Customer Review

95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for kids from 5 to 95 (and beyond), March 13, 2006
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Magic 8 Ball (Toy)
When I was seven years old I received a Magic 8 Ball for Christmas. As soon as I unwrapped it, I ignored every other present under the tree for the next half hour, so absorbed was I in the 8 Ball. Fast-forward some quarter of a century later when my own son was seven. I passed my 8 Ball down to him. That's how durable it is.

WHAT IT IS:

The Magic 8 Ball looks almost exactly like the 8-ball in a billiard game, only larger; about five inches in diameter, slightly flattened on one side, which allows it to sit on a flat surface without rolling off, and constructed of very hard black plastic. The flattened side is a round window, in which you can see an icosahedron (a 20-sided geometric figure) floating in water. On each face of the icosahedron is a phrase written in white: Yes, Without A Doubt, My Sources Say No, Concentrate And Ask Again, Yes Definitely, Outlook Not So Good, You May Rely On It, Ask Again Later, etc. The positive, negative and vague phrases are distributed about 10-5-5, so you get a 50% chance of a positive response, a 25% chance of a negative response, and a 25% chance of a vague response.

HOW TO PLAY:

Using the 8 Ball is great fun. You hold the ball face up, with the 8 showing, and ask a yes-or-no question. Turn the ball over, wait a second or two, and as if by magic (at least young children will think so), a face of the icosahedron with the answer to your question will swim eerily up into the window. The question, of course, should make sense. I remember my bratty little five year old neighbor down the hall complaining that my new 8 Ball was dumb -- "I asked it, Is my mother a boy? and it said Yes." I told her "Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer." She went home in a huff.

The big caveat in playing with the 8 Ball, of course, is taking it too seriously. It's a game, for heaven's sake. It's a toy, actually, but grownups who think they are too grown up for toys can call it a desk game or whatever else they want. (Law & Order SVU fans: check out the 8 Ball sitting on Detective Tutuola's desk.) You can ask the 8 Ball any question that can be answered with a yes or a no; like most other fortunetelling games, its response will be right some of the time. Using the 8 Ball to play the stock market is definitely dicey. It's can be frustrating when you're told to "Concentrate And Ask Again", or "Ask Again Later". I wanna know now, dammit.

The Magic 8 Ball is one of the classic toys, like Slinky, Mister Potato Head, and Lego blocks, that have stood the test of time. It's easy to use and great fun.

SAFETY/DURABILITY:

I've never known an 8 Ball to break. My own was dropped on the hard floor innumerable times and never showed a crack. Maybe if you bounced it at 90 miles an hour off a concrete wall...

AGE RANGE:

Age 5 to adulthood. Children under 5 will probably find it too large and too heavy to handle easily.

Judy Lind
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 11, 2015 11:19:06 PM PST
Fantastic review, informative, funny, and with some technical detail as well.
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