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Style Name: Pounding Bench|Change
Price:$14.44+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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Showing 1-10 of 1,446 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,620 reviews
on June 24, 2014
I am torn in reviewing this toy. Here's why: The toy is definitely well-made, will not come apart, will not break unless subjected to massive violence. It definitely builds motor skills, hand-eye-coordination, and even thinking skills--as deciding which colors should be up or down or evenly matched in height requires some intricate choice and physical application. So, the toy is a great toy!

But . . .

You are basically giving your child a miniature of Thor's hammer. Not a hollow plastic hammer, mind you. No, no. This is a toddler weapon the great god of thunder would approve of. Two solid wooden pieces held together very well. The head of the hammer is sculpted to allow attacks from many interesting angles. Great for the toy. Not so great if your little one might decide to go "a-viking" during a playgroup, family get-together, or school function.

Like the mighty Mjolner, this hammer throws well, flies fast and far, and can kill the mightiest of trolls. Or televisions. Or PC's. Or Grandma.

So . . . the only reason I take a star off is because of the deadly weapon that comes with this awesome toy. Maybe it should have been fastened by a cable to the toy, Melissa & Doug? It's not cool that parents have to do this thinking for you. But we love Grandma. Having our toddler turned Thor send her to the hospital is not our idea of fun.

If your child is meek and kind and dependably non-violent, go for it. GREAT TOY! If your little one may just be a conqueror of lands reincarnated into this tiny body, please beware the hammer!
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on January 20, 2017
First let me start by saying I generally love all Melissa and Dog toys. They are simple, great quality products. I had been thinking about getting some sort of peg-pounding device for some time and figured approaching 2.5 years old was probably a good time - especially since my son is currently intent on "fixing" everything in the house (including the dogs and myself) by beating them with plastic wrenches and screwdrivers.

I've seen so many of these toys where the pegs go through too easily (so really what's the point) or are just about impossible to pound down (requiring the child to "practice" by hitting it harder and harder and harder - thereby developing a sense that full strength is needed for every endeavor and endangering the health and lives of all living and non-living things crossing their path). These go down pretty easily but the mechanism that keeps the pegs always attached to the bench at least creates a little resistance - making it "just right"

Now, when I decided to purchase the toy, I thought the idea of keeping the pegs attached to the bench was a fabulous idea. I am an older parent and the little one doesn't understand that I have to bend much farther to pick up the 43 billion toys that inevitably end up just under the couch, the radiators, the cabinets, etc. I was looking forward to keeping this particular device all together all of the time. And then we get the toy. When you pound down a peg on one side, the opposite peg pokes it's little face up. Once I actually experienced the toy - I panicked. There was no way he is going to enjoy this! How frustrating - You can never pound all of the pegs down! How is he going to take out his frustration? Will this very solid wooden toy be thrown across the room, shattering windows, cracking skulls? Am I dooming him to a life of suffering - creating a young Sisyphus? Depriving him of any hope for the future? Any chance for success? Only time will tell.

We've had it for a few days now and he absolutely loves it, he gets to pound down four colored smiley faced pegs and then, magically, there are four more different colors to pound. He calls it his "work tool bench" and as soon as he wakes up he asks to go downstairs and play with it.

I leave him to it and go in another room - It's too stressful for me ;)
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on January 9, 2017
I bought this for my daughter. She is 16 months old and doesn't quite understand how to use the hammer. When we play with this I usually end up using the hammer and she just pushes the pegs down with her hand. I leave this item out all the time and she never just plays with it on her own so I wouldn't say this is a favorite of hers by any stretch. However, it is a wood toy that works exactly as it should and there aren't a million pieces to pick up and put away as with most of her toys. My only suggestion would be to have some kind of clip or holder on it so the hammer stays with it when not in use. I just place it on top but it would be nice if it somehow stored better. I would buy this item again but since it's not a favorite toy for my daughter I don't know if I would buy it for a gift for another child. Maybe she will become more interested in it when she's a little older?
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on March 23, 2017
We bought this to give our son a "project" for his toy work bench. We love the toy itself. It is a perfect whack-a-mole for a toddler.
The orange paint has started to chip after a year of abuse, and the whole toy is covered in small dents. But I would say overall, it is a fantastic toy for hand-eye coordination and tool use.

However, the hammer has sharp edges, and ours even had splinters (it had the edge of a wood knot.) To solve the issue, we cut a bouncy ball in half and screwed it to both ends of the hammer. The splinters still bothered me. (Mommy hid the wooden one; don't tell Daddy!) Thankfully, the work bench came with a plastic hammer that he uses instead.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 12, 2016
My 20 mo old sits and plays with this thing often. He doesn't like the hammer too much, so instead he pushes the pieces down one by one with his hands. He laughs when the opposite side pieces pop up.
I'm glad the pieces don't come out of the little wood table, so no pieces to pick up at the end of the day. It looks sturdy enough to last even though the pieces are plastic. My son has dropped the table so many times and it still looks new. This is one of the toys I use to teach my son colors and counting. Since my son is happy with this toy, I am happy too.
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on February 23, 2017
This is another quality toy from Melissa & Doug. Our twenty-one month old enjoys playing with this clever pounding toy. He will pound the pegs down with the mallet, but also enjoys pushing them down with the palm of his hand. Alternately, he spends quite a bit of time pulling the pegs up to have all eight in the up position. The toy allows our little one to use his imagination and avoid frustration.

Like a lot of Melissa & Doug toys, it is nicely and attractively made, and it holds up extremely well.
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on August 2, 2016
This was a gift for my 16 month old nephew. He loves his tool bench and banging things, so I knew this would be right up his alley. The mallet has helped his fine motor skills and he liked that it was light enough for him to carry around. He did use the mallet to bang on other things but that wasn't an issue for his parents. He's almost 2 now and still goes back to this toy from time to time, so it's not something he's used at one age and hasn't touched again which is nice. It's great quality and has lasted through his rough stages!
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on May 17, 2011
What I love about this toy is that the pegs aren't removable, so they can't get lost. The only piece your child could possibly lose would be the mallet. When you hammer a peg on one side down (for example, the yellow one), the peg on the opposite side of the bench moves up (in this case, the purple one). It's very cute and fun for my three year-old. She's delayed, so I would recommend it for a typically developing two year-old.
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on March 21, 2013
I love melissa and doug products but this one didnt live up to their name. It fell apart after we had it for about 2 weeks. I tried to put it back together but had no luck.
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on March 16, 2017
Easy for my 18 month to use; she loves hammering away. However, the wood is so soft that she's put tons of little dents in it within just a few days of playing with it. I would have expected a stronger/more durable wood product from Melissa & Doug, especially a product that is SUPPOSED to be banged on with a hammer!!
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