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This memory was added on: April 18, 2010
The memory is vague, but the feeling I had flying that toy was unforgettable. I had the basic Police chopper that had the base and a couple of items to pick up, and shortly after (probably because I bent the rod) got the Rescue ship. That made the toy “portable” to different parts of the house while flying at the same time. THE coolest toy ever. My older brother came back from Vietnam. He was a jet mechanic and loves aircraft. My best memories were he and I just hanging and burning through D (or C, can’t remember) cell batteries like they were nothing.
The shorter versions are neat and bring back those memories. My son just played with one at a friend’s house and had the same reaction. We’re going shopping this weekend. Wish they made them bigger and better, instead of smaller and cheaper – it would be sooooo worth the money.
This memory was added on: April 18, 2010
Our father had 3 daughters, no sons so he had to buy us the traditional boy toys so he could play with them. I will never forget that Christmas that we got the VertiBird Helicopter. We were so excited to use it. Dad hyped it up good. He spent what seemed like an eternity getting it set up. Then it was to be our chance to play, but WAIT! he needed to try it out first. He just "had to make sure it was working right" I remember how much fun my Dad had with that helicopter, making it hover and going forward and backward. Finally he let us have a turn. We played with that thing for a long time. We still laugh at how Dad really got that gift for himself.
This memory was added on: April 18, 2010
I had a couple of these, the police one and the ship version - the latter version really captured my imagination and I became a pretty good pilot. God I played with them for hours and hours. While flying successful missions was quite fun, my fondest memory of them was when my older brother would have to enter my airspace to change the channel on the TV (there being no remotes back then, of course), so after assuring him that I understood that he was to be avoided, I would then purposefully pilot the thing into his bare shins. Those exposed copter blades could really get a reaction out of him! Hey, that copter was kinda tricky to control, right? I guess I was convincing enough in my plea of ignorance that I managed to hit him in the bare legs or feet several times over the years before he stopped believing in my innocence. Ah, good times!
This memory was added on: May 3, 2009
Hands down one of the best toys of my childhood.
Here's a great simulator that will bring back the memories!
This memory was added on: March 13, 2009
This was one of my most favorite toys growing up!
I bugged my parents pretty hard about getting me one and voila! Christmas during 6th grade it arrived!
I still have it and you can tell how much it is was played with by all of the battlescars on the side of the ship!
This memory was added on: January 27, 2009
I loved my VertiBird as a child. I spent hours hovering and picking up items. I think I ruined it when I folded the cords in half to pack it away. Very very sad.
Several years later (in High School) I was at a friend house and VertiBird came up in conversation. He said he had one too. His was in the attic. So we scrambled up the stairs and searched. Then we spent the next several hours playing with it in his room.
Last Christmas I was looking for a gift for the "Angel Tree" (gifts for underpriveledged kids) and found a toy that was almost exactly the same thing. Of course I bought it. It was $20. Since then I have seen sets that are about half the size in Walmarts and Targets.
This memory was added on: March 19, 2008
VertiBird - best toy ever.
We would take two of them and place them just close enough to touch.
Then we'd have dog fights.
The person who got caught in the shag carpet lost.
This memory was added on: May 26, 2007
I had the vertibird Air Police back in 74', it was by far the best toy I ever had. If anyone is looking for a vertibird there is a wedsite you can go to. vertibird.biz/home_page.html this guy not only sells sets (new ones still in box!) He fixes broken ones too and sells rebuild't sets as well. They are not cheap. But then again what's it worth to you, to have some of your childhood back!
This memory was added on: April 21,2007
Along with plastic models, Major Matt Mason and Hot Birds, this was a favorite of my youth in the early 70's...I recall I thought it was odd that it could fly faster in reverse than forward! There are many verti-bird-like toys out there now, I recall getting one for my sons a few years back.
This memory was added on: April 10,2007
Wow, I'm not the only 45 year old who remebers the most awesome and "highly dangerous" toy ever made. I'm willing to pay any reasonable price for the coast gaurd ship version.
This memory was added on: March 18,2007
When I was growing up, we didn't have much money and there were six of us kids in the family kids in the family. When I first saw the vertibird commercial, I knew I had to have one. Well, Christmas morning, when I was 9 or 10, low-and-behold there she was under the tree. After a couple of hours, something broke on the copter and it would no longer work. I din't get a new one. I had it for one day, and still think about it.
This memory was added on: March 14,2007
Here is a funny story about the Vertibird helicopter. My brother and I got it for Christmas the year it came out, but we never knew it till the end of January when we found it in the garage. My dad got hooked on the toy. He loved playing with it so say my mom. When we discovered it, my dad's story was that he found it jammed in the chimney so he said that it probably fell out of Santa's toy bag. My brother and I enjoyed the Vertibird, but apparently not as much as my dad.
This memory was added on: March 4,2007
Wow! I can't believe ther is a site devoted to this incredable toy!!! I happened to google "helicopted toy" and found all of this. Yes this was my favorite toy of the 70s. I'm 43 and I LOVED this toy!!!!! Looking foe one now for my kids.
This memory was added on: February 15,2007
My first memory of the whirly bird helicopters was in 1972, during Saturday morning cartoons. I was six. If I recall correctly, there was a Coast Guard rescue ship model and a Police model. I begged my parents for a Coast Guard rescue ship in November, and Santa brought me one for Christmas. I thought it was the coolest toy ever made. I loved the idea of guiding the helicopter over the rescue basket and saving the little man in the basket. I got pretty good at it. It made such an impression on me, that I joined the Coast Guard at age 20 and became a Flight Mechanic / Hoist Operator on the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. So now as an adult, during a rescue, I give the pilot directions, and guide this state of the art helicopter to rescue real people. Thanks for the the initial training Mattel. I put to good use during my 20 career.
AET1 Delgado US Coast Guard Flight Mechanic
This memory was added on: February 3,2007
I believe I was officially qualified and earned my "wings" to be a Coast Guard search & rescue helicopter pilot by the time I was in 2nd grade.
I logged believe I have more stick time with my Vertibird than many Army med-evac Huey pilots did while in country in Vietnam.
This chopper was best utilized on important rescue missions over hideous colored shag carpet, watching an NFL football game with Joe Namouth, Terry Bradshaw and/or OJ Simpson (The Juice), drinking root beer and eating pizza rolls with dad in the family room.
This memory was added on: January 9,2007
IT WAS 1971 AND ALL MY FRIENDS AND I RECIEVED THE VERTIBIRD FOR CHRISTMAS. WE COULD SEE EACH OTHER ON OUR PORCHES IN SAN DIMAS,CA. PLAYING THEM. GOD I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT MORNING. I LATER FOUND OUT MY MOTHER PURCHASED THE MATTEL VERTIBIRD FOR 14 DOLLARS!!.WOW. I HAVE SEEN THEM ON E-BAY FOR 500 DOLLARS!!!...PERFECT CONDITION AND STILL IN THE BOX OFCOURSE.
This memory was added on: December 25,2006
Wow! I cant believe there are so many people that remember this totally awesome toy! Im 44 now but back in the seventies I wore out 3 of them! I still think of the vertibird often and considerate it my favorite toy ever. I just went on ebay and saw 2 for apx 70 bucks each. I just may bid on one!. My wife would truly understand what I retard i am, but for another glimpse of that special feeling I used to get for hours at a time when I was young, commanding the Vertibird, it might be worth it! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a "Mr. Tip-it" game. Remember that?
This memory was added on: December 22,2006
Vertibird was the main feature in one of the best college parties I ever threw. We were throwing out the trash around Xmas one year, when we noticed that a local kid had left a box of random toys next to the apartment dumpster; Sizzlers Hot Wheels and track, assorted other toys, and the biggest prize of all--a complete vertibird. My roomie and dragged it all back to the apartment, called up about a dozen friends (who brought wine and snacks), and we spent the entire night playing with the toys. The Vertibird was the favorite, and we had to draw lots to see who got to play with it when. Since then, I have always managed to have a Vertibird (or equivelnt knock off) around my home.
This memory was added on: December 17,2006
I for one loved, Loved, LOVED! my Verti Bird rescue ship set. It has been and always will be my FAVORITE toy of all time. It's such a great toy I don't know why they still don't make it. Like many others here, I could and would play with it for hours on end and never get bored. It's life like controls to flying a helicopter, (at least to a young boy), and sensitive touch were great. Sure the hook broke off two seconds after you got it on the carpet but who cared?! You could always make a new one. For the longest time I thought it was called Whirly Bird but was glad to find the right name on Ebay. I hope one day to have the funds to get "my" old ship back up and running again. Thanks for the time!
This memory was added on: December 11,2006
I am 44 and if there is one toy that I made sure that I saved, it wasy my VirtiBird. I can still remember the rush that I felt when I received it on Christmas when I was around 10.
When I grew up and left home, it was the one toy that I still was able to keep. I have kept it on a shelf in my basement for many years vowing that someday I would pass it onto one of my kids.
Just this year, I decided that it was time to get it out for my 8 year old son. Not knowing if it would still work, we loaded it up with 4 fresh D batteries and gave it a try. At first it would not start up, but with a little coaxing and some light oil, it actually started to fly again. I think I was more excited about it than my son. He still plays with it, but unfortunately it has to compete with video games to hold his attention.
This memory was added on: December 10,2006
when i was about 12 or 13 i was infatuated by the vertibird commercials and just had to have one. it was halfway between my birthday and christmas, so asking for the toy would either illict the response "cant you wait"?, or "your getting too old for toys like that". my parents often drank and fought about money, with my dad sometimes opening up his wallet and flinging twenties across the living room. well i waited alright!... until the next fight....after which vertibird took flight!
This memory was added on: December 5,2006
Ah the Vertibird, I remember the saturday morning commercials that I would literally salivate on command like Pavlov's dogs. I never owned one but the kid across the street did. As is typical of the kid across the street, he hated the thing never played with it, but didn't want anyone else to play with it. He was a spoiled brat so he wasn't fun to play with but every now and then we could talk him in to letting us come in his room to play with the Vertibird. I never really got my true fill of this toy, off I go to ebay to find one for my son.
This memory was added on: November 29,2006
As so many others on this site, I to remember my vertibird (glow in the dark Police version). It was 1973 when I received one for Christmas, and like others played with it until the batteries would barely lift it off the ground. I went throuh several of these in the next couple of years before my mother stopped buying them for me. My ambition to fly started with this marvelous toy and led me to become a State Police helicopter pilot. I credit a lot of my piloting abilities to the hours practicing I received with my favorite toy. Wish I was a careful with it as I am with the real one. I could still be playing with it.
This memory was added on: November 17,2006
I'm 44 years old. And I miss my Vertibird after all these years. I now have a 6 year old son and would love for him to experience the fun I had back in the 70's with my favorite Christmas gift of all time. I don't know what happened to my Vertibird. It could be in the attic at my parents old home they sold nearly 20 years ago. This Christmas I to hope find one for my son and maybe, just maybe, it will be a Christmas he'll never forget.
Glynn Grenta, La
This memory was added on: November 14,2006
I had two of them! First the original one where you had to pick up the guy in the life raft. When I finally wore it out, I got the VertiBird Rooftop Rescue! I played it all the time.
I bought one on e-bay two years ago for my kids, thinking they would like it too. They hardly ever played with it. Somehow it got broken. I was really disappointed.
This memory was added on: November 12,2006
The thing I love about this toy was that it really flew like a chopper, or at least that's what I thought back then - don't try to convince me otherwise! It's the most fun a boy could ask for - control of a mini chopper. Its subtle, responsive controls were a technological marvel and as commander, watching her fly was a thrill. To fly one meant you were hooked for all time and it's memory never fully leaves you - I can still feel my fingers on the control levers. Take-off, land, hover, dive, forward and backward and full throttle speed were all a thing of beauty and the stuff to fuel our imaginations for countless hours of fun. I just purchased the smaller "command" version @ Target (Nov 12, 2006) for my son (going to be an xmas present) but would like to find a model similar in size to the old Vertibird. Anyone know where to find a larger version?
This memory was added on: October 28,2006
Oh Yeah, I had one of the origional Vertibirds. I played with it endlessly! Built a Leggo city and flew around in it. When I was a little older, I had a HO scale train set and installed my helicopter in the center of that. I have no clue what happened to it. Often wished I could find it for my three year old. I recently found a new style chopper made by Jasman. It was at Wal-mart for $10-. My boy loved it (of course) and killed the batteries before we left the store. The next day I put Duracells in it and away he went. He played with it for 15 minutes and it cut out. I gave it a whack and it started working again. Before the batteries were dead again it cut out for the last time in mid flight. It's going back.... where's my Vertibird?
This memory was added on: October 27,2006
Absolutely without any doubt the most incredibly fun toy of all time. This is the toy that could make me forget about chasing the cute neighborhood girls when I was a chubby 10 year old lad. Of course after eating too many Reese Cups while watching reruns of Batman between Whirly Bird sorties, I was in no shape to catch any of these cuties...
Life was wonderful in the seventies and makes me thankful for this great time in life.
This memory was added on: October 25,2006
By Far, my absolute favorite toy. I played with my Verti Bird until it broke. My Father re soldered it. Got another run, until it broke. My Aunt Lydia, sent one to me for Christmas UPS to Detroit from San Antonio Texas. Again, played with that helicopter until it wouldn't work anymore. The original toy, that had the hook, and the way the controls were laid out. Never got boring. I got bored with all the toys in the arsenal, but to this day, I can say that I would still like to have a Verti Bird. The toy's controler and layout truly gave the experience of flying. That is why I googled this list out of the blue tonight. I am glad to see there were others who loved it like I did.
This memory was added on: September 14,2006
Santa brought me my first VertiBird one Christmas in the early 70's. I was the happiest kid in the Bronx. Then my cousins came over. The VertiBird did make it through the day. I cried like a frickin' newborn baby. Two days later, "Santa" left me a replacement one. Others could watch, I didn't allow anybody else to fly her!
This memory was added on: August 31,2006
Hi, I got my Virtibird helicopter in the early 70's as a Christmas present. My uncle was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in the late 60's. I was obsessed as a kid with helicopters. I am proud to say I now have my private pilots license and enjoy flying myself. My only regrets, I don't have anyone to shoot at.
This memory was added on: August 26,2006
Check the toy stores, someone is making a new toy modelled after the Vertibirds again, I saw a toy this week in Target, but it had a nice safety ring around the blades so it won't take any eyes out....Toy was "modernized" but had the same basic function / design....
This memory was added on: August 8,2006
Never considered it a toy, it was more than that. Got the Police Chopper set the same year as the short-lived TV series, 'Chopper One'.
If the execs at Mattel would simply go to eBay and see what these sets go for, they'd stop making so much crap and produce quality toys again.
This memory was added on: August 7,2006
I remember getting a Vertibird for christmas 1974.I loved it and it flew very well but sometimes it "overflew"if you applied too much power!I spent hours trying to pck-up the space capsule and astronaut as well as other toys.My friend had the the rescue ship and we played with that for hours.alas I left the batteries in mine and they corroded badly so it went in the trash!I would like to get another one but E-bay prices seem a little steep.I am leery of repos and knock-offs because I fear ythat they are so cheap in quality that they will fail to perform as well as the original.
This memory was added on: August 4,2006
This was one of my favorite toys as well!!! A friend of mine keeps telling me how he wishes they would bring it back. One day a few months back I was going through the toy isle at WalMart and lo and behold, there was this toy that was almost exactly the same!!!! WalMart still has them to this day. They are offered with either a Cobra helicopter or a Hughes 500 style helicopter. Both in military graphics. The new toy is smaller (about 20" in length) but the concept is exactly the same. It comes with a few things that can be picked up and dropped off, the two sticks, one for forward and reverse and one for up and down. I bought one for my buddy, one for me and one for my son. They are only about 12.00 each!!! Very cool, just like the original!!!
This memory was added on: July 26,2006
I got my Vertibird in 1976 when I was 10. My folks were poor so they couldn't afford one till it was on sale at the local TG&Y for something like $10.00! And boy was it worth the wait! Mine was the "Search and Rescue" version and my little Sis who was five years younger than me recently informed me that she was facinated with the toy and that I would never let her near my Vertibird! So anyway I recently resserected it from the attic and introduced my two neices to the flying machine. Their eyes were big as saucers and filled with the same, familiar, facination that I still have myself for the amazing little toy. The fun was short lived due to a mechanical failure with the throttle mechanism being worn and corroded. This of course led me to googling to see what I could find for replacement parts and so far to no avail. I might have to resort to making the faulty component from scratch. But in the mean time I did find a brand, spanking, new, "Chopper Command" for a whopping $35.00 includeing the S/H as a gift for my two favorite neices and with a lot of pleading they just might let their Mommy, my Sis, play with it this time!
This memory was added on: July 19,2006
STOP BELLYACHING, LETS CALL UP MATTEL AND DEMAND THEY START MANUFACTURING THE VERTIBIRD AGAIN. WHOEVER BUYS ONE HAS TO SIGN A WAIVER FOR LIABILITY PURPOSES. BACK IN THE 70'S HARDLY NO ONE SUED. IF YOU GOT HIT IN THE EYE BY ONE OF THE BLADES, IT WAS YOUR OWN FAULT. I NEVER HIT MYSELF IN THE EYE. I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD WHEN THE RESCUE SHIP VERTIBIRD CAME OUT. I PLAYED IT FOR HOURS AND DAYS AND MONTHS. I AM NOW 40 YEARS OLD AND IF I SEE THEM ON THE SHELVES AGAIN I WOULD PROBABLY BUY TEN OF THEM. I AM AN ADULT NOW WITH ALOT OF MONEY, HAHAHAHAHAHA. I STILL HAVE MY ORIGINAL ATARI 2600 PONG VIDEO GAME. THERE WERE ALOT OF OTHER COOL GAMES I HAD BUT MY MOM THREW THEM AWAY. WHY MOM WHY????????
This memory was added on: May 26,2006
Jeez - if I see one more of my old toys on this site I'm gonna have nostalgia overload. I got the original verti-bird for Christmas when I was about 5-6 (1970 or1971). I played with it for HOURS, nay MONTHS. My friends and I would time each other to see who could rescue the astronaut the fastest.
Kids today probably can't relate to why you'd need a helicopter to scoop an astronaut out of the ocean - but the Columbia was about a decade away from its first launch when Verti-bird hit the market. We saved astronauts "Old School", with an arrestor hook.
The rescue ship was cool, and added gravitas to sorties, but the basic Verti-bird was just as much fun. I'm headed home for the holiday weekend, and I'm headed straight to the attic to see if any of these old toys are still in hiding awaiting a return to glory.
This memory was added on: April 28,2006
Vertibird.. The Vertibird was MY "BB Gun" from the movie "A Christmans Story".. I remember seeing it and wanting it SOOO bad.. and my Mom got it for me for my birthday 3 months later. I ran the batteries out every day until a friend of mine and I figured out how to rig it to not need batteries. we took a HO train transformer, hooked the wires from it to the battery terminals of the Vertibird, and turned the power (that you used to speed up or slow down the trains) about half way... Worked perfect and never needed batteries again! I don't suggest anyone do that, now, tho.. no telling how close we were to burning down the house! Anyways, Iplayed with that thing for HOURS every day until a couple of years later the wire that spun the prop broke. I still have the unit and now as a grownup can probably figure out how to fix it.. Or i'll just buy one on ebay.. but I WILL eventually have another Vertibird.. just the most friggen coolest toy ever made.. hands down..
This memory was added on: April 23,2006
The astronaut appears to be the driver from the Mattel RRRumblers "Choppin' Chariot" - very cool.
This memory was added on: April 22,2006
Ah yes!! The Holy Grail of 70's childhood. My brother got one for his birthday and I took it over as often as possible. The superb flight toy even had adjustment gear for setting the angle at the plastic boom/helicopter junction. Zooming full speed forward then pulling back on the sticks to hover on a dime - life is good!! We'd rig our toys with wire to pick up way more than the road-closed barricade and getaway car that came with the Police Vertibird. I remember picking up frosted cookies.... Strafing our Siamese cat was also fun. Vertibird would barely hover when the batteries were down. Do you remember the incredible power of Vertibird with new batteries? It revved so high that the bird almost flew upside down with the plastic boom straight above the control tower base, bending the boom and briefly cutting out the power to the rotor because the spinning wire inside the boom was getting pinched. The copter would then come down a bit and fly up again when the spinning wire was free - this made for a bouncing flight until the batteries wore down a bit. Vertibird just wanted to be free! Best toy of childhood. My Uncle (WW2 B-17 armorer/ground crew) and Dad (1950's Air Force Radar Ops) both admired Vertibird. We drove her hard for about 7 years. I'm headed for the peterhirschberg.com/vertisim/ site now. Great site - thanks!
This memory was added on: April 17,2006
Wow, Whirleybird, cool - this is my favorite toy of all time! I wanted this so bad that when my mom wrapped it up for x-mas around 1974 I could not resist unwrapping it early and playing with it. I carefully peeled back the tape taking care not to rip or wrinkle the wrapping paper then carefully rewrapped it (2 or 3 times) for fear of the toy being taken away. I used the toy until it broke and remember the shag carpet continuously getting caught in the coiled drive arm. I remember a cardboard firehouse and things to pick up. It was great!
This memory was added on: April 6,2006
I almost forgot about this toy! I must have racked up at least 1000 hours of flight. Many of these hours trying to pick up some object that came with it and avoid the shag carpet snagging it. Of course it broke one day after getting snagged and the connecting rod broke. Oh well fun while it lasted.
This memory was added on: April 6,2006
I remember my verti bird!! I got it for christmas in 1973. That was the best toy, until the batteries wore out!! It was simple, but effective. It was challenging to pick up those little pieces!! I'm not sure which one I had, but the chopper was red. I had it into the summertime, and used to put it on hover,and slide my face under the chopper to cool off!! dumb, but I was 9yrs old!! Oh the memories! I would love to find one!
This memory was added on: April 4,2006
Vertibird was the reason I didn't go out of the house for two years. It alone is responsible for me being a pasty sun deprived pre-teen. The ulimate toy!
This memory was added on: February 6,2006
I had the original and the ship version. I remeber the orignal version required that you put the propeller on yourself, and I almost broke the little spring that turns it. That would have made a very sad Christmas.
I broke the styrofoam ship in half, but my father introduced me to epoxy that day, and it play just fine for many years.
Did anyone ever hear a little voice in their head that said "Grab the propeller- I dare Ya'!"? I did, and thankfully still have all of my fingers.
This memory was added on: February 5,2006
Was one of my favrite toys of all time but I didn't get much time with it before it broke. But about three years ago I found a remake of one at Big Lots called "Chopper Patrol" My kids and I have lots of fun with this still. http://www.whirlybirdcentral.com/museum/ I believe you can buy these on EBay fairly cheap.
This memory was added on: January 30,2006
I might be dating myself, but as I recall, this toy was first called "Whirley Bird"...this was in the 70's. I too used to enjoy countless hours of this silly helicopter going round and round and up and down, all while attached to a metal rod. Nothing by today's kids toys standards, but gosh was that fun...until the day of course, that my mother decided to STEP on my WhirleyBird in mid flight (it was an accident so she says) and the entire craft was shattered into a hundred pieces...along with my joy!!
This memory was added on: January 21,2006
Its so funny reading the stories of finger chopping,floor smashing,ship banging with the helicopter. All I could do is laugh remembering the many many times that happened to me, mesmerized by how fast the blade went, feeling the cool breeze it gave out...WHAT A BLAST...turning it too sharp and the blade got caught on the cable. Back in 1986 I went in this house that was abandoed for 20 years. I opened the closet...AND LO AND BEHOLD....A COAST GUARD VERTIBIRD...I wanted that thing so bad, I never went the house sell they had for the stuff in it. I could kick myself.
This memory was added on: January 16,2006
Hands down THE BEST toy I ever had growing up! My younger brother had the Police Vertibird and I had the U.S. Coastguard ship. We played for hours. I was meticulous about caring for my prized toy and was very devastated the first time the rotor gouged the Styrofoam hull of the ship. Alas, during our move to South America our beloved Vertibirds were packed and shipped down to Ecuador. As far as we could determine, some unscrupulous customs official probably absconded with our toys…we never saw them again. I was the angriest 10-year-old on the face of the planet!