“ Manufacturer: The Tech Lodge / Type: Stress ball „
Although I've never seen the attraction myself, my partner is totally obsessed with Pac Man - a hark back to his youth (seemingly spent in the chip shop, which was the only place he could play this irritatingly noisy game back in the 70s) when Pac Man was the height of entertainment and the most exciting game available for the average lad on the street.
Problem is he's never really grown out of it. He has a PS game which he plays regularly (much to the disgust of my COD loving older daughters) and even wears a Pac Man emblazoned t-shirt sometimes, although I try to hide this in the bottom of the laundry basket if I get an inkling he's going to wear it while out with me. This minor addiction does make buying stocking fillers pretty easy though, especially considering the fact that Pac Man seems to be having a bit of a resurgence in popularity at the moment - I bought him this Pac Man Stress Ball from one of the card shops (Clintons perhaps) last Christmas, along with one of the 'ghosts' which are also available in stress ball format.
This is an average size stress ball, the only thing that sets it apart from any other being the wedge that's cut out of the front for Pac Man's mouth - it has a foam interior and the bulk of the ball (apart from the wedge) is covered in a squeezable yellow plastic which protects the foam, as well as making the ball feel nicer to squeeze and abuse in times of stress. Size-wise it's not quite as large as a tennis ball and is actually the perfect fit for Mark's (large blokey) hand, I have quite small hands and can handle it with no problems (if I ever get the urge, which I rarely do) so I have to say it's a one-size-fits-all type product. I find the cut out wedge really irritating as it's tricky to hold the ball without at least one finger slipping into the gap, this means I can't really put adequate pressure on the ball to squeeze it (and thereby relieve my stress) and sometimes if I squeeze hard enough the wedge will actually close around one of my fingers and that feels REALLY strange. You can get around it by holding the stress ball the other way I suppose but if you're the type of person who *needs* a stress ball (which me and Mark don't) I imagine you'd want to pick it up and start squeezing immediately, rather than having to get it into the correct position first!
The stress ball has just the right amount of resistance for squeezing, it will mould out of its ball shape but pops back very quickly after you put it down - I had an 'atlas' illustrated stress ball once which after a couple of months of irregular use decided it was never going to be globe shaped again, which completely ruined it! I'm glad to say this is still Pac Man shaped even after almost eleven months of squeezing by Mark and more generalised playing when the kids get hold of it - it does have a few teeth marks in it now as our son managed to get it down off the high shelf a couple of months ago (I have absolutely no idea how), but to it's credit David didn't manage to bite off any chunks of foam even though he had a bloody good go! Actually, the ball is still in superb condition (teeth marks notwithstanding) with the yellow remaining bright and cheerful and Pac Man's eyes not having rubbed off or faded in any way - this is reasonably impressive as it's needed washing several times thanks to Mark's grubby work hands, something which is surprisingly easily done in the sink with some simple washing up liquid and a tiny bit of elbow grease.
I remember paying £5 for this stress ball, which is a good price in my opinion for a fun item designed around an iconic character such as Pac Man. I'm involved in a couple of Secret Santa's this year and think this would make an ideal gift if you have the usual £5 budget - obviously your recipient would need to be a fan of Pac Man to appreciate the present, but I've realised recently that a lot of people are (it kinda passed me by) so it may be something worth thinking about as a change from socks and stationery sets.
As most of you know Pac Man is a bit of a cult icon from the 1980's and there are all sorts of Pac Man related products from T-shirts to ice cube trays and stress balls! Of course the intent of a stress ball is to give you something to squeeze in your hand as a way of releasing built up stress.
This particular stress ball looks exactly like the pacman we all know and love - it's bright yellow, with black eyes, spherical and has a wedge cut out for the mouth. I'm not sure of the exact dimensions and I don't have a ruler around to check, but it fits nicely in the palm of my hand and allows me to close my fingers around it.
The material in very spongey and pliable, quickly springing back into its original shape as soon as you let go. Personally I prefer more mouldable substances (blu tac, silly putty etc) when feeling a bit stressed as I find it's not so much the squeezing action that helps, but forcing things into different shapes. That said all the stress balls I've seen have been the same essential format as this Pac Man one - so I'll just keep using blu tac!
My boyfriend found this in Paperchase and told me I had to buy it for him - not because he's stressed, but because he likes to have something to do with his hands when sitting at the computer and this usually means clicking a pen top all the time which gets on my nerves! I can't remember exactly what it cost in Paperchase, but I think it was £6 - you can get it on amazon for £5.99.
Overall this is a pretty fun novelty item - it would make a good stocking filler/secret santa type present for anyone who's a gaming or 80's fan. Essentially it's just a good bit of fun and is more attractive to look at than a plain ball. That said a price tag of £6 is quite hefty for what is essentially just a sponge ball - your paying for a brand image over quality or what the product does. So buy it if it's the sort of product you'll appreciate, but don't expect too much from it.
Relieve some stress with the Pac-Man Stress Ball.Pac Man an icon of the 1980s pop culture and the best known video game character of all time! Celebrate Pac-Mans 30th anniversary with this Pac-Man shaped stress ball.The perfect gift for the stressed out video gamer enthusiast or retro collector.