Mr. Penguins Popper

About halfway through the recent N.Y. Toy Show, a point known by fellow attendees as “the wall” by veteran Toy Show buyers like myself, who courageously attempt to walk the entire 15 miles of Javits Center rows in one day, I was hit in the side of my head by a soft, golf ball sized projectile.   Things like this happen from time to time at the Toy Show as various vendors try to get your attention by any means necessary, so I wasn’t all that surprised to be clocked.  During the course of any show remote control helicopters may inadvertently land on your head, a stray “super-curving” whiffle ball may whiz by your ear, so when I turned in the direction of where this little nerf bullet had emanated from I was stunned and overjoyed to see it was shot by a woman wearing an over-sized penguin costume, and not only that, she was holding some sort of penguin toy with what appeared to be a snub nosed muzzle for a mouth.  The shooter and the weapon had been found, and they were penguins! How she knew to shoot me of all people can only be called fate or her penguin instinct, but it’s a good thing she did.   Funny thing is her company are the same folks that Penguin Place gets our penguin ear buds from, but I had no idea about this other penguin item they were also offering.  Turns out this little guy is called a Penguin Popper which makes perfect sense unless you’re dyslexic and end up calling it a Popper Penguin which sounds very much like a classic book or an o.k. movie.  I immediately asked to try out the Popper and found it to be the perfect penguin indoor toy, and a good, safe way to vent as I drilled one customer rep after another with little black nerf ball projectiles ( part of the customer reps job description is getting verbally abused and at times shot at).  Each Popper comes with a half-dozen balls, which are soft foam, golf ball sized projectiles, but have just enough heft to them that they can be shot for a fairly respectable distance and speed.  The penguin itself looks a little weird with its beak frozen in a perpetual pucker, but if you want a penguin to shoot little balls out of his mouth he needs to locked in a pucker.  There are no batteries involved, just air and pressure.  The six-inch penguin is hallow and made of a soft plastic.  Inserting the foam ball in his mouth creates a seal and a bit of a vacuum.  Point, aim and quick squeeze of the penguins belly and the ball shoots out.  The harder you squeeze the faster the ball shoots. This toy has become an instant hit at home with both my 8 and 4-year-old.  Last night we had a Penguin Popper Olympics which involved shooting the balls into a basket from about 6 feet away, hitting a target, catching balls in your hands, shooting for distance.  Good fun, no one gets hurt, the toy is virtually indestructible,  the balls can’t break anything and if our cat was still alive he’d be having the time of his life chasing the balls. Plus, it comes with six balls so there’s no anxiety if you lose one or two. We’ve been playing with it for about two weeks now and it’s made an appearance about a half-dozen times, which is pretty good for a kids toy, and to top it all off it retails for under $10.  So, we’re giving this toy two flippers up. 

Rose loves her Penguin Popper


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