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Saturday, July 12 2014 21:01

Review: World Tech Toys Hercules "Unbreakable" RC Helicopter

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It could be considered a very bold move to release a product and deem it "unbreakable." In fact, back in 1912 there was a little ship called TITANIC - one whose makers deemed it "unsinkable," and history knows how that turned out. Here we have a toy that arrived here at Rock Father HQ for testing in our state-of-the-art facility (our house), a toy that's technically been on the market for a couple of years now, the Hercules Unbreakable 3.2ch Radio Controlled Helicopter by World Tech Toys. Having a stable of licenses including DC Comics (a line including BATMAN and SUPERMAN has been released), the NBA (team-centric choppers), and most recently locking-in the folks at WWE (check out the John Cena helicopter), I was eager to dig in and get our Hercules ready for it's first flight. So how did it fare?

helicrapter1First Impressions: Packaging

Concerning straight-away on this one is that the packaging just looks cheap - poorly-designed, and on-par with dollar store bootlegs and Asian street fare, if you've seen those mall kiosks that sell R/C helicopters, you've seen far better packaging. If you take pride in your product, you should make sure to package it as such, and frankly, the R/C assortment at the local 7-11 (not kidding, they have a pallet display) comes more attractively packed.

First Impressions: The Toy

Make no mistake that this is a toy, and not a "hobby grade" helicopter (I will note that I'm in no way an expert on the higher end of these things), and with that - it comes out of the box looking impressive, with a 15-inch span and a hefty, Doc Brown-style controller. There's a "weight" to the Hercules, and it's just a great-looking chopper. The LED lighting is fun, and this thing was ready for flight.

In-Action: Watch The Hercules Unbreakable in-flight at Rock Father HQ

Within the first ten minutes, we were made painfully aware that "unbreakable" is not exactly an accurate claim... but one that needs an asterisk next to it - Unbreakable*

helicrapter2While the detailed text in the marketing materials makes clear that it's the body of the helicopter that is being touted as holding up to "200 pounds of force," the packaging just flat-out calls it "unbreakable," and it's a part of the product name. We found that one small metal tube on the tail had become displaced on landing, and with nearly no pressure - I snapped the black plastic tab that I was trying to put the tube back into. Upon closer inspection, another black piece of plastic on the tail had broken as well - and this was from a fairly decent landing - not some catastrophic crash. Also odd, the word "HELICOPTER" on the tail rubs off simply by rubbing it with your fingers... or just picking it up and happening to touch it there.

After being really disappointed during our first day of play, we sat on it - though I did let the PR folks know that the day one experience was a dud. You don't call something "unbreakable" when it is - sorta like those "indestructible" dog toys that I can give to my pug/terrier mix and see destroyed in less than 15 minutes. If it exists, it can be broken... and that's even apparent by looking at the HobbyTron website (I believe they're an offshoot of World Tech) that now sells a full line of replacement parts for the Hercules - right under a paragraph that clearly states "No more crashing, no more replacing parts!" Many of those parts are the ones made of that same, cheap black plastic. Like the landing gear, which this guy on YouTube broke. They also have replacement rotors (a few even come included), as those are almost certain to eventually break on any R/C chopper.

We've had our Hercules since June 18, and I've since done a little research to see what kind of experience others have had with the Hercules...

It's always very telling when a brand turns off the user engagement on their social networks, and with the Hercules, World Tech has comments, likes and dislikes disabled on their YouTube video. It's a very common practice that if the feedback is overwhelmingly negative... silence it. 

While HobbyTron shows just a handful of very positive reviews, third-party sites like NewEgg and (my associate) Amazon tell a much different story with critical reviews peppered with (or overwhelmed by) some dubious five-star reviews posted largely by accounts that seem to only review products from World Tech - or that suspiciously have reviewed multiple World Tech Helicopters on the same day... like this guy. Or this guy... or this person, and this one... I mean, I like toys and all, but rarely would I buy and subsequently review an entire brand's product assortment - especially one currently in the midst of a PR push - on the same day. It's also interesting how many reviews this thing gets on Amazon on the same days (like July 8-9), and how many of the reviewers also reviewed some kind of pet product called "Fresh Grass." Like this one and that one. But there's so many more. In fact, I'd like you to just head over to the user reviews on Amazon and start clicking on the review history ("see all my reviews") next to the people who have reviewed the World Tech Toys Hercules. 

There's a word that comes to mind, and it starts with BULL and ends with IT. You can fill in the blanks.

I'm always straight up with you here on THE ROCK FATHER, and based on what I've seen here, pass on this junk. Bad vibes. I'm not even going to give this one a star rating, because I'm seeing a sub-par product with suspicious activity around it. As THE X-FILES once said, "The Truth is Out There" and as I've often said - "Toymakers: Stop selling garbage to families!"

Time for some PUBLIC ENEMY - "Can't Truss It"
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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