayOct 14, 2011
I bought this for my Grandson - he loves sharks! The tail is held on by rubber bands that attach to the sharks body with small adhesive pieces. They do not stay stuck! This works by a small remote and only worked for one day - the tail will not move! The pieces that you put it together with are very flimsy and do not hold together well. Until they improve the way the tail is held on I would not recommend this - for the cost it worked one day.
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