Kids these days, with their miraculous untethered toy helicopters! How could they ever know the true joy of a helicopter at the end of a rod?
     Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 10, 2014
     Category: Flight | Toys | Advertising | 1970s

C'mon,, guys! What about the Marx-A-Copter!
Posted by Ted S. on 06/10/14 at 09:18 AM
These seem to 'Fly' by being held up by on the rods, NOT rotor lift. In about 1960 I had a hand cranked (no batteries) copter on a three foot long flexible shaft. It actually flew on on rotor lift. Just keep cranking.
Posted by BMN on 06/10/14 at 02:31 PM
Imagination could take you a long way when you were a kid. Probably today's youth expects too much from a toy and cheap miniaturized electronics has made all the difference. My thing is model railroading and I've watched the hobby move from wired fixed power packs to untethered computer based controllers due to the development of the hardware / software over the years.

I do remember that some of the first radio controlled free flying models, which you assembled yourself, costing upward into the five hundred dollar range at the time just to get started (1970's). A quick CPI inflation check shows the $500.00 model price equivalent to $2200.00 today. Do we know what the price for these toys were at the time?
Posted by KDP on 06/10/14 at 05:58 PM
That reminded me of a toy I used to have back in the mid-60's. It was essentially a fan that could be aimed via joy stick. The fan was made to look like a radar dish.

You would point the fan at a toy balloon that had a little undercarriage taped to it. The undercarriage acted as a weight to stabilize the balloon. Using the fan you could make the balloon "take off" and steer it around a short radius covered by the fan.

Had a lot of fun with that thing. As with most of my toys I eventually took it apart to see what made it work. No idea what ever happened to it.

Did anybody have one of these? What was the toy called? As I recall it had "UFO" as part of the name
Posted by Buster on 06/11/14 at 10:43 AM
Buster--your answer here:
Posted by Paul on 06/11/14 at 11:36 AM
They did a Starship Enterprise like this
Posted by WMcCreery on 06/11/14 at 03:32 PM
BMN: I had one of the original Verti Birds (it's in my basement yet) and it does in fact use rotor lift to fly. And batteries. Many many batteries. Heck of a time talking my parents into keeping the batteries coming.
Posted by Mr Evilwrench on 06/12/14 at 07:19 AM
Paul, that's it! Thank you for the link!

Unfortunately now I have the jones to go out and buy one. Or build one!
Posted by Buster on 06/12/14 at 08:51 AM
Mr Evilwrench, it should be a fairly simple matter to buy an appropriate AC power supply to run the thing off of wall juice. So go dig that Verti Bird out of the basement and get it working. Quit bugging your parents for batteries 😉
Posted by Buster on 06/12/14 at 08:59 AM
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