Product Type: Halsall Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... 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 ente... more
Not as long lasting as Barbie!
Halsall Barbie Catch Ball Set
Member Name: chrisandmark
Halsall Barbie Catch Ball Set
Advantages: Fun for the kids (for a while!)
Disadvantages: Not durable in the slightest, poor Velcro means it won't catch the ball tightly for long
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.
Summary: A fun game, but this Halsall set was spoiled by not enough thought being put into the durability