SkyMall Tuesday: Remote-Controlled Air Fish

by  Mike Barish | Sep 11, 2012
Shopping / Watcharin panyawutso/iStock

As a child, the phrase "some assembly required" simply meant that I'd have to wait a bit to play with my new toys (while listening to my father introduce me to some new curse words that I could later share with my friends). It was no skin of my back to receive a gift that came in a million small pieces because A) I was a kid, with nothing but time on my hands, and B) my parents could handle the projects that were beyond the abilities of small humans with questionable motor skills. As I've grown older, however, I'm the one utilizing new curse words (or, at least creative combinations of the classics) when projects prove to be tedious. IKEA furniture? Why don't those instruction manual people wear clothes (and show me in greater detail what the hell I'm supposed to be doing)? It's incredibly frustrating to go on a quixotic quest just to enjoy a new purchase. Sadly, that's how I feel about this week's SkyMall Tuesday product. I want to enjoy this catch from the bountiful SkyMall ocean, but I'm not quite sure if it's worth the headaches. Perhaps you can help. Let's all take a gander at the Remote-Controlled Air Fish.

Real fish die quickly. That's just a sad fact. Pet fish are just unhuggable aquatic poop factories that allow you to teach kids about death with a reasonable amount of detachment. And only rich egomaniacs keep sharks as pets (usually in oddly lit tanks in their villainous lairs). However, remote-controlled fish are awesome. That's just a happy fact. So, this shark (or the not-marketed-as-Finding Nemo-version-but-clearly-capitalizing-on-the-popularity-of-Finding Nemo-version) is pretty sweet. But, is it worth the trouble?

Think that a remote-controlled flying fish can't possibly be that complicated? Believe that you are pretty good with gadgets? Well, while you search for some batteries, we'll be reading the product description:

Unlike other neutrally buoyant aircraft with dedicated vector propellers, they use reciprocating tail fins that provide forward motion, just as a real shark's or clownfish's tail pushes against water. Deft control of the infrared remote transmitter's rocker-arm switch moves the tail back and forth for propulsion indoors up to 10' away within line of sight. Faster switching results in vigorous "swimming" while holding the switch in the left or right position executes wide, arcing turns. A weighted ventral pod slides forward and backward on a fixed rail at the remote's command, raising or lowering its pitch for climbs or descents.

Reading that gave me the bends. Still think it's going to be simple? Well, after watching this detailed nine minute instructional video (starring a man in scuba gear) and heading down to your local party supply store to buy your own personal helium tank, we can get started. Until then, this is all just a dream.

Unless, of course, I can get my dad to put it together for me.

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