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Wednesday, May 13 2015 01:50

Hands-On with the Step2 Home Run Baseball Trainer

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Step2 Brand AmbassadorOn my trip to The Step2 Company's home offices in Streetsboro, Ohio last year, one of the items that really caught my eye was something that was still in the prototype stage, and not quite greenlit for production just yet. Fast-forward a couple of seasons, and that unique toy has just hit the streets as the Step2 Home Run Baseball Trainer - something a little bit different in this space, and certainly different for Step2. Having coached my oldest daughter's Pee Wee Baseball team last year, I would've loved to have had one of these on-hand to help the little ones build their "batting eye," honing their skills with a bat as they got their hand-eye coordination completely locked-in. 

The gravity-fed "zig-zag" design of the Home Run Baseball Trainer allows the balls to load one at a time, each one released by tapping a yellow release lever that can be switched to either side to allow for both right, and left-handed batters. 

Adjustable from 27" to 45" (ball release) to accommodate different ages and heights of batters, the Home Run Baseball Trainer includes four balls, and a special Step2 "Crusher" bat - everything you need to get started. And, as kids' skills improve, you can take this to the diamond and load it up with regulation balls for genuine batting action!

step2homerun

Now, there are two points to be aware of that I'd like to make note of, the first of which is that there's a very slight learning curve as to how quickly to tap the release lever. Too long of a tap could launch more than one ball, so watch out for that. The second point is that assembly may be a tad challenging for some, so the folks at Step2 have released a helpful video as an accompaniment to the printed instructions. 

Available now from Step2.com, or Amazon.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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