Review: Flynova Pro delivers fun despite overlooked flaw

Author: Stanley Goodner


Kids can have finicky attention spans when it comes to toys. With so much digital entertainment available on tablets, smartphones, and gaming systems, it’s little wonder when today’s novel toy is suddenly “boring” tomorrow. But, every once in a while, you find something with far more staying power. The Flynova Pro delights and thrills with its hands-on (and screen-off) digital flying fun.


The Flynova Pro, which recently completed a successful Indiegogo campaign, is the company’s sophomore product release. This new design adopts a spherical shape, roughly the size of an orange. Not only does it allow for more hardware (e.g. larger fans) on the inside, it’s easier for smaller hands to grasp, catch, and throw. The power of the fans are similar to what you may find in quality laptop cooling pads or mid-size computer graphics cards. In fact, the Flynova Pro could substitute for a battery-operated personal fan if you wanted (it just won’t last as long per charge).

 Source: Stanley Goodner /

The package design could certainly benefit from new and better art, but don’t let that aspect turn you away. Inside the box is the Flynova Pro, instructions, a micro-USB charge cable, the ‘Magic Stick’ (wand, two pieces), and a small screwdriver for the battery compartment of the wand. The wand battery is not included. However, the wand feature itself is somewhat “meh.” What should have been provided instead are maintenance tools. More on that in a bit.

Flight and Handling

The Flynova Pro is simple plug and play. Let it charge for 20 or so minutes, and you get approximately 20 solid minutes of playtime. Hit the power button to turn the unit on (a minor nuisance for adult fingers), and the LED strip alternates blinking red and blue. Give the Flynova Pro a tap or a shake to activate the fans (and full LED lightshow), and now you’re ready to start (re)learning the physics of flight and vectors! The fans shut off automatically, and the LEDs change their display pattern to indicate when battery power is getting low.

The included instructions cover how to fly the Flynova Pro. Between that and the fact that some of the best learning comes by doing, there is no need for my own ‘how-to’ of flight. But, with practice, you can expect the Flynova Pro to travel (horizontal) distances up to (and often exceeding) 35 ft. Vertical? It’s not hard to have it clear the height of a house roof. Overall, the Flynova Pro is fun and easy to learn. Here are a few key points to know up front.

Source: Stanley Goodner /

Trickier for adult fingers to press the on/off button.

Flight notes

One, the fans won’t activate if the Flynova Pro is upside down. ‘Up’ is labeled right above the charge port and power button, so you can always look and check. After the fans are on, you can toss the Flynova Pro any which you want. Things get interesting when the Flynova Pro bounces off of something that modifies its axis mid-flight. This element of unpredictability definitely ups the fun factor. Just warn people ahead of time to watch out and mind their drink glasses.

Two, the impact sensor is pretty good, but expect surprises. So, when the Flynova Pro hits any surface (e.g. the ground, wall, ceiling) or object hard enough, the fans automatically shut off. This is desirable, because you don’t want those fans to keep going, unless you like a good ground chase. However, if the second impact/bounce is just right, and if the Flynova Pro isn’t upside down, those fans will activate (chase is on). Also, if your throw is too snappy, the sensor can interpret the movement as impact. The result is a dead toss as the Flynova Pro simply falls to the ground.

Three, the fans are a lot more powerful than you might expect. This toy can gain some impressive altitude. We’ve successfully sent ours from the backyard, arcing over the house to land in the front yard. This means you’ll have to mind anything that might make retrieval hard or impossible: trees, roofs, fences, and (especially) wind. And, you probably want to be careful when aiming the Flynova Pro directly at others (i.e. the ‘Up’ label is pointing at the intended target). It takes off almost like a Nerf dart! The impact can actually knock sunglasses off of people’s faces if they’re close enough. While it’s super fun playing catch like this, make sure people know what to expect first.

Source: Stanley Goodner /

Activate fans and full LED lightshow with just a tap or shake.

Four, you can skip the wand. Upon swinging it or pressing the button on the handle, the wand triggers a temporary boost to the fans. If level, the Flynova Pro will thrust up a few inches higher in the air. If not level? That sphere will go careening in whatever direction it was already headed in. The LED strip switches color to match that of the wand, which also switches with each swing/press. While the wand technically works, the performance is not very consistent. And it’s also not as much fun using it.

Durability and Maintenance

The Flynova Pro features a plastic, spherical ‘cage’ that is lightweight and springy; ideal for this kind of toy, since the bounce helps cushion the landing. The openings are small, which keeps most (but not all) things out. Although the Flynova Pro is durable, it’s also not. Play with it long enough, and you’ll notice a growing collection of superficial wear. The exterior paint starts to chip or scuff off. Also, there is only 1/8 in of clearance between the cage interior and the fan’s horizontal ‘belt.’ Worn paint on the inside isn’t a concern, except when you consider how the friction might affect fan motor operation over time.

Sure, most of the time the Flynova Pro lands safely. But, it can also drop hard, like when the fans automatically shut off after hitting a wall or ceiling. Enough repeat force can bend and break some horizontal bars of the cage, particularly the thinner pieces. While it doesn’t really affect overall integrity, there is now a bigger opening for objects to enter through. Bigger openings also make it easier for little fingers to accidentally poke in and be struck by the spinning fan blades. This can be startling (particularly to children, hence the 6+ age recommendation on the box.

Slender items (e.g. small toy pieces, straws, plants, x-mas tree branches, etc.) that stick or fall into the cage can ding up the fan blades. This is not too much of a big deal. However, more importantly, those objects can and will hit the LED strip. After enough times, that strip will start to peel away from its mount along the fan’s horizontal axis. The solution requires some narrow tweezers, Gorilla Glue, and a toothpick/applicator for the glue. But, the maintenance doesn’t end there.

Source: Stanley Goodner /

Beware of hair

The biggest threats to the Flynova Pro’s performance are thread/string and (especially) hair. Just like how your vacuum’s spinner brush finds such things and wraps it all around, so does the Flynova Pro. The culprit points are located between the slender gaps on either end of the post that connects to the LED strip. When this happens, you can hear the fan motor’s tone change. You’ll notice that the Flynova Pro doesn’t go half as high or far anymore, which is a considerable flaw.

But, you can correct this! You’ll need thin tweezers, an even thinner nail file (or something effective at cutting wrapped hair/thread), and patience. Manual dexterity is also required. Use the file (best if the narrow edge is also abrasive) to cut through the string/hair so that the tweezers can grab and remove the pieces. This can be tedious, depending on how tight it’s all wound up. It’s possible to separate and re-glue the two halves of the Flynova Pro cage to make such cleaning easier. But, that option should be last-resort.

Overall Impression

Hands down, the Flynova Pro is super fun, whether you’re playing with others or on your own. Fun for adults, but it’s really great for kids. It gets them up and active on their feet, which is not always easy these days. The Flynova Pro offers a lot of creative imagination play, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it before being told (by kids) that “it’s boring now.”

The Flynova Pro delivers, just as you may have seen in all the internet videos of it in action. The hovering, the floating tosses, the boomeranging, it does it all. Practice your throws enough and you’ll be a master in no time. The idea behind the included wand is interesting, but only ok. So far, it’s turned into general toy clutter in the kid’s room. But the Flynova Pro itself? If it’s not charging, it’s being thrown about back and forth.

The biggest concern is the maintenance. It can be disappointing when a new toy starts to experience issues after half an hour or so of play. Thankfully, a few tools is all you need to get the Flynova Pro back up and running. The other, long-term concern is the durability. The fans are powerful, so the Flynova Pro can smack hard against anything. Eventually, some parts of the plastic cage will give and break. Hopefully, this happens later than sooner.

Worth it

The Flynova Pro has quickly become a household favorite for fun and entertainment. At US$40 dollars, the Flynova Pro feels a little expensive. $30 is a reasonable price point for getting your money’s worth. But, if you ever see it go on sale for $20 (or less), buy multiple. Whether you’re playing with a few simultaneously, or stashing them away as future gifts, the Flynova Pro won’t disappoint. At least for as long as it holds up.