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Combat Force Electronic M16

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1 Review

Brand: Combat Force / Type: Toy gun

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      30.01.2011 16:48
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      5 stars, but be alert to problems from bright lights!

      I have a love hate relationship with most of my sons toy guns. On the one hand, I know the children get quite a lot of pleasure from them. On the other hand they all seem to be designed with some special feature to annoy parents - with it be flying objects to shoot in your tea, loud noises, or in this case flashing lights.
      We bought these guns over 1 year ago, as my husband kept bringing home poorly made toy guns from the garage or boot sales which always feel apart and ended in tears. I think it is to be expected that boys playing with toys guns will be running about and the guns will get dropped at times. I told him if he wanted to buy the boys guns, to buy something that would last, and he found these at Smyth's. I am not sure what he paid for them, but they currently sell for £7.99 each.

      As far as durability, I am very happy with these. They have stood up to all sorts of abuse being thrown into toy boxes, frequently dropped, and even the odd sword fight. The gun makes machine gun type noises and the muzzle flashes. There is also a separate torch under the gun, which makes these fun for outside play, or even hide in seek in the house with all the lights off. The torch is also handy for flashlight tag outdoors, but is not strong enough to really hit someone at a good distance, especially if you avoid high powered batteries like I do. This toy comes with all batteries included, but when the time comes to replace them, two AA batteries are required, and I would recommend against using Duracell or high powered batteries. The reason for this is that the flashing lights from the muzzle are extremely bright, especially if used in a darkened room. I am prone to migraines and can not play with these when they have a full charge batteries ( yes I join in on the war games - I have to help the youngest one to hide and remember to stay hidden until time to pop out shooting, and make sure he doesn't make for the stairs in the dark).

      My sons both love these, but we very nearly binned them. It seems likely that playing with these was one of two factors that precipitated and extreme migraine like headache in my youngest son. Now he had a bit of headache earlier but it wasn't stopping him from playing. We came past a doorway and my oldest jumping out shooting, and the youngest started crying saying his eyes hurt. I turned on lights to check and he seemed to get worse and worse. Long story short, we ended taking him to hospital where meningitis was "diagnosed" by a student Dr, as he had slight eczema too, which he took for the rash. Rushed to children's hospital in a complete panic, the child seemed to recover. He was much better by the time the very experienced nurse saw him, and taking one look at the rash agreed it was certainly eczema. Four hours later we were sent home with suspected migraine. But the original Dr kept insisting it was meningitis and we got calls for weeks!

      We did find that once the batteries dies down a bit the lights were not so bright, and we no longer use these in complete dark, but I do think the effect for my son was exacerbated by the fact that he may have an intolerance to msg which he had eaten before hand. Needless to say, he will never use these again if he already has a headache. But they can trigger migraines for me as well at times, so I do think caution must really be used in anyone with a known sensitivity to flashing lights. Obviously these would be a very bad choice for anyone with photosensitive epilepsy. I would also be alert to the possibility of light sensitivity should a child begin suffering extreme headaches after playing with these. If we do use these with better batteries outdoors at night, we will be tying a baby sock over the muzzle to reduce the intensity of the flash, last summer we were not chancing using them in the dark at all.

      Other then the flashing lights being too bright, and the noise of course getting annoying after awhile, I can not find any fault in these toys. they have had hours and hours of use and are still in very good nick, and I expect will have many hours more use. Of course some people do believe playing with guns is unhealthy and may predispose children to violence. If if you believe this, then obviously you would not want any toy gun.
      In our case, my husband is ex military, and has passed his love of Action Man toys on to the children. they do love soldiers and wars games which both my husband and I played as children. I prefer an active game running about and get exercise to video games, which are far more violent then war games anyway, so guns will still have a place in our toy box.

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