Phlat Ball is a quirky twist on the timeless play pattern of playing catch with a ball. Playing catch helps children to develop motor skills, co-ordination and dexterity, so we were particularly interested to see how this toy worked.
The basic concept of Phlat Ball is that kids can press down (quite hard) on the ball and it will go into a kind of chunky frisbee type shape, a few seconds later the ball will expand back up to a ball shape again! The effect of this is that at some point after throwing the Phlat Ball it will transform from a flat shape to a ball shape, which adds extra spice to the typical throw and catch play pattern.
We tested Phlat Ball in testing sessions with numerous kids, and with numerous products available to play. We found that kids really liked Phlat Ball, and often chose to contnue playing with it over more expensive/more complicated products. At one point in our testing we had a stream of kids chasing each other around playing with the ball.
To be frank, it’s not that Phlat Ball works perfectly every time that kids seem to like – in fact it sometimes doesn’t stick for quite long enough – but it’s fun and it’s quirky, and that’s what the children we tested with really liked about it.
The ball did not break or stop working after fairly relentless play from our testing groups. Often when you have a new type of physical structure for something common there can be design weaknesses that lead to it breaking. We didn’t find any issue here. Having said that, if you actively try to break it, you probably will!
We tested Phlat Ball both inside and outside, and found two further positive features: firstly, due to the collapsible structure of it, when it hits another object it’s momentum is more likely to be arrested by the contact than a normal ball which would be harder and less yielding, so this is (slightly!) less likely to break things around the house. Secondly, we played with the product on a fairly muddy field which lead to the finding that it’s hard plastic form means it doesn’t retail moisture/mud quite as easily as some other types of balls which have softer or more absorbent outer layers.
WHO’S IT FOR: Kids of around 5+ who like playing catch.
THE TOY VERDICT: Younger kids really liked Phlat Ball due to it’s quirkyness and fun. Recommended.
WHERE TO BUY
To see the product on Amazon.co.uk, just click here: Phlat Ball V3
To see the product on Amazon.com, just click here: Goliath Phlat Ball V3, Purple