Patriotic Square Star Flashing Balls, retail $9.95/doz (
Manufactured by (Unknown) for Oriental Trading Co. (
Last updated 06-17-07

The Patriotic Square Star Flashing Ball is an elastic (bouncy) vinyl ball that emits a brief light show anytime it is thrown against or is bounced against a hard surface.

I bought it because I was attracted to the red and blue LEDs in it. This is after all, a website about things that emit light, so it seemed only fair.

The price of $9.95 a dozen equates to ~83¢ apiece.


The Patriotic Square Star Flashing Ball is ready to use as soon as you remove it from the plastic baggie it comes in.

Anytime the ball strikes a hard surface (such as it would if it were bounced or thrown at a wall), the ball flashes its red & blue LEDs for 14 seconds (timed with a clock that has a second hand), then extinguishes itself.

There is no power switch to forget about.

This appears to be a disposable product; there is no obvious way to change the batteries; and I don't even know what size/style of cells it uses.

This product is SPECIFICALLY INTENDED to be thrown at and bounced from hard surfaces, so durability should not be an issue here.

This product is meant to be used as a child's toy, not as a flashlight designed to be thrashed, trashed, used (like a flashlight), and abused. So I won't try to flush it down the toilet, bash it against the concrete floor of a patio or against a steel rod, let my housemate's kittys pee on it, run over it with a 450lb Celebrity, use a ball peen hammer to smash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannonada (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piñata" too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform or a handheld wand), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or perform other indecencies on it that a regular flashlight might have to have performed on it. So this part of the web page will be somewhat more bare than this part of the web page on a web page about a flashlight.

The Patriotic Square Star Flashing Ball appears water-resistant; possily even submersible to shallow depths as well. So you need not be concerned to hand it to the kids and let them use it outdoors in rainy weather.

Since this product is intended to be disposable, I cannot in good conscience award it a full five stars when I assign a rating to it. But it does appear to be reasonably durable and well-constructed, so it will probably earn about as high a rating as I can award to any disposable product - even though not every unit out of the dozen received function properly.

Three of the twelve units perform poorly (one just barely lights, and the other two are totally dark), but this was rather expected of a very inexpensive (~83¢ each) product of non-US origin - sometimes known as the "Hoo Phlung Pu" brand.

Photograph of the unit in operation.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the flashing action.
This clip is approximately 3.3 megabytes (3,436,892 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than ten minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

That music you might hear is called "Audio Art", written for the Commodore 64 computer in 1989.

The product is not sound-sensitive, so you may ignore or mute the music if desired.

I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

Test unit was purchased from the Oriental Trading website on 06-06-07, and was received on the afternoon of 06-15-07.

Product was made in China.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    PRODUCT TYPE: Flashing bouncy ball
    No. OF LAMPS: 2 (1 red, 1 blue))
    SWITCH TYPE: Impact-sensitive automatic switching mechanism
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: Unknown type/number of cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Probably yes, to shallow depths anyway
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries (already installed)
    SIZE: 2" (51mm) diameter
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    Star Rating

Patriotic Square Star Flashing Balls *

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