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Unmanned Systems & Drones

Rise in popularity of camera drones as toys

The new German drone ordinance of March 30, 2017 imposes strict restrictions on the use of "unmanned aircraft" carrying cameras, yet such copter models are currently big business in the consumer segment.

13 Apr. 2017
Women at Beach with Drone
The latest trend: pocket-size selfie drones that automatically follow their owner. (Photo: Yuneec)

At Intermodellbau – the exhibition for model-making and model sport – in Dortmund, the German Association of Toy and Game Retailers (BVS) announced the new sales figures for camera drones , as identified by Nuremberg-based market researcher GfK. The figures show that some 300,000 of this type of drone were sold in Germany in 2016, with 500,000 sales forecast for 2017. This trend reflects the general rise in the popularity of remote-controlled toys. The BVS estimates that in 2016, remote-controlled models generated approximately €108 million in revenue across all sales channels in Germany.

According to the association, the most popular models are easy-to-operate aerial vehicles. The latest trend, however, is for pocket-size selfie drones that automatically follow their owner at a consistent height or distance. Several VR drones are expected to launch on the market this year. These drones transmit the images from their in-built camera to VR glasses, so that the user can experience flights live.