On Amazon Prime Day my wife found a good deal on a metal “Geodome Play Central Command Operation Lawn Freedom Base Station” or something like that. Normally selling around $170, it was on sale that day and both kids’ birthdays are just a few weeks out. Through some glitch (we believe) it took the discount twice (or more?), and the total cost for the whole thing plus a swing was under $60. TOTAL. I have no moral hangups about taking advantage of an apparent error from Amazon.
Yesterday it showed up via UPS and when I came home, the kids were quite literally clawing at the box trying to get it open. Big shoutout to whoever decided it was a good idea to put images of the item all over the outside of the package; delaying this until their birthdays was out of the question now.
I texted my wife (she was still at work) and she said, “yeah, go ahead and open it, but fair warning: my friend told me it took her husband 3 HOURS to set it up.” I replied, Wow, low bar? Thinking, come on, I took a transmission out of my boat, replaced the damper plate and reinstalled the transmission, put it back in the water and tested it, BY MYSELF, in three hours. Her response: “reviews on amazon are confirming that time frame for assembly.”
If there’s one thing to take away from this story - in case you live under a rock and didn’t already know this - Amazon reviews are about as good a source of reliable information as your town drunk. In fact, he probably wrote most of the reviews that say things like, “Terrible flashlight, tasted like peanut butter. Was not able to cut through sheet steel as promised.” Some are useful. Most are not.
Total time from opening the package to having the kids climbing all over it was 86 minutes. Timestamped text messages to my wife confirm this - in fact, it was only 71 minutes until it was all assembled, I just had to tighten it up and put on the plastic handholds; I spent easily half of the remaining 15 minutes trying to keep the kids from impaling themselves on the studs for the handholds it while I finished it up.
This validates my general feeling that anyone with some solid wrenching experience can assemble even a fairly complex children’s toy in half the time of a normal, otherwise perfectly capable and intelligent human. And miles ahead of the average Amazon review writer. Here are some direct quotes from the reviews:
This is not something that can be put together with one person.
after 6 hours (because I did it myself and took a few breaks every now and then) I finally got it done
Took 2-3 hours once we got the hang of it.
But then there was this gem:
The only issue was it created a Thunderdome in my back yard. The children started chanting two kids enter one kid leaves. The benefit is there is now a venue for solving all arguments.
Oh and by the way, the box inside the one with all the images was totally plain. Hence my WTF pic/text after a surprise being ruined by packaging.
There you have it, “photographic” evidence.