More about Air Traffic Kites and Games
All of our enthusiasm for fun started the summer of 1987 in a northern suburb of Minneapolis when Jim Henry,
Air Traffic’s founder, discovered stunt kites. After learning how to fly a kite he was hooked and began learning to fly trains of multiple kites.
Jim spent hours flying kites and naturally they attracted attention at the parks where he flew.
Due to public demand, he began selling kites out of his house.
Soon Jim discovered stunt kite teams and competitions.
Intrigued by these teams Jim asked a kite customer to compete with him.
The two of them competed together a few times, before adding two more men the team.
This newly formed four-man team was appropriately named Perfect Chaos.
They spent hours together practicing and had a heck of a lot of fun doing it. In fact, Jim reflects on
the time he spent leading this team as one of the most fun, and thrilling times in his career. As the
leader he called out the commands to keep the kites in formation, prevent them from crashing to the
ground or worse, crashing into each other.
At the time, four-person stunt teams were fairly unique to the country. There were less than 30 teams
of 2,3 or 4 in the entire country, and Perfect Chaos was the only team in Minnesota. For the next two
years the men of Perfect Chaos had a blast competing together and today they still perform for local
While competing with Perfect Chaos Jim continued the kite store that he had started out of his house
and in 1987 Jim had his first booth, of many, at the Minnesota State Fair. By the early 90s Jim had
opened two stores under the name Kite Site and soon had stores in Southdale, Rosedale and
in The Mall of America all stocked with kites, windsocks and flying toys.
As the store grew Jim wanted to offer more products. Since he did a little juggling and thought it fun,
he added a line of professional juggling equipment. News of this spread through the local juggling community and soon
many jugglers became frequent customers and employees.
With new staff came new ideas on what would be fun to carry in the store. Soon yo-yos, boomerangs,
golf discs, strategy war games, and other skill based toys and games were added to the mix.
Each time a product was added, it was due to the passion that someone at the company had for it.
They loved to use the product and they wanted to share that passion with any customer who
would listen. These interactions created many smiling faces, as customers not only purchased a yo-yo
or other skill-based toy, but they also left with a few new tricks because a staff member had
taken the time teach them. That passion and the product variety were the base for
creating the unique store that Air Traffic is today.
As the product variety grew it became obvious that Kite Site was no longer a fair reflection of the store’s product mix. After much debate Air Traffic became the new store name because many of the products found their way into the air and a flying boomerang or juggling club always seemed to fall in to – traffic in the air.
The name Air Traffic Kites & Games still greets customers on their way into this unique place where
they can discover a new toy or skill. It’s a place where the staff is still passionate about the products,
and never too busy to teach someone a new trick. Come to any of our Air Traffic locations and you'll see why.