Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mr. Can't Sit Still: B. Toy's Wacky Ball Review

Peanut is a very active little boy. Most kids learn to sit and then work on crawling. Peanut has no inclination to sit. Sure, he physically could sit if he wanted to. Alas, he has no desire to remain sitting.
At least that was the case until we were given the chance to review the Whacky Ball by B. Toys. Peanut loves it and we love that it is the first toy we have given him that he will sit still for.
In theory, the child uses the mallet to strike one of four colorful balls. The ball then travels through ramps and shoots, reflected by a mirror like background and comes out at the bottom. Okay—so he doesn’t sit perfectly still, because he likes rolling the balls around the room and following them too.

Peanut uses his hands rather than the mallet, which is okay by us. Although one side of the mallet is a little springy with a squeak, overall the plastic mallet seems a little hard. The way he uncontrollably swings objects we could see the potential for minor drama. For the most part though, peanut thinks the mallet is a teething toy.

The entire toy is bright and colorful. Though I would not personally pick the colors used, I do love how they complement each other. I also love that they are not your typical child toy colors—aesthetically, I think it’s probably a good idea that as with his foods, he is exposed to a variety of colors too.

The balls are brightly colored as well and two of the four feature an interesting pattern. They are the perfect size for peanut; neither too big to be picked up, nor too small that they’d pose a choking hazard. If I were to change one thing about this toy, I’d love to see a simple drawstring bag to keep the parts from ending up everywhere.

I also like that the base and tower components of the toy are not fully interlocked. This makes storage of the set a little easier since it disassembles into two flat pieces. Based on peanut’s play, I could see him breaking one from the other if they were constructed to be permanently joined.

Yes, this is not a totally original and mind blowing children’s toy. There are several similar products out there. What makes me a fan of this toy and what will make me a B. Toys customer are the unique and responsible ideas presented by the B. Toys company.

The Whacky ball is not boxed in cardboard, covered in plastic, attached to bases with twist ties and all manners of excessive packaging. If you’ve ever survived Christmas morning with more than 4 small children at grandma’s house—you know the indescribable amount of waste of which I speak. Brand new, the wacky ball is simply covered in a clear plastic cover. More amazing, the plastic is recyclable #1 plastic (a recyclable plastic that’s pretty universally accepted). I LOVE THAT.

I love that for every B. Toy purchased, 10 cents is donated to Free the Children. Doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up. And it’s certainly more than most toy companies give on a regular basis. For more details about B. Toy’s involvement in Free the Children visit http://justb-byou.com/ftc/

The final detail which really made me a B Toys fan was a small booklet included with the toy. Not something I’d share with peanut, but something that as a parent made me smile. The booklet contained funny quotes from kids. You can read some of these quotes and view other B. Toys on their website http://justb-byou.com/ .

B. Toys are available at Target. Shop here: www.target.com/Btoys.

This product was provided by B. Toys for the purposes of this review. I received no additional compensation. The views expressed are 100% mine. StumbleUpon