One of my favorite toys I’ve seen this last year has got to be the iFly Duck Hunter from Interactive Toy Concept. We first came across it at the Time To Play Showcase in New York, and from the moment I saw the duck flying around the room I knew I had to have one. All day long I kept catching a glimpse of that little duck flapping around, almost colliding with cameramen and expensive electronics, and I couldn’t help but smile.
The iFly Duck Hunter instantly brought me back to the hours and hours of my youth spent playing Duck Hunter on the original Nintendo, barely an arms length away from the TV screen and thinking this had to be the coolest game ever. But now that game has gotten even cooler and I can actually send that duck flying around my living room or yard, tracking it in 3 dimensions and cheering when the wings stop and it plummets to the ground. But, the best part is there’s no dog to laugh at me when I miss.
One of the greatest things about the iFly Duck Hunter is that it consists simply of a gun and a duck. The gun is about the size of a normal toy pistol, but has a pump like a shotgun on the underside of the barrel which must be pumped for every shot. Inside the gun are the three AAA batteries required for play. The duck is made of a foam body that is painted up to look like a duck, big orange beak and all, and plastic wings that span about 10-12 inches.
To play, you first charge the duck by clicking it into place on the charging probe on the top side of the gun, then hold the trigger for ten seconds. Then you turn on the duck and toss it up in the air where it will fly for thirty seconds. That is, of course, unless you shoot it down first. The duck has an infrared sensor on it’s belly so as you shoot at it with the infrared light gun, it knows when you score a hit. Each hit causes the wings to pause for a moment, which causes the duck to lose air and fall a little. After the third hit, the duck crashes down to the ground and the bragging begins.
Even with as light and fragile looking as the duck is, we have yet to see any signs of damage from all its hits to the ground. It seems to always land on the foam body, which is made to handle the fall, and the wings are a whole lot sturdier than they look, easily taking the abuse we’ve handed them.
Another great feature of the wings is a dial towards the rear of the duck that allows you to adjust the direction of flight. Just tweak it to the left or right and depending on which direction and how far you turn it, the duck will fly accordingly. This is especially handy indoors where you want the duck to fly in as tight of a loop as possible. Even with this control there is still enough freedom in the flight pattern so as to make for a hard target and a lot more fun. The Duck Hunter is fun indoors, but it’s when you get outdoors that the real fun begins. Outdoors, the duck can fly at an astonishing height of 50 feet and a circumference of 80 to 100 feet, allowing you to really experience what this duck can do and truly get into the game.
Price: $29.99, and there’s also a 2-player version in the works which allows a second person to actually control the duck’s flight for a bit more fun, or a 2-duck version that is twice the challenge. The Duck Hunter game is available at Target, Sears, Wal-Mart, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop and more, and can be picked up in store in most cases. We actually got another Duck Hunter toy for both a brother-in-law and a nephew this Christmas (different celebrations, don’t worry)
A big thank you to Interactive Toy Concepts for entertaining us at a press conference and then for sending us a Duck Hunter to play with. No type of monetary compensation was received for this Rave Review.