Mattel's Vertibird was the one toy I always wanted. It was a helicopter toy that really flew, albeit in a circle round a central hub. A two lever control panel allowed you to alter the speed of the rotors, giving the helicopter more or less lift and speed and the other lever controlled the pitch of the helicopter to make it go forwards and backwards. There was a hook underneath the helicopter that allowed you to pick up small lightweight objects and place them down again.
Vertibird came in a variety of guises, Airborne Rescue Mission, Air Police, and Polar Rescue Mission along with Glow in the Dark and Mega Force versions . Mattel also made some Sci-Fi models with Battlestar Galactica Vipers, Space 1999 Eagle Transporters and Remco made a variant based on the same premise which featured the 60's Series Star Trek Enterprise in place of the helicopter. I got a Star Trek model one Christmas but it just wasn't the same as the helicopter version.
Vertibirds for sale seem to be plentiful on the US version of Ebay but finding one over here in the UK is another matter. Above is an image of a complete model of the Airborne Rescue Mission version. This was the version my friend Piers had one Christmas. His dad owned the Air Police version after seeing one in an episode of Hawaii 50 and tracked one down in the shops He got Piers the other one so he wouldn't keep wanting to have a go on HIS toy. Rumour has it that there is still one of the these fine machines up in Piers' parents loft. Watch this space!!!!!
Click on the thumbnails to view the images.
Most of the images on this page have been used with kind permission from www.vertibird.com This site does not appear to be running anymore but for more information on Vertibird and to order spares for this and the Y2K reissue of this toy now called Chopper Command visit www.whirlybirdcentral.com. This is the definitive site for all things Vertibird. ALL the info you'll ever need is right here and written and a bunch of crazy Americans who are just potty about his toy, and quite right too!!!!! If it wasnt for people like this, then the reissues of all the cool toys you can get now such as Chopper Command and The 98 reissue of Evel Knievel would never have happened. I wish someone would reissue Super Flight Deck.
Details covering my conversion of a Chopper Command to run on mains power can be found by clicking here