“ Brand: Mash'Ems „
* Prices may differ from that shown
This Angry Birds launcher toy is sold in two sizes. I own both, but as they are basically the same toy, with the only difference being that one comes with extra birds I will review both together.
The Angry Birds Bonus Pack comes with one launcher and the five birds shown above, red, black, blue, white and yellow. It sells for £14.83 new and delivered from Amazon. The single Mashem launcher pack is only £2.99 from Amazon and includes one bird and one launcher. The main drawback to this one is you do not get to choose the bird, but since we were already getting all 5 birds with the bonus pack and we already had two birds, the smaller set was just a nice extra to give my youngest when his big brother was getting the big set as a birthday gift. I would note that a single random Mashem sells for £4.95 so this is a fair price if your child really wants these things.
The launcher looks like a duck caddy or a sling shot, but sadly, it isn't very good. It is just a plastic stick with a solid plastic strap across the back. The strap does not pull back like a real sling shot would, you just hold it and flick it. My sons soon realised that my large metal spoons are far easier to aim, and the plastic sticks have made their way to the bottom of the toy box, where I expect they will remain.
Despite the problems with the plastic sticks, my sons were very happy with this set. My oldest was keen to collect the whole Mashems series but at £5 each for random characters, it is unlikely he would have ever got them all. This gave him the whole set in on go. At £2.99, the single set cost me less than buying a single Mashem as well, so I don't feel cheated by the fact that the stick isn't much use as I would have paid £2 more for a bird without the stick.
The birds made of a very soft and sticky rubber which is filled with what looks like soapy water. We know exactly what it looks like as my son ended up bursting his first mashem by squeezing to hard, which is easily done. After this they knew to be more careful so none of the birds from this set have broken. However, it is worth noting that these toys are easily broken, so this would not be suitable for children who are a bit rough with their toys. Even leaving one on the floor could result in loss, as if it is stepped on, it will break. I would also be extremely concerned about these toys with a younger sibling in the house. I assume the liquid is non toxic, but I believe a young child with teeth could bite off a bit of the rubber, and possibly choke.
Another problem with these toys is the fact that the rubber is somewhat sticky. They pick up dirt, dust, carpet lint and anything else very easily meaning they get grubby very quickly. They wash up easily enough with water only, but whether as a resulting of washing, or perhaps just due to stretching, the colour has faded significantly in the few weeks we have owned these and the paint has started to wear off.
On the plus side, these are very soft and do not hurt if you get hit with one, making them ideal for fighting games. My sons often launch these at each other. They are light weight and have not knocked anything down when flying about my living room, but I would not note that anything extremely delicate is kept safely in a cabinet. If these hit the TV or fish tank though, no real harm is done, although I have had to warn them off shooting near the aquarium as it frightens the fish. These are a fun indoor toy for wet and rainy days.
I'm afraid I find these toys a bit of over priced tat, and I do not believe they are very well made. I would give these toys only 2 stars. However, my sons both love them. For some reason they love squishy textures, and they have had a lot of fun with them. Both boys give these 5 stars, so I will compromise and give this set 4 stars.