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on September 5, 2005
I got this to take camping with my kids and grandkids. This makes for great family fun with a sweet reward at the end! We had everyone involved, from an almost one year old on up! The three year old loved it. It seems that it will really hold up, and we look forward to using it for many camping trips to come!
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on January 11, 2007
This is a nice little icecream maker. Simple, efficient. Just one thing. The recipe that comes with this is lame. It's worth it to look into a better recipe. At the very least use real cream.
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on June 10, 2008
Keep in mind that you are ordering the larger of the two Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker balls.

1. Size: It is quite large and when filled with the ice cream products and ice/salt, it is quite heavy. Not recommended for little children and their fragile fingers. Because it's heavy, it gathers some momentum and I can see how someone might get their fingers/toes hurt. But the end product is enough to feed 5 people a good coffee cup full of ice cream.

2. Noise: because the ball is larger, it does make a lot more noise. Just with the ice slushing around in there along with the ball rolling on the floor. We have hardwood floors so over the rug, we placed another blanket and rolled the ball around. Luckily, our walls aren't too thing.

3. Ice Cream: I used half n half because I didn't have cream, sugar, vanilla, bananas, strawberries, and chocolate chips. It turned out great! The consistency wasn't like soft serve, but actually more like Breyers ice cream. Light and with a bite to it. PLenty of recipes you can try.

4. Time: It does take longer to make this ice cream. I'd suggest 15 min, scrape down the sides, give it a gentle mix, another 15 minutes and then check it. Depending on how hard you roll and how much ice you put in the beginning, you don't even need to refill it with ice and it's done in 30 minutes.

5. Removing the ice cream: I didn't get a special spoon like someone did with their order from another company... so I used a wooden spoon. Didn't really work ..only with the ice cream in the center. So I had to carefully scrape the ice cream off the walls with a butter knife. Another option is to empty the ice end, and dunk the ball in warm water just for a few seconds. The ice cream on the wall of the cylinder will melt and it will be easier to scoop.

Again, not perfect ice cream and it's not instant...but if that's what you're looking for, why buy an ice cream maker :) It's fun I have to admit, especially since you can get really creative. And we are people in our mid 20s...put on some music and it's pretty fun. So, if you get it while it's on sale, I'd say go for it.

And lastly, if you have kids, I'd stick to the smaller one if you want them to help make the ice cream. This ball gets heavy, gathers momentum and can really easily bruise or sprain a little finger.
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on February 17, 2009
The Play and Freeze quart size is way too heavy to toss around in the yard. The adults ended up rolling it across the floor or with their feet. The ice cream was actually pretty good. We could make healthier flavors and use better ingredients. The quart sized version does take a bit of time. The few times that we have used it, the process took about an hour and a half. Do not use fat free/ low fat creamer or half and half. It will take you twice as long and will never completely firm up. Also the unit does occasionally leak and needs to be drained several times during the process.

Play and Freeze is a good product if you're looking for an activity to make you burn the calories that you will eventually consume. While it was not particularly fast, once we got the hang of it making the ice cream was actually fun; even if it is just a "why did we do this again" inside joke.
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on July 15, 2005
We took this to our company picnic and followed the directions that came with it....shazam!!! it was like having a gourmet dessert in 15 minutes from scratch! We'll be using it at our next picnic.....I just may get another so we have enough for the whole family. (We like alot of ice cream)
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on June 30, 2014
Bought this as a gift. We've had good results using it. It does get heavy, so be careful when using it. Also, DO NOT OVERFILL...allow even more room for expansion. Do this will allow the ice cream to freeze faster and harder.
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on February 7, 2007
This ice cream maker was just okay. Personally, I don't think it was worth the money. I bought it for my 11 year-old for Christmas. He was playing on the computer, while my husband, my 17-year old, and I made/played with the ice cream. When it was time to open and stir it, the mixture splattered everywhere. (My husband ended up mopping my floor, so at least I got that out of the deal.) The ice cream wasn't the best, but it did only have 3 ingreditents. I could not see taking this camping like some of the other reviewers have said, because the outside would get very dirty. We have a dog, and the outside of mine had some (not a lot) of dog hair on it, and it was hard not to get it in the ice cream when the ball was opened. I would say this is best put in your "hurricane survival kit" or saved for a snow day from school. I would guess we would use it maybe once or twice a year, but that's about it. We also have an electric ice cream maker, which makes very tastey ice cream and makes wonderful Christmas gifts for neighbors, friends, and teachers.
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on October 13, 2008
The novelty of this product is just about its only attribute. It is fun for about 5 minutes. The ball leaked from the get go so we could not roll it on the floor. It is extremely heavy, and shaking it for 15 minutes, followed by another 10-15 is a very long time, especially for kids! You need A LOT of ice and have to keep refilling the ice portion. The ice cream never got really firm, it is more like a milk shake. Tasted great, though. Plus it is very difficult to clean the outside due to its design. I would pass on this product.
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on September 25, 2010
I was excited to try out making ice cream after a friend made homemade rosemary maple ice cream which was the best thing I'd ever tasted.

However, I agree with Lisa Rasband's 1-star review completely. This ball is a real pain to use and the end product isn't very good.

I had the same problems as Lisa. The ice cubes don't fit easily, so you need to make sure to freeze smaller cubes for this use. It used a LOT of ice cubes to fill the outer compartment - I had frozen 6 ice cube trays and still really didn't have quite enough. (that being said, the ball seemed to freeze the ice cream just fine even if the outer compartment wasn't completely full of ice and rock salt.)

We put all the ingredients in and rolled and dribbled the ball around constantly for 15 minutes, as instructed (playing a word game the whole time to keep ourselves entertained.) It was actually a pretty good workout, doing soccer-type moves I don't usually do! Anyway, when we opened it up to scrape down the insides as instructed, there was so much ice cream glued to the inside of the canister that it was nearly impossible to get it out - a wooden spoon that was recommended was not up to the task, we had to get a knife to pry the ice cream off. Then we added more ice, resealed, and rolled it around again for another 10 minutes. The ball was nearly impossible to open, even with the "wrench" provided, and the end product was very icy. Extremely disappointing for the effort that we put into it. I guess maybe you could try to get it less icy by opening and scraping it more frequently, but every time you stop the ball moving, it's going to ice even more. And opening it is a pain.

I used a vanilla ice cream recipe quite similar to that given in the product insert. Very cheap tasting - I think you need to use real vanilla bean to get a good tasting ice cream, not just vanilla extract.

You might think this would be a fun novelty item to use with the kids, but actually the ball is very heavy once filled with ice and salt and cream, and we adults found kicking it to be a little challenging. I'm afraid a kid would break a toe on it! (yea yeah, the instructions say not to kick it.)

I'm going to splurge and find a high quality electric ice cream maker.
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on January 9, 2007
I liked the idea of this product:add the ingredients, roll it around, check, roll some more and voila...soft serve ice cream. After following the directions, including the draining, scraping down the mixture, and adding more ice and salt, and rolling some more, the ice cream was still very soupy. So, we rolled some more BUT the results were not what we wanted. The ice cream that was on the outside of the cylinder froze into a firm consistency, but it was very difficult/awkward to scrape it into the center of the cylinder where the soupy stuff was. At the end, I was scraping the good stuff off of the cylinder with my fingers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh well... I returned the product.
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