Hobbico has released the sharks! Two new RC sharks can be found in your local hobby store and are RTS (ready to swim)!
These guys are perfect for backyard pools, wading pools, a large aquarium or even in the tub. You can own your own summer shark fun for just under $30.
There are two types of sharks to choose from and while they differ in appearance, they are mechanically the same except for their frequencies.
|Frequencies:||27 & 49 MHz|
|Transmitter:||3 Channel Hobbico transmitter|
|Transmitter batteries:||one 9-volt battery|
|Charger Batteries:||6-C cell batteries|
Ready to swim!
I turned on the transmitters, turned on the sharks, put the sharks in my pool and I was ready to go!
The first thing I noticed when I switched on the sharks was that their eyes glowed red. These glowing eyes were bright enough to track the sharks’ movement in my swimming pool on a dark night. The lights really show up in an aquarium since they are on the bottom side of the shark.
The sharks can go forward and backward, turn left and right, dive and return to the surface. They can climb or dive vertically or while moving forward (I especially liked how they looked this way).
For power, each shark has three motors: one that controls the forward and backward movement with a tail propeller, a second that turns a paddle-type wheel in the mouth that controls left and right movement, and a separate third motor that powers the shark's climbs and dive.
There are no servos or directional control surfaces such as diving planes or a rudder. Direction is controlled by moving water in a particular direction through the shark’s body.
(Note: In the video I mention 29 MHz for the Great White and it is actually 49 MHz.)
The transmitter is not waterproof and has to be kept out of the water. I my guests or I go into the pool to play with a shark we have to remember to keep the transmitter above the water.
The range of the shark on the surface tested to a maximum of 25 feet. (The instructions only claim a range of 15 feet and I had no problems at that distance.) The range of control of the shark in a dive tested when they were next to me to a depth of 4 plus feet. When the sharks were away from me, the range of dive control diminished as the distance increased. By 20 feet away, dive range was down to 1-2 feet. If the shark went too deep in a dive or far enough away so that range was lost, it would slowly surface on its own. I was usually able to regain control of the shark while it was surfacing.
Where can you play with these sharks?
Don't play with these sharks
Even young children can successfully control the sharks with just a little practice. Adult supervision is necessary for both water safety and to keep the transmitter dry. I saw little chance of injury from the small rubbery propeller, but reminders not to touch the working areas should be given to children.
While reviewing the sharks, I discovered that they very accurately went where I directed them. In fact, they worked so well there was no real challenge to operating them. So I created a challenge.
I threw a couple of diving rings to the bottom of the pool in the shallow end and raced to see how fast I could go through the rings and back. Next I placed two diving rings suspended from poles by string into the pool and created a 3D race course.
The video below shows clips of my son and wife practicing the course. My son was very accurate, and after completing the course he tried to wrestle a ring to the floor of the pool and then tried to lift a ring with the shark. My wife liked turning the shark in tight circles, or doing pirouettes (leading to our next challenge - Synchronized Shark Ballet).
This next video features an official 3D Shark Race. Races were held the first Saturday of May at Churchill Drowns race track. Dick Andersen was victorious in the featured race over Carol B. but Jared Hungerford established a track record. Mint Juleps were enjoyed by all.
The creation of 3D shark racing brought a whole new level of fun to this toy. You’d be amazed at how much excitement and competitiveness something like hitting the center of a ring in a race brings to grown adults! The learning curve for operating the sharks is small and most adults can accurately control the sharks with a couple minutes of practice (the stress of competitive 3D shark racing is another story). Young kids just enjoy the freedom of running the sharks around the pool.
The sharks are small enough to be easily transported, they are affordable and they work well. They are a great pool toy that both adults and children can enjoy and having 2 sharks together is more fun than 1! These sharks are great toys for the young or the young at heart.
As mentioned above, adult supervision for water safety with little children is always required at our family pool.
If the sharks don't float your boat (pun intended), you might want to try the Hobbico Sea Scout micro submarines. They are powered by twin propellers and have twin red LED headlights for easy viewing in the pool at night. Submarine races that you can actually watch!
|May 10, 2007, 07:17 AM|
I just saw where Hobbico bought Revell/Monogram. Let's hope this means more good things when it comes to large scale plastic ship models that we can covert into RC.
I'd actually prefer to see a 1/72 Fletcher or Kagero class DD or a Type IX U-boat than a swimming shark anyday.
|May 10, 2007, 11:46 AM|
Sorry no "laser beam" eyes in the Hobbico sharks. They are however amazingly accurate in their control. Those that play lots and lots of computer games have proven to have the best eye-hand coordination and can go through the diving rings at full speed.
I am not sure that little kids would be willing to swim in the pool after they saw a Cyborg shark in the pool. I am not sure I would be willing to go in the water.
|May 10, 2007, 12:38 PM|
As far as 1/72nd scale...
However all are scratch builds.
|May 10, 2007, 01:35 PM|
wander what "ORCA" builders will think when someone starts chasing their models with the Hobico Great white, fancy re-enacting the jaws movie???
|May 10, 2007, 07:16 PM|
I hear you, but there's always that dream...
Modelwarships occassionally has a lively discussion of what they'd love to see Revell come out with in 1/72 scale, but you're probably right. Another #3 car is what we'll enf up seeing!
|May 21, 2007, 07:11 PM|
Ah, I wouldn't mind swimming with an RC shark, MUCH less risk than swimming with real sharks! I'm pretty sure I could shoot one of those RC sharks with one of my spearguns at the full length of that pool. (target practice? Wonder what real fish would think of the RC shark if I took one diving with me? Use one for bait? Hmmmmmmmmm.
|Jun 04, 2007, 12:30 PM|
Joined Apr 2005
Hobbico RC Shark - batteries
I noticed the owners manual says only alkaline "C" batteries can be used in the charger box. Has anyone tried Ni-MH rechargeables instead? Is there a jack for a 9V DC adapter to be used instead of batteries? if not, is there any reason I couldn just wire one into the battery terminals?
Also - I am considering teh shark vs the hobbico se scout - they seem mecahnically the same except the shark uses the mouth-paddlewheel to trun wheresa the sea scout uses dual props - it looks like the sea scout may require less area to turn around - this s importnat as it will be tight using it in my 55 gallon aquarium - does anyone know which turns tighter?
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