* Prices may differ from that shown
Weight: 862 g
First available online - 2010
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What the dickens was I doing on that fateful Sunday afternoon, two weeks ago at 16.42 hours? My crime purchasing a Proteam Ho1953 Coaster set on that Amazon site. An automated email was sent to yours truly as quickly as you can say... Amaazz: "Sir, as you've given a buying habit to our data marketing team, perhaps you'll be incline to purchase something else, as equally useless: a laminator!" As I scrolled down I half expected to see the script. "Thank you for your purchase it made all of us at Amazon Customer Services fall off our seats in convulsive laughter." I can only assume I was duped by the vision of future beverage spills that may happen. Coasters are the ultimate spillage prevention, a four millimetre insurance policy between the everlasting ringed disaster embedded on a wax table surface and total surface perfection. I was gripped by fear for enough time to seek coasters online, I learnt it is one of the pitfalls of polishing surfaces; suddenly, you start caring about surface wellbeing. The photo coasters enabled the added consumer value or idiocy to provide the aesthetic polished cherry to coaster decadence; made me click the 'buy' button. I put it down to temporary diminished responsibility. Worryingly uncharacteristic of me, yet such an occasion occurs every two years - the difference this time; I was drinking Kenco, instead of the milder 'Asda's Gold Roast.' A case of, 'bean' there, done that, wished I hadn't.
'Proteam Ho1953' distinctly has the sound of a World Series Baseball tactic prompt rather than a protector of elite furnished surfaces. My fundamental weakness was purely having the opportunity of creating kitsch graphics to square coasters, printed off on the TouchScreen, HP PhotoSmart. The idea was to print off to size images of coffee stained surfaces, to add a smidgeon of wit and irony to the concept of coasters. Basically, the quality of print was better than the quality of opaque plastic and coaster credentials, to call 'Pro-team' professional is an insult to other coaster businesses who spend time and money on providing their own graphic transfers on coasters of towns, landscapes, and animal portraits. Now these businesses define total coaster making professionalism, Proteam just provides a 2 X 3 inch square, a scratched opaque plastic square in which you can slip in your photo stroke graphic print inside. The fact the coaster looks used prior to coaster usage was disappointing - no mug or cup should have to sit their derriere on such a scruffy surface. 'Proteam' is a crime to porcelain. To witness much-loved family portraits, pets and beautiful coastal views seen through a scuffed opaque filter could provoke tear-duct activation and a tender haptic melancholic response. The frosty glass effect bordering the image only exemplifies the poor quality of the coasters. Each of the four coasters had looked as if they'd been equally dragged along the perimeters of a grotty warehouse by a burden carrier for four hours per coaster. I was surprised to witness the small feet at the underside remained on so the coasters were workable as coasters. Then again, who wants to stare at something that resembles an object that could easily had been dumped at a recycled plant, let alone rest your beverages on and put on a surface regardless of its wax treatment or condition. The dark wooden holder provided was obviously from a different part of the warehouse, it is of good standard and clean. Peculiar considering the holder is to protect the poor quality coasters while not doing table service duties - the idiom; 'you cannot close the stable door after the horse has bolted' coasts into my mind.
What 'Proteam' should do is provide an online survey with questions such as - 'Would you purchase used floor tiles of lino as coasters?' - tick box (Yes) (No) or (Depends). 'Would you be slightly disappointed that your memories you've got photographed and printed was displayed in a scrappy bit of recycled plastic?'- tick box (Yes) (No) or (Depends). And lastly, for existing 'Proteam coaster customers' does this comment apply to the coaster "specialists" 'Proteam?' - "If you have a coaster problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them... maybe you can go to the Proteam." Tick box (Yes) (No) or (Depends).
In 2010 a c*** coaster improvement to lifestyle unit was sent to Amazon offering to give memories in a form of a coaster... a chance to shine on your table surfaces.... Remarkably they've survived for three years and counting, yet to have a working website; they fail to provide a quality coaster, - zero out of four. Going by the coasters scratches and pathetic plastic flimsiness, the coasters have gone through utter turmoil prior to sending to consumers, trapped underneath the wheels of warehouse vehicles... scarred for life... an impossible task for a plastic surgeon. This group are indeed soldiers of fortune... Recession proof... Survivors... Good ness knows how they've coasted on - ask them, they're called the Proteam.
Recommended? Ho, No!
I have a lovely Indian wood coffee table that my mum gave me a couple of years ago, and in order to keep it looking it's best, I don't allow anyone to put a drink directly onto the wood, as I don't wish it to have a ring left from cold or wet liquid. This means using coasters, and for a long time I just used a cheap plastic floral set I picked up years ago, until I received this pack of 4 photo coasters as a gift.
These are square coasters with a clear plastic panel in the middle measuring 2 by 3 inches, allowing you to slip a photo inside. The middle part is framed in a sort of frosted glass effect, and the four coasters come in a dark wooden holder allowing them to be stored tidily away when not in use, though stored 'stood up' so the photos inside can still be admired. There are small 'feet' on the underside of each coaster to make it non slip, and these are gently rounded to prevent the coasters scratching the table.
I have to say that I was a little unimpressed with the quality of these the second I opened them. The frosted glass effect had scratched off a little in places, and the plastic cover where you insert the photos is thin and very flimsy, I imagine it could very easily be torn if you were a little too forceful trying to insert photos.
And the idea of cutting up photos to fit just seemed wrong to me - especially as I had none that would really fit into the 2 by 3 area there is for display. I can't cut straight at the best of times, and I really didn't want to destroy any of my few precious photos in the attempt. However, I did cut up some images from of birthday and Christmas cards to insert, for the purposes of trying it out, and did find it was a little tricky to get them in without the corners bending over.
The coasters clean easily enough with a quick wipe down. I imagine if you wanted to give these a proper wash in the sink you would need to remove the photo insert first.
Overall, I think these coasters are a good idea, but not terribly well executed. The quality seems quite poor, the plastic cover for the photos seem flimsy, the fact that the frosted glass effect got scratched just taking the items out of the box just made them look cheap, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that finds the idea of cutting up photos strange. Perhaps it's a little more viable for people who perhaps print out photos they have stored on the computer, but most of mine are photos of when I was younger, or of relatives who have passed on, to for me it's not something I'm going to to .
A nice idea, poorly executed. Should you still want to buy some, they're available on line from £4.