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I am forever blowing bubbles

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23.12.2011

Advantages:
Had hours of fun with many children

Disadvantages:
Leaves floors wet inside

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Age Group

Wear and Tear

Value for Money

42 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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Early Learning Centre Bubble Machine

My son visited the Early learning Centre in search of a birthday gift for him off a friend. I asked her what her budget was prior to entering the store as the sky seems to be the limit and wanted to steer my son away from anything that was more than she wanted to spend. We walked through the door and immediately in front to of us was a large display of bubble machines. My son instantly wanted one. We walked round the store but from the moment he set eyes on it was the birthday present of his dreams. When it was bought it came with an offer of a free bottle of bubble mixture.

The bubble machine is available in both blue and pink which seems to be more and more prevalent in the ELC centre these days however as my son's favourite colour but it does seem to be reinforcing stereotypes. There is a campaign to reduce the number of pink and blue toys. I don’t actually see any reason why a toy like this would need to be pink or blue , a colour that would be equally loved by both genders would be more appropriate. The bubble machine comes in a cardboard box ready assembled although batteries are not included. It takes four C cell batteries which are secured with a screw. Prior to use you are advised to fill the bottom with bubble mixture simply by pouring the mixture in the front. There is a large hole that exposes four wheels with bubble wands rotating. To stop and start you simply press the button on top. It also comes with a bright red carry handle which while it sounds handy in my experience encourages my son to pick it up and spill the mixture. The Machine is made of hard plastic which I am not sure would survive too many drops.

When I first poured the liquid in I was quite shocked how much it took before the bottom was deep enough for the wands to dip into the liquid each time they rotated. Initially I found that the one side of the wand wasn't working and assumed it was on a slight slope but after a while I realised that there was some sort of fault with it and returned it to the ELC store where we were given a replacement.

The new one works perfectly. This is a toy that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is always a hit with any child and they have spent hours chasing around trying to catch the bubbles. It does make an enormous amount of bubbles and it has lead to a damp carpet in the lounge on occasions so I do prefer it to be used outside.

I have used the bottle of ELC bubble mixture and then have also used Tesco own brand bubble mixture which is significantly cheaper and found that they both work as effectively at creating bubbles in this machine.

The only downside for me is that the cleaning. You are advised to clean the machine out after each use. As a large amount of bubble mixture is required to operate it there is usually quite a puddle in the bottom. I have used a funnel to pour this back into the bottle but it is a bit of a messy job and there is no really effective way of pouring it out. I have found that is has reasonable wear on batteries. I do not buy cheap batteries as I do consider them to be false economy. I am quite strict that if my Son isn't playing with it he turns it off.

After we had the machine for a year we took it to a village hall we had hired . After About 15 minutes we had to switch it off as there was a pool of buble mixture creating its own ice skating rink on the floor.

This is recommended for children aged 3-8 years which seems ideal. I would not recommend it for children younger due to the exposed fingers would make it very tempting to poke fingers in the wand.

This is one toy that has been real value for money and one that I would recommend to all parents This is currently available for £12 from ELC or also available at Mother care. It is worth looking out for a promotion with free bubble mixture as I have noticed this offer on a few times


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Comments about this review »

catsholiday 30.12.2011 22:17

Bubbles are always good - children and dogs both enjoy them!

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Just add bubble mixture and create thousands of bubbles at the touch of a button. With an easy to carry handle. Cre...

Product details

Type Bubbles/Water Toy
Age 3 Years +
MPN 119494; 117400

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Listed on Ciao since 30/06/2010

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Review Ratings »

This review of Early Learning Centre Bubble Machine has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. charlsayslol
  2. Coloneljohn
  3. jo-1976

and 39 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.



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