Toy Review: Mini Koosh

with 3 comments

I’ll be honest; I think a lot of toy reviewers are losing perspective on the hobby. I know I’ve done it at times too when I rant and rave about a toy failing to meet my personal 20-something standards but toys are meant to be played with. But in a world where collector toys are costing around $20 a figure, there’s something oddly comforting about the quarter vending machines in supermarkets.

So I decided to go back to my roots and buy something that for many kids is their first experience actually buying a toy with their own money. I remember the fine I finally earned $5 to buy myself Anthrax at Bradlee’s, but I also recall doing odd jobs for pocket change and collecting tiny, translucent ninjas. But nothing compares to the one time at Ames with Nana and Papa when the vending gods smiled on me and out fell two bubbles of smile from a machine.

After wrapping up some shopping to make myself lentil soup, I browsed the limited offers of the vending machines. All the standards were there, gumballs in various shapes, sizes and flavors, the temporary tattoos and the miniature bedazzling kits but one machine caught my eye: the catch all of whatever mishmash of things the company seemed to have to sell.

The contents and display didn’t quite match up with misshapen Homies, Tamagachi knock-offs and something that looked suspiciously like an iPod made of gum, but I inserted my twin quarters and twisted to knob to a satisfying cha-chunk and a wave of nostalgia.

But I didn’t hear the satisfying thud of brittle plastic hitting metal, instead I didn’t hear anything! But I saw the contents of the machine shift and lifted to metal door of secrecy to uncover my prize: a mini Koosh.

Koosh isn’t the right name since there is no way this abomination is licensed (speaking of which, I haven’t seen a Koosh ball for sale in ages), but it’s a bright fuchsia ball covered in soft spikes. There is nothing remarkable about this ball other than the single area where two of the spikes have merged into one.

About an inch and a half of bright color, the ball doesn’t do much. It kind of rolls, but is also great at staying place. It’s just a ball, nothing more and nothing less but that makes it work so well.

Looking for a makeshift tribble to invade a spaceship made of blocks? It works great. Looking for a new weapon for Green Goblin to use against Spider-Man? Another home run. It isn’t flashy, but it’s just there.

This mini-Koosh-ball-thing is adorable and reminds me of a different time when toys were something to play with and enjoy. It was back when a quarter meant a world of random possibilities in a vending machine as you walked out the store. It is the trivial consolation prize of knowing your mom refused to buy you pudding packs and Dunkaroos once again, but it’s something tangible. And to me, that’s definitely worth a quarter.

Written by jestergoblin

May 30th, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in review,toys

Tagged with , , , ,

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