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Solar Rainbow Maker

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£21.55 Best Offer by: ebay.co.uk See more offers
1 Review

Manufacturer: Interplay UK / Type: Solar Rainbow maker

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      11.01.2010 17:38
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      crock of gold? Crock of ......

      If you are considering buying one of these Rainbow Makers, and I'm going to cut straight to the chase here - don't. This Rainbow Maker is, sadly, one of the worst things I have ever bought for my children, and in fact one of them has gone back to the shop unopened, as I really don't actually think it is fit for purpose. I bought my two children one each, as on paper - or more exactly from the box, it looked good. The Rainbow Maker is a solar powered toy - basically it comes in kit form and consists of a small solar panel which makes a motor turn, and "crystals" attached to a spindle rotate to "fill your room with rainbows every time the sun shines", according to the aforementioned box. The whole thing is attached to the window with suckers and is quite small, the motor and housing is 5cm by 5cm once assembled, and the crystals hang down about 10cm. The promise of a dancing rainbow sounded like a good one, only, objectively, this toy fails to live up to its promise in any shape or form. So where does it all go wrong? When you open the Rainbow Maker, you get all the components to build it and some basic instructions. Once assembled the toy can't really be unmade, which is the main reason I still own one. The disappointment starts with discovering that the crystals aren't crystals at all, but rather poor looking plastic imitations, presumably as real ones would have cost the manufacturer more. The whole kit screams "cheap" I am afraid to say, which I found especially ironic as it was the most lavish thing that Father Christmas bought for my kids' stockings. When we opened the box and were pretty unamazed by the contents, we then worked our way through the instructions. These got off to a poor start as we were told to attach a sticker to the motor casing, only to discover that the design has clearly been updated and you no longer have to complete this step, but can get right on to putting together the rest of the components. This is mildly interesting, and probably best suited to a child of 7 or older, though we were able to do it fairly easily if somewhat gingerly - again the bits that snap together to make up the motor housing look very flimsy and I don't think they would stand up to more than the most careful of assembly. There are a couple of rods with cogs on that attach to the motor to make the crystals turn, these were fairly easily, if somewhat cautiously added to the whole thing. Once we had got to the stage of adding the crystals to the bottom of the whole thing, with what, to the uneducated eye appeared to be 3 bits of paper clip, our disillusionment knew no bounds. To be fair the thing did attach well to the window with the suckers, not looking particularly attractive I might add, but at least when the sun came out it worked straight away. This might have been a good thing had the effect produced been slightly better. Instead of the promised rainbow which, at a guess, is supposed to be formed by the sun shining through the crystals, what we actually got was a smattering of little bits of light, even in quite bright sunshine, which sort of drifted feebly around the room. So not an actual rainbow or anything anywhere near to being one. I would have settled for something less dramatic than the illustration on that box, but what we got was rather unimpressive. The magic was broken a little too by the rather loud noise that this toy makes when in action. There's no way of turning it off either, though my husband did helpfully offer to smash it up into small pieces. I am struggling to think of any reason to buy this, and actually can't think why I did - in the words of my six year old "Why did Father Christmas think I would like this, it's not very good is it?". I had trouble answering her question, especially as this toy cost £13 when I bought it. I am only glad that I got half my investment back, thanks to a kind lady at Tesco where I bought it who took the second rainbow maker back even with no receipt. I think she sensed my despair. There's no enjoyment here to be had for a child on any level in my opinion, it's pretty badly designed, cheaply made and has no redeeming features at all that I can think of. If you particularly want to spend £13 on components and a box that look like they cost about £1 to assemble in China then buy one of these. I'll hold my hands up and say that I've bought some tat in my time, but this item takes the biscuit. Disappointing doesn't quite sum it up. Avoid.

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