Today we are having a little bit of fun as we put on our nostalgia goggles and look at the Taiyo/Tyco Hovercraft and give it a little review. For most of you reading this you will be familiar with this RC hovercraft being made by Tyco and we are sure some of you at some point are going to click your fingers and say “oh yeah I remember that, I had one as a kid” or if you were not that lucky, maybe one of your buddies had one? Anyway let’s have a closer look at one of the (if not the) first proper RC hovercrafts in our Typhoon Hovercraft review! (Note: if you come looking for non retro hovercraft, may I refer you to read this article on the best rc hoverecraft reviews)
Best & Coolest Features
First of all this was a major toy back in the day, you could argue that it was one of the first things that blurred the line between being something for kids and also something us adults could enjoy. While marketed towards children the Typhoon Hovercraft was also very popular with adults as it was so much fun to use. So we are sure more than a few dads bought this for their kids with an eye on playing with it themselves.
Even though this is one of the first models of RC hovercraft. It does actually handle very well. If you fire up a YouTube video, you will be impressed at not just how fast this can go, but also the way it can turn on a dime and in general just be a lot of fun to use. While clearly more modern RC hovercrafts will have more bells and whistles and in general be able to do far more than this one can. This is no slouch in the performance department and considering it’s age that is pretty amazing.
While this is not exactly a performance feature it is something we feel that we have to touch upon in our Typhoon Hovercraft review and that is the lift. What is the lift? Well when you fire up the Typhoon Hovercraft the airbag inflates and it looks freaking awesome. Again this really does nothing for the actual driving of the RC hovercraft, but it is really cool and seeing the bag inflate for the first time is surely a happy memory for anyone who was lucky enough to race one of these bad boys back in the day.
What, We Like About It
It is fun. That is a very general statement, but there is just something so fun about using the Typhoon Hovercraft that it is impossible not to have a big smile on your face the whole time you are racing it. Well my buddy Iain did not have a smile on his face when I took his Typhoon Hovercraft off road onto the gravel when we were kids, but the airbag survived! What was the point of that story? Well it shows you that even though this was a rather early RC hovercraft. It was very well made and the airbag while not perfect could take a bit of punishment. Speaking of which the body of the hovercraft looked great, but it was also made very well. Of course it is not as strong as what a modern RC hovercraft is made from, but back then this was top of the line stuff.
As cheesy as it sounds, we feel that we have to mention in this Typhoon Hovercraft review how this really paved the way for RC hovercrafts. Now we are not saying this was the very first RC hovercraft even though back in the day this was the claim made by Tyco, but it was certainly one of the first to capture kids attention from all over the world. It was a rather expensive RC vehicle in its day, but most people who had one felt that they were getting very good value for money.
A Couple Of Things, We Were Not Super Happy About
Now we are not going to sit here and tell you all the ways that a modern RC hovercraft is better as that is unfair as this has a good 20 years on what we have today. But there are still a couple of things that were not that great when the Typhoon Hovercraft was first released and these are things you will have to think about if you are taking the plunge and buying one now. First of all the airbag. Now as cool as this is and as revolutionary as it was. It can actually tear. You can get replacement ones, but fitting a new one can be a pain. Some people reported that back in the day certain stores would offer an extra airbag with the purchase of a brand new Typhoon Hovercraft. Which if they did was really cool.
The other thing that we have to mention is the battery life. To be fair you are going to be able to race around with this for a god while, certainly just as long as a lower priced RC hovercraft that you would buy today. But we want to be honest in this Typhoon Hovercraft review and let you know that the charging time on these is pretty horrific. Now back in the day, we expected to have to charge it when we were in bed so we could play with it in the morning, but by today’s standards that kind of charge time is just crazy! We are sure some people have pimped these out with all new parts, including a new kind of battery and charger. But most folks will be buying these off EBay or whatever as is and will have to get used to the lengthy charge times.
Should I Track Down A Typhoon Hovercraft?
On one hand the first answer that pops into our minds is yes as is awesome. But is the kind of thing that is only awesome if you played with it or knew about it when you were a kid? We think the answer to that might be a yes. We had a lot of fun racing around the Typhoon Hovercraft and more than a few people commented on how they had one, knew someone who had one or just remembered the commercials and got a kick out of seeing one after all these years. But the fact is, you can get much better RC hovercrafts these days. However at the same time if you want to share with your child something cool you had as a kid. Then no doubt you will have a lot of fun with this.
We made sure to have a good look around the internet to see what a Typhoon Hovercraft is going for these days and surprisingly. You can get one for under 100 bucks pretty easily. We even saw a few that were still new in box, but these had quite the hefty price tag which is to be expected. But if you are feeling all nostalgic and want to have a blast of one of these again. Then the good news is that it is not going to cost all that much.
Typhoon Hovercraft Review Summary
We had a real good time with this and it sure was a lot of fun. Clearly things are better made today, charge faster, go faster, can go on more terrain. But there is no denying that the Typhoon Hovercraft has a real charm and played a huge part in shaping the RC hovercraft landscape that is around today. If you see one cheap, we say pick it up as you will have a great time……. Once you have waited a day for it to charge of course.