Top critical review
TL:DR - It's ok, but with a few upgrades, you can be the envy of the street
April 21, 2018
After checking out the wide variety of water tables for our 1 1/2 year old, I decided to go with this one. It definitely is mediocre in terms of activities (spin the starfish and flip the characters from the jumping board or catapult spoon), but the primary reason I picked this one was the two tiered design and neutral natural colors (and umbrella! lol). With that in mind, I decided to upgrade this basic design into what I envisioned it should have been. There is a waterfall spout but no waterfall! Unless you scoop enough water from the bottom to the top to go over the waterfall ridge, it will not cascade into the bottom green bin. And there's even a picture of this "waterfall" on the box, featuring it as something that is supposed to be a common occurrence, but.....no, only under the conditions i previously stated. In order to fix this, I drilled a hole in the bottom green bin and ran some clear rubber tubing to a water pump that drains the bottom water and recirculates to the top bin. I covered the hole with the Musical Duck Race by Yookidoo, which also uses the water to create a nice fountain effect that you can change just by switching up the duckies. The other issue I couldn't leave alone was the wobbly starfish. It easily gets knocked off it's peg stand. It rotates but only if you manually turn it. I wanted it to automatically turn (to add more moving things to entertain) so in recirculating the water back up, I diverted a small flow towards the starfish "fins" underneath it. The final improvement I wanted was some sort of water entertainment filling up the top basin, not just a simple flow into it to fill. I found the perfect toy that even complimented the ocean water theme; it's called the Waterfall Water Station by Ninano. Usually you would have to pour water in the top to get the octopus eyes moving, or rotate the waterwheel, but after diverting the water through a system of tubing and pipes, I now have it so it too operates continuously for unlimited enjoyment. A couple trips to the hardware store, several plastic pipes and connectors, and a few hours later rewarded me with something definitely to be proud of! I rated the original item 3/5. For it being just a fancy 2 tiered tub, $70 is a little steep. Assembling it is fairly easy. Some people were having issues with the self tapping screws, and rightfully so. The instructions mention just using a screwdriver. That's just horrible, if I didn't use my electric screwdriver to drive the screws in, I would be cursing the entire time. The plastic is pretty tough, and the small guide divots at not enough to really help. Also, there was the issue with the wobbly starfish, and the jumping platform that also comes off easily and the toys hardly even sit on it. All in all, I guess it's a good buy for those looking for something like this, just know what you see is what you get.