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’.
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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.