Monday, April 30th, 2007
Ball Blast is Dead. Long Live Rollipop.
It is with sadness that I note the passing of the Fisher-Price Stand-Up Ball Blast. It was a toy we had at the 1-year mark that I remember with much rosier memories than when I wrote two years ago that my daughter “will only drop a couple balls into the tower before losing interest.”
It was a plastic spiral toy. Toss balls in the top, listen to annoying music play and watch the balls roll down and pop out holes at the bottom. The Ball Blast’s key feature was that it was one of the first toys your baby manipulated while standing up. Officially, babies weren’t supposed to use it as an anchor while they’re learning to stand, but unofficially that’s what every baby did.
Today, I noticed the Ball Blast is gone from Fisher-Price’s site and only a handful of retailers still sell the toy. It had been sold through the likes of K-Mart and was so big and sturdy that most units found their way to garage sales and thrift stores for reuse again and again at $3 to $5 a pop, depending on whether the balls were still with the toy (if not, you got by with ping pong balls).
The Rollipop by Edushape appears to be its successor. It is the toddler version of popular plastic marble track toys. Mom or Dad constructs two towers out of its plastic connectors, then your kid drops big plastic balls in one tower and watches them zig-zag down two ramps between the towers before exiting the base of the original tower.
Sure, it’s cool, but although it’s for babies 9 months and up, it’s not designed to be stood against or gripped by a recently bipedal baby. On the other hand, it’s currently on sale at Amazon for a mere $25. That’s $9,974 off the sticker price, a 99.998% discount!