Thursday, March 5, 2009

Review: Blinkerz hard blade guards


You like the look of this beauty? Try buying eight of them for those darn Blinkerz blade guards – you know the ones: they have flashing LED lights.

Ice Grandma recently bought Ice Girl a pair of those cool, flashing Blinkerz blade guards for about $25. We all know that I’m way too cheap to buy them myself; I’d prefer to spend $9 - $13 on the plain ol’ plastic variety blade guard and toss the remaining $13 at the ice. But Ice Grandma loves the sparkle and so does Ice Girl.

Flashing. These puppies flash, which is great when Ice Girl is walking, but rotten when she’s not. A car ride with the Blinkerz will cause them to flash almost constantly, which wears down the batteries and the driver’s nerves. Ice Dad kept thinking he could see a police car’s flashing lights in his rear view mirror, but it was just those guards.

Batteries. The pair of guards takes eight CR2032 batteries; that’s two in each half. Our batteries lasted maybe two weeks. Order them online from batterybob.com and you can get a package of 10 for $14. Buy them at Walgreen’s and you can spend $20 for eight. Can you hear my wallet’s silent scream?

Weight. Geez, these guards are heavy. Nearly every time Ice Girl wears them, that’s what she says.

Quality. Something fell off the battery compartment when I removed it from the guard. Removing the battery compartment is pretty easy if you have a tiny screwdriver and you can keep track of the microscopic screws. However, a piece of something fell off when I removed a battery compartment. It looked a lot like a bit of hot glue. Other battery compartments had the hot glue in tact, but this bit just fell off. I shrugged, replaced the batteries, and hoped the stupid things would still flash. They do, but I worry that the lump of glue was necessary for…something.

Performance. They protect the blade just like their cheaper, non-flashing cousins.

Bottom line: Would I buy these again? Nope. Yeah, they’re cool, but they’re costly – not just up-front, but in long-term maintenance, too (unless your dad is Battery Bob). If you’re Ice Girl, though, you’re going to have to resign yourself to non-flashing, heavy guards. No way is Ice Mom shelling out $13 – 20 for batteries every two weeks.

8 comments:

Denise said...

I agree. Apart from the battery issue, our problem with the "blinking" guards is that moisture gets into the the electronic/battery compartment and rusts the working parts which ruins them. We're on our second (and last pair) of these pricey and pesky guards.
However, the kids love to use them at the annual ice show because when the lights are turned down, you can really appreciate their blinking qualities.

Ice Mom said...

They RUST, too? Ack!

RedShamrock said...

How about the blinking lights on the Zucas? Do they need batteries.

So far so good, G has not asked for them and based on these reviews, even if she does she will not get them.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Red Shamrock! Nope. The little Zuca wheels have some internal energy thing that creates electricity when the wheels spin. Very clever and no batteries to replace. I'm going to add that to my Zuca review - thanks, Red Shamrock!

Anonymous said...

My daughter 'had' to have them. The problem is she looses guards about once a week. I did end up buying them because she passed into the next level and as reward I broke down and bought them. So far she hasn't lost them and it's been a month.

MN skater mom said...

My daughter does not have a pair of these. She also has lost guards before and these gaurds seem to be high maintenence.
Also, they don't seem to be as popular with the 12+ age group at our club.

Anonymous said...

Not just the battery issue these things RUST. The battery compartment lets moisture in! We've had two pair stop blinking and look awful after a few months my daughter's blade cut right through the front battery pocket. Yikes!
We aren't getting a third pair. I found Jerry's Flashing guards at a competition on another skater. I asked her mom about them and she let me take a good look. These babies are in a hard resin! We saw them again about 6 months later and her guards still looked brand new and I know that she skates a lot. So that's what we're getting next.

luci.toes said...

If Ice Girl still has them you can buy battery for them super cheap at http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.751 Since it's shipped from China it might take a while to get it in the mail.