Product Type: TST Outdoor Toy
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Hold on Tight and Boing!
TST Retro Space Hopper
Member Name: hanmillie
TST Retro Space Hopper
Date: 03/05/12, updated on 03/05/12 (45 review reads)
Advantages: Great fun, durable and strong ball, easy clean, reasonable price
Disadvantages: May need more than one for group fun, large to store inside
Now I must admit that I was not a child of the seventies but nevertheless have always looked at space hoppers being bounced around in people's gardens and thought that they looked fun. Being that I have a summer Birthday, I asked my partner for a space hopper as one of my birthday presents last year having spotted one for sale in a shop whilst on holiday. The impulsive thought being that it would be a good fun toy to have in our garden for summer barbeque entertainment whilst also being good amusement for the kids of friends and family that frequent our house. Plus, I wanted to have a good bounce on one myself having not been on one before.
For those who have not seen these before, the Retro Space Hopper is a large rubber ball which has a pair of ears at the top with which you can hold onto the ball and bounce around. The ball is a bright orange in colour, although other varieties of colour do exist and has a large black face printed on the front which is supposed to resemble that of a kangaroo, hence the bounce. It is, in my opinion however quite a scary looking face but nonetheless you can't see it when you are bouncing around so what does it matter.
We bought our space hopper from a toy store in Devon where it was already pumped up, however as I understand it a lot of the space hoppers purchased online are sold flat pack and you are provided with a foot pump to inflate the ball. This is quite simple to do as you simply insert the nozzle of the pump into a small hole just behind the ears of the space hopper and re-seal. Should you buy a space hopper already inflated it is well wroth in my opinion investing in a foot pump as the ball will inevitably lose air over time leading to it looking a tad saggy.
This product measures 24 inches in diameter meaning that it is not the smallest toy in the world, however we find that by storing it in the shed it is generally out of the way. If used inside thought I can see that space might be an issue when storing.
To use this toy simply sit your bottom down on the top of the ball, hold on tight to the ears and propel yourself into a good bounce with your legs.
==Price and Availability==
These space hoppers can usually be bought from a number of toy stores where they will usually be inflated for you as mine was. However they can also be bought online from such stores as EBay and the Unique Gift Store. You should expect to pay around £10 - £15 for one ball and I believe we paid £12.99 for mine. In my opinion the £12.99 we paid for mine was not a bad price considering the amount of fun and laughter this toy has given us; we can also expect to use ours for years ahead.
Our space hopper has had a fair share of bottoms sat on it for fun. It has been in my opinion a great toy for those occasional ice breakers when the sight of someone bouncing away on one of these will usually send the group into shrieks of laughter. It is also great for children as they get to spend time outdoors doing something novel. We have used our space hopper for barbeques and usually find that it is still being sat on late into the night by some friend who has drunk rather too much wine. As for me, well I like to use it on those odd occasions when I am out in the garden enjoying the occasional British sunshine. I must admit that I do at times feel a little foolish bouncing away on mine in front of the neighbours but it's too fun not to do.
In my opinion it would probably be best to buy a pair of these space hoppers to ensure that more than one of you can bounce around at the same time and meaning that you can race each other. However, I have yet to find any more room in my shed to house another one.
The great thing about this toy is that it is made of rubber meaning that it is very durable and wipe clean. This is great for the morning after the night before when you see remnants of drink spilled onto the front of the ball and also when it comes out of the shed looking rather dusty after the long winter.
I think that this is a great toy for both a children and adult market and provides hours of fun for all the family. It will not provide you with copious amounts of exercise but nonetheless it will get you out and about in the fresh air and give you a real giggle. I would therefore highly recommend one of these if only for occasional amusement.
This is a great toy and scores a good four stars out of five from me.
Thanks for reading! x
This review is also posted on Ciao under the same user name.
Summary: Instant retro fun in the garden!