In this week’s Fatherly “Toy Review,” our editor-at-large, Joshua David Stein, tackles the Air Hogs Supernova Orb by Spin Master: a motion-activated drone that can do some pretty sick stunts.
One of our picks for best toys of the year, this flying drone is controlled not with a phone or joystick but with hand motions. Fire it up and the softball-sized device will hover in front of you. It will move away from your hands when they get too close, so you can make it go any direction without ever touching it. And once you’ve gotten some practice in, you can even make your Supernova do corkscrews and other tricks. It’s one of those toys that’s instantly captivating to kids and adults. It’s recommended for 8-year-olds and up.
There are five sensors on this drone: four infrared and one laser right on the bottom of the sphere. And there are two modes: regular throwing-catch mode and trick mode. While it is a very cool toy, the stakes are pretty high. It takes 40 minutes to charge, and you only get 5-to-7 minutes of air time.
According to Stein, the paradox of the Air Hogs Supernova Orb is that you cannot do it outside. But if you do it in an indoor space, your furniture might get in the way. So you can imagine a child trying to control the drone might run headlong into a wall or a table. This may not be the most kid-friendly toy.