Ah, sharks. Those natural predators of the air, known for their nesting habits, not to mention their habit of swooping through the air to attack their sky-based prey. OK, that doesn’t sound much like a shark. But what about a flying shark?
I’ve wanted to test one of these things out for a good long while now, but particularly this month. All month long, I’ve been writing about exploding sharks as part of NaNoWriMo. So given the chance to blow one up for real, I jumped at it. Our review shark was provided by LatestBuy, who sell either an inflatable shark or clown fish for $49.95. Batteries aren’t included, but then neither is helium; any good party or flower store should be able to inflate the shark, but it’s worth noting that this is a big balloon, and they will charge a fair bit for it; our inflation at a party store in Wynyard was a hefty $20.
A couple of words of warning beyond the cost, though.
The instructions are terrible. Really quite poor, and to add insult to injury (and there was one trying to get into the battery compartment of the remote control) some of the printed areas on the shark were upside down, adding to the confusion. There’s also a word to describe the build quality of some of the shark’s parts, and that word is poor. The counterweight and motor section that hangs underneath the shark are made from the cheapest plastic possible, as is the switch. We ended up adding quite a bit of tape to the shark in order to keep some bits on, as well as a bulldog clip to add extra weight to keep him down.
Was the shark fun? Yeah; I think it’d be hard to say that we weren’t having fun (while productivity around the office dropped to an all-time low) flying a shark around the office. That being said, at $49.95 for the shark and then the cost of the helium on top of it, it’s not exactly inexpensive fun. [LatestBuy]