“ Manufacturer: Halsall / Type: Kids Sport Equipment / Age: 3 years+ „
We've had two different versions of the Halsall Barbie Catch Ball sets; one was similar to the one pictured above only with a different colour-way, the other being pretty much wall-to-wall pink - the pink being the most recent set we bought and used. This was twelve months ago when we had a weekend in Cardiff with two of our children, we stayed in a lovely hotel which had excellent grounds for the kids to run around and play so we treated them to a few basic 'play bits' from a little toy shop in the town centre. Hollie, then three, chose this and it cost around £5 - it hasn't got super longevity, but has been fun enough to make it value for money.
The game is a modern twist on 'catch'; a game for two players you each take a Velcro covered disc and strap it to your hand. You take it in turns to throw the ball to one another, catching the fluffy tennis ball on the Velcro. Very boring for anyone over the age of twelve, but the height of entertainment for a four year old as well as encouraging the kids outside when the weather is good.
This particular Catch Ball set isn't the best we've owned, within the first few plays the Velcro pad had pulled so much fluff off the tennis ball that it was useless unless we gave it a lengthy clean before each game. After this the Velcro itself kind of compacted in on itself and wouldn't grip the ball at all, Mark managed to coax the Velcro strands to stand more erect again a couple of times but we quickly realised that there's only so many times you can do this before the Velcro just refuses to ever work again. Hollie found this really frustrating as the pads would catch the ball a few times before we noticed the grip was getting weaker and weaker, it spoiled that game for her having to keep asking her dad if he could sort it out again.
The plastic 'rim' on both pads cracked very easily too, despite the fact that Hollie was as gentle as possible with them (for a 3/4 year old!) - by the time we threw the set away one of the rims actually had portions missing where the cracks had joined up and they both basically looked in a very bad state. The straps that hold the pads to the hand were probably the strongest parts, the Velcro on these remained sticky right to the end and once fitted snugly to the hand would sit comfortably until the end of the game.
The set was used most heavily while we were away, with Hollie and Alice disappearing into the hotel grounds for an hour at a time to play with it (as well as the other small selection of toys we'd bought for them at the same time). After our break it was used semi-regularly over last summer, by this I mean just once or twice a week for short play sessions, and Hollie managed to get an hours worth of play in with our next door neighbour's little boy last weekend - I'd estimate she's had a total play time of less than twenty hours out of this toy, which for a fiver is reasonable I suppose although I do think the quality is severely lacking with this particular Barbie branded Catch Ball set.
I recommend it as a frivolous fun purchase; the thing that springs to mind is that this would be excellent to take away with you if you're planning to spend any time at the beach as that would be the perfect environment in which to play a game like this. To be blunt, at home there are more exciting (and definitely more durable!) toys to be played with and I suspect that's why this set didn't really get a look-in unless me or Mark happened to mention to Hollie that she hadn't played with it for a while.
My niece loves Barbie so when we took her to the sea side we decided to buy her a Barbie catch ball set. They are perfect for young children and adults alike and offer a good variation of tennis or throw and catch.
The Barbie catch set was bought from a beach front shop and we probably got a bit ripped off as we paid £4.99 for it! I have seen them much cheaper for sale in places such as Asda.
In the set you get two catchers which look like circular sticky Velcro discs. They have a band underneath that you can slip your hand underneath and adjust so that the sticky disc is sat on your hand and remains there without falling off. You can have it on your left or right hand and the aim of the game is then to throw the ball to each other and catch it on the catch pad. The catch pad has Barbie written on it and is pink and purple, the ball which is lighter and a tad smaller than a tennis ball is pink and green.
The ball sticks easily and even if you manage to catch the side of the ball, it tends to stick on the mat which is great as it stops me having to run all over chasing run away balls. If you do loose the ball you can substitute with a regular tennis ball, however these are a little heavier so probably not the best for younger children.
The game helps with hand to eye co ordination and of course it is fun. It makes throwing and catching a little different. The ball makes a satisfying stuck noise when it lands on the pad and gets stuck on the velco! It is also quite nice hearing the ball being peeled off the pad! We tried a few other moves such as trying to catch the ball when it was thrown between the legs and over the head; which is a lot easier with the pad than without!
This is a nice cheap set and gets the children outside playing rather than cooped up in the house. It was fun playing with my niece and have put the set away ready for the summer so that we can play again.!
Following the theme of outdoor toys that are pink and feature Barbie, we also bought my daughter this Halsall Barbie Catch Ball Set for her seventh birthday. It was another present that when she opened it up she was very keen to play with! It's also very simple which means that she can play it very well with her five year old sister.
There is not very much to this set as it only comprises of two pink Frisbee shaped discs and a special pink ball. Both of the discs have a Velcro covering on their fronts and an adjustable strap at the back for players to place their hands through so that they won't drop the discs while they are playing. The good thing about the straps is that they can change size to fit the smallest child's hand or the tallest adult's.
The ball is also pink and is slightly smaller than a tennis ball. As soon as it comes in contact with the Velcro covering on the disc it attaches itself to it. It will only become unattached when you deliberately remove it. The sticking power is actually incredibly good which is very helpful for little ones who are practicing catching with this as there is no way that it is likely to bounce off.
The set is best used for a simple game of throwing and catching between two players. Someone will throw the ball and the other one needs to reach with his or her disc in order to catch it. You can make it a bit more challenging by getting the opponent to have to jump or dive a bit from a standing start. As an adult, I find that I get bored with it quite quickly especially as I dislike having to pull the ball of the disc each time that I want to throw it. However both my daughters love the game and will happily play for quite a long time. Also I do think that it helps both their throwing and their catching skills as they have to aim the ball and throw straight and they also have to position themselves in order to catch the ball successfully.
As this is an outdoor toy we have tended to leave it outside in the garden. The rain has not affected its sticking power in the least but I have noticed that the sun has caused the bright pink plastic edges to fade just a little. Therefore it is probably best to store these away from direct sunlight.
The set is available for only £3.99 on Amazon (July 2010) and I think that is very good value especially for the amount of pleasure it has given for all the family. The recommended age is for three years and over but there is definitely no upper age limit as anyone can enjoy playing with this. It's a great value toy and both of my daughters definitely recommend. It. And of course, if your favourite colour is not pink and you are not into Barbie, you can just buy the normal version!