Take note, if you arrived here looking for a gift for your favorite little drummer, this is not the page for you. Go buy a set of real drumsticks for kids and let them bang on some pots and pans or a rock.
I was talking with a friend the other day who asked why all of our toy reviews are about kids toys we like. The conversation went something like this:
Friend: “Why don’t you review bad toys?”
Me: “Why would we review toys we didn’t like?
Friend: “So people know what not to buy?”
Which is something I had not really considered before. When writing a blog there two main audiences to address. The most important are the people reading the blog, but the other audience are “the robots” that come to visit, namely Google, Yahoo, and the like People generally find this blog with search terms like “gift ideas for a 4 year old”, “melissa & doug easel review”, and “cariboo replacement ball”, as they are looking for a toy review or to get general ideas for a kids gift. We don’t get a great deal of searches for “crappy drumsticks”, but maybe that’s because we haven’t been writing about them.
Thus, we bring you a new series titled “Bad Gifts – Toys We Did Not Like” for your reading pleasure.
The only label on this kids toy is “DRUMStick”. I have no idea who the manufacturer is and the only reason I’d want to know is so I could mail these back postage due with a cinder block attached to them. I’ve tried finding them on the Interweb and with such a unique name as “drumstick”, Google only finds 1,070,000 results.
They were given to the boys as a birthday present from a friend of a friend who happens to have kids in the boys class. They had never been to our house and didn’t know us very well or they would probably have known better. Either that or we wronged them in some way and this is how they are getting back at us.
At first glance, they look harmless enough. Put some batteries in, screw the cover back on with two tiny screws, start whacking them against anything and they make annoying drum sounds. Push the buttons to change the sound from a snare drum to a symbol crash and the like. There is a single switch that I assumed (incorrectly) is for shutting them off. It’s currently in the “Play” position and the boys are enjoying them.
Flash forward to late that night. The kids are asleep and the dog walks through the Toy Room and the drum sticks start making loud symbol noises. Not wanting them to wake the boys, I jump up and run to the Toy Room. It’s dark in there but I find them, flip the switch on the sticks and put them back on the shelf. As I put them down, they both start playing a loud drum solo, one a half second behind the other. Everyone wakes up.
Turns out, it’s not an off switch. There are two settings on these DRUMSticks, “Play” and “Demo” and no method to shut them off short of removing two screws to remove the batteries. “Play” make a single drum noises when the sticks sense any vibration at all, “Demo” gives the cursed things a life of their own as they play a 30 second drum solo when touched.
We’re going to give these 1 star (out of 10). One star because the kids enjoyed playing with them, but they lose 2 stars for the fact that they make annoying noises whenever anyone breathes near them and 7 stars because they cannot be turned off.