Product Type: Mookie Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... more than once, it came out of the ground giving one of us kids, a mild case of concussion. Mookie have dealt with this issue though with... more
Anyone for Tennis?
Mookie Swingball First Swingball
Member Name: elysia2003
Mookie Swingball First Swingball
Advantages: Great fun for gardens, picnics and trips to the beach.
Disadvantages: You may find that they out grow it (in size), before they out grow the fun.
Mookie - My First Swingball.
Trying to find something different from the norm for my niece's birthday last year was quite a challenge. She's quite a spoilt child, but somehow she didn't seem to have many outdoor toys, and so the decision to choose something along these lines was made.
A toy I loved to play with as a child was Swingball. I couldn't tell you who the manufacturer was at the time, all I knew was it was great fun, and simple to play.
I purchased 'My First Swingball' available for 3-5 year olds where the traditional tennis style ball has been replaced with a soft and safe foam ball, to prevent accidents to your little ones. The pole is also a little shorter. With my niece just becoming five years of age, the 'My First' was still suitable as she was much shorter than the average height for her age.
I purchased this from Tesco's, in lovely, vibrant colours. It is still available, at a price of £17.00 today, but at the moment (2nd Aug 2011) there's a 20% off code on the website. http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.200-8080.aspx
If you've not seen Swingball before, what it essentially is, is a tennis ball attached to a pole via a strong tether. On the original version, I believe, the cord is fastened to the top of the pole, and just rotated as the ball was hit. On this version though, this cord travels up and down a spiral section at the top of the pole.
There didn't seem to be any rules to the game we played when we were kids, we just took turns, but the idea with the spiral is that one player hits clockwise, and the other counter clockwise. The first person to get the cord to the top, or indeed the bottom of the spiral, wins.
My original Swingball was a little dangerous if the truth be told; we had to knock it into the ground with a hammer, and was held in place via a huge spike at the bottom. Obviously, the more you hit the ball, stability would become an issue, and more than once, it came out of the ground giving one of us kids, a mild case of concussion.
Mookie have dealt with this issue though with both the My First and also the X Base version (the next stage up, as the pole is taller).
The pole is fitted into a base which measures 36cm cm 44cm, so quite a chunky size. Set up is simplicity itself, and takes only a minute or two. This base is made of good solid plastic, but on its own would not be suitable for a couple of overzealous kids. Fill this base with water, or even better sand, and this becomes much more stable and much safer. The advantages of this is that you are not putting any holes into precious lawns and also means it can be played in concreted areas too.
Once you've finished playing, empty out the contents (water or sand) and everything can be dismantled and stored inside. This is great as it protects it when not being played for a while, and keeps everything where you need it.
The addition of a handy handle to the side of this base makes this portable and transportable, for days at the beach or fun at picnics. At around 2 kg's, it's not too heavy to carry either.
The pair of bats which are supplied are made out of solid plastic, in a chequer board design. This makes the strong and rigid, but with the cut-outs, makes them lighter and more comfortable to hold. The size is perfect for little hands too; and not so little ones, as Mum, Dad and Auntie (me), usually get roped in to play.
There is a nice grip to these bats. They don't seem to make your palms sweaty, which helps a great deal when you're aiming to get that special shot. When winning (or not losing) is all important the bat is a highly important component. Mind you, if it was rubbish, and you lost, at least you'd have something to blame. ;)
Overall this has been a great present to give her. It's given her hours of (I would say exercise but it's not strenuous), fresh air, entertainment and fun. Not just for her, but everyone, young and old. This makes a wonderful addition to a garden toy collection. It suits a small child perfectly and with the solid build quality, will be passed down, and enjoyed, for many years to come.
If, however you do need replacements there is a helpline available: 01525 722716 or you can visit via the web at: http://www.mookie-toys.co.uk/#/products/first-swin gball I can't see you needing this service any time soon though.
We've all had great fun with this over the 9 months since her birthday, and I recommend it to everyone with a three to five year old. Any older than this though, make sure you go for the X Base version http://www.mookie-toys.co.uk/#/products/all-surfac e-swingball-x-base (which is also available in a really pretty, girly pink). I think we'll be upgrading to this for Christmas. :)
Many thanks for reading my review. I hope it's been of some help to you.
This review may be posted on other sites under the same username.
© elysia2003 August 2011
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