“ Brand: ELC / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
This 'boomerang' was part of an Olympics prize pack I won last year; before I start let me make two things clear - a) this is not an ELC branded product, although is available for purchase in their stores and online, and b) the word 'boomerang' will henceforth be in inverted commas because it doesn't come back!
As you can see from the photograph it's a tri-blade 'boomerang', not particularly large in relation to other toys of this nature we own but perfect for my three year old daughter's small hands to grip comfortably and throw with relative ease. I suspect it would be too compact for sporty adults as the blades really are designed to fit the hands of children, and in all honesty if beach-style games are your thing there are better products available than this one. There are, apparently, four different designs to choose from but mine is the one shown above with a Union Jack printed on the tip of each blade and the strange graffiti London 2012 logo in the centre. It's not a particularly attractive design, which is mainly down to the dull blue colour of the 'boomerang' and I do think more effort could have been put into the visual appeal of the toy.
We used it for the first time in the fields across the road from our house as from experience we know to keep airborne toys away from both the windows and next doors dog - there are no windows or dog hiding fences in the field! Mark (obviously) had the first throw, positioning himself rather melodramatically to catch the returning 'boomerang'. And then casually dropping the pose when it gracefully dropped to the ground some 100 yards away and left him standing like a prat! Never one to recognise when he's beaten, Mark threw the 'boomerang' a further six times with the same result - eventually relinquishing it to Hollie when I asked him how old he was!
You see, this is more of a skimmer than a boomerang - actually, scrap that, there's nothing boomerang about this toy! It IS a skimmer, shaped and styled to be thrown between people in the same way as a frisbee would. The players need to be fairly evenly matched in terms of size and ability (Mark beat Hollie, well-bloody-done Mark) but this is true of any catching game really although it's slightly amplified when playing with this very lightweight toy. Hollie's favourite way to use it is simply to throw it as far as she can and then run and fetch it, which is about as much fun as can be had with the 'boomerang' - put simply it's the dullest outdoor toy she has ever owned, and after a couple of throws she generally goes and finds something more exciting to do. Like watching paint dry.
The blades are shaped so that the skimmer will glide through the air smoothly, and with a strong throw you can get it to cover quite a distance. The fact that it's extremely light makes it impossible to throw effectively in windy weather; it's not that the wind is likely to send it off into the distance, but even the slightest gust will lead to a drunken looking skimmer which touches ground much quicker than if playing in still weather. Hollie can throw it fairly accurately when it's not windy, but when she was playing with her three year old little friend recently he couldn't manage to toss it further than four feet in front of him. The recommended minimum age for the 'boomerang' is three years, and I suspect this an ability related minimum rather than through any safety issues. The skimmer isn't decapitatingly speedy or strong, there are no sharp or rough edges and I honestly can't see that there's anything a little one is going to hurt themselves on - unless they happen to be playing with an overly competitive Daddy that is! In fact, my sixteen month old son has gotten hold of the 'boomerang' several times and the blades seem perfect for him to chew on when his teeth/gums are painful - not an advertised use, but very welcome in my eyes! None of the paint has peeled off and there isn't a single tooth mark in the plastic - despite some very vigorous biting sessions!
I can't really recommend this at all. If you're buying it based on the idea that it's supposed to be boomerang-like you'll be sorely disappointed, and even though it has a very streamlined design it's simply not as effective (or as much fun) as a traditional round frisbee. Yesterday I actually donated it to Hollie's class display of Olympics related bits and pieces, telling her teacher that she can keep it for the class toy room once the display has been dismantled - it won't be missed in this house, the £5 cost on the official London 2012 website being a gross exaggeration of the value of the toy.
Olympic themed boomerang. An official product of the London 2012 Olympic Games / Age range: From 3 years. weight: 0.4 kg depth: 9.5 cm width: 23.5 cm height: 9.5 cm