* Prices may differ from that shown
Due to my brother in laws newest fascination with the shop "Harkers bazaar", my children seem to be receiving a plethora of unusual toys and games that he has managed to purchase from said store, with the subject of this review being one of those toys.
The product I will now review is - "Phlat ball".
The premise of this toy is that it is a cross between a Frisbee and a ball, with the former being the form it takes for the majority of the games listed to play with this.
Before playing with this, and if you are using it straight from the pack, it recommends you submerse the ball in hand hot water for a couple of minutes, I truly don't know what difference this makes to the performance but it is supposed to help the sides "pop" back into the ball shape much easier and making less gaps on the side panels, though in fairness it hasn't helped in the slightest with ours!
To use you simply push the ball into it's flat form and the sucker that is located centrally on the inside holds onto the other side to keep it flat, but it doesn't hold it flat for very long at all, the fact that we were having to get a 5 year old to throw the damn thing before it popped open again, meant we spent most of the day shouting at him, so not much game play actually happened!
As a Frisbee (as long as you are quick about it!) it doesn't really fly as aerodynamically as you would expect, but can cover some distance if thrown hard enough.
As a ball there is only really catch you can play with it, as if you kick it there is always the chance you could split one of the folding sides and then the whole premise of the toy is lost!
The particular type I am reviewing is called "E-Z grip", this simply means the material it is made from is a very textured and rough sort, this in turn helps the ball to be grasped and caught, especially if played with when wet, or like us in the rain....god bless bank holidays!
Price wise this is available in many different formats from junior ball, to some fantastic looking foldable rockets, but all ranging from £4.99 up to around the £9.99 bracket.
For more information visit - www.amazon.co.uk or www.phlatball.com
Would I recommend this, not this particular ball no! Not only does it not hold it's flattened form for long enough, when it does pop back into the ball shape it doesn't do it fully.
Thanks for reading x
I have one of those children that simply 'Has to have' the latest 'In' toy, and, true to form, this past summer I was nagged about the latest phenomenon to hit the high Street...The Phlat Ball !! Why can't manufacturers understand the importance of the English language, when naming children's toys....maybe I am being a bit harsh....hmmmmmmmmm...come to think of it 'Flat Ball' doesn't really have the same sort of impact does it ?
Anyway, apart from being a fussy so and so I am also a responsible and very kind parent (In other words a push over as far as my son is concerned) I decided to check this out, not before warning my 9yr old son that if I approved, then it would be coming out of HIS pocket money (after all what is the point of you paying them money every month and buying them everything they want as well....my son is slowly learning the value of money !!)
~~~A bit of Background~~~
Dubbed 'The hottest new Toy to Hit the US', the Phlat ball is an innovative idea from an American company called Tucker Toys. Personally I have never heard of them but apparently they are very well known.
~~~The 'Phlat' Ball~~~
Made of soft, durable foam/rubber this is basically a collapsible ball consisting of internal plastic hinges with a random spring mechanism and a rubber sucker attached inside the ball to the top and bottom. When you push the ball down flat the two suckers stick fast to each other...rather like those little pop up toys on springs, remember those, you used to push them down hard and then wait for them to 'pop' back up again..well this works on a similar principal.
The basic idea is to throw this in 'disc' form back and forth to one another until the disc 'pops' back into ball form..if you are the one holding it when it pops back, then you are the loser..simple !
~~~What we thought~~~
At £9.99 this seemed a little pricey to me, however it was a harmless toy and if he really wanted it then it was fine by me.....after all he was paying !!!
After the cardboard surround, complete with instructions, was frantically torn off (completely obliterating the instructions) we took the ball out into the garden...to be honest the whole idea is so simple that you really don't need any instructions, just press and play !!!! Being about the size of a standard football, this was easy to catch, even for little hands, and was quite fun...we played hot potatoes (otherwise know as Phlat potatoes by the Phlat ball manufacturers) catching the disc and throwing it back immediately, not wanting to be caught out. The time this takes to 'pop' back into ball shape is completely random, we found it could take anything from 30 seconds to approx 3 minutes, thus always taking you by surprise.
Did I just say this was fun ??? Well it was .....for about half an hour, that's when the novelty wears off I'm afraid, after all is said and done it is just a slightly more original game of catch ! My Son has had this for about 5 months and has played with it only a handful of times....we would give it only 6/10 for the fun factor.
Recommended age for this is 5 and over, but do be careful, little fingers can get caught in the pop up process and, although made of foam, it can hurt (as I found out and YES I have little fingers !!)
Designed purely for throwing and not kicking, you must also be careful not to get this too wet, or else the suckers do not work effectively.....this I found odd as the manufacturers state that this ball floats, therefore it is obviously designed for wet play too !!
These balls come in various colours and also a smaller size (junior @ £4.99).
For more information on the various different games that can be played and availability look on their website :
We got ours from our local KidStuff toyshop, but they are also availble from Amazon. Other than that you may have to get them direct from the manufacturer as I have not seen them around here much now....maybe the novelty has worn off for everyone else too !!
Oh, did I mention it is very durable and long lasting......well it is supposed to be, problem is we haven't really played with ours enough to find out, to be honest....it's all gone a bit..errr....PHLAT !
The Phlat Ball has a waterproof, foam exterior, which makes its ideal for the beach or pool. Its unique time delay feature ads an element of surprise to game play or even just having a catch. The Phlat Ball is the perfect outdoor toy for both adults and children. The Phlat ball is thrown like a disc by squeezing down the middle to set the time delay, then in the air it transforms into a ball. The Phlat Ball has a waterproof, foam exterior, which makes its ideal for the beach or pool. And as it can be squeezed into a flat object it is easily stored or packed for summer holidays and day trips. Phlat Ball is a great outdoor toy wherever you are such as playing in the park, playground or simply in the garden at home. The Phlat Ball measures approx 32x25x6 cms.