Wednesday, October 24, 2012

JT SplatMaster Review

My boys are getting older now, so lots of toys they had when they were younger are starting to lose their appeal.  It's like torture kind of hard sometimes to keep them occupied and finding gifts other than electronics and video games is getting more difficult every day!  Keeping them active and happily playing together is constantly a concern. I want them to love spending time together doing fun things so as they grow up and move on in life they have shared interests and passions that will help them stay close to one another.

With Christmas coming, I am especially aware of their changing preferences for play things.  So I was really glad that my family was recently invited to try out something new for kids, called JT SplatMaster. 
JT SplatMaster is an outdoor sporting goods product that shoots color-filled biodegradable ammo resulting in a SPLAT that you can see! In other words, it's a kid-friendly version of paintball.  Yes - I said it...paintball. 

I know. You are immediately thinking about messy paint and possible injuries.  How do I know?  Because that's what I thought of when my boys first asked if they could go paintballing with some friends.  I hear the guys at work talking about their "weekend wars" and showing off their paintball welts and my first response to my boys when they asked to go was  "I don't think so."  I'm not sure they are ready for that.  Or rather, I'm not sure I'M ready for that. 

Well, the makers of JT SplatMaster realized that there needed to be a more kid-friendly version of the game and came up with a paintball gun that is low impact, spring loaded and shoots at a velocity of 110-140 feet per second.  Less velocity means lower impact, which means less chance of injury! Don't think that less velocity means weak shots though.  Those paintballs really fly and make a pretty big splat on impact, which the boys found to be "AWESOME"!
JT SplatMaster is all about safety and proper training!  They make great eye protection goggles and extra face protection gear to go along with the guns.  I was pretty sure I was gonna hear lots of groaning about the goggles, but surprisingly, the boys found them to be a very cool part of the whole "look" and experience.  For them, the goggles and safety gear are an integral part of the uniform.  Which I find "awesome."  Less worry for Mom!  Their website is full of training and safety videos that guide and direct anxious and excited kids through proper handling and usage of SplatMaster products. 

I really love that the makers of JT SplatMaster created all kinds of game options that don't involve the boys shooting at each other!  But if when they do decide to have a paintball war, I know that the product they are using is safe, as long as precautions are taken.  Having said that, I think the key to having fun with JT SPlatMaster is adult supervision.  When the kids know an adult is present to enforce the rules, they can relax and enjoy the games and not have to worry as much about another kid making a poor decision that might result in injury.

We took the SplatMaster z200 out in the backyard for a test run and the boys had a blast! Here are a few action shots:


The consensus?  JT SplatMaster really is a safer version of paintball and the non-toxic paint cleaned up easily with a quick spray from the hose.  The little biodegradable paintball capsules dissolved after a day or two and left no trace of the target practice that had taken place a few days earlier.   The guns are surprisingly accurate and easy to use and come with safety plugs to block the barrel while strategies are being discussed, as well as working safety switches on the actual gun to prevent accidental firing.
The boys would like to be able to get some of the gear they saw in the videos, like the cool facemasks and flak jackets which are not currently available anywhere that I could find.     The only other complaint they have at this point is that we can't find more ammo anywhere here in Boise yet, so I'll have to order it online, which means we'll have to plan ahead.   
JT SplatMaster is a mega-hit in our house and the boys are definitely the envy of the cul-de-sac right now.  If I understood the weekend confab with the neighborhood boys that took place in my backyard correctly, the plan is for ALL of them to try to get one for Christmas so the group can have a paintball war on Christmas Day.  Not sure how the other moms will feel about that, but I think it sounds like a heck of a way to get some outdoor activity during the holidays!  It'll give new meaning to yellow snow!
JT SplatMaster sets are currently being sold at Walmart, at various sporting good stores and paintball stores all over the country for between $25-$40, depending on the model and accessories you buy.  You can check out the website and use their store locator to help you find a reatailer near you.  OR you can take advantage of this awesome promotion and save money by buying online! 
Starting October 29th, for a limited time and while supplies last, anyone purchasing a JT SplatMaster z100 or z200 one free ammo grenade  (50 ct ammo, $7.99 value) free!

Warning:  They'll go through 50 rounds in about 10 minutes so you'll wanna stock up.

**Disclosure:  I received no monetary compensation for this review.  Kee Action Sports, LLC  provided me with a JT SPlatMaster z200 to facilitate the review.  As always, my honest opinions are always my own.**


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