Product Type: BV Leisure Novelty Toy
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All the fun of the fair!
BV Leisure Candy Grabber with Music
Member Name: i_am_joy
BV Leisure Candy Grabber with Music
Date: 25/03/10, updated on 25/03/10 (126 review reads)
Advantages: Fun for a while, an interesting novelty which looks great and is well made
Disadvantages: Potentially irritating music which you cannot turn off
This one is designed to be used with sweets, although you can put anything in there which is small enough for the grabber to grip onto. The Candy Grabber does not come with sweets included, however you are advised to use plain and simple individually wrapped boiled sweets anyway so they should be straightforward enough to source.
The machine is very sturdy, made of plastic I was expecting it to be a little cheap looking or flimsy but this isn't the case whatsoever and I actually think it looks wonderful sitting on the worktop in my kitchen. The basic red and silver colour scheme makes it an attractive item which I'm sure you wouldn't be embarrassed to display in your home, personally I would much rather have this toy in a communal area at home as if kept in a child's bedroom there is the ever present danger of them not knowing when to stop grabbing and eating sweets!
The grabber is activated using three levers on the front of the machine; one controls the direction left to right, the second is to propel the grabber forwards and backwards while the third will allow the grabber to descend in order to pick up a sweet and then move back up. These are very simple to use, accurate and fairly responsive - almost too responsive at times when you realise you should have moved the grabber an extra millimetre to extract your prize! I think the Candy Grabber works surprisingly well for what is, in essence, a toy - although I believe this product does have a rather large following amongst the student population and is often used during parties and other adult occasions where the average participant should have more sense than to spend hours playing with the grabber.
I say more sense, but this game fast becomes addictive. The first few times my granddaughters' played with the Candy Grabber I looked on in astonishment as they continued to play long after their boredom threshold should have kicked in, however after idly inserting my own coin I found I couldn't leave it alone! It becomes a battle between the human player and the grabber itself; will it let you get the sweet this time, or do you need to resign yourself to the fact that it simply refuses to grip? It's actually more than addictive, it's downright frustrating!
You may be wondering why the Candy Grabber lives in my house, when it belongs to my granddaughter. The answer is very simple, my daughter cannot abide the noise the machine makes. When you put a coin or token in a traditional fairground tune will begin playing, it carries on for two minutes and when the music ends your turn is over and you have to pay again. The grabber comes with thirty plastic tokens but you can also use real coins; you might think this means the Candy Grabber would make a good money box, but unfortunately the compartment which holds the money is very small and wouldn't hold very much money.
The fairground tune is not the only noise the grabber makes, if you attempt to move the grabber too far along its tracks the machine with emit an awful grinding sound which sounds extremely unhealthy. The music doesn't irritate me as it does my daughter, however the harsh grinding noise does set my teeth on edge sometimes - particularly when my youngest granddaughter tries to use the Candy Grabber, at nearly three she doesn't quite understand about the grabber physically reaching its limits. The one and only design flaw I can see is that there isn't a way to turn off the music, I can completely understand that some people would find this jangly music rather piercing and would have thought the manufacturer would have taken this into account.
My son-in law suggests snipping the wires to the speaker and at times, when the girls' are having an extended play, I have been tempted but overall I don't find the music particularly jarring. A volume button would have been nice though!
Although this was a gift to my granddaughter when she was ten, I suspect it's more a novelty item than a bone fide toy. She does enjoy playing it but it certainly hasn't been the hit I imagined it would be, however the adults who have visited have played with the Candy Grabber as though they've never owned a toy in their lives before! It would go down a storm at any party I think and long term I think a group of people will gain far more enjoyment from the grabber than just two children playing with it here and there, in fact I know it's a fun diversion at parties as we put it in the living room at my granddaughter's birthday party a couple of weeks ago and it was a big hit with most of the children - and a few of their dads!
Morally I do have a slight problem with the Candy Grabber, in an age where children are becoming fatter than adults I think perhaps a toy which encourages you to win and eat as many sweets as possible is not the very best thing to introduce. If children are supervised then fine, but a huge sweet selection such as this would surely prove too much for the willpower of any child.
I would recommend you fill the machine only halfway up for the simple reason that if you have the sweets piled too high the grabber will not work properly. However, even half filled the Candy Grabber holds an awful lot of sweets and I imagine it would prove an expensive toy over time if it were used more regularly than it is here.
I have tried alternatives to boiled sweets with varying success; I thought I was onto a winner with my daughter's ancient rubber Smurf collection, the grabber found it very easy to grip them and it would literally have been a prize each time if only they hadn't stuck to the chute after the grabber released them. Last month I was given a carrier bag full of Mini Creme Eggs and those are fantastic, fairly simple to pick up with the grabber and a nice sweet to 'earn' - the problem with using these will undoubtedly be the cost, however, as any of these mini eggs are generally expensive. At the moment we are using coloured decorative glass pebbles, this is rather hit and miss as the smooth surface makes them awkward for the grabber - but they do look extremely pretty inside the perspex case.
The Candy Grabber requires 3 x C batteries, which are not included. I use batteries purchased in Poundland and this powers the unit for a reasonable length of time, I certainly don't think it eats batteries as many modern toys do and I have actually been rather surprised at how long these very cheap batteries last.
Summary: I suspect this is a toy for adults rather than children.
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