Getting CoolToys Approved isn’t an easy task. Everything you see below passed the test, Three, Four or Five CoolToys Stars. One or two and we wouldn’t buy it ourselves, and if we did for the show, we might have returned it.
Bug-a-Salt. Let’s face it, in California finding a wife that approves of a nerf gun is tough, and this one is no exception. We had a blast using it and the entire crew bought one. Well done Lorenzo! This one is so dangerous Amazon won’t ship to California! The irony is that the company is based in California. If you want a quick way to salt your chips or eliminate bugs, this is the first CruToys Five Star Winner! CoolToys Approved for sure!
LED Halo Lights
LED Halo Headlights – Almost a CruToy, our wives think they are silly and we dig em. If you have any car with round boring headlights. Or a motorcycle for that matter with a round headlight, look at LED Halo’s. They look great and put out a nicer cleaner light in all driving conditions. If you live in cold weather there are heated options too. We used Sui-Tech and Xprite and liked them but talking with other Jeepers there are a lot of great brands. After the headlights got the nod, the foglight kit, smoked marker lights and tail lights were popped on the JKU. It looked great. The first thing CoolToys Approved after the Jeeps arrived was the new lights!
When our director showed up with the first 2015 Wrangler Sahara, the rest of the crew looked like the Grinch they were so green with envy. Eventually Scott picked up a 2016 Wrangler Sahara. That one is the reason we have the show to begin with. We were just working on web commercials for law firms, yoga studios and other corporate clients. The wives all agreed the Jeeps were “Ridiculous boy toys”. Of course that means CoolToys Approved.
At first this one was close. Jeep over civilized this one for die hard jeepers, it is very different from the JK. It is quieter, more powerful and you can even order it with All Wheel Drive instead of full time Four Wheel Drive.
Isn’t four wheel drive and all wheel drive the same thing? Nope. All wheel drive or AWD means your wife can drive it and you won’t look silly pulling into an icy parking lot as the front end hops across the ice. That is only if you leave the AWD on. The 4WD still acts like a frog on a hot plate during tight turns on ice. Day one we had it up in the Lake Tahoe area in record snow and ice packs.
The problem with the JL being so nice is that the wives started liking it until our friends at Jaguar delivered the F-pace. The wives quickly lost interest in the Jeep JL so it kept the fourth CoolToys Approved star. #jeep #jeeplife
Hero Grill by Fire and Flavor.
The Hero Grill was a bit of a surprise. We thought the 60 minute cooking limit would be a hassle. We also thought the idea of a fire wrapped in a cardboard box was ludicrous. The we bought one and took it to the beach. We tested it side by side with the Coleman portable gas grill which cost the same $99 as the Hero Grill kit when the Coleman was on sale at Target. That said the gas was cheaper and we thought it might be easier, but the reality was a bit different. The Coleman catches the grease and that trap has to get cleaned. The Coleman Grill grease trap got pretty gross, pretty fast. The Hero burns the grease so less mess to clean up. While we like the idea of the new refill packets because it makes the cost to operate closer to the Coleman, gas is still way cheaper.
We also had a little issue where some chicken wings dripped grease on the pumice insulation and that caught on fire in turn catching the box on fire. Maybe something a bit less flammable as a box? We really liked that it is completely biodegradable. The propane cans used by the Coleman aren’t really refillable and you can’t take them back to the store, so they create a lot of waste.
The win and CoolToys approval goes to the Hero Grill. To buy yours go to https://www.fireandflavor.com, and no we aren’t giving ours away. This is a keeper. If they send more for another episode we’ll think about giving those away. Until then, you’ll have to buy your own. #herogrill #outdoorgrill #campingtoys
Cowin SE7 Noise Cancelling BlueTooth Headset
The Cowin E7 and SE7 were both tested in the Season Finale of season 3 of COOLTOYS®. Scott found that the E7 was a great bargain priced noise cancelling headset. Josh’s brother Scott bought two sets, he liked them so much. Josh spent the big bucks on the Bose® noise cancelling headsets abandoning his “baller on a budget” attitude. In a strange reversal, Scott went cheap spending under $150 to test both the E7 and the SE7 for the final season three episode.
Surfboard Traction aka Wax Replacement
Surfco Hawaii Wax Mat
Surfboard Traction – Now there are lots of options, and we liked two of them so far. Versa Surf’s Versatraction was the clear winner until we were convinced to buy Wax Mat from Surfco Hawaii and run the test again. If you are a pro surfer, Wax Mat may not be for you, but for beginning to intermediate, and even hobby expert surfers, Wax Mat was the hands down winner. The Versa Surf traction earned only three stars. Wax Mat bumped it up to four. If you are looking for a surfboard wax alternative, Wax Mat is the winner, and some of Scott’s surf tribe have already converted.
Il Fornio Wood Fired Oven
Wood Fired Pizza Oven. While we normally are looking for ways to make the world a better place, pollute less and save the environment, you just can’t beat a wood fired pizza. This one is Italian made and we bought one. You can see it in the background of the Bug-A-Salt Video. It is wife approved and quite expensive so in accordance with the rules it earned three stars and is still a CoolToy®. The pizza oven may or may not appear in future episodes. It has been used on Beach Street News for the Gluten Free Pizza Test.
OONI Pizza Oven
After having the Il Fornio Pizza oven for a couple of years, we wanted to find something a bit more portable. OONI was just about the perfect solution. The best part is that they come in different sizes with different fuel options. We convinced someone to buy one for us to test that had the triple fuel system. Change the cartridge and burn wood, pellets, or gas. We figured out that if you soak wood and put a couple of small chunks in the burner, you get the wood flavor without the wait. It takes some time to figure it out though.
Just like the larger pizza oven, the OONI requires a little patience and a learning curve to get the heat just right. If your kids are screaming for pizza now, toss a Trader Joes pizza on the stone in the oven. If you want great flavor without spending the money on the Il Fornio oven, OONI isn’t a bad second choice. One thing to keep in mind. OONI’s are build to be lightweight and semi portable. They are not nearly the quality of the Italian made ovens. Because they are smaller, they almost got wife approval and are still on the verge of losing a half star and dropping down our list.
Like many good things, the Cellular Watch early tests were a failure. The day after the CoolToys Approved stamp was put on our first contender it failed. Our wives laughed at us for even trying so we knew we were on to something. When Apple allowed the Apple Watch to work without being near a phone, it got our attention. As it shot to four stars, our wives decided that Apple had made the Cellular watch cool enough for them so it makes it as a CoolToy, but instead of hiding it from our wives, we bought them for our wives. If it had the sleep management of the old Jawbone Up!, it would be a CruToy®.
The Stuff We Liked… And So Did Our Wives
The kinda 2.5 stars, almost CoolToys Approved stuff
Jaguar F-Pace R Sport
If you read anything above, you already know this. The Jaguar F-Pace is a great SUV. We got ours from Newport Beach Jaguar. This is by far the best looking SUV when you get the R Sport upgrade, which we did. The supercharged V-8 hot rod version holds it’s own with a 911 at zero to sixty. Who wouldn’t want to borrow that from their wife once in a while? We picked up the diesel since we put a lot of miles on the road and the Volt’s have made us lazy when it comes to pumping gas.
The F-pace is so popular around the studio, and it is so nice to drive that even though we won’t test it on the show, it is a very tough call to list it here or give it the big bump to the CruToys list.
The Mopar – Jeep Back Door Table
This one was close too. The wives kind of like it for picnicking. Sadly, the reality is that the little wires that hold the table came in unequal lengths to the table sits a tad lopsided. The dealer said they would get us new wires instead of returning the whole thing. That was three months ago otherwise we might have approved it.
It really does come in handy when you have a lot of stuff in the back that you don’t want to set on the ground. And sadly as the wives say, bring two chairs and a picnic basket and let’s go. There are a couple of others that are lower quality we looked at. The Mopar brand was the best even with the unequal length support wires.
The only other one we liked was Tuffy Products Tailgate Lock Box that was just a hair too thick for use to carry our pelican camera cases in the back otherwise it was a contender too. One good door slam with the pelican back there and it had a nice dent. Oops. Pelican makes a great case for sure. For anyone else we highly recommend the Tuffy as well.
The only reason we didn’t rate it or star it was the price. The cheaper ones were under $75 but they did rattle like crazy on the road so we returned them. This would get approval if the wives didn’t remove a star.
The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot
Overall we like the Echo and dot, and so do our wives. Most of the CoolToys team has them. The studio has an Echo and two dots hooked up to an a-bus system so we can pipe music everywhere. Since we don’t have speakers out front or back we grabbed a couple of Big-Blue-Live speakers and connected them via bluetooth.
This is where Amazon falls on its face. The newest Echo Dot plays music from it’s speaker and the connected bluetooth speaker. The Echo will play music from no speaker when the Big Blue Live is connected. Say What? Online help is a big zero for this one. Tons of people in the “community” who don’t know anything just type to be read I guess. But some echos somehow can play music and send to a bluetooth speaker others can’t.
We really have to give the writers @lastmanstanding a shout out too, we loved the line referring to echo, siri and google “we pay to bug our own house”.
Editors note – the bluetooth streaming feature appears to have been removed by Amazon for some dumb reason.