I was looking for a birthday present for my 10 year old nephew, he is the boy who has everything. I was struggling to find him a present, my sister told me his latest hobbies was circus tricks, he has the spinning plate set and juggling balls. I came across the mookie diabolo set and thought it would be a great edition to his hobbie.
I bought the mookie diabolo set from amazon for £5.99 and postage was free. You can also buy it from the mookie website for around the same price. I bought the red one but comes in blue or green as well.
It came packaged and ready built, it also come with instructions which explained different tricks and how to preform them. The diabolo is made from robust plastic and looks like two small bowls stuck together base to base. It also comes with the wooden sticks with string attached to them, the sticks look like drumsticks.
The idea is that you can preform trick, it takes a lot of practice but my nephew has only had it for a month and is already successfully preforming tricks. I am very impressed by how quick he has got the hang of it. You can toss the diablo in the air and catch it again on the sting, or slide it side to side without it falling of the string and many more tricks but that's the basics. You can preform yo yo tricks too.
You can easily advance onto more difficult tricks my nephew is now trying to perfect the Backward whip catch, this involves tossing the diabolo into the air and catching it on the string behind your back.
The sticks are the perfect length for children and have a nice smooth finish to them so you do not have to worry about children getting splinters. The diabolo is made from robust plastic and is very hard wearing, it has to be as it gets dropped a lot until you become an expert. I suggest that its played with outdoor as you need plenty of space and height to play with it. The mookie diabolo is perfect for beginners as its lightweight and compact.
My nephew has been practising non stop and has preformed circus shows for the family, he keeps us all entertained and it works on hand to eye co-ordinations, It also got him off his playstation and out in the fresh air. For £5.99 its defentley the best present I have ever bought. I have even had ago myself and its so much fun. I would recommend this for boys or girls aged 6 and above, you wont be disappointed if you buy it.
The newest addition to our ever growing family is Andrew, my younger sisters soon to be husband, due to him being a work colleague for a couple of years before hand, the transition to friend through to family has been a bit slow for me, though with him taking matters into his own hands and officially becoming "uncle" to my children, and you know what uncle's do.....yep, present time!
He was (at that point anyway!) a bit clueless on kids, not having any in his immediate family himself, so after a bit of guidance from my sister, decided that he would buy my children their first official present as an uncle, hence this review!
The product in question is - "Mookie Diablo".
Now I had heard of these before, but had never actually had a go with one, and due t it being quite unusual my soon to be in law was quietly confident that no-one else would have got her one (I know he loved my son's present, drinking glasses!), and he wanted his present to stick out!
In the set you get the Diablo sticks, which are simply that, two sticks made from a smooth plastic, in our case a lovely deep blue colour, which are attached together with string.
Then there is the Diablo itself, as you can see from the picture to me it looks like an oversized cotton spool, with a deep ridge in the centre to balance on the string, and the outer parts flared outwards, symmetrical on both sides, giving the player a much better chance at balance.
To use you start with the Diablo balanced over the centre part of the string, with the sticks held together, this stops it from falling off before you start (well that is the idea anyway!), then the idea is to start gently lifting one stick higher than the other, then the other way round, with the idea being that at some point you will be going fast enough to perform tricks, flipping the Diablo up and off the string then catching it again....we, struggled getting the Diablo moving and kept on the string!
My friend (who is a festival nut!) has offered to give my daughter and me lessons on it, but have as yet taken him up on his offer, I am afraid my daughter ha a very short attention span so has given up on this already, though my son has decided he might quite like to learn!
To keep it is best to store away in the dry, as the plastic of the Diablo would soon discolour and become brittle, with the string and handles being more suited to being hung up somewhere, not rammed under a bed like my daughter did, it took me ½ an hour to undo the knots that had appeared in the string!
Price wise this is available via www.amazon.co.uk for around the £6.00 mark, though the one we own was considerable more, purchased from a "bazaar" shop (the name at present eludes me, Hawkins maybe?!), costing around the £10.00 mark.
As a product this is well made, and reasonable durable and sturdy, the Diablo in particular, not breaking once when repeatedly dropped onto the garden path when Kaitlin was practising, though the sticks and string are much more delicate, the problem is of course whether or not you have the ability to make these work, myself and my daughter have never been able to do it, though my son and husband have had varying degrees of success, so if determined to do so, this would be an ideal toy for a child.
Thanks for reading x
A couple of years ago, I acquired the business end of a Diabolo in a box of bric a brac but the sticks and string bit was missing and although I tried to fashion another one, it wasn't really working, so it went into the garage and was forgotten about.
When we were visiting my father in law recently, I saw one of these in a department store toy section (where I had been dragged by my wife looking for a pressie for our grandson) for a fiver so decided to try it out. Before the weekend was through, I could hardly get my hands on my newly acquired Diabolo as it proved very popular with my nieces and nephews.
Since bringing it home with me and whilst the weather has been nice, I have been getting some practice in in the garden and although I have not yet mastered any fancy tricks, I can get it going fairly fast and send it fairly high up into the air. I can now catch it and keep it spinning around 8 times out of 10. On one occasion I had to get the ladder out to retrieve it from the roof - half an hour later, from the neighbour's garden. However, it's one of those skills that does improve with practice and even though I'm a bit old for this kind of thing, there is no age-related barrier to having fun, as far as I am aware.
I managed to embarrass my wife yesterday by practising to music in the garden. I put on that track called Dumbo which is the one they always use at the circus and disappeared into my circus alter ego for ten minutes. It's OK - the neighbours know I'm a bit wacky and they take little notice now. My wife can't do it at all (ha!) - if she wants to join in and play circus, she'd do a scary and impressive job as The Bearded Lady. (OMG - I'll be in serious trouble if she reads this!)
For those who are unfamiliar with a Diabolo, it comprises a rubber unit with central axis as shown, together with two sticks and a 'string'. By manipulating the sticks and string you can fling your Diabolo right up into the air at a surprisingly fast speed and to quite a height. The skill is in the timing and learning the best point at which to catch and release the diabolo.
The Mookie toy company produces a range of toys from days gone by and the Diabolo is one of those crazes that goes in and out of fashion from time to time. It's good innocent cheap fun for the kids. Judging by the squabbles amongst my nephews and nieces, it's best to buy two or there will be ructions!
The toy itself is quite sturdy and should help to occupy the kids in the holidays. Keep them away from the greenhouse and any nearby cars. One of these falling from the sky onto your pride and joy would make for a fair old dent.