When I got an email through to say I could be a Toys R Us Toyologist I was over the moon, when I read further down and saw that we’d get to play with the Disney Planes Tilt ‘n’ Fly Dusty I was even more excited. Scott had been asking for it for quite a while but I’d never got round to buying it yet, but now he was finally going to get it.
First impressions – a quick look at the box and I noticed the very small writing pointing out that it is ‘not a flying toy’ …oops, disappointed little man alert! Dusty himself looks bright and just like the Dusty in the film. The toy consists of just three pieces: Dusty, a wing that controls Dusty and another wing that doesn’t do anything but completes the look. After opening the box expecting it to be difficult to free from its packaging I was pleasantly surprised to find that it only had a serious of plastic bits to twist and voila he was free.
Next I discovered the need for batteries, Dusty doesn’t come with them but needs quite a lot (4 x AA and 2 x AAA), which led to some tears and tantrums until I could manage to buy some!
In the meantime the kids used Dusty just by pushing him along, this was fine as his propeller moves as the wheels move, even without batteries. They also loved ‘flying’ him themselves by lifting him up into the air and running about with him.
Once we put batteries in and turned him on, Dusty started chatting away. He says/makes over 40 different phrases and sounds (no, I didn’t count, I’m trusting the packaging on this!). He also has a button on top of him that, when pressed, activates 3 pre-programmed flight moves that Dusty does all by himself without any input from the controller. To control Dusty the wing with the controller on it gets held in the right hand and when you tilt it (ie lift your arm up or down) it will tilt the plane the appropriate way, there is also a button on it which is reached with your thumb that when pressed makes Dusty race forward.
It was at this point of play that we started having problems and the stroppy/tantrum-y side of my children appeared! Due to the position of the button on the controller both children had a few problems being able to comfortably reach and press the button with their little hands. Dusty needs an incredible amount of space in order to be used, our house is an average council house with not a great deal of room (unless I maybe wanted to move all the furniture out!), and he moves really fast, meaning that within a few seconds of using him he’s managed to crash into something and needs rescuing. He doesn’t has a reverse option which would have been handy so he was forever having to be picked up and brought right back to the beginning of the space we had only to crash again within a few more seconds. He’s also very very loud, louder than any other toy we have, with no option to turn him down. To remedy this I have to admit to using some plasticine to block up the speaker holes a bit!
The plus side to Dusty hitting into everything is that I’ve discovered how strong and sturdy he really is, any other remote control toy would probably have broken with this amount of crashing!
Due to the space issue Dusty doesn’t get played with as much as I would have hoped. We can’t play with him in the passageway as the children can’t hold their arms out to control him due to it being fairly narrow so unless we manage to find a dry, flat area outside in the street somewhere to play with I doubt he’ll ever get used properly.
Scott was really disappointed with it because of this so gave up even bothering with him after around 20 minutes. Alexa however was keen to persevere and when she got bored with bashing him into walls and furniture she then went back to flying him through the air again.
Dusty is recommended for children aged 3+, Scott who’s 3 wasn’t interested but Alexa, 2, loved it and interestingly enough my 9 and 10 year old nieces were the most keen of all! I’d recommend Dusty to anyone that has a relatively large, flat area to play with him properly.
Thanks to Michaela for this review.