Air Swimmers is a brand of infrared controlled, indoor-only blimps.
The brand is manufactured, marketed and distributed by the William Mark Corporation of Claremont, California USA and was invented by WMC's Blake English. It is so named because the original two styles do not represent airships but rather fish. The choices are the Air Swimmers Remote Control Flying Shark, the Air Swimmers Remote Control Flying Clownfish and as of 2012, the red, blue and black Angry Birds characters from Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd. featuring a faster "turbo" propulsion system. The red bird is available in both regular Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space trim. Also available for use in target games are balloons sold in packs of three which represent the franchise's Bad Piggies characters.
The blimps were introduced at the 2011 New York Toy Fair, featured at the 2011 ComicCon convention in San Diego, California and were also featured in national television advertisements in the US for the 2011 Toys "R" Us Christmas catalog.
They are propelled via a remotely controlled tail which operates in a side-to-side motion much like that of a real fish; the user simply rocks the tail control pad on the remote control from side to side to both propel and steer the blimp. The onboard receiver doubles as a ballast holder and pitch control and in the case of the shark is made to resemble a remora, the parasitic fish often seen hanging by its mouth beneath large sharks. The Angry Birds blimps have color-coordinated receivers. Pitch is remotely adjusted via the slider's fore and aft motion along a track. Buoyancy is adjusted with the supplied non-toxic putty which is placed inside the front of the receiver/ballast holder.
Four AAA-cell batteries and pure helium from a source such as a party supply store are required to complete the Air Swimmers blimps. The Angry Birds turbo models use a lithium polymer battery.
As of February 2013, the official YouTube page had surpassed more than 16 million hits.
- Official Air Swimmers home page
- Official Angry Birds Air Swimmers Turbo page
- Official Bad Piggies accessory balloons page
- Air Swimmers assembly video
- Official YouTube home page
- Video of the New York Toy Fair introduction
- Video of a clownfish version user-converted to Spektrum 2.4GHz R/C proportional control