Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Chinese Torture Toy

Today we celebrate (once again) the birthday of my oldest daughter, Amanda (28). Having been put in charge of the "find something for the 2, two-year-old grandchildren to do committee", I went to Costco, purveyor of fine Chinese goods.

I took my 19 year-old daughter, Emilie, along to assist in my quest. Emilie spotted a toy and immediately laid into me about how, when she was a child, she never had that sort of toy. Little did I know that she picked out the Chinese Torture Toy. It's called the "Jumbo FUN Ball". How's that for an oxymoron?

Boxed Toy

Laid out on the driveway. It looks like a very big pile of plastic goo.

The assembly/inflation process began. The Chinese thoughtfully included a hand pump and the directions said that it only took 20 minutes to inflate the toy. I chalked it up to communist disinformation. Little red ball, indeed!

This is AMERICA, and while fifty Egyptian galley slaves might have been able to pump up the "fun ball" in twenty minutes, I decided to bring out the big guns for this project. 

A twenty-pound CO2 tank that I keep handy for just such emergencies (I was a Boy Scout) seemed to be just the ticket.

The tank (roughly the size of a scuba steel 72) provides the scale for the red blob.

Note that using the CO2 tank, blasting pressurized gas into this contraption, 
twenty minutes later, the inflation process is far from complete.

The big red blob/fun toy is so large that I had to bring it into the house through double-doors in order to get it 'inside' while partially inflated. There it sits on the living room floor**, malevolently daring me to complete my work.
** Floor constructed of ungauged slate.

The fully inflated "fun ball" rests between a love seat and sofa in the parlor (we have a living room, parlor and family room that adjoin. This photo provides a good scale for the Chinese Torture Toy.

Emilie, 5'6", lays fetus-like inside the fun ball, waiting for her niece and nephew to use the toy to amuse themselves.

Something to keep in mind. While the $29.00 Costco price was more or less nominal, it took about 2.5 hours to inflate using the latest technology available. The ball is so large that I have no idea where to store it. It won't go out the double front doors or the sliding glass doors while fully inflated --- so storage is an issue. The CO2 supply people will be thrilled when I show up to refill the 20 lbs. tank every time I need it to amuse the "terrible" two-year-olds.

Notwithstanding its status as a 'torture toy', the kids and grandkids loved it.

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