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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
Bought this for my 9 year old grandson and was afraid that it wouldn't work well enough for him and his 8 year old brother to use. I haven't had very good luck with toys lately and I thought a pitching machine for $29 was asking a lot. However, it worked just fine. I had purchased an extra set of balls so there would be enough for two rounds before the gathering up process. Seems the extra balls were a little heavier and fired better than the balls that came with the product, so the boys chose to use only the one set and pick-up after each round. (they have a lot more energy than I have) They had a great time practicing their batting and I got credit for getting an awesome gift.
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65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2013
Cheap alterative to the more expensive dog fetching machines. My dogs wears my arm out throwing and this thing actually will wear her out. Ball shoots faster than I can throw and goes about 30'-35'. The angle is adjustable.

The balls they came with though are plastic and don't last that long as my dog likes to chew them as she brings them back. Also once they are too slimy the won't throw as far and have to be wiped off. Standard tennis balls are 5cm smaller than these balls and is just enough were it will not catch between throwing wheels. Hope to find another type ball that will work if not I will just buy more of these type balls which Amazon also sells.

Edit 5/28/13:
Just received my Jugs Poly Baseballs from Amazon. They work perfectly with this machine and hold up so much better. Balls go just as far and just as fast with no damage. They even work when wet and my dog can't damage them with her teeth as they are a harder plastic.
 Jugs White Poly Baseballs (One Dozen)

Also not that our pitching machine is another model from the one I put the review on. We actually have the 6696S4 machine which Amazon also sells. They look the same not sure what the difference is other than that one is a few dollars more.
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2010
I put this machine on a stand with wood under the back to create a downward angle so that balls are released at about arm height. I hit the balls with a maple/wood bat. The balls that come with the machine will break; they are cheap. But this isn't a big deal. I've tried four different kinds of plastic balls and here's what you do: buy Jugs white plastic balls (light, baseball size). They work in this machine and don't easily break. I've hit a dozen of them hundreds of times with a maple bat, hitting them at high speeds into a wall and only one has cracked. Regular Wiffle balls also work but will sometimes curve. The machine shoots balls relatively fast and straight. I use it in-doors from a distance of 25 feet. For $40 this is a terrific machine. I'd highly recommend this to anyone looking for an inexpensive way to take batting practice.
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55 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
My kids were jumping-up-and-down excited to get this as they love baseball. Unfortunately, there is no way for them to play. Even on a flat surface the balls go in wildly varying directions, heights & distances. The motor is still revving up when the first ball is pitched, so it's always too low/short. The mechanism for loading fails every other time so that two balls are shot out at first (both too low/short). My 4 & 7 yr. olds go from swinging above their heads to getting hit in the hip, to golfing in one round of pitching. They love the concept of the machine, but only get one decent pitch out of the 6 (it already came missing 2 balls - somebody else must have smartly returned it before us). I'm hoping to find a different pitching machine that will make us all happy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2015
This is a follow up review, now that we've had the Franklin pitching machine for 6 weeks. Still working great. Dog loves it but he did destroy the original balls within 2 days. I ordered the Jugs poly balls and they are holding up well. Changed batteries every 3 weeks. I did need to modify the pitching machine for a dog. I only added the bottom piece of the ball chute, making it easier for the dog to drop in balls. Also mounted a piece of wood under the back side so the balls stayed closer to the floor. First pitch hit a China hutch...fortunately the glass didn't break. Well worth the money to keep an active dog busy thru a wisconsin winter

We've had the franklin pitching machine 24 hours and its still working which is good! We got it to help burn Boston Terrier energy, and so far, it's ok. He loves to chase the balls, but also loves to bite them on the way back, so by last night all 6 balls were crushed and in the trash. Today, I went to empty the trash and found all of them were fine. Now I know to let them sit for a while and they seem to recover nicely. I assume this is only temporary and eventually he will truly destroy them, so I've ordered the stronger balls that were recommended by another poster. When those arrive, I'm going to hopefully get him trained to put the balls in the opening of the pitching machine. I've actually skipped installing the blue chute, since it's not necessary for my use.

If anyone else out there has trained their dog to put the balls back in the pitching machine, please share! Any suggestions that would help me with this training? My dog has proven to be incredibly smart about most things, and he loves to drop balls into laundry baskets, waste baskets, whatever is available, so I'm hoping he will catch onto dropping it into the launcher too. But then again, he's proven that he can be pretty stupid at times too!

Also, I duct-taped a small piece of wood to the bottom back side of the launcher so the balls don't fly so high. I have a vaulted ceiling in a great room, so I have plenty of space to use the pitching machine indoors, but one of the balls slammed into the glass on my china hutch. Fortunately, it didn't do any damage, but I figured that keeping the balls closer to the floor was better idea.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
Cheaply made, doesn't come close to pitching at a close consistent manner. Really disappointed in the poor quality. Buy something else!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2015
This is a great toy to exercise your dogs with. I have two Border Collies who want a ball thrown non-stop. A short bit of training, and one of the two already returns the ball to the top chute and runs back out for more retrieval play.

As mentioned by other reviewers, I noticed it is rather erratic in how it pitches, which is likely discouraging to a young ball player looking for batting practice. But for our intended purpose, it works very, very well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2014
everything fine, machine works good,kids have fun
you need large energy cells size D
throw range fits 11 yrs aged
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My dog loves it and it works great! This is the link to the video , out of the box. https://youtu.be/LWrTkrID5Og Other videos show my dog loading and fetching.https://youtu.be/vCrDMhvrO4I
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2007
My son is 4 and already hitting them out of the park with this pitching machine. Loads of fun for the whole family. Have it set on a level surface in the back yard. I use a patio 12x12 tile.
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