Diggin’ the new Wobble Deck
Adding an electronic component to a classic toy can be a gamble. Sometimes it puts the kibosh on the inherent play value of the toy, while sometimes, as in this case, it sends the fun quotient through the roof. This past holiday season, we discovered wooden balance boards made by a local company, Challenge & Fun. These beautifully-constructed boards encourage active play and develop balance and coordination without taking up too much space.
Now, a new company, Diggin, has created an electronic version of the balance board, the Wobble Deck. This is one of the first products to debut from Diggin, which was formed last year by a group of seasoned toy industry veterans. The Wobble Deck is part balance board and part memory game (a la the popular Simon game from Hasbro). The board lights up with color sequences that need to be remembered and repeated by shifting the weight of the board towards each color.
Like the breakout hit video game, Dance Dance Revolution, the Wobble Deck will appeal to parents because it encourages physical activity in a small footprint (or two). Unlike a video game, the Wobble Deck can be used indoors or out, so it’s a nice, year-round toy to have around the house.
So, if you’re in the market for a balance board, which do you choose? For a younger child, probably the wooden board is less complicated and easier to master. For an older child, the extra entertainment will make it more interesting. But the wooden version will likely last a generation or more. The Wobble Deck is very reasonably priced, and time will tell how it holds up to hours of use and abuse.