233 of 247 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2010
My eight-year-old son received the Blizzard Maker for a gift. He was ready to jump right in and start making blizzards but we had to get thru set up first and then go to the store for half-and-half.
The DQ Blizzard Maker is simply a manual ice cream maker. Fill the basin with ice, water, and salt. Mix 3/4 cup half-and-half to the powder packet (which is sugar and flavoring), pour into the middle tank in the basin, then turn the crank for 10 minutes. My son and I took turns (5 minutes each) and after 1 minute, he was asking if he was done yet.
There's a chute at the bottom of the ice cream tank to "push" out the ice cream so it looks like it does in the store. Using the chute requires removing the paddle attachment and adding a plunger attachment. We accidentally froze our ice cream too hard, which made the plunger attachment useless when we got close to the bottom.
Despite the name "blizzard," there is no way to mix the toppings (generic pop-rocks are included) into the ice cream using the machine. You're told in the directions to just pour the toppings on top.
The ice cream serving cups are small--about 1/2 the size of a tennis ball. You end up with enough ice cream for 2 of these servings. The ice cream is pretty tasty.
We had quite a bit of grinding as the gears slipped when we first started cranking the ice cream. Once we got the right tempo (not too fast, but fast enough to keep the cream moving), the grinding stopped.
Honestly? It's probably better to just get a manual ice cream maker...
64 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
This is a very fun activity for kids (and adults!). There is a little bit of setup involved but the end result is worth it. Be sure to buy half & half cream to add to the enclosed DQ mix. I've bought food toys before and many times they do not work very well. This one actually did work very well and who doesn't like ice cream!!
Overall, we had a lot of fun especially experimenting with all the toppings to add to the Blizzard when we were done. Very fun toy and great gift idea as well.
73 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2010
I bought this for my 8-year old nephew for his birthday, as it was his top-requested gift. What a rip-off! I could deal with the setup, and it really did churn tasty ice cream, but it is made of cheap plastic and broke with our first use! As the ice cream began to harden some, the handle got more difficult to turn and began to slip off of the mixing paddle. Well, it actually ended up stripping the handle and the connector piece to the handle broke. Since you need to use the same crank handle to "twist" the ice cream out, we were really stuck! I tried to turn it by hand, but that was impossible. We ended up having to scoop it out of the canister. Also, the ice cream cups are incredibly small, not nearly as large as they appear on the box. I agree that they should not refer to it as a "Blizzard Maker", as there is no way to blend the toppings into the ice cream! The only positive think that I have to say about it is that the ice cream was very good, but definitely not $30 good. Do yourself a favor and take your kids to Dairy Queen and spend the $30 on ice cream there. Our Blizzard Maker is going back! As my nephew said, "This is a dud!"
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
My daughter got this as a gift -- it was pretty obvious from the size of the box that it wasn't a big gadget and it wasn't going to make huge amounts. We read a few reviews here and were prepared for the worst, but we set aside some time, read over the directions, washed up the myriad parts, and dove in. We found it to be a fun family activity. I had prepared my kids that this was going to give us a tiny bit of ice cream to share -- not a great big dessert portion! My 5yo suggested breaking out our little snow cone maker to shave the ice (after watching Mom spend 10 mins trying to pound ice cubes with a meat mallet), which was a quick and easy solution to that issue. Smart girl! No one minded sprinkling M&M's on top instead of mixing them in -- not sure why other reviewers were so upset about that small factor. And the end result was not bad. A little sweet, kind of like extra-cold vanilla pudding.
It's definitely not something we'd do every day, and yes, you can buy a whole lot of Blizzards for the cost of this toy. But all in all, they had fun measuring, mixing, taking turns cranking and then eating the results of their hard work. In this day and age of instant gratification, it's nice to have my kids see that not everything shows up instantly when you throw a dollar on the counter. They put forth a little effort and got a little taste of sweetness in return -- not a bad way to spend half an hour, IMO.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2011
I read other reviews on this product prior to receiving it as a gift for my children. Most of them were quite negative, so I wanted to be sure my review was posted. My kids are 8 and 5 and thoroughly enjoyed it. They have made homemade ice cream in the past with their Grandfather, and for them, it reminded them of those times. Also, we had no problems with any of the instructions regarding the assembly, adding of ingredients, or making the actual ice cream. As a matter of fact, I didnt even completely fill the ice bin because I only had one and one half trays of ice cubes, and we still had no trouble with the freezing process. People need to remember that this is a gimmick, children's toy. It is not meant to provide you with an actual Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It is meant to give your children the experience of making their own ice cream, which is delicious! My only semi-negative comment would be the company's choice of add-ins. We received three flavors of a pop rock type candy, which I personally do not feel is a good choice for young children or ice cream, but again, my opinion. I would rather see them add M&M's or jimmies or something along those lines. Regarding price, yeah, it's a little pricey, but it's worth it for a special gift for your children. Oh yeah, and a bonus, they give you $10.00 in mail in refunds to use toward other related items, such as refills and a bogo Blizzard from Dairy Queen! Sweet!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
I have never been more frustrated and disappointed with a toy. As my 8-year-old said, "This DQ blizzard maker is just a big waste of money". The box said it's 5 easy steps - it's actually 19!! according to the directions. You have to crush/shave ice, use half and half (yuck) 3/4 of a CUP of salt, mix it by hand for 10 minutes and you get two tiny cups in the end. Although, my kids thought it tasted so bad they didn't even eat it all! I can't believe this made it onto the shelf - and they are charging $36 for it. What a rip off. Really, save your money, I can't imagine people can be happy with this.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2010
My daughter had been asking for this for months. We got it for her for her birthday. What a big disappointment. You don't just buy the ice cream and mix topping in with the machine, you actually make ice cream and get pop rocks to mix in after. It took forever for my daughter to turn the handle and the ice cream didn't harden. We put it in the freezer for the night and ate it the next morning and it wasn't great. We will try again since we bought numerous refill packages but it doesn't look promising and the amount you get after all that turning is just enough for too tiny tiny bowls the size of a shot glass that they include.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
This item is flimsy and contains 19 steps just to make the soft serve. Neither my 8 year old, nor my five year old found it fun or tasty. It's a piece of junk and i'm surprised that DQ put their seal of approval on it.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2010
My 8 year old got this for Christmas and we just made it. We read some reviews before we started making it. Very helpful. You MUST crush the ice into small shards/shavings so as to not stress the crank handle also don't fill the bin up with ice to the top (just under the fill line is fine). We did not crush the ice small enough and we put in too much so turning the crank was a challenge at first. However, once we removed some ice and started to churn- it was good. Yes, two tasty but small servings is all it gives, but the product doesn't market itself as mass production grade. I think our total time involved from beginning through clean-up was thirty minutes. I recommend it as a fun thing to do, but if your goal is to make ice cream for a family of five you'd be better off buying a regular appliance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
My 7 year old daughter got this for Christmas and I didn't know what to expect. The first time she wanted to use it I was apprehensive, thinking that there would be a lot of prep work, time, and clean up involved. However, it was surprisingly easy to put together and the entire process was really user friendly, and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.
Except for a little leakage when we initially poured in the ingredients (which might be due to user error, although we have used this twice and it happened both times) the product worked exactly as described, and the ice cream thickened in half the time stated in the instructions. We actually had to stop turning after 5 minutes because it was too thick to continue.
I am also happy with the portions size. Two small cups worth of ice cream with one package of mix. Just enough for them (and me, too). My next endeavor is to try and figure out other ice cream recipes to make in this. The only thing the kids were unhappy with was the popping candy topping, so we will not be using that again.
Dispensing the ice cream was just as much fun as making the ice cream.
We are very happy with this product.