Did I Really Want One of Those? 3. The Flying Copter Kite

I’m sure they used a coat hanger or three to make this toy?

After pulling every tuft of hair out with your Hair Magician, you decide to head to the shops for the Christmas sales. Your partner left home at 3am for the Next sale and being as the Hair Magician destroyed your haircut, you couldn’t bear to drive to Merseyway. You know too many people in the centre of Stockport. 

You could have chosen The Trafford Centre or the Manchester Arndale. Instead, you decide to drive to Marple for some pork pies. Then you call in to the Toymaster store next to Archers’ pie shop.

Something strange is seen next to the Airfix kits and the Humbrol paints. You ask the shop assistant as to whether this skeletal helicopter works. You are surprised to find it does, but you couldn’t test it outside the shop for fear of hitting a wayward 384 bus. At least the park’s only five minutes walk. Somehow you buy the contraption.

The Flying Copter Kite

The Flying Copter Kite has darkened UK and US satellite stations for the last twenty years. It is a wire framed helicopter made with a plastic body, steel blades, steel rotors and steel landing skids.

In 1996, when I first saw the contraption (in the old analogue era of satellite broadcasting), they retailed for £19.99. A price which myself and the rest of Chez Vall thought was extortionate (there’s probably a Dean book from the 1960s which enables you to make something similar for less somewhere). We wondered if any child would be enthralled by the toy. Or impressed by the disclaimer near the end of the advert stating its engineering credentials by some helicopter geek/salesman/kite flyer.

I would sooner have the Airfix kit of an Apache, model glue and the appropriate Humbrol paints for the proper camouflage effect. Plus it’s cheaper and – even if the Toymaster shop in Marple doesn’t have it in – there’s always Fred Aldous in the centre of Manchester. The Flying Copter Kite must sell enough worldwide, and it comes under a variety of names like ‘Gyro-Kite’, ‘SkyChopper’, ‘WindCopter’ or ‘CobraKite’.

*                                *                                *

1996 price: £19.99 (plus £5.99 postage and packaging).

2013 price: £24.95 (via Fishpond.co.uk, free postage and packaging).

S.V., 03 December 2013.


2 thoughts on “Did I Really Want One of Those? 3. The Flying Copter Kite

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  1. Stuart,

    I love the reference to Marple, meat pies and Archer’s bakery. I know people who phone Archers at weekends to find out when the pies will be coming out of the ovens….and then plan their day around it!

    A long time ago, I used to work in an engineering factory which was, literally, across the road from Archers. Lunch was from 1230 to 1330 and our tea lady could be seen crossing Hollins Lane at 1220 every day and then retracing her steps five minutes later with a tray of steaming hot fresh pies. Happy days!


    NB Never was into helicopters – I’d buy a model bus as a much more interesting alternative.


    1. Hi Paul,

      Count me in as another model bus man!

      When I was in the process of deciding the format for East of the M60’s 2013 Advent Calendar, I thought that I had exhausted my stock of bus pictures. Instead I have gone for The Presents of Christmases Past – with emphasis on the objects which were thought of as a good idea at the time.

      In subsequent ‘doors’, I thought of continuing the fictitious scenarios with diary entries, based around the Stockport and Trafford areas. If you have seen the 04 December entry, you would notice the Adrian Mole style entries in italicised forms.



      P.S. On the model buses, anything in the GMT, SELNEC or GM Buses liveries any day. Same also for the municipalities, NWRCC and Lancashire United Transport before then.


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