The Thumbs Up Roller wheel is something that’s turned out to be an unexpected hit in our house.
Holding up to 80 pounds the wheel seems to generally be used as a rocking chair in our play, and something fun for one of our kids to push the other around in. There are balls between the inner and outer tubes, and as you roll the balls will generally move to the left and right a bit and end up falling to the next level.
In theory this thing is pretty enjoyable, and so far my kids are having a blast with it. They gave up iPad time the first night to play with it and then had to be dragged out this morning when it was time to head to daycare/camp. Let me repeat, they gave up iPad time to play in this.
The parental blow up blow up
That said, the Thumbs Up Roller wheel has some excessively large issues. The first is that the included pump is more or less garbage. It’s a foot pump, but if you put your foot on it you’ll collapse the thing inward or forward. I ended up basically having to inflate this like I was doing CPR.
I literally was covered in sweat at the end.
The second is that coming in at 39 inches in diameter you’re going to want to deflate this or keep it outdoors. With this pump, and having to use hands instead of feet, you’re going to require someone pinch the inflator valve and you can’t do that if you’re using both hands to pump it.
The included pump is garbage, you’ll want a $14 air pump or so.
Useless pump means you’re not going to deflate the thing.
The other reviews
I’m not going to wait to test this until it’s dead, but this claims to be an indoor/outdoor item and it really doesn’t feel like it will stand up to much outdoors. At least not running across rocks/sticks/sidewalks/etc.
There’s a little comment in the product description on Amazon that indicates to only use it in the grass for that very reason.
Other reviews tend to indicate it pops eventually. Looking at the seams and how hard my sub-50 pound kids are hitting it I expected that was going to be the case, but at several months in it’s still going strong.
Thumbs Up Roller Wheel Overall
Coming in at $70.76 as of this writing I think I’d rather invest that in a pool or something. My 5yo barely fits in the thing and I can’t imagine it being used much past when she’s 7 at the rate she’s growing. Maybe in the $40-50 range I’d be a little less peckish about it.
While it says it holds up to 80 pounds, which is the average weight of an eleven year old, I don’t think my kids are going to fit in it height wise much longer and the oldest is five at 46 pounds at this point. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they’ll fit.
Seems a bit expensive, but a neat idea. At three and a half months in it’s still going strong, however I haven’t let them near rocks with it.