"Waboba" stands for "Water Bouncing Ball." The product name and company name were formed by taking the first two letters of each word (Wa+Bo+Ba). The first "Waboba" balls were designed and released in Sweden, and they first saw action in the U.S.A. in 2008. "Toys Bulletin" is going to take a look at both the "Waboba" bouncing water ball and the newer street ball.
The "Waboba" bouncing water ball comes in different sizes and weights allowing both general play or more competitive challenges. The balls are easy to grip and smaller than a baseball. The idea is to stand approximately 30-45 feet away from another player, while in water up to your waist. Toss the ball to the other player and watch the ball bounce off the water and see if your opponent can catch it. The extreme and pro models bounce higher and are generally faster than the lighter and larger Blast model, which we thought was better used in swimming pools.
Our focus group tried these balls on a lake setting. It was amazing that these balls did not take on water and continued to bounce perfectly throughout the afternoon. Depending on the distance and how hard the ball was thrown, it might bounce multiple times, or even on a severe angle especially around waves. Adults and teenagers loved these bouncing water balls, and several went missing when it was time to go home. Younger kids and many of the mothers liked the Blast model as it was slower and easier to handle.
The "Waboba" street balls are primarily for use on an outdoor surface. Players line up about 30-50 feet apart and throw the street ball directly at their opponent. The balls are not round and smooth, instead they contain strategically placed bumps and indentations around the ball, which is also smaller than a baseball. Because of the unusual shape, the balls bounce erratically, sometimes perfectly straight, and more often than not taking odd angular bounces. By changing speeds, the ball will take even more unexpected bounces. The object is for the opposing player to catch the ball thrown his way.
The street balls were more of a challenge to our focus group. At first, players stood too close to each other. But once, they each got at least 30 feet away, the ball began to react as intended, and the competitive juices started flowing. A couple of players remember doing something similar with tennis balls, but agreed because of the shape and size of the "Waboba" street ball, it provided much more playability and was certainly higher on the fun chart.
Both the "Waboba" bouncing water ball and the street ball can be used in an actual game or team setting. In fact, "Waboba" players can be found regularly on beaches and playgrounds around the country. It is a quality product and it is packaged in much the same way. The complete line of "Waboba" balls can be found at Amazon.com
. Depending on the model and style, "Woboba" balls can generally be purchased for around $8.00-$12.00 each. "Toys Bulletin" gives the "Waboba" balls its bronze rating
-- RJ Cullen