One of the things that my local Menards store does really well is place the seasonal toy section right near checkout and towards the lawn and garden section which I always need to travel too. And so, when I’m doing errands with my children, I also seem to end up with a couple of extra toys or yard games that I wasn’t planning on buying. Such is life.
During this particular trip my oldest son became infatuated with a Banzai Backyard Sport Fishing Game. He became so infatuated with it he tried to sneak it into the bucket he was carrying so I would have to pay for it at checkout. We had a quick discussion about this type of behavior – but the price tag was only $10 – so I thought why not, let’s give it a shot, especially since I love fishing.
I have actually been pleasantly surprised with how much he has enjoyed this outdoor fishing game and can honestly say I didn’t mind spending the 10 bucks on it. But you are going to want way more details than that – so here is our quick Banzai Backyard Sport Fishing Review.
Quick Banzai Backyard Sport Fishing Game Review
This is not a very complicated game. It includes a 12-inch or so fishing rod with a small closed-faced reel. There is some cheap fishing line that is tied to a big orange “hook” at the end. It also has 8 plastic fish. Attached to the reel is a little timer that you can twist – if you want to set a timer to see if you can hook all of the fish in a time limit!
We should note that the box makes it look like that orange hook is attached to some really strong line. It is not – it really is attached to some cheap clear fishing line. My kids did manage to snag and break the fishing line a couple of times by doing some crazy things, but the orange hook can easily be reattached to the fishing line using a standard fishing knot (which if you are a big angler like me, won’t be a problem and if you don’t fish – you can learn this type of knot in about 30 seconds).
The point of the game is to cast the fishing hook and catch the plastic fish by dragging the hook over them. You can lay the plastic fish on the ground and catch them that way, but for younger children I really recommend attaching two of the fish together, so they stand off the ground slightly. This makes them easier to catch and keeps children from getting frustrated. I should also note that the orange hook does work better the shorter your lawn is – so remember to give it a good mowing.
The closed faced reel is easy for children to use. It might take a little coaching to teach them to let go of the button at the right time when they are casting – but it basically works like a real fishing rod. I actually enjoyed how much casting practice they were getting when playing with this toy, and I’m excited to see if they those skills translate well when I take them real fishing again!
I did have to remind my children a few times to change the direction they were spinning the handle on the reel. They kept turning it the wrong way and the hook was not returning to the rod.
I was also really impressed with the actual casting distance they were getting. The orange hook has some weight to it, allowing for good distance on the casts. In fact, my 5-year-old was able to get the orange hook tangled in a tree about 15-feet high. I snapped the line trying to get the orange hook untangled and actually had to throw some toys into the branches to knock the hook out. We accomplished getting it down.
My oldest son also participated in the fun by launching the hook about 20-yards into the neighbor’s yard. I was again amazed at his ability to do this. And I was also surprised the fishing reel actually had enough line in it to handle a cast like that!
The fish are easy enough to catch and should bring a lot of enjoyment to some outdoor playtime.
Final Outdoor Fishing Game Grade
My sons really enjoyed this Outdoor Fishing Game a lot more than I was expecting. My oldest son literally spent over an hour the first day we got it just casting away. My children were actually fighting about whose turn it was and who got to cast.
And I really enjoyed the fact it was only $10. It is rare I get to buy a toy or game for that price that is so enjoyable for children. Yeah, the fish rod isn’t the highest quality, and the fishing line is probably going to break a time or two on you, but you should be able to get it repaired pretty easily. It is a big debate on if I should make this a Silver Star toy or a Bronze Star Toy because of the quality of materials – but I’m going to go with Silver Star because it was only $10, and my sons enjoy it that much.
Plus, I love fishing and love giving them an opportunity to practice.
Other Links of Interest
If you are looking for some other great toy options, check out some of these fun reviews we did:
- The Best Christian Themed Toys
- The Best Bath Toys: Matchbox Marine Rescue Ship
- The Best Little People Collector Sets
- Hot Wheels Inflatable Car Wash Review
- The Hot Wheels Mario Kart Racing Track Reviewed
Hopefully these fun toy articles will help you find some great gift ideas!