Hands up if, like me, you're a child of the seventies and spent many a happy hour bouncing around on a bright orange, madly grinning Space Hopper ! Well, as soon as I saw these Happy Hopperz, I squealed "oooh look, it's a modern version of a Space Hopper" ! I was therefore over the moon when I was asked if we'd like to review one !
Having no idea of what a space hopper is, let alone any nostalgic memories of one, I wasn't sure what the kids would make of it but as these photos show, they instantly fell in love with it. 20-month old Pierre is a bit small for bouncing on it but he loves sitting on it and quite expertly manages to climb on and off it without falling over.
Juliette may look like she's being a lovely big sister and making sure Pierre doesn't fall off, but I think she's actually trying to hurry him along so that she can have a go !
Aged 6, she is the absolutely perfect size for it and spends literally hours bouncing up and down on the spot or across the room. She uses it inside if it's raining or outside on the patio if it's warm and sunny so it's a really versatile toy.
As well as being great fun, it's also really energetic as Juliette tries to bounce higher and higher, so it's a great way of getting your kids active and burning off some calories. The cute blue cow (but there are other colours and animals available) has handy horns to hold on to and the feet make it really stable and easy to stay on (which is a great improvement on the original Space Hopper that wobbled about like a Weeble).
I don't actually remember how the Space Hoppers used to arrive but I seem to remember they were permanently inflated so they took up quite a lot of storage space in winter. The Happy Hopperz arrive deflated and you just blow them up like a balloon. I was amazed at how easy they are to inflate and how well they stay "pumped up". They're really sturdy and even 9-year-old Sophie has been happily bouncing around on it so kids of all ages can have a go. The fact that they are so easy to inflate and deflate make them the ideal toy for throwing in the boot of the car when you head off on holiday too.
Happy Hopperz have really become the must-have toy of the year. As the press release explains : "For Robert and Victoria Morris (Directors of Happy Hopperz®) the 12 month journey since they launched has been incredible. "Who would have thought that a family holiday to Thailand in 2009 would have led to such a life changing experience. It was our son Charlie who discovered the Hopperz, we'd stopped for lunch at a beach restaurant when Charlie started getting bored waiting for his food. The owner of the restaurant approached carrying a strange large yellow inflatable Elephant and gave it to Charlie. Instinctively Charlie knew exactly to do with it. His reaction was incredible, he started bouncing and didn't stop, he even ate his lunch sitting on it". By the end of lunch Victoria and Rob knew they had to introduce Charlie's new companion to the UK market."
After lots of hard work they successfully launched Happy Hopperz in February 2010 at The London Baby Show where they sold out in just two hours. The HappyHopperz® are now also famous amongst the world of celebrities, after recently making an appearance at the BAFTA's in London and various celebrity weddings and events. These little toys are fast becoming the 'A List' stars of the animal world !
They're also great for developmental skills. The manufacturers explain : "Not only are these loveable toys fun to play with but they also help strengthen core muscles, increase balance control and also develop co-ordination skills. Products such as Happy Hopperz® bouncers are used by physiotherapists & therapists as a rehabilitation tool and are also used to stimulate motor neuron systems - the foundation for developing skills such as memory, language, jumping and running. They are also brilliant as a pre-walker aid, encouraging crawling babies to work their leg muscles and take those wonderful first steps."
But the main thing is, they're a huge amount of fun. Just look at the smiles in the photos and you have everything you need to know !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £19.99
for more information : www.happyhopperz.co.uk
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