Banzai Wild Waves Water Park Box Picture Vs Reality

Hey kids, want to spend the summer with five of your friends in your very own backyard pool? Then stay the hell away from Banzai’s Wild Waves Water Park! David Ng juxtaposed Banzai’s box art with a picture of his disappointed kids standing next to the fully assembled “water park.” He wasn’t the only one deceived, according to the reviews on Amazon…

Here are several representative snippets:

“I have two preschoolers (ages 2 and 4) and this pool is just the right size for them.”

“It is the worst product I’d ever bought from Toys R US and I’ll never go to Six Flags! Don’t buy it.”

“One person can’t slide down the slide while one person is in the pool let alone have 2 people sitting in it! The slide is so small and when you turn on the hose to let the sprinklers come down the orange top collapses and has no use!”

“As every one else has said this pool is tiny maybe good for 1 or 2 toddlers. Picture on the front is NOT accurate. A 6 year old can’t go down the slide with his legs out because they hit the wall. My 3 year old hardly fit. Buy a sprinkler for $5.00 my kids had more fun with that.”

The box admonishes buyers “product may not be as appears on image;” a gross understatement for a gross distortion.

SPIN SPIN SPIN [Popper Font] (Thanks to Paul!)
Banzai Complete Water Park [Amazon]
(Photo: davehwng)


Edit Your Comment

  1. chris101d says:

    Its really their own fault for having healthy normal sized kids…Stop feeding your kids so much!

  2. chris101d says:

    Realized that came off as a fat reference more than tounge in cheek ;(

  3. Amnesiac85 says:

    Dude, that box looks like a gigantic monster slide.

  4. OldJohnRobinson says:

    The grocery store shrink ray strikes Toys R Us!

  5. dmuth says:

    It’s a shame that the image is not available under one of the more liberal CC licenses. :-(

    Otherwise, we could have uploaded the image directly to the listing on Amazon.

  6. timmus says:

    Wow. The fact that such an egregiously deceptive product can stay on the shelves tells me that manufacturers are banking that consumer laws won’t be enforced. I applaud the bad reviews on Amazon, and I savored them all, but at the end of the day no one is going to remember who Banzai is, and they’ll just change their model number from B950A862 to B950A863 with the exact same stuff inside. The old product and reviews will be forgotten but the same Lilliputian pool set will be right back up on store shelves next summer and Toys-R-Us (aka The Chinese Connection) won’t give a damn.

  7. timmus says:

    I just saw this in the Amazon reviews: There is a disclaimer in the packaging telling the consumer they cannot return the product to the store.

    I’ve seen plenty of “do not return product to store” notices in boxed items, but “cannot return product” notices?? Is that correct?

  8. matto says:

    @timmus: I ignore them. It is simply manufacturers trying to keep returns down at retailers.

  9. legwork says:

    Wanted: Elven Hobbits for photo shoot. Must be freakishly thin. Experience feigning joy for camera in spite of poor draw of genetic cards a plus. Pls supply own teensy bathing suit. Smoking area and 2nd breakfast provided.

  10. dragonfire1481 says:

    @timmus: I have an Intex kiddie pool in my backyard and it does state in huge bold letters on it: DO NOT RETURN TO STORE.

    So that seems to be common with these kinds of products.

    Box images are usually exaggerated anyway (as are images and visuals in most advertising, but this is a bit much.

  11. LordofthePing says:

    There must be some recourse, it’s like ordering an $80 000 Porsche and instead receiving some little dinky car (exaggeration, but principle is the same).

  12. theRIAA says:

    the box pool eats reality pools for breakfast.

  13. jiminator says:

    not surprising, its the shrink ray at work again.

  14. Wubbytoes says:

    Those kids look like they are about to cry over their shrunken water park. I know I would have.

  15. Quatre707 says:

    Most products that are just one piece of material, which has no resale value at all… a plastic swimming pool, a spindle of optical disks, a piece of foam board are bad for manufacturers when they get returned to a retailer.
    Generally the retailers are ordered by the manufacturer to destroy the product, and the manufacturer reimburses the retailer for the products cost.

  16. There was an old sketch on You Can’t Do That On Television where one of the kids gets a prize in the cereal box, and he says that it should be bigger. The Father explains that the kid is a midget, and makes thousands of dollars making things look larger.

  17. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @Git Em SteveDave is a poor substitute for LindsayJoy: You Can’t Do That On Television… damn I miss the 90s!

  18. JoseRZ says:

    We sold this early in the summer. I was wondering why almost everyone of them got returned.

  19. dtracker says:

    @sean77: Wow, I really didn’t think anyone would manage to pull off a ‘blame the consumer’ in this story, but you managed to do so both subtly and fantastically!

    Remember, everyone, don’t trust your lying eyes, make sure you measure and tape off the area to see what you’re really getting!

  20. ironchef says:

    silly consumer…you’re supposed to use the Grocery Shrink Ray on your kids before they play on it. Duh.

  21. imwm says:

    @timmus: Banzai makes, and has been making, a lot of toys and kid products… it’s not just one of those companies that will just disappear.

  22. target_veteran says:

    @imwm: No, but this product will disappear from Banzai’s lineup and reappear in some other company under the parent corporation. I can’t find the company site in the first few Google pages, but it sounds like a zaibatsu subdivision. If it’s not Japanese (as the name implies), then it’s some Chinese megacorp doing the manufacturing and releasing it through an American distributor.

    Either way, calling them on it just makes the company play the shell game.

  23. Distahs says:

    This is just beyond sad there should be something someone can do to help stop this from going on. I mean look at it as if you were one of thous kids how would you feel?

  24. AgentTuttle says:

    Apple did the same thing when they had a model with ginormous hands hold the iphone.

  25. sean77 says:


    The fact is, we’ve all run into this sort of thing before. The picture on the box never looks like the product inside, and we humans are notoriously bad at judging size. (Who hasn’t bought something that turned out smaller than they expected, or larger?)

    The more pragmatic of us takes it as a life lesson, and move on.

  26. JayDeEm says:

    I bought a TV a couple of years ago that looked to be about the right size in the store but was a bit too big when I got it home… I kept it anyway ;-)

    /Wife Rolls Eyes

  27. superlayne says:

    We got an inflatable slide like this one time. It was a little more accurately represented, though, and a lot larger.

    I’m just wondering who the jackass is that designed this thing to be so tiny. Infants drown, you know.

  28. Mp3dog says:


    At first, i thought that the kids on the box were Photoshopped to look smaller. But upon closer inspection (pay careful attention to the placement of the graphics on the outside wall of the 2 pools) it became obvious that they actually used a larger version of the product for the photo shoot!!! That’s an even dirtier tactic than Photoshopping the image.

  29. Tzepish says:

    @sean77: Your implication that this sort of practice is perfectly acceptable is disturbing.

  30. Benny Gesserit says:

    Won’t somebody think of the tiny, tiny children!!

  31. Kali Mama says:

    Just wait until they compare the packaging of blow up dolls and the actual content.

    But damn, for $84 that’s a huge ripoff.

  32. woot says:

    To add insult to injury, the exact same pool is offered at $84.99 and $42.88 on Amazon.

  33. ukthom says:

    OMG Honey I Shrunk The Kids!

    (then sold them on to do photo shoots for toy manufacturers)

  34. rpm773 says:

    Those midget leprechauns are having such a blast in that box picture. They’ll be all tired out and will be sleeping soundly tonight in their little willow-tree nests in the cool night air and moonlight, before doing it all again tomorrow.

  35. FourMat says:

    I was actually deceived into buying this product at Walmart. After putting it together and filling it, my wife and I looked at it, then the box and realized we had been fooled by a massive photoshop disaster. When you look at the box at full size it’s *very* obvious how bad the photoshop hack job was. Kids cut out and placed on the slide, etc. By the time I realized that we had been fooled, the kids were playing in it (one at a time) and you know you can’t just take something like that away from a 3 year old without enduring the 7 levels of whiny hell. This is definitely one for the photoshop disasters blog.

  36. nataku8_e30 says:

    Wow, I’m impressed that the marketing people bothered to actually shrink down the children in the photo, what with the cost of tiny atoms and everything. Have you priced those lately? I’m not made of money, leave me alone!

  37. mhutt says:

    We bought a jungle canopy pool by the same company. Same problem. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old and they couldn’t play in the pool together though in the photo there are 4 approximately 5 year olds all sitting in the pool. We also got a piece of paper in the box saying it can’t be returned to the store, but I am going to try it anyway. I contacted the customer service email address for the company but never got replies.

  38. Propaniac says:

    If the product is sold without any hint that it doesn’t fall under the same return policies as any other item in the store, that “Do Not Return to Store” notice can’t possibly be valid.

  39. Domichi says:

    The $42.88 one is being sold by someone else, not Amazon themselves.

  40. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @sean77: You’re blaming the victim here – against our comment guidelines. The point of the post, as I’m sure you realize, is the misleading box art. Don’t do this again.

  41. @sean77: This is SO not the same thing.

  42. EBounding says:

    The kid in me is very angry about this.

  43. pgh9fan says:

    I bought one of these last year for my then five-year-old son. I noticed right away that it wasn’t what it looked like. However, since I have only one child it worked out well for the most part. The spray thing doesn’t work too well. But, ny son still does enjoy using it.

  44. snoop-blog says:

    I’d return it. These things are such terrible eyesore’s anyhow. Plus one poke, and the thing becomes life endangering.

  45. yso says:

    ok – the picture is deceiving but i’ve learned this lesson buying toys online before.

    ALWAYS check dimensions before you buy.

    If I can’t find dimensions on the box, I DON’T BUY IT!

  46. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Photo-manipulating the box is pretty sleazy.

    I don’t know many people that have half-scale miniature children.

  47. Randomeis says:

    While there may be some photoshopping, I’m going to have to side with the completely different model based on the number of ring toss sticks (2 vs 4 on the box)

  48. dragonfire1481 says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: That’s AGAINST the guidelines??!

    Then why is it allowed to happen on virtually every consumerist post?

  49. organicgardener says:

    That’s just plain deceptive advertising and no matter what the box says, return it to the store and get your money back. I’ve never had a problem doing that. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  50. ShortBus says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: So groupthink is the only acceptable comment here? While I don’t think this particular story is one of them, there are quite a few around here where the consumer *is* at least partially at fault.

    I enjoy reading comments that come from multiple points of view–it makes me better informed. If mods start telling posters when they can or cannot disagree, then this site has become a useless gathering place for whiners.

  51. PinkBox says:

    Yikes! I almost bought this for a 5 and 7 year old. I’m so glad I read this first… thanks Consumerist!

  52. snoop-blog says:

    Come on guys, use your brain here. The Consumerist is here to help people, not redicule them. And there’s a BIG difference in saying someone should have known better, and that someone deserved what they got. However, misleading advertisement what this post is about, lets use some common sense (even though I know it’s not really that common) when commenting. If you want to disagree, I’d suggest you do it tastefully.

    @dragonfire1481: And the whole point to Roz’s job is to curb the amount of junk comments (which include blaming op) that is on this site.

  53. PinkBox says:

    @sean77: The average person is still going to look at those dimensions and think “Wow! This thing is pretty big!”, and also use the art to judge the size.

    Having the measurements on the side doesn’t justify how obviously deceptive the packaging is.

  54. snoop-blog says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: And sorry Roz, I know we’re not supposed to referee on here either, But I stick up for people I like, and I got your back.

  55. Kirk Douglas says:


    I disagree, I don’t see him as blaming the consumer, I see him more or less pointing out that the information of the dimensions of this product are readily available. One could surmise that the dimensions provided clearly do not match up with the picture.

  56. xl22k says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Wow. Just wow. Now I know why I visit this place less and less. I’ll put a couple blank lines on the bottom of this comment and you can insert what I’m supposed to say.


  57. MaliBoo Radley says:


    I’m fairly sure that went off the air in 1990. That was a true 1980’s show if there ever was one. I watched in on nickolodeon starting in about 1982.

  58. Dansc29625 says:

    I saw an ad a few years ago for a ford Aspire or Fiesta or one of those older tiny cars they made. When you actually looked at it the curb that the car was sitting next to would have gone halfway up the side of the wheel and the people on the sidewalk looked to be about 4’1″ or so. Defiantly sleazy but with ford the ruse wont last long. I wish I had saved that ad.

  59. ITDEFX says:

    My mom asked me to get this for my nephew’s birthday gift and when I saw the box and the sale price I thought it was a good deal. Putting it together I realize there is no way in hell all those kids in the picture can be in here like that.

    What a waste of 20 bucks.

  60. basket548 says:

    Whoa, that’s a bit much. The ‘victim’ in this story has a smaller pool than he thought; he didn’t lose a kidney or something. I think the whole ‘don’t blame the victim’ mentality has gone overboard. Sean brings up a great point about reading the fine print, and then makes a somewhat snarky comment about the site, which authors themselves often do when writing up a post.

    Not to play Monday morning quarterback (actually, wait, totally to do that), but it’s often nice to hear the other side of opinions, especially when they have valid and factual points.

  61. dtracker says:

    @basket548: Funny, I think it’s swung the other way on this site. No matter what the story is, somehow a commenter will find a way to point out something the consumer did wrong – really easy to do when they weren’t the one in that situation.

    In this case, the point of the story that the site theCONSUMERist is trying to illustrate is a pretty blatant misrepresentation of the product. Who cares what the specs say? Maybe the buyer is illiterate. Does it matter? Who among us is meticulously careful with each and every purchase we make?

    If people would like to discuss the foibles of human behavior, they should find a site called ‘’ and comment there. Heck, this comment probably qualifies for that site.

  62. wagnerism says:

    So let me get this straight…

    As long as you put an asterisk disclaimer on it, you can do whatever you want with the product inside? Also… putting the “do not return to store” message inside makes me believe that they know people are going to be disappointed.

    Here, specifically, is a picture of a much larger pool with multiple older children playing in it. This picture is clearly different from the product inside. This is a deceptive practice no matter how many disclaimers or dimensions are on the box.

    Blame the consumer applies when they’re trying to get something for nothing… or are ignoring obvious cues in hope of getting something they really want.

    If I see a picture on the box that has several children of that age playing on it, I had better get what’s inside.

    Those stupid disclaimers USED to be for people that hated the color of vinyl used that day in the plant. Now its a slimy way to get out of fraud claims.

    How about this… a McDonald’s cup of coffee with an asterisk that says “might not contain coffee”. Today its put there because some idiot drinks it dry and complains that there’s no coffee in it. Tomorrow its McDonald’s reason to fill it with the contents of the soda fountain drain tub. Meanwhile, the picture on the menu shows a Colombian hillside covered in mist while the coffee was grown somewhere much less vacation-worthy.

    Fix it! Return these products. Chargeback the credit card if the retailer is in on the scam. If the retailers waste their time/money, get slow sales and many returns, they won’t be selling that crap for long. Retailers often run a low margins and they can’t suffer all these returns on inferior product.

    Too bad these bad reviews aren’t available to the retail shopper.

    Complain all you want. Money is the only thing that matters.

    Aren’t there WYSISYG laws for this?

  63. Ubermunch says:

    Personally… I do think that the dimensions on the box and Amazon listing does change the issue a little bit. I’m not saying that the art is not deceptive and misleading, but there is information available that does reduce the *level* of deception. In effect, the info is there but is not complete enough to deter consumers from feeling cheated/scammed. Posting of this information does not necessarily blame the OP and is pertinent to the issue at hand… packaging, marketing, etc. Am I the only one who sees that?

    And at the risk of being off topic…

    When you put a moderator beat down on relatively innocuous comments it only 1) makes the site look petty and mean spirited… 2) draws attention to the original remark… and 3) drives away folks who have a lot to offer from a minority viewpoint. How’s this for an idea? How about we all just ignore the pinheaded remarks. You know… just don’t respond to the trolls, blamers, and morons. It’s the old sick puppy thing…. Don’t feed the sick puppies (and they die..? Er… I never did understand that…). For instance: I’m tired of all the GSR complainers but I just ignore ’em (usually :-).

    Sites that moderate themselves into groupthink become support groups for like minded people and not places of interesting discussion. I’d hate to see that happen here because I love this place.

  64. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Woah! I’ve always felt the Consumerist community has been good at self-moderation. This isn’t Kotaku where you have a ton of young readers getting into flame wars. If this keeps up, I’m done with Consumerist.

  65. shufflemoomin says:

    @dtracker: I don’t think it’s fair to have a go at the guy for that. I agree with him, if the sizes of the item are there to be seen, then I don’t see how a consumer can complain. Yeah, the picture is clearly misleading, but the size of the item is right there in numbers for people to check. If the box says product may differ and has the actual sizes there, the consumer has to take some blame.

  66. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @Ubermunch: What he said.

  67. Yurei says:

    Looking at the two pictures, they are clearly NOT the same product. The width between the orange things, the slide length at the top, the pattern on the side… this isn’t just a case of an awkward photo angle making it look smaller, the one in the photo is, actually larger in several dimensions. How that is legal advertising I will never understand. Now, I collect model kits, and on the box they are often panel lined, and sometimes the pre product models used in the box art have different colored pieces, and in rare cases, some things are molded slightly different. The box always says “contents may vary slightly from box art” and that is a fair use of the phrase, imho. What this company is doing with the slide is just wrong, and blatantly so. why don’t you make it the actual size on the box and just charge more for it? Some people will stay pay for it. -_-;

  68. I received this email from Banzai regarding this matter:

    On behalf of Banzai, I would like to point out that the reason the final product does not match the image on the box is due to the lack of sufficient air to expand the product to its actual size. Our new Wild Waves Water Park accessory, the Wild Waves Water Park Cold Fusion Air Compressor, sold separately for $35,000 at your local Toys ‘R Us stores and or rented from your nearby industrial waste complexes, will provide the necessary 12,040 psi needed to expand the Water Park to its native size.

    Should you have any questions, please contact me at [redacted].

    There you have it. I placed my order for the accessory yesterday from Amazon. With Google Checkout, it brought it down to $34,990 with free shipping.

  69. shufflemoomin says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: That’s a bit out of line. He’s expressing an opinion. If his opinion is that he thinks the consumer is to blame in some way, his opinion isn’t valid here? Is that really how things work here now?

  70. cashmerewhore says:


    Don’t most people have a general idea of the height of their children? I’m not talking exact inches, but if lil Timmy is waist high, and you’re about 6ft tall, you could guess an approximate height for him and use that against the measurement on the pool’s packaging.

    This won’t be the first or last product that uses a deceiving picture on the box. No microwave dinner I’ve ever made comes out as appetizing as the photo on the front, ESPECIALLY the diet ones.

  71. lemortede says:

    @shufflemoomin: Yes, Yes it is.

  72. basket548 says:


    EXACTLY! If we receive comments both about what a consumer can to to rectify the situation and what the consumer did wrong in the first place, then we can learn from BOTH viewpoints. That’s what this site should be encouraging, not a blind ‘rage against the man’ type mentality.

    The fact that more and more people are pointing out what went wrong in the first place should be seen as a positive. As you yourself point out, maybe everyone should be more meticulous when making purchases.

  73. waza says:


  74. tc4b says:


    I can’t believe all these people getting their panties in a twist over your comment! I can’t believe people on what is often a very funny website don’t lighten up. Anyway, have a great day!

  75. rellog says:

    @Ubermunch: When a company has to alter the image in an attempt to fool customers, then it is fraud, no if and or buts… Sticking the dimensions on the side mean little.

  76. lannister80 says:


    Just figured that out now, eh? :)

  77. timsgm1418 says:

    @Grrrrrrrrr: geez we can put a man on the moon but we can’t make smaller children? Science has once again let me down

  78. timmus says:

    Hey, the 2009 Banzai models have just been announced!


    This one adds a Water Jet System, which in the packaging will simply be revealed as a plastic loop to hold a garden hose that you turn full blast.

  79. parrotuya says:

    Maybe several, starving Chinese kids from Communist China could play on this contraption simultaneously! Otherwise, I think this would make a great waterboarding device. How about waterboading the CEO of this company!

  80. shufflemoomin says:

    @lemortede: I see. I’ll get my coat then…

  81. 5h17h34d says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Frankly, I think you need to use better judgement as a moderator. This is the 2nd bad call I’ve seen you make in 3 days.

  82. astroglide says:

    I work for an ad agency and we frequently do photo shoots on food products. I’d be the first to say that what we photography is ALWAYS much better looking that what is packaged by our clients. But there is a difference to what is going on here.

    When we photograph products, we take extra time to make it look as photogenic as possible. The best ingredients. The most symmetrical portions. However, we are careful to never use something not used in the final product. If it’s a frozen fried chicken dinner, we don’t add an extra piece. If it’s an ice cream cone, we don’t make larger sugar cones.

    If Apple wants to use an abnormally large hand to hold their iPhone to make it look smaller, that’s fine. That’s where the listing of the dimensions comes into play. But if Apple built a special iPhone that was 50% bigger than the actual product and passed it off as a real iPhone in the photoshoot, that’s wrong, regardless of what the dimensions say.

  83. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @rellog: The FTC agrees with you:

    “What makes an advertisement deceptive?
    According to the FTC’s Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement – or omits information – that:

    * Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
    * Is “material” – that is, important to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product.

    The FTC looks at the ad from the point of view of the “reasonable consumer” – the typical person looking at the ad. Rather than focusing on certain words, the FTC looks at the ad in context – words, phrases, and pictures to determine what it conveys to consumers.”

    The image depicts three children comfortably fitting into the pool and a fourth climbing the slide in the back. It doesn’t matter what the dimensions on the box say, Banzai is implying that it’s possible to have four normal sized kids use the pool at once.

    Report them to the FTC and the state’s attorney general. They should be made to correct their advertising or pay a fine for their deception (hopefully both).


  84. Jevia says:

    I was shopping for a pool for my children, 1 and 3 1/2 earlier this summer and remember seeing this model. but fortunately, I do my initial ‘shopping’ online, so I read a bunch of reviews saying it was smaller than it appeared, so I didn’t bother checking it out in the store. I ended up buying just a plain circle wading pool (2 rings high) with toys for less than $20.

  85. Ubermunch says:


    But it does mean something…. and pointing out that the dimensions are on the box in this thread should in no way make you an inappropriate poster.

    As for how much that information is worth in terms of the scam factor…. well that’s up for debate. I agree with you mostly, but there is accurate information on the box and I think that is a consideration that’s worthy of discussion here. I shop a LOT (a WHOLE LOT) on Amazon and am very careful to read the specs in detail. It’s saved me from a fair amount of heartache IMO. In a bricks and mortar store I carry that habit with me so I find myself studying the boxes carefully. I’m not blaming the OP… but you get the idea, right?

    Isn’t that what being a savvy consumer is all about?

  86. Ubermunch says:


    “But if Apple built a special iPhone that was 50% bigger than the actual product and passed it off as a real iPhone in the photoshoot, that’s wrong, regardless of what the dimensions say.”

    Agreed… although many companies are not as honest in their photo shoots. For instance, ice cream is often Crisco (real ice cream melts), and in one shoot I saw personally beer was motor oil (I don’t know what the foam was). How about all the fake sushi in restaurant windows?

    I think it comes down to intent. In this case the product pictured is different/Photoshopped (I think both) in a way that is (and IANAL) legally actionable. Certainly the FTC could put an end to this… well this product. Until they sell it under another brand and new scam pic (see above comments).

  87. triggerh says:

    It appears someone took it upon her/himself to upload the picture to the Amazon product page: []

    I was tempted to upload it myself, but that would have been a violation of Amazon’s terms and conditions because its not my photo. Hopefully, davehwng doesn’t mind that anonymous uploaded his picture.

  88. AceEdit says:

    Perhaps the real reason that this product has a “do not return to store tag” is, if the stores realized what they were selling was fraudulent and deceptive, they would no longer buy the product from Banzai. In my mind, anything that says “do not return to store” is a red flag and should be avoided.

  89. astroglide says:


    We would only use Crisco instead of ice cream, or motor oil instead of beer if in each case the product we were selling was NOT ice cream or beer. Need to sell pilsner glasses? No problem using motor oil to simulate beer. Need to sell chocolate sprinkles? Sure, Crisco won’t melt under the hot lights of the photoshoot. But no agency worth it’s reputation would substitute Crisco for ice cream if they were hired by Baskin Robbins. There are plenty of other tricks to make the client’s product look as good as possible. I’ve personally sat through an ice cream photoshoot for a regional company and we most certainly used the real product.

  90. u1itn0w2day says:

    @timmus: Agree they’re banking that the consumer laws won’t be enforced.

    Gee,do you think past experience has anything to do with it? I think this is blantant disreguard for any kind of truth in advertising,deceitful if not criminal.This is the sort a thing grifters do.

  91. xrmb says:

    just put 150 PSI on this thing and the size will match…

  92. cmdrsass says:

    @AgentTuttle: THat’s hilarious – do you happen to have a link?

  93. Kishi says:
  94. AllenK says:


    Me too! Nothing I ever got as a kid worked right or was what it was supposed to be.

    They look like a couple of orphans whose dog just died. Poor kids!

  95. Ubermunch says:


    Make sense… Although at the shoot I witnessed the beer was the focus and was definitely not the real product at the time I saw it. Of course it was literally 115 degrees in the shade and windy. Something about the wind made the real beer too swirly.

  96. howtragic says:

    I really am starting to think that the state attorney general needs to get involved with this kind of stuff. Yes, it’s only a water slide that costs $30, but these is just so obviously misleading. The reason the AG should get involved too is because the individual can’t really sue of this stuff. They’re out $30 and have otherwise suffered no damages.

  97. coren says:

    @sean77: There’s a large difference between judging sizes poorly and actively attempting to deceive someone, which is the case here. The goal is to clearly sell the product based in part on the image.

    And if you want your babyfood analogy to work, the OP would be complaining about “and there weren’t even two kids included, let alone six!” or something along that lines.

  98. XTC46 says:

    @tc4bI agree…everyone should lighten up, including the moderators. Roz’s comment is like saying “if your opinion differs from ours, its not welcome” and while they have the right to enforce that if they please, im sure its not the best way to get viewers to help make this site grow even further.

  99. I wonder why the company didn’t just make the product as shown on the box, and just increase the price a bit. I know as a consumer, I would rather pay more money for something I would enjoy, then less money to be absolutely disgusted. These poor parents! My kids would be crushed :( Thank god I got a good deal on an 18′ intex frame pool…

  100. mythago says:

    @sean77: there is nothing “pragmatic” about excusing a company for deceptive marketing. That is, in fact, the kind of OP-blaming that the comments policy is all about.

    And what is the “life lesson” you think we are all wiser for learning? That companies will rip you off and if they succeed, you should crawl away meekly and be glad they took your money for the trouble? Again, that’s kinda not the message of Consumerist. As somebody already pointed out, you are free to start your own for that line of thinking.

    The picture on the box is intended to sell the product. It is deceptive advertising if the product is photoshopped so that it doesn’t look like what actually comes in the box. Using your baby-food example, if a jar of baby food shows a baby eating strained peas, it’s fair to assume that the jar contains strained peas, not puffed starch dyed green and whipped to resemble peas.

  101. Kirk Douglas says:


    The problem with the Consumerist is that the consumer is labeled as a victim in every post. Sometimes the consumer is just plain wrong or was at fault for the problem they had.

    That is not to say that this consumer should not be cheesed over the paltry pool he’s got, but not being able to point out that some people are knobs and that the customer is not always right should be looked upon as a differing viewpoint, not as a bane to the site.

  102. coren says:

    @tc4b: I don’t agree with what sean said (see my above post) but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be able to say it either. It’s getting kind of annoying when asking anything that could even hint at the OP having responsibility in the matter is shut down.

  103. @sean77:

    From an Amazon review:

    ” The dementions say the pool is supposed to be 74 inches long 54 inches wide and 13.5 inches high. However blown up at best the outside measurements of the pool are 70 inches long, 51 inches wide and 10.5 high and that’s being generous. There are 4 ring tosses in the picture, 2 on the actual pool. “


    I’ve read all 38 reviews on Amazon, and a few reviews of Bonzai’s other products, and really, this company is not one you should defend, they mis-state the dimensions on many product packages in addition to photoshopping the pictures. And many people complain about calls to customer service numbers never being answered.

  104. And also get off roz’s back she was right. RTFReviews.

  105. mythago says:

    @Kirk Douglas: I must be reading Bizarro Consumerist, because I’ve seen plenty of posts where the consumer is not “labeled as a victim”, and plenty of comments where people have (correctly) pointed out that the OP was an ass, or was at least partially at fault. See the Papa John’s thread for a pretty huge example.

    That’s a far cry from insisting that the OP is at fault because they were not clever enough to see past deceptive advertising. sean77’s comment that there was some kind of “life lesson” in getting screwed by Bandai makes it clear what he’s talking about – if you get ripped off, you deserve it and shouldn’t be a moron next time.

  106. stezton says:

    I can’t get over the $90 price tag on amazon. That alone is ridiculous.

  107. As Mp3dog said above, I studied that photo for a while, and all my experience in Photoshop tells me that they did not Photoshop down those kids… they photographed a completely different product for the box. I would savor every moment of my chargeback after buying this product.

  108. Ubermunch says:


    sean77’s comment that there was some kind of “life lesson” in getting screwed by Bandai…

    sean77’s original post never said anything about a life lesson. That’s a previous poster’s mistake in assigning the comment to him/her. Here’s the whole post in its entirety:

    It has the dimensions on the box and on amazon.

    74″L x 54″W x 13.5″H splash pool with 48″L x 21″W x 21″H slide

    Next up on consumerist, baby food doesn’t actually contain babies like the picture implies!

    Take sides… flame… just make sure you attribute the posts to the correct users, ok?

  109. daniinpa says:

    Knowing the dimensions is not helpful to the average person, not when it comes to such large objects. 74 X whatever X whatever…that doesn’t mean anything when you’re trying to eyeball it based on a picture on the Internet. Blame the education system for the average consumer’s weak grasp of math, but this post is not about the education system.

    This deception is appalling and blatantly anti-consumer. The Consumerist exists to call out companies just like this.

  110. mythago says:

    @Ubermunch: Yes, I was referring to sean77’s subsequent post, which is in response to dtracker. Here’s the whole post in its entirety:

    The fact is, we’ve all run into this sort of thing before. The picture on the box never looks like the product inside, and we humans are notoriously bad at judging size. (Who hasn’t bought something that turned out smaller than they expected, or larger?)

    The more pragmatic of us takes it as a life lesson, and move on.

  111. XianZomby says:

    I maintain it wasn’t the product that was photoshopped at all. It was the kids. The shrink ray hit the kids in this photo, not the waterpark.

  112. welsey says:

    @AllenK: I totally remember that feeling of disappointment as a kid – I don’t know what it is about children’s products but nothing I ever got did what it was supposed to! I saved up money for weeks to buy a radio controlled car, and it crapped out on me after like a day. Ugh.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that would have happened to me. I can just imagine me and my cousin making those same sad faces as those kids in the photo.

  113. Dansc29625 says:

    I feel like “Do not return to store” is a load of junk. Yes! return it to the retailer if It doesn’t suit you. (They shouldn’t sell this junk in the first place)

  114. charodon says:

    This box puts the “deceptive” back into “unfair or deceptive trade practice.”

  115. mhutt says:

    Although the similar product I bought said “can not be returned to the store”, wal-mart took it back no hesitation. I emailed customer service as requested in the enclosed information but never heard back.

  116. gorckat says:

    I am most impressed they got the ‘arches’ to stand up. They always just flopped over when we had this thing.

  117. PurpleSfinx says:

    Wow, that’s ridiculous. Sean77 was just pointing out some useful information. Don’t try to silence people who point out accurate, *relevant* facts just to make your stories seem more controversial. This is exactly the kind of thing the Consumerist is supposed to be against.

    Someone reading this story could easily think that the rest of the box was misleading – he wasn’t blaming anyone (not that I really agree with your policy anyway, provided people tell nothing but the whole truth). He was just pointing out that the correct information was *also* available, in addition to the misleading “photo”.

  118. Meathamper says:

    You’re right. There were way more kids on the box…or do I have to supply my own?

  119. CapitalC says:

    @jiminator: Maybe the product is actual size in the box photo and they used the shrink-ray on the children?

  120. ? graffiksguru says:

    @sean77: Like anyone ever looks at the dimensions, and not the picture.

  121. mythago says:

    @PurpleSfinx: Please. Blaming the OP for relying on the DECEPTIVE PHOTO ON THE BOX is “useful information”?

  122. diablodevil2 says:

    That’s one of the saddest pictures I’ve seen in a while for some reason ._. I’ve seen things that are supposed to be sadder, but that one just kinda speaks to me a bit, I dunno.

    As for the ‘don’t blame the victim’ rule, I think it’s a good one. It just needs to be fine tuned so that it’s only exercised in cases that should apply, like here. There are cases when the OP of a thread is going a little overboard, but this isn’t one. Obviously, Banzai knows what it’s doing there, and the average consumer will take the picture for what it’s worth. Deception is wrong, plain and simple. …Unless a woman asks you if her dress makes her look fat. Then it’s 50/50.

  123. bwcbwc says:

    That’s not deception. The grocery shrink-ray is expanding into new markets!

  124. MagicOfLight says:

    My wife purchased an even similar version and she was disappointment to find out how small it was for our 3 year old. But that pool was $15 so I didn’t expect much. This pool is $90 from Amazon; at that price I would expect to get the product pictured on the box.

  125. oreoking says:

    “STOP: Do not return this product to the store!” is a common inclusion these days. (It’s on the quick install guide of my TV, my DVD player, and even the cheapo bookshelf I bought at WalMart.) It doesn’t mean you CAN’T return it, it means the manufacturer is asking you to contact them instead, allowing them a chance to resolve your problem. As stated in earlier posts, returning an opened product to the store is usually not a problem for the consumer, and the retailer will get a credit from the supplier.

  126. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Git Em SteveDave is a poor substitute for LindsayJoy:

    The Father explains that the kid is a midget, and makes thousands of dollars making things look larger.

    It was a lucrative line of work before CGI was invented

  127. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    If I can’t find dimensions on the box, I DON’T BUY IT!

    you must have a pretty small CD collection

  128. dtmoore says:

    haha look at the picture on amazon. That surprised me, but is awesome.

  129. coren says:

    @mythago: No, but pointing out the product dimensions that are, is.

  130. katoninetales says:

    @aaron8301: 90s? Try 80s. [] The show went off the air in 1990.

  131. Brazell says:

    I like the one kid on the box taking an NBA 3-pointer. There is no chance in hell that even Michael jordan could hit a shot on that hoop.

  132. mariospants says:

    @radleyas: Yup, that show was filmed in Ottawa back in the 80’s, kept alive by Nickelodeon (Allanis was once on the show). As a kid at the time, I loved it. They invented the whole “slime” thing that Nickelodeon took to the bank. Actually, as much as anything, this show helped put Nickelodeon on the map. Another Ottawa native, John Krikfalusi, created Ren&Stimpy, without which there likely would be no Sponge Bob. The Ottawa thing is likely coincidence except people in that city can tend to be a little… interesting when it comes to humor.

  133. kbarrett says:

    Looks like fraud to me.

    Give the vendor exactly one chance to refund it. When they make noises about their disclaimer, tell them that your next step will be an immediate charge back for fraud.

    Carry through the chargeback if they refuse to RMA the stupid thing.

  134. sean77 says:

    t hs th dmnsns n th bx nd n mzn.

    74″L x 54″W x 13.5″H splsh pl wth 48″L x 21″W x 21″H sld

    Nxt p n cnsmrst, bby fd dsn’t ctlly cntn bbs lk th pctr mpls!

  135. krom says:

    @aaron8301: 90s? What 90s were these?

  136. Oddfool says:

    With the dimensions shown, it is just over 6 feet long with a slide 1′ 9″ high. That photo of the real kids looks about right.

    The remarks that people are terrible judges of size is definitely true. I used to work in a toy department at Walmart. I hated when people bought the 12′ and 16′ pools and then brought them back because it was too big for their yards. Of course, once opened and laid out, it was nigh impossible to get those back into the box.

    I started counting off the floor tiles, showing then how big across the pools were to give them an idea of just how big one of those pools were.

  137. yankerosa says:

    I just wanted to chime and and let you all know that every product this company makes that is enclosed in a box and has a photograph suffers from this syndrome apparently.

    I was shopping at Menards this weekend and they had a 50% off sale on all water toys and I was checking them out. Bonzai has a LOT of stuff on the market and many different versions of water pools and all photos look doctored and all suffered from this enlargement issue.

    With such widespread tampering on all their enclosed products could we be predicting a class action here?

  138. Ausarb says:

    Has anyone checked out lately? The box/reality photo is the photo that is shown when you view this on Amazon now. Haha. I’m sure that someone else posted this same thing earlier, but I didn’t have 42.3323 days to read all of the posts.


  139. JeffM says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Completely agree- I’ve grown to like this site- please don’t mess it up with overmoderation. We’re (most likely) all adults and the kids that hang around here are pretty sharp.

  140. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    They got the Bonsai version of the water-park, what’s the problem.

  141. Coyote says:

    the box tricked me at first too. I kept looking at the pool, thinking “oh, the real photo is just shot from a different angle”…

    …until I realized how much larger the kids were in the real photo!

    Usually, products that say “Do Not Return to Store” are instructing you to contact product support if you are having a problem. You can always try, and if the store won’t take it back, it’s the store’s decision, not the manufacturer’s.

    mythago – That’s why food has to have the ingredients on the label. There are laws that ensure if the jar shows a baby eating peas, there are peas in the jar, and not babies. There are no such laws to guarantee kiddie pools (aside from product safety laws)

    You can file a deceptive packaging claim if you want, but the amazon reputation should speak for itself. I’ll check a product out on amazon while I’m out shopping B&M if I have reservations.

  142. Anonymous says:

    I came across this at Failblog, and I was reading some of the comments… I think it’s funny how so many people are complaining about the dimensions and saying it is fraud on the retailer’s part… Why would you make a major purchase like that (I believe this particular slide is at least 200$?) without checking the dimensions first? And the retailer has nothing to do with it, it’s the manufacturer. Retailers have the right to refuse service to anyone, and they will, especially if the box says do not return to store. I used to work at Toys R Us in returns, and I pissed many a customer off because we were NOT allowed to take pools back. Especially once they were opened. So next time you see a slide like that in such a small box, check the damn size before buying it, Honestly, yeah, it might be considered false advertising, but I honestly think it’s your own fault if you don’t check things out properly before buying something like that.