Drumsticks and Jigsaws
V-Beat Air Drum
Not a skin in sight, it is basically a pair of drumsticks with thin leads going to a small box, while there are a couple of smaller boxes that is it. Insert 4x‘AA’ batteries in the box and start learning the movements and hear your efforts either from the inbuilt speaker or once you have things perfected pipe it out through external speakers. Annoy the neighbours without even ever bringing anything larger than 43x26x6cm cardboard box into your home.
The sticks are 37cm long mainly black rubber but this has grey plastic at the tips and base with the lead running from the base to the main box (one metre). There are also two small pedals with 1.2 metre leads to the main box these allow your feet to control the hi-hat and the bass drum.
The main control box is 12.5x7x3.5cm and leads from the drumsticks are hard wired into the back of it while the pedal leads have 2.5mm jack plugs. There are also two 3.5mm jack plugs for audio input and headset/external speakers output. Finally a master on/off slider switch.
The top has a circular volume control two push buttons for Melodies and Select and finally a two position mode switch. There is a laminated Quick Start card that shows the movements required to get the various drum sounds, it also illustrates an imaginary drum kit with everything including the pedal controls shown. There is also a small manual with the first four pages in English.
I was surprised how realistic the sounds were and would have loved to take it along to a gig where a professional drummer friend of mine was playing to let him try them out but the timescale did not allow it.
They are £19.95 from the link below and there is even a video of them in use. My question are they a toy or a learning tool?
Junior Puzzleball from Ravensburger
From something potentially very noisy to something extremely quiet a jigsaw, not however the normal flat jigsaw one that makes up a globe. There are a whole range in size for different age groups. This one is 96 pieces and once completed you will have a wonderfully sweet picture of a dog.
The larger sizes has a lot more pieces and of course become more difficult. This one has a 5 inch circumference and while it was not exactly hard – for an adult – to complete I have my doubt many six year olds would have the patience to complete it.
The pieces are of course made specially to fit in the shape of the globe and once completed the plastic is surprisingly robust. Even when quite a force was applied all that happened was it broke apart in a few pieces and it was easily reassembled.
There are two larger almost circular pieces for the top and bottom and two other large rectangular pieces that help stability the rest are roughly 3.5x2.5cm each. All are slightly curved and to help you make it up the pieces are numbered on the back. Also available with certain cartoon characters such as Hannah Montana
In a way I would like to try one of the larger ones in fact I understand there is even a quite large ‘globe’ globe of the world. Certainly that would be a work for an adult one for the size and two for the number of pieces.
Ravensburger (German Company) have been producing toys and games for a long time and I look forward to telling about more in the future. The first link below has them for £9.99 each.
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