Product Type: The Tech Lodge Novelty Toy
Newest Review: ... perhaps) last Christmas, along with one of the 'ghosts' which are also available in stress ball format. This is an average size s... more
The Tech Lodge Pac Man Stress Ball
Member Name: chrisandmark
The Tech Lodge Pac Man Stress Ball
Advantages: Looks the part, has lasted well over eleven months so far
Disadvantages: The wedge is highly annoying!
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.
Summary: A great gift for any fan of Pac Man, or anyone who likes retro gaming as a whole I suppose