Review: Rotating Disco Ball Lamp for Kids

Important Update: See the safety caution at the end of this article.

I was introduced to the Rotating Disco Ball Lamp by Creative Motion Industries during a Christmas Eve gathering at a friend’s house.

Photo of the disco ball turned on, splashing color onto a wall and carpet. The photo caption reads: Rotating Disco Ball Lamp for toddler dance sessions.There were six kids in the room ranging in age from 2 to 6. They didn’t care and began jumping and bouncing around the room as the lights swirled. It was a peculiar sight, but not offensive because the lyrics were unintelligible. After a minute, the mom switched over to a Weird Al CD. By then, I knew I had to get one of these things.

The disco ball is about 4 inches in diameter, black plastic with red, orange, yellow, blue and green light holes. It rotates at a fixed, somewhat fast speed and is powered by a regular power cord. All in all, it retails for about $11 and you are getting $11 in quality. I was lucky to find one for $3 used on Craigslist. (To explore Craigslist, look to see whether your city is listed, then navigate to the "For Sale" section and click the "babys+kids" link to find mostly unregulated free classifieds. Buyer beware.)

I didn’t find an age rating online for the disco ball, but I suggest only supervised use.

Based on past toy reviews, you might expect me to pan the idea of a disco ball. After all, toddlers don’t need colored lights to make dancing fun. But I also doubt my daughter would normally dance to death metal, so a disco ball brings with it its own inspiration. On my scale of toy purchases, this ranks as a guilty pleasure.

I happen to like toys which make darkness fun because we experience a fair number of power outages during the winter. A tricycle equipped with a stroller headlight is great, as are plain ol’ flash lights. Of course, this disco ball would be useless in an outage, but you get the idea.

We play my daughter’s favorite dance tune with the disco light, Abba’s Dancing Queen. At 2.5-years-old, her dancing consists of jumping in a fixed position, or running around in a circle. Sometimes she runs circles around our cat.

The host mom demonstrated the disco ball [close-up image] by turning off the room lights, turning on the ball, and flipping on the stereo. The dad of this family listens to death metal, and that’s exactly what came blaring out of the stereo speakers.

Related: Parent Hacks reports on a visit to Baby Loves Disco, a monthly kid-friendly dance club event held in more than a dozen U.S. cities.

Safety Caution: Thinga-reader Michelle posted a comment below about a potential fire hazard, seemingly with this product. There was an incident from May 2006 with a disco ball distributed at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants and the product photo looks very much like the disco ball I own. However, it has a different product name and manufacturer, Manley Disco Light, made by Manley Toys. The Chuck E. Cheese toy does not (yet?) appear to be part of a recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but I’ve included a couple links below for you to make your own judgment.

The incident described involved a small fire where two kids were left unsupervised with the toy left on for a long period of time. The kids were found dead at 6 a.m. with the disco ball left on top of a plastic slide. The light’s instructions reportedly state the light should not be used for more than 4 hours at a time, and only under adult supervision. Personally, I’ll be keeping my disco ball stored out of toddler reach,
ensuring that it’s only used with supervision (and maybe I’ll keep an
eye out for another disco light.)


3 Responses to “Review: Rotating Disco Ball Lamp for Kids”

  1. Michelle says:

    Just wanted you to know that a bunch of these were recalled recently due to a potential fire hazard. The ones in questions were from Chuck E Cheese, awarded as prizes but they were also sold in junk stores. I can’t find the particular link to the cpsc post but here is the link to the article on Blogging Baby.

    January 17th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

  2. Michele says:

    Very interesting! A friend of mine gave this as a gift to myself and my daughter a few years back. Because of the noise it gave off when running we never had it on for an extended amount of time. The “crystals” were starting to fall off and I would hot-glue them back on. Was there actually a re-call on this product? Thanks!

    January 23rd, 2007 at 1:26 pm

  3. 1992 says:

    I have a “Cosmos Ball” version of this light (sells under the name Witches Ball), it rotates on two axis / two motors. I normally buy REAL lights like this but the original cosmos ball lights are no longer made (double, triple, and quad ball versions however are). When when I saw this toy version I bought it on sight. I usually never left it on for more then 20 minutes at a time. For parents I would recommend hanging a light like this from the ceiling, this way the child can not reach it or knock it over (which sounds like what happened in that report of a fire). A tie wrap attached to the mounting points on the bottom attached to a small ceiling hook usually does the trick. Keep in mind these products use 120v and shouldn’t be given to a child who can’t handle this. I certanly wouldn’t let a small child play with this toy but thats me.

    February 23rd, 2007 at 11:24 am

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