The Syma S109G Apache Mini Indoor Helicopter was Syma’s second best-selling toy during Christmas 2011. The first was a unisex baby toy, so why were toys aimed at 9-11 year olds so popular? The demographic data alone is too small to explain the numbers, unless every child between the ages of 8 and 11 has bought a helicopter.
Is there another explanation for these sales figures?
Of course there is. Mini RC helicopters have been bought by boys and men, but why?
Like ever popular video games, remote controlled toys are a fantasy. There is a control fantasy, like acting like a god and controlling something smaller, and then there is the literal fantasy. Many men wanted to be airplane and helicopter pilots when they were young. Many of them wish they were now. Playing with a mini helicopter rekindles the pleasant feelings they got from those fantasies.
Playing with a Syma helicopter is better than watching TV (at least for a few hours), definitely better than working, and definitely better than talking to your spouse about the children’s school grades or talking about the neighbors’ curtains.
Playing with an RC helicopter allows boys and men to play with the dynamics of the wind with simple things like making it go faster in the breeze or higher in the updraft. This is the same way they can use remote control cars to drift around corners, or use boats to piss off the ducks in the pond. It’s fun and don’t forget that while the men are in the yard stealing the children’s toys, they are not in the house bothering the lady.
Work and adult life dominate our playful instincts. He does it for both men and women. We all like to express our childish natures from time to time, and it is healthy to do so. A little hand-eye coordination and object-orientation play and most men are ready for the week.
The mini helicopter is safer than slightly larger RC helicopters. There are many cases of propellers breaking the skin and bones of their users’ fingers. The larger RC models are expensive and have powerful motors that can cut through meat very easily. Keep it safe and try the Syma s032 or mini Syma S107 instead.
Mini RC helicopters are cheaper than the larger versions. This is good for two reasons. The guy is likely to slam it against the garage door or his wife’s hair in the first place and break it, and it’s better to lose a little than a lot. The second is that the larger versions are expensive and require maintenance, and there will certainly be a backlash from the spouse if a lot of money is spent on something as frivolous as a helicopter.
It’s okay to get bored with a min RC helicopter and put it in a closet or give it to a child. They’re small enough and relatively inexpensive that when the man is done with them, he can give them away or put them on top of the closet to play with next year, along with his magic game, juggling game, model airplane and that coin collection book half full.
The man has a great excuse to buy one to play with himself, while in fact it seems that he is buying something for his son. Syma Mini RC helicopters are fun, so why not play with them when the kids are in bed? What harm can be done?