Product Type: TST Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... them in orange as that is just how they were when I was little. The space hopper has a pretty goofy face drawn on the front of it in bl... more
TST Retro Space Hopper
Member Name: loopy-lou33
TST Retro Space Hopper
Disadvantages: Takes up a lot of space
Now here is a blast from the past! When I was a kid in the early 80's, the Spacehopper was the "must have" toy. My dad used to film us with his cine camera, as we bounced up and down the garden path on ours. I even remember having spacehopper races at school sports day, when everyone brought their beloved Spacehoppers into school for the day. It was like being trapped inside a bottle of orange pop!
Anyway, fast forward a few decades, and some bright spark at a company called TST toys, has decided to introduce the Spacehopper to a new generation. Our Spacehopper was given to my kids as a gift, so I don't know how much it cost, but I had a sneaky peek at the TST website and you can buy a pack of five of these for £78.64! In fact, the company do a few quirky variations on the theme, including a "His and Hers" set (blue and pink!), Union Jack themed Spacehoppers and silver ones. A single one costs about £15 from their website, although I'm sure that something similar can be bought cheaper if you shop around.
The one we have at home is just the plain old orange version, which is identical to the original, although it seems a bit bigger than I remember! As we received ours as a gift, it was already pumped up, although I have since given it a bit of a boost with the bicycle pump as it was starting to go down very slowly. There is a hole just behind the ears/horns and you just pull out the plastic pin, insert the bicycle pump and pump up the Spacehopper to your desired level. I always leave a bit of "give" in it when I pump it up, otherwise the kids can't get on it very easily!
I notice that in the blurb at the top of the page that dooyoo describe the face as a kangaroo face! Hmmm, I suppose that makes sense, seeing as you bounce on it. it doesn't really look much like a kangaroo to me and my 6 year old son has told me that actually, that iconic, unforgettable face is an "alien", reasoning that if it was a kangaroo, why would it have horns? Well, you can't argue with kids logic!
Our Spacehopper lives in the living room and my husband hates it, as it takes up a lot of room. More than once he has threatened to put a pin in it, as it always seems to roll in the gap between the sofa and the TV, rendering the remote control useless. I actually tripped over it the other day, after the kids had put it in the hallway, which was dark, and I was trying to get to the loo. most of the time though, the kids are bouncing around on it, or whacking each other round the head with it. Every time we have guests, everyone want to have a go on it, so it is a good job that it is nice and big and able to accommodate adults too!
There are other uses for it too, of course. it makes a really nice footrest when I am watching TV and I am also able to use it as an exercise ball and incorporate it into a few of the routines on the game "my fitness coach" for Wii. I like the fact that it is a toy that gets the kids active and moving around, helping them to keep fit without them realising it. A few minutes bouncing around on the spacehopper is a great way to get your heart rate up.
The spacehopper is very durable and the rubber is thick enough to whithstand anything the kids have thrown at it so far. That said, we haven't really used it outside at all, as I didn't want it getting filthy. I think that it is one of those toys that you have to either decide to keep outside or inside. It definitely wouldn't last as long if it was kept outside though. As I mentioned earlier, it tends to deflate very slightly over time with a lot of use, but not a lot and there is no sign of a puncture or tear. My son has scribbled on it with pen and unfortunately, once you have done that, the pen mark will never come out, as it seems to get absorbed into the rubber.
In conclusion, this is a great toy for kids and adults alike and a fun way to exercise. The downside is that it takes up a lot of room and the preoblem is finding somewhere to keep it. Our lounge is only small and it is always in the way, so if you are low on space, consider getting something smaller or keeping it in the shed. The kids love ours though, and wouldn't be without it as it is one of their favourite toys.
Summary: A blast from the past.