The Best Gift To Give a Kid This Holiday Season

We thought the Air Hogs Supernova, an interactive drone you control with your hands, would be too tough for our six-year-old son to play with. We were wrong. A few minutes after it came out of the box, the Supernova was flying around our living room, with his little hands chasing after it, trying to regain control. Within a week, he could hover the drone in his palm, looking like a happy little magician before laughing and shooting it up in the air.

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While the Supernova does take some time to get used to, it doesn’t have the same steep and frustrating learning curve of most small drones, which are typically tougher to control than the big ones.

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The basic controls are simple. You hold your hands below or beside the Supernova’s five sensors to move it back and forth or up and down. After a couple of days, my son was passing the drone off to me from across the room, or buzzing it around his mom while she tried to make dinner. There’s also a stunt mode that has 30 preprogrammed tricks. It was a little too hard for him but a lot of fun for me—once I managed to memorize a couple of the complicated hand gestures that work like passcodes, telling the drone what tricks you want it to perform.

Air Hogs Supernova
Air Hogs

The Supernova is surrounded by a protective cage, which meant it could take a few hits off of our walls and ceiling without falling apart. The only real knock on it is battery life. After a full hour of charging, we got five minutes of play time, tops, before the sound of angry bees quieted down and the drone slowly sunk back to the floor. But this thing costs only $50, so it’s hard to be that disappointed.

There aren’t a lot of toys that are practically guaranteed to be loved. In our house, at least, this was one of them.

 

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