We have a static caravan at the seaside and we like to keep lots of products to keep us entertained. When I was younger, I had a swing ball cemented into the back garden so I decided we must buy one.
Recognising Mookie as a well known and reputable brand, I decided to buy one.
The swingball comes in a nice yellow suitcase style box which also doubles up as the base.
Inside the box there are three blue poles (one of which has the coil on top with the tennis ball attached by string) and two bright yellow checker bats
If there are two of you playing, make sure the string is in the middle of the spiral, you both stand opposite each other, one person hits the ball clockwise and the aim of the game if for the other person to hit the ball back anti-clockwise. If you miss, the string starts to work its way up or down the coil and the winner is the person who gets it to the top or bottom first.
Assembly is quite simple, fill the base with water and clip the lid on top. Screw together the three inter-connecting poles and then screw the pole into the base and you are ready to go.
*Price & Availability:*
Can be brought from Amazon, Argos and Toys R Us, the RRP is around £30, we brought ours for around half this price.
Me & my other half love to play this (although I am not very good at it!), he is quite competitive and hits it to me too hard and we normally end up falling out!!
I have found this is a great way to work out too, although you more or less stand in the same position, the next day I can feel that my arms and chest have been working!
It has quite a big base which makes the product really sturdy, my other half hits the ball as hard as he can and it has never toppled over.
Because the poles are interconnecting, you can actually make smaller, Lauren has played with it a couple of times and I find it great at introducing hand and eye co-ordination, although 9 times out of 10 she will miss, she likes to have a good old swing as the ball goes by!
I would thoroughly recommend this product, hours of fun at very little price.
For me, I would give 4 out of 5 stars just because it is slightly expensive compared to other brands on the market, but the quality is fantastic and I suppose you get what you pay for!
Thanks for reading.
Swingball is an all-time classic garden game, one that kept me and my sister entertained for years of our childhood!
**The game itself**
The tether/string attached to the ball starts off in the middle of the swingball 'spiral' (this can be seen at the image of the product, the spiral-like attachment at the top of the pole!) Two players take part, each with a bat of their own. One player hits the ball clockwise, while the other player aims to hit it anti-clockwise. The winner will manage to get the ball at the desired top or end of the spiral before the other! You do this by simply hitting the ball in a circular motion around the pole, every time the opposition misses a shot, the ball spin round going up a level on the spiral. You continue this until the ball reaches top/bottom to win!
A good idea to add to play games best out of 3. Sometimes the games can go quite quickly depending on the player's capability.
Set up is easy enough, except it's probably easier getting someone like your dad involved. The pole comes in four sections, one of these which has a spike at the bottom. This enables you to hammer it into a patch of grass, which makes it secure from falling over.
It is suited for any ages, from toddlers to oldies!! I remember we managed to get my grandma involved somehow once! As well as playing it's also funny watching others and egging them on. You could create a swingball competition and create , the winner winning some sweets, or for the adults among us, every looser has to down their drink. Just a thought. You don't have to just play in your garden either, it's a good addition to take to the beach, although it would be a bit heavy to carry.
It's also height adjustable, so as I said, definitely suitable for various ages.
The bats included in the set are pretty durable and will withstand quite a lot of hitting! They never failed us throughout the years we had one, and are definitely longlasting.
In our garden there are a number of hidden stones in our garden, underneath the grass. This means it takes a number of times to find a right spot for the spike to be hammered into. It's fine when you find it eventually though. Another obvious point is that is leaves quite a nasty hole in your garden. This is unavoidable with this version of swingball, and garden lovers might find this game a bit of a burden.
You will have to get something similar to a mallet for it to be secure at its best. We just got an old one out of our garage which was simple. It would be better if the swingball set included something like this, but unfortunately you'll have to purchase it yourself or improvise with something different.
The red checkerbats that you get with the set are perhaps a little bit heavy for small children. There is an age recommendation of 5 years + which needs to be stuck to because the bats are too heavy otherwise.
Avoiding the problem of a huge hole in your grass, you can buy an all-surface swingball which has a box at the bottom of the pole filled with water. Of course, this is a lot less sturdy however. It is a lot easier to fall over! This wouldn't happen if children were playing, but it wouldn't be suitable for adults who perhaps a bit more of the ambitious types.
I honestly can't remember how much we bought the swingball for at the time because it quite a few years ago. However, I have done some research to come up with the best prices:
This is a classic fun family game that won't get boring. It's competitive and lets you socialise! It'll make it even more exciting if you add a prize at the end of it such as a big packet of sweets. Suitable for adults and kids alike, I wouldn't mind playing it now even though it was years ago I was introduced.
I give an overall rating of 4.5/5, only because of the small disadvantages listed above.
Thanks for reading, hope it's been helpful, please rate!
I bought this for the garden at my mum's house about a year ago as we were planning a BBQ where a lot of the kids in the family were going to be attending so we wanted gamese etc. to keep them amused. I remember playing with a similar garden toy when I was a child and finding it mildly enjoyable which is why I opted for a Mookie Swingball toy.
I bought it online for £19.99 which wasn't exactly what I would call cheap so I expected this toy to be very good quality and I hoped it would grab the attention of the kids when they came over. The toy consists of a long blue pole which you stand in the ground, it then has a string mechanism thingy (I can't think of a better way to describe it) which has a tennis ball attached to the end of it and once you hit the ball with the bat it will twirl round and round the pole and the challenge is to keep hitting the ball so that it doesn't stop spinning around the pole.
The 2 bats that come with the toy were good enough, not too thin but not too heavy either so I was pleased with that. The first problem we found though when the kids started playing with this is that after batting the ball with a lot of power a few times, the pole would gradually slope to one side coming looser and looser from the ground. So we had to keep pushing the pole as far into the ground as it would go, a bit of a nuisance having to keep re-adjusting it to be honest. The kids did enjoy playing with this at first but the novelty soon wore off and they stopped playing with it completely in less than 20 minutes or so, so it clearly wasn't that exciting.
The swingball game can be played either in pairs or by yourself which I suppose it good if their is nobody else to play with. I did have a go myself and couldn't see the excitement in it at all, it was a very boring game to play even for me (I love playing tennis). The only great benefit I can see of it is it could possibly improve a childs hand-eye coordination skills, that is if you can keep the child interested in it long enough. I probably wouldn't have been so dissappointed with it if I had paid less, but I wish I'd spent my £20 on something else! I've spent pennies on Outdoor games that are ten times as interesting as this.
It was my daughters birthday a few weeks back and, as usual, her grandparents went over the top in buying her presents. One of the presents they bought her in fact really brought back a few memories of my childhood as I had had a similar version of it when I was about her age.
The present in question was the good old fashioned swing ball, the only tennis game you could play if you only had a small garden to play it in.
The version I remember having was dull metal poles with a silver, and pretty sharp spiral for the string of the ball to swing around. Then there was the flimsy plastic bats that shattered into a million pieces the first time you made good contact with the ball, forcing you to then use a cut up piece if wood as your 'new' bat.
This newer version was a lot neater looking, as all things are these days, with a lovely colouring and very 'funky' bats which were as strong as an ox yet as light as a feather.
** WHAT IS IT THEN..?
Swing ball is a tennis based game which involves a person, or two people, hitting a ball, which is attached to a long pole by a piece of string, around a spiral, in a certain direction until the said ball on the string reaches either the top or the bottom of the of the said spiral.
The winner is the person who manages to get the string to the designated part of the spiral, be it top or bottom.
Basically, it's a fun game of tennis that you can play in a smaller area instead of going down to you local tennis courts.
** THE MOOKIE SWINGBALL...
This particular game comes in a box and it does have to be put together before you can start playing.
It comes in a few pieces, consisting of four blue metal tubes and a spike, which slide together and are then held securely in place using three yellow plastic sleeves.
Putting it together took a matter of minutes, nay seconds really, with the lovely blue coloured poles slotting into the yellow sleeves, creating a longer pole which can be the staked into the ground.
Then you simply hook the looped end of the string over the top of the pole, which has a yellow disc attached to it so that the string doesn't fly off every time you whack the ball.
The height of the constructed pole is approximately 5 and a half foot when stake into the ground, but if you take a pole away it can be lowered for the smaller people out there.
Fixing it into the ground is a matter of taking the spiked section, which is a good 250mm deep so that you can get it solidly into the ground. Then get yourself a hammer or mallet, (maybe a piece of wood), and then whack the spike into the ground. Once in position it should be quite solid, although this does depend on the ground you putting it in.
* Here's a tip for you...
If you find the perfect place for it then do what I did, take up the first few cm of turf, say about 200mm squared, then dig a bit of a hole, say 100mm deep. Then get an old metal tube which is just wider than the spike of the swing ball, and 'whack this into the middle of the hole you've just dug, making sure the pole will lie just under the piece of turf you took off.
Fill the hole with a concrete mix, allowing a few days to go off, then simply replace the piece of turf over the concrete and pierce it with the spike of the swing ball so that the spike goes into the metal pole you have concreted into the ground.
You should now have a solid base for your swing ball which can't be seen so it doesn't look unsightly.
* Another tip which I found quite useful...
If you want to play it on a solid surface, such as a flagged patio, then one of those solid parasol bases, you know, the ones that weight as much as a baby elephant. Slot you pole into it and tighten the screw... this works a treat.
Anyway, back to the swing ball game itself.
It is designed well and built to last in all weathers, having a coating of weather proof paint covering every nook and cranny, stopping it from rusting, with the rest of it being made of a sturdy plastic.
The ball is firmly attached to the string and no matter how hard I whack it it just won't come off, although the actual string can come off the spiral itself on very rare occasions.
If this does happen and you whack the ball into outer space, or you're tight fisted neighbours garden, (you know the ones), spare balls on string can be bought from good toy shops, such as the 'Toy Master' range, for a few quid.
As I said, the game is built to last, which is quite unusual these days, and the same goes for the two red bats that come with it. They are made of plastic and seem to be made in a rather strange, yet very strong way indeed, with them looking like two bats glued together on top of each other, with a slight gap in between. It is this gap that makes them strong as the plastic can only 'give' so much before hitting the other section of plastic and bouncing back into shape, thus protecting the bats from smashing to pieces, no matter how hard you hit the ball, (believe me I've tried).
The loop of the string is wide enough to easily go around the yellow disc on top of the spiral yet small enough to stay underneath it when spinning, although I think the laws of physics have a bit of a say in this.
There is a small length of blue plastic sleeve covering a section of the string which attaches to the ball, this is there for when you misjudge your shot and miss the ball, catching the string instead, this little sleeve then stops the string wrapping itself around your bat... simply but genius really.
There is a strange looking yellow 'key' thing that comes with it which can be attached to the string to shorten it, although I can't figure out why this would be necessary to be honest.
So, if you want to have a fun family day in the garden, even in the local park, or you simply want to keep yourself a little fit without jogging down the pollution filled roads, then this is one cracking way to do it. Even if you don't like or can't play tennis, this is one fun way to make a complete do-dar of yourself without hainvg to chase the ball all over the place.
Although this is one hell of a fun way to keep fit it can have its dangerous sides too, believe me, I have had a few 'whacks' in the face and upper body from the ball as it was fired back by my opponent, and it can hurt as the ball can be moving with some pace.
But apart from that it is indeed one of the best garden games to invest in as it not only passes time away as you enjoy some family time, it keeps you fit, cardiovascular wise, and can in fact help in toning your upper body if you really put your back into a few games.
As for the price, well these sell for around the £20.00 mark, which for the amount of exercise you get combined with the fun you can have is great value for money indeed.
I was at a friends bbq last summer and she had just recently bought the classic swing ball set for her kids, it brought back happy childhood memories for us all. I'm a 80's child and can remember having hours of fun with it with my siblings. We are a very competitive family and a nice game of swing ball could turn nasty. I bought it recently for my daughter who is a only child but I really bought it so I could play it to!
I searched on-line to find swing ball and found the classic swing ball set to be the cheapest, I bought it on Amazon for £15.99 with free delivery. You can also buy it from argos and toys r us for around £20.00.
I was delighted when it arrived a few days later, I always find amazon to be quick at dispatching orders and well packaged so items do not get damaged. I set it up straight away to surprise my daughter when she got in from school. It was simple to set up and came with instructions with a step by step picture diagram. It took me under 10 minuets to set up the first time. You simply join 3 poles together into the connectors, it has a spike that has to be firmly pushed into the ground to hold the swing ball up right, make sure its straight when pushing in or it will be lopsided, it took me a few attempts. I then attached the tennis ball on the string to the spiral and it was ready to play. It came with two thick plastic bats, red in colour.
Its easy to play, the idea is that the ball starts at the top of the spiral and has to work its way down to the bottom or vice versa. You need two people to play and who ever gets it to the bottom or top first wins. You can hit the ball with the bats front or back hand hits.
It can be easily dismantled and stored away in a shed over winter to protect it from rusting. I have took it on our caravanning holidays and to the beach a few times. I have had it over a year now and there is no signs of wear n tear. I am not worried if any parts break because mookie sells replacement parts and you can contact them directly via the mookie website.
I have also noticed there are more upto date versions of swing ball on the mookie website but I am happy with the classic swing ball. My daughter has now caught my competitive bug and beats me all the time now and shes only six. She has played with it a lot and enjoys being outdoors in the fresh air to play it. Its a game we can play as a family and have had so much fun with. She got the hang of the game quite fast and invites her friend around to play with it. It helped her hand to eye co-ordination and batting skills.
The set seems to be well made and the bats are hard wearing, if only mookie supplied it with a helmet! My daughter has been hit on the head a few times by the tennis ball as it swung round but she had now learned to stand well back.
Swingball! Yes, the idea fills me with unholy glee. There's nothing like swingball for getting out misplaced aggression and nearly taking off your Other Half's head on a sunny afternoon.
We recently invested in a new swingball set from Mookie, which we bought from Trago Mills. Our previous set had a base that you could fill with water or sand, but it was never all that stable and threatened to fall over every time you got a good hit in. It was rubbish really. So this time, we got the traditional spiked version.
*** Putting it together ***
It came in a long thin box, in pieces, but is a doddle to put together: just a matter of slotting pipe into pipe and hooking the tether of the ball onto the end. To erect it, you force the spiked end firmly into the ground, and then add the main pole. The pole is metal, covered in a light blue plastic coating, with yellow connectors and a dark blue spiral top-piece.
The swingball stands about 5 ft tall when made, and the ball on the string hangs about a foot from the ground. There is an adjuster provided so that you can shorten the tether if necessary. Our set also came with a clip that you can attach to the pole, which you can hang your bats from, to keep it all together tidily. I thought that in use the string might catch on this, but that doesn't tend to happen unless the swing was so slow and low the string was only going to wind around the pole anyway. The bats provided are thick checker bats in red plastic. They're quite heavy and younger children may find them too large and unwieldy.
*** Playing the game ***
If playing against me, you don your hard hat and safety pads. Otherwise you just grab your bat and get going!
To play competitively, you wind the string around the spiral top piece, until it's in the middle. The aim is to get it to the top or bottom, depending on which end you choose, while your opponent tries to get it to go the other way. The person who serves usually has the advantage. I find sometimes our family & friends need a referee to make sure the players swap sides ("the sun's in my eyyyyeees") and get a chance to serve ("it's myyyy turn!") but it's all (mostly anyway) banter and good clean fun. You do have to watch that players are fairly evenly matched in strength and reaction speeds, or that if they're not, the stronger one doesn't get too carried away as that ball can whip round wildly!
To play non-competitively, you can just have the string at the very highest point of the top-piece, where it will just go round and round, rather than spiralling up or down.
Although it's ideally played by two people, you can play on your own and have quite a lot of fun. I like to go out and knock the ball about on my own sometimes. It's actually quite good exercise as well.
*** Come out swinging ***
Swingball's great and I would recommend this version with the ground spike for anyone who wants to play it in their garden. I think it's best played by slightly older children, say from 7 and up, although I believe the manufacturer recommends 5 and up. It would really depend on your child's hand-eye co-ordination.
Swingball is widely available at a range of prices. It costs £15.99 online from Amazon at the moment, although I've seen it priced at £25 at Tesco.
Swingball is one of those games that have been around since I was a kid. My brother and I used to spend hours outside playing it, violently hitting a tennis ball on a rope round and round a ball. The concept is simple, and as the years go by, its simplicity is what it makes it a popular game to play even in the face of how technology seems to be taking over the world.
You get a metal pole which is about 6 feet tall, and depending on which version you have, it either sticks into the with a 10 inch spike or you can fill the base with sand or water or anything else heavy enough to support it. While I much prefer the spike as it provides a sturdier base to play the game with, this does mean that you're restricted to playing it on grass or sand.
About two thirds up the pole is a coil, attached to which is a long piece of thin rope. At the end of this rope is a tennis ball, securely attached and with a slight plastic tube as the rope approaches the ball. The aim of the game is to hit the ball so that the rope winds its way either up or down the coil until it reaches the top or the bottom. Your opponent needs to hit the ball so it goes the other way. The winner is the one who manages to get their ball all the way to the end.
You may think that this is just a game of who can hit the ball the hardest, but this is not the case at all. Initially, when I first played it, my brother and I tried to whack it as hard as we could. However, this resulted in neither of us winning. Even if we missed with our heaving, we'd catch it the next time it came round. Instead, what's great about this is putting different angles onto the trajectory of the ball, making it go up and down through its arc and ensuring a bit more thinking comes into play. This resulted in a lot of fun, and as one player gains more control, you end up starting to enjoy it more and more, and even do a combination of backhand and forehand, sending the ball round back to you in a 360 degree speed arc that is actually quite hard to hit against.
Naturally, using real tennis rackets with this would soon get very dangerous and damage the rackets, so the game comes equipped with two thick, hard plastic bats that are very durable but also don't have the springs that jet the ball in a real game. The grip isn't the best, but the skill level doesn't really require much movement in terms of putting spin or lob onto the ball, and this results in being able to hold it in one motion and not worry about gripping too much. This having been said, a missed swing has occasionally resulted in a bat flying across the garden! Modern productions of the game like this one also have clips on the pole that you can hang the bats on, which means storage is a lot easier. Storage itself is usually basic anyway, as essentially all you've got is a long pole with a ball on a rope attached to it, so no problems there.
If you have a garden, I can't recommend this enough. It costs around the £15 mark at the moment, which is a good price. Setup is simple, as once you have spiked it into the ground, then it's simply a case of playing. What I like about playing with this more modern version is that the loop on the coil doesn't get caught up. The loop actually goes round the coil, whereas the older version find that every few minutes or so it would get tangled up, and sometimes this would take a long time to untangle. This hasn't posed any problems at all. Although we haven't tested this out in wet weather, it's supposed to be weather resistant as well, so you can leave it out in the rain while you go inside, and carry on when the rain stops. The older version did rust a little bit, and although it never broke, the safety must have been compromised.
Overall then, an excellent outdoor toy, and one that can provide hours of entertainment in a healthy and competitive way. You can build up quite a sweat doing this, and despite suggesting that it's ab out tactics as much as brute force, I still find myself heaving away at it and having a right laugh doing so. Highly recommended.
Our old house had a long and narrow garden, which meant that Swingball wasn't an option for us as it simply wasn't wide enough, however, we moved in the summer and now have a much larger garden and one of the first things that I did was to purchase a Swingball for my two sons, just because I could and now we play with wild abandon having been restricted for so long! I cannot imagine that there are many people who have never played/heard of Swingball. It is a classic garden game that has been around since the late seventies and has changed very little in its time. Quite basically it is a tennis ball attached to a string which swings around a pole in a helical fashion as two opposing players use their forehand and backhand to hit the ball.
The Swingball arrives in a box requiring assembly which is an extremely simple procedure - three poles simply slide into the two provided connectors that are made of sturdy plastic, but you obviously ensure that you put the pole with the ball attached on the top! My eight year old put ours together so it must be simple! It also comes apart quickly to make it easily transportable so it is perfect to take with you if you are going camping or to the beach.
Mookie Classic Swingball is so called as they also have an updated version of Swingball where the base can be filled with either sand or water and used on any surface, but this Classic Swingball has a spike on the end which pushes into the ground. The spike drives about 10 inches into the ground which is enough to make it very stable and I think that it is better than the style with a large base as it is a lot stronger - it has the whole ground anchoring it down as opposed to just a small box, and even though it is not "all surface" it is still portable in that it can go into grass or sand.
The Swingball comes with two very chunky red plastic bats and they have to be sturdy because you can really take out all of your aggression and hit this ball satisfyingly hard! One of the things that I really like about this version of the game is that it has a holder in the middle of the pole for both of the bats so when you are not playing they can be stored neatly and are not left lying around the garden where they are liable to get misplaced or trodden on and broken.
The aim of Swingball is to get the ball to the top (or the bottom, depending on which direction you are playing) I had Swingball when I was younger and it had a spring which popped up when you got there, but this version does not so it is not immediately clear when you get there and if you were playing competitively you night need an adjudicator but for kids just messing about in the garden this shouldn't be an issue! The string has a piece of plastic tubing near the ball, ensuring that if you hit the string instead of the ball by accident, it doesn't get all tangled up around the bat handle this is really simple but effective and I like the thinking behind it.
Swingball is an absolute classic and it is easy to see its attraction. It takes up barely any room when it's not in use and is a really fun and energetic game. Ten minutes of this can get you quite sweaty if you put your back into it - me and hubs have had many feisty competitive games once we've pushed the children off! If you over exert yourself and the ball flies off the string, replacements are available but we have given ours some really rough treatment and have not had to go down that road yet. I think that this is a solid and good quality piece of play equipment and I like it a lot - anything that gets children into fresh air and using up energy will always get a thumbs up from me and so I would recommend this highly.
I bought our Swingball from Amazon for what I consider to be great value at £15 but it is widely available in toy shops and on the internet.