Products you need, products you don’t
Our parent (and kid) reviewers tell you what works, what doesn’t
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Boomophone XTS Whack Pack by Whacky Music www.boomwhackers.com $49.98
Boomwhackers are just what their name suggests: whackers that make a booming sound when you hit them against something.
Boomwhackers are very fun music toys. They will help your child learn different notes in the musical world just by hitting things with them. (Watch out for lamps and vases, though.)
Each Boomwhacker is a plastic tube that plays a different note. To find out what note it plays, look on the side of the tube—it will show you the note and its corresponding place in the do-re-mi scale.
The longer the tube is, the lower the note; the shorter the tube, the higher the note. The tubes are also color coded for kids who don’t know the letters of the alphabet. Red equals C, (do); orange equals D (re) and so on.
While this is a great learning tool, it is also fun if you just want to compose some tunes.
The XTS Whack Pack has one drawback for those who are more serious about music—or are in a band, like myself—there are no tubes for sharps or flats. But those tubes are available separately (Chromatics Set, $16.98). While I didn’t test those out, they would allow you to compose more complicated tunes.
Musical nerdiness aside, I found this to be a fun and original toy—one that people of all ages can enjoy. It is also a great toy that families can use to form their own symphony or hold their own concerts. Even teens who don’t do anything unless their friends pronounce it “cool” will be proven wrong by this amazing musical instrument. Because the moment you pick this instrument up, you’re making music.
Zachary Smith, 13, Oak Park