During the summer months, children and their families use a lot of outdoor toys and water toys. Since we frequently spend time at the pool, I've spent a lot of time searching for safe pool toys that are more than diving sticks, toss games and inflatable rafts. Roaming the aisles at our local Costco, I noticed the Banzai Bumper Boat. This inflatable pool toy allows kids to drive and steer the boat, while squirting a stream of water up to 20 feet.
The boat arrived in a small, compact box, which we purchased at our local Costco store for $24.99. After returning home, I utilized an air compressor to inflate the inner tube. I then inflated the inner part of the tube where the child sits by mouth within seconds, and wouldn't recommend using an air compressor for that portion.
8 "D" batteries need to be inserted into the steering wheel, which will add another $12 in expenses for the boat to work appropriately. 4 phillips head screws needed to be removed from the top of the steering wheel in order to insert the batteries. Make sure to use a phillips head screwdriver that is very long but skinny, as some of the screws are recessed. In all honestly, it took several attempts to find the correct screwdriver to remove the cover. However, the batteries were easily inserted, and the cover was screwed back on the steering wheel. The company recommends making sure that the cover is securely fastened to keep water from entering the mechanism.
A large black tube is then placed through a small opening in the inner tube. There is a long propellor attachment that is inserted into the black tube. The handlebars and steering mechanism are clicked into the top part of the black tube. Inserting the handlebars took several attempts to attach properly. It was easier to insert the handlebar if one person held the tube and propellor, while the other focused on aligning the handlebars.
Using the Bumper Boat
The boat is recommended for children ages 5 and up, with a 100 lb. weight maximum, but my 3 1/2 year old was easily able to maneuver the boat by steering it and blasting the water, once he had help to get inside the boat. The boat and water launcher use small buttons, one on each handlebar, that are held down. The plastic propeller is encased in an outer covering. Even when the boat is near the side of the pool, it did not come in contact with the pool liner or the side of the pool. As children sit inside the boat, they can steer the boat, while propelling it around the pool, blasting water at their friends.
We set the boat up, and on the first day, my son maneuvered it around the pool for at least 45 minutes having a lot of fun squirting water at people near the pool and working on perfecting the steering. He often pulled the steering wheel back to aim the water higher, but this impacted the ability to maneuver the boat in the water. When he was finished, we removed the boat from the pool and left it on the pool deck. Later on in the evening, we noticed that the propellor and motor were repeatedly spinning making a loud noise, even though the trigger wasn't being held down. The only way we were able to stop the propellor from spinning and completely draining the batteries, was to remove the handlebars. Once the handlebars were re-attached, the propellor automatically began spinning again, which was frustrating.
This is a very unique pool toy that has been really motivating and fun for my son. However, as a parent it's frustrating that the electrical mechanism doesn't work correctly, which could ultimately drain the batteries in a very short period of time. For a $35 investment (including battery purchase), this toy is a lot of fun, but you'll have to decide individually whether this is a worthwhile purchase for your family considering the electrical components could potentially drain the batteries on a daily basis.
I purchased this item on my own. Any opinions expressed are my own.