Crack…whoosh…boom! As I stood by watching my father, husband and son try out the Sonic Boom, I quickly agreed the name of this bat and ball set is certainly accurate. Baseball roots run deep in our family, so my son already has a garage full of equipment: bats, balls, a tee and a glove. He was very excited to add another bat to the collection, especially one with a different look and feel than a traditional one.
The Sonic Boom Bat and Ball set, made by Backyard Sports, consists of a bat made of durable plastic with an extra-large “sonic boom chamber” (aka very fat shaft). This oversized bat is open at the top and hollow on the inside, which produces the loud, echo-like noise as the player hits the ball. The set also came with a hollow, white plastic baseball. The set is endorsed by Major Leaguer Andrew McCutchen and licensed by Major League Baseball.
One of the unique features of this toy is the connection with Backyard Sports’ digital game “Backyard Sports Baseball 2015”. Just above the plastic handle, the bat has a small electronic LED screen that produces QR codes as you swing the bat and get hits. Action-TrackR technology is engineered into the bat, which tracks the power and speed of the user’s swing.
Once you download the game/app to your device (Apple or Android), codes from the bat are linked to the game, giving more power to your player’s swing. I found the digital game to be tedious and confusing, but to be fair it isn’t my normal genre of app. My son, at age 4, was way too young to understand how to navigate the game, though he finally did start to understand the basics.
The bat is advertised for players 5+, but at 4, my son was able to use it just fine. It was even better than some other bats because the large “sweet spot” made it easier for him to get a hit each time.
As I mentioned, he wasn’t able to use the digital game, so that part of the bat is useless to us for the time being. It is certainly a toy just for fun, and might be frustrating to the serious baseball player (it would not make a great practice bat due to size and material). This set would be great to pull out for picnics or family/neighborhood gatherings because it appeals to a large age range. Even though it is linked to a digital game, it does encourage exercise and outdoor play, which makes it even more appealing.
- Easy to hit/use
- Fun noises as you play
- Neat concept that links it to a digital game
- Far from real baseball bat size
- Expensive due to the technology linking it to the game – if you aren’t going to use that feature, it’s not worth it
Sonic Boom Bat and Ball
Manufactured by Backyard Sports
Available at Toys R Us (www.toysrus.com), Amazon (www.amazon.com), and Target (www.target.com)
Appealed to the advertised age range: 4
Instructions were easy to follow: 3
My child played with this multiple times: 4
Small pieces were a problem: No
Would travel well: Yes
I would purchase this for my family: No
I would purchase this as a gift: No
Overall rating: 3.5
Meet the Reviewer!
Christy Petrak is a systems engineer currently taking a leave of absence to raise her two children, Thomas (4) and Eliza (1). She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming and baking/decorating cupcakes.