Hot Potato Game Review: Pass the Hot Potato!

Editor's rating:
8.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

Easy to play and easy to follow

Batteries are included

Plush materials make playing the game safe

Easy to store the few pieces that come with the game

Enhances playtime and promotes social interaction with others

Helps develop motor skills and hand/eye coordination

We don’t like

The batteries may easily die

The music box sometimes does not function properly

How it works

Nothing makes a kid’s party more fun than games that get everyone involved and allow everyone to be silly. For far too long, kids have been told to be quiet and sit and be seen and not heard, but there are times when a child must act out and have fun. Times like these don’t have to be at a birthday party, but rather, they can be anytime when there are friends and family to play with. The makers at Ideal took an old-time beloved game and made it fun and accessible to all by packaging and creating the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game. With a plush potato toy coupled with music and sounds, the Hot Potato Passing Game will entertain your children and their friends for hours as they have the freedom to be silly, socially interact, be physical, and make connections and friendships that will last. 

 

Design

Design

The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is quite easy to understand, play, and figure out due to its incredibly simple and straightforward design. Upon purchasing the game, the potato comes in easy to open packaging. All you have to do is pull the plastic covering off the front of the cardboard backing and then you can have full access to the potato. Pull the potato out of the packaging and then recycle the rest of the materials. Included with the potato is the instruction booklet, which seems a bit excessive because figuring out how to play the game requires no instructions at all, and thirteen cardboard potato chips.

The potato itself is plush and made out of a blended, soft material that makes it safe and easy for the potato to be thrown around. The potato is designed to look like a real potato with the spud markings of potato all around the toy. The front has a cartoon funny face that personifies the potato and adds to the fun of throwing around something that is cartoon-like and has personality.

On the bottom of the potato is a velcro opening that houses the music box and inner workings of the potato. If you pull the velcro apart you will find the box and on the box is a switch that allows you to turn the toy on and off. When you flip the switch you will hear, “Hot Potato!” and then the game will begin. Close the velcro and then give the potato a squeeze and music will start playing.
Batteries Included

Batteries Included

The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game runs on a very specific kind of battery. The game runs on three AG13/LR44 batteries. The batteries resemble tiny disks that are placed into the back of the music box. If you pull the velcro apart, you can remove the music box from the inside of the plush potato. When you do that, flip the music box around and you will see the battery door, which will be kept closed by tiny screws. Take a small phillips head screwdriver similar in size to an eyeglass screwdriver and remove the screws to then remove the battery door.

When the door is removed, you will be able to see where the batteries are inserted and how they are to be properly placed into the toy. Although the toy comes with the batteries already, it is always a good idea to have more batteries on hand in case the batteries have lost some of their charges while sitting within the toy before purchasing. In the event that the batteries quickly lose their charge after opening, you can easily replace them and have fresh batteries in the toy for longer play.
Safety

Safety

As with all physical games that involve children, there needs to be a certain level of safety while the toy is in use. Although the toy is plush and soft, always supervise children when they are playing with the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game because if the toy is thrown too hard it could hurt a child or adult. It is a good idea to remind kids to not throw the potato hard or throw the potato at anyone’s face as it may hurt their eyes.

The makers at Ideal used velcro in order to eliminate the risk of a zipper hurting someone. The object of the game is to quickly pass the potato around, so the softer and quicker the pass, the more difficult the game becomes and the more fun the game becomes. Also, ensure that the play area is wide open and clear of any other toys or debris that may make children trip or fall when they lunge for the potato to catch it or try and catch the potato if it is thrown over their head. The clearer the play area the less risk of injury or trips or falls.
How To Play

How To Play

Playing the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is quite easy and simple to do. Hot Potato is a classic game that has been played for generations. It is like musical chairs but without the chairs. The purpose of the game is to never have the potato in your hand when the music stops.

To begin play, choose two to six players and stand in a circle. Then, choose someone to be the first to hold the potato. When that person is chosen, they will turn on the potato with the switch on the music box located inside of the potato, and then they will give the potato a squeeze. When the potato has been squeezed, the music will begin to play. As soon as the music starts to play the person holding the potato will then toss the potato to someone else in the circle and then that person will toss it to someone else and that rhythm will continue. Each person tosses the potato to someone else.

As time goes on, the music will start to get faster and faster indicating that the song will come to an end soon. This gets the excitement heightened and the tossing will come faster and faster and the emotions getting sillier and sillier. Eventually, the music will stop and the potato will make a “boing” noise indicating that whoever is holding the potato loses and receives a potato chip. The game then starts all over again. The person who gets three potato chips from having had the potato when the music stops loses and is out of the game. That process continues until there is one person remaining. The game can last a very long time as it may take a while for everyone to get three potato chips to be out of the game.
Potato Chips

Potato Chips

Included with the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game are thirteen cardboard potato chips. The chips are designed to look like ordinary white potato chips. They are designed to have little ridges to make them look more authentic, however, there is also a cartoon smiley face on each chip to make the game more fun for kids. The chips are easily stored in the plastic bag that they are packaged in, and if you put them all back into the plastic bag, you can then store them inside of the potato by pulling apart the velcro and storing them inside the potato where the music box is located. By doing this, you will keep all of your pieces to the game in one place and the chips can never be lost.
Age Range

Age Range

The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is recommended for children ages four-years-old and older. The age of four is when children will have the dexterity and hand/eye coordination to be able to toss and catch the potato without dropping it or getting hurt. This also opens up the game to all age groups and family members as everyone will be able to have the ability to pass and toss and catch the potato to keep the game going at a decent pace.
Social Interaction

Social Interaction

The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is a great tool to get kids to play with each other and communicate with each other. Because the rules are pretty straightforward and foolproof, kids can learn to play fair and play well with others. There doesn’t need to be a lot of talking involved in playing the game, which is great for more shy children, but it also promotes talking and playing together in a fun and silly way that makes shy children feel a bit more at ease.

The game is a great way to get kids away from screens such as smartphones, tablets, and televisions and get them into interacting more with others on a personal, in-real-life way. The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is great for birthday parties and playdates as a way to get kids to play together and have fun together as they form the bonds of friendship.
Motor Skills

Motor Skills

A game such as the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game helps kids develop their hand-eye coordination and motor skills. They will be paying close attention to the game in order to successfully catch and pass the potato so they can win the game. This keeps your child’s mind sharp and their skills sharp and developing fast as they learn to see the object and then catch it and then quickly pass it. The thought process of seeing a problem and finding a solution is exercised as your child is exercising their new skills and learning new ways to be quick and think quickly in a high pressure, high stakes environment.
Parental Concerns

Parental Concerns

A few parents have had some concerns with the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game. One of the major concerns has been that the batteries were not fully functioning upon purchase. With that, it is always a good idea to have fresh batteries on hand so that you can replace any batteries that may have lost their charge while being stored within the toy.

Another concern was that the music box did not play as soon as it was turned on and squeezed. Some parents found that the music box got stuck on one mode and then when it was squeezed the music didn’t immediately play. It is a good idea to fully read the instructions and fully remove the music box from the potato in order to fully see how the switches work and to ensure that the switches are placed on the proper settings to ensure that the potato is being set up properly.
Price

Price

The price for the Hot Potato Musical Passing Game is quite inexpensive for a toy that can entertain the whole family for hours. The price is right on target for a toy that has virtually no pieces or clean up required. The toy only requires the flip of the switch and the rest is up to the imaginations and the interactions of those involved. The game is for up to six players but can be played with more and for the low price it costs to purchase the toy, you can occupy the time of a large group for as long as the game lasts. It’s a great price for a great buy and should be on the minds of parents who are looking for an inexpensive toy for their children.

Conclusion

The Hot Potato Musical Passing Game by Ideal is a great buy for the parent who wants to entertain a group of kids for a long period of time. The toy is easy to use and allows kids to be silly and loud for good reasons that allow them to express themselves and make social connections with other kids and other members of the family. This toy should be considered by the parent who wants an inexpensive toy with a lot of benefits that will help their child grow and develop while allowing them to have fun and be free.
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