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MindWare Contraptions Catapult

3.9 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

List Price: $24.99
Price: $21.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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  • Build your own authentic catapult with planks, a little glue and the help of easy, step-by-step instructions.
  • Package Contents: Pre-drilled pine planks, wood glue, cotton rope, ruler, rubber bands, cup, 3 bean-bag projectiles, target mat, fasteners and instructions.
  • Age group and grade: Ages 7 - 14 years and grades 2nd - 12th
  • Let the fun & experimentation begin!
  • Exciting indoor activity.
42 new from $16.25 2 used from $19.10

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$21.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Sold by Avalanche Brands and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • MindWare Contraptions Catapult
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  • MindWare Trebuchet by Keva
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  • Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids
Total price: $51.57
Buy the selected items together

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WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Product Description

Boost their learning trajectory with an authentic catapult! Kids can build their own with planks, a little glue and the help of easy, step-by-step instructions. Then let the fun begin! What shoots farther, a marshmallow or a piece of macaroni? How does the object's course change when you pull the arm back to different points? What happens if you make the flight deck higher? Everything you need to build the catapult is in the box no tools required!

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 2.8 x 8.1 inches ; 1.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • Origin: China
  • ASIN: B0043AGA4S
  • California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
  • Item model number: 48143W
  • Our recommended age: 7 - 11 years
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 7 - 11 years
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,838 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Overall this is a not a terrible kit. However, although there has been some care taken in the creation of the directions, they are not going to allow the average user to be 100 percent successful. And there are some issues with parts. There is a big sheet of directions meant to look somewhat like "blueprints" and it's a good start. They are clear about how to assemble the smaller sub-assemblies needed before putting those together to make the final product- and the drawings are pretty clear. However, when you get to the end and are trying to assemble the whole thing you realize that small errors made along the way make the final product "iffy". The manufacturer needs another round of real-world testing and editing of the directions. That being said, here's my advice for success. (I say this as a carpenter AND architect)

Use your own wood glue, like a good yellow carpenters glue.
You will need some spring clamps. Jorgensen "Pony" clamps, with the orange rubbery tips, are perfect. (they are like giant clothespins). A couple "small" and a couple of "medium" one will be fine. Check your local hardware store if you don't have these. You really cannot adequately glue up the "sticks" without clamps. We assembled two or three "stick" assemblies with glue and clamps, and left them to dry overnight. If you had a lot more clamps you could do more work in each session. As it was, it took us about 6 sessions. They don't say anything about clamping of course, but there's no way to ensure that the pieces remain tight and aligned while the glue sets up if you do not have clamps.

In Step 6, make user that the "upright supports" are perpendicular to the base. Use a square if necessary. Make sure that the holes at the top of the "upright supports" are level with each other!
Read more ›
Comment 52 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Verified Purchase
I often buy gifts that require a lot of parent/kid interaction, and this has been one of my six-year-old son's favorites. It took us a few days of glueing and some patience on his part, but once it was constructed, it was great. I bought a package of ping pong balls and a package of little nerf bullet-y balls and he has been bombarding everyone and everything in the house, and having a BLAST! I'm sure eventually it will pop apart from overuse, but till then...INCOMING!!
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Verified Purchase
Bought this and catapult for my class. The glue that they use is awesome. It sets in minutes..and I mean minutes. I had a 12 year old making it and a 10 yr old and they made it in about 2-3 hours. They did make some mistakes so I think a competent adult should be present . :). It works pretty awesome. Its not cheap either. We were shooting marshmallows and marbles and it threw them approximately 6 feet. We've used it for 9 weeks and it hasn't busted. the rubber bands on this one has lost some of its power now.
1 Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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My nine-year-old daughter just loves this catapult. She's enjoyed making hypotheses about how far different objects will travel, aiming it at the target provided, & knocking down towers made out of Jenga blocks. The kit comes with a "blueprint" for assembly instructions, which she thought was cool, & I think constructing the catapult was almost as much fun for her as playing with it.

It was easy for the two of us to assemble the catapult; it took us around an hour, not including time for the glue to set. A couple of notes about assembly - I'd recommend using a hot glue gun rather than the wood glue provided, as it seemed to hold better. Also, the instructions show a "flight deck" made from one plain block, but the photo on the front of the box shows 4 plain blocks, which was what we ended up using.

It won't last forever, but it's a fun way to learn a bit about physics. We'll be buying the trebuchet kit soon.
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My 9 year-old son loves this catapult! It took some time to make this with the gluing of the wood, but once it was finished, look out!!! My only complaint is that the tube of glue was completely dried out, so we had to use our own wood glue. Love the science theories involved in this activity. Would highly recommend.
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My family built this and the Trebuchet kit together. We found the Catapult fairly easy to assemble, but here's a few issues:

1. the base, when assembled, needs a stabilizing force when firing.

2. The glue-drying time is a bit of trouble. If you build it today, you can fire it tomorrow--supposed to take 12 hours. It's not bad, but just the reality.

Oh--and watch out for your pre-teen daughter aiming the catapult at her father. She can be dangerous!

It was good family fun to build this and try it out.
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I bought this to assemble with my boys (5 and 7). The instructions are very pretty (fake blueprint style) and they include a paper ruler to cut out with scissors to aid you in constructing the catapult. On the opposite side of the instructions you will find a large paper target which my kids enjoyed. I had fun building the catapult, but, there are a few issues with construction / instructions:

- There are some steps where the measurements were understated. For example, you are gluing 3 pieces of wood together and it will only tell you the total length (12") of all 3 pieces and leave it up to you to determine how much piece A should overlap with B and C. If you mess it up, your Catapult will be slightly lopsided. Be a little more careful with your measurements than you are instructed to.

- I used the included glue and it is totally not enough to complete the project unless you go very light on the glue (which is a bad idea if you want your catapult to stand up to the inevitable abuse it will face at the hands of your children). It is a good idea to have some additional wood glue on hand.

- The biggest problem, in my opinion, are the wooden dowels that are supposed to be held in place with the included rubber washers. The rubber washers don't do a darn thing to hold them in place. Seriously. They just fall off immediately. I am going to figure out a solution (I might swap the dowels out with bolts of the same size) but be warned: the rubber washers are useless! It is puzzling to me in a kit of otherwise high quality that they would have such an obvious oversight.

If you are adventurous and willing to make a few modifications, this is a fun catapult to get you going! If the idea of coming up with a solution or two that is not in the instructions doesn't appeal to you, you might want to pass.
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