Quail Drone Mail Away

April 1, 2012 | By More

I’ve said it before, I use to love mail aways. I thought I’d take a look at a fairly rare one today that was only available for a limited time with a fairly limited vehicle, the Falcon Glider. Only a few of the initial packages for the Falcon Glider contained the offer for the Quail Drone.


The Quail Drone bears little resemblance to any of the drones that I’m familiar with from it’s time period. Most folks are familiar with the more recent UAV type aircraft used by the military today. However, for almost as long as the military has been flying aircraft, they’ve been working on ways to fly them without a pilot. The Firebee Drone is a great example of this, dating from the 1955, this vehicle served as a target for training pilots.

This little thing looks nothing like that. Essentially, the Quail looks like a small Cold War era jet fighter. I suspect this is due to is cost saving origins. During the late 70’s, Hasbro had introduced a small aircraft carrier (bout 18″ long) that launched small foam jets from it’s deck using a “powerful” rubber band. This is a reuse of one of the aircraft.

I suspect it’s foam construction made it a natural counterpart to the Falcon Glider. Cheap to produce, yet it would give kids an action toy to play with.

For some reason, I never put the decal for mine. There was a single decal of a GI Joe name logo that wrapped around the the tail. This tied it in looks to the Falcon, at least.

As a kid, most of the military aircraft I saw were solid green or grey. It’s just what we had on base.  Here we get full on WWII camo. It’s a bit garish, but it certainly gives it what young boys expected for a military look in the early 80’s.

Really, the Quail is as lackluster as it’s larger cousin. It looks like Grunt bought a radio control version of a WWII plane and decided to fly it. Why does mine look in good shape, probably because I only played with it a half dozen times before getting board with it.


From my last statement, you can probably guess there wasn’t a terrible lot of fun to be had here. I will say this, it flies better an farther than my Falcon Glider ever did.

To add to the fun, the Quail came with an accessory. It was a small joystick control box that I have since lost. It must be with the decal. This would be the remote that would allow “GI Joe to fly the small craft over the battlefield to locate Cobra the Enemy” to quote the product literature. I remember that control stick was pretty cool, I used to put it in Ace’s hand when he was in the Skystriker.


For a couple of Flag Points back in the day, this young nerd was satisfied to get the Quail in the mail. However much like the larger gliders and most toy gimmicks, the thrill quickly wore off.

Engineernerd Score: 70/100

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Category: Featured, GI Joe, Toy Reviews

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  1. Errex says:

    Concidentally, a couple of weeks ago I bought a pair of foam planes just like this one for my nephews. And yes, they were really not all that fun to play with…

  2. Engineernerd says:

    We’re they exactly like these? I actually was thinking of ordering some to package up like my little April Fools joke here.