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Customer reviews of Time Machine by Can You Imagine

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Time Machine has been reviewed 90 times with an average rating of 4.07

Definite conversation piece!
Posted 8/14/2008 by Mark S
Rating: 5

This is the "classic" rolling ball clock that first came out in the early '80s. It's made entirely of plastic, with a clear dust cover to keep dust and other stuff off the "channels" that the balls roll down. It has a definite "wow" factor with folks wanting to watch the balls roll down the ramps as the time changes. It is rather noisy, so put it somewhere that won't keep you awake at night, but definitely worth having in your den, living room, or anywhere you want to know what time it is, in a unique way!

18 of 20 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 5/26/2009 by Charles B. Roegiers
Rating: 4

I enjoy this product on a therapudic level. It is a welcome diversion from the drudgery of office work. Some find it annoying, but I love gadgets and this is difinitely a cool gadget. This is actually the third one I have purchased. I have had problems with the generator (I think) that moves the arm that carries the marbles burning out. This is the first I have purchased from Fat Brain Toys. Hoping for better luck. I use the 6V power cord (not included, but very cheap at Radio Shack) to power the beastie since it tends to eat batteries.

14 of 15 customers found this review helpful.
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Not as Loud as You'd Think
Posted 8/27/2008 by Matt
Rating: 5

I have this clock proudly on display in the living room of my apartment. I can hear it from the next room over (my bedroom) only when my door is open, so it has never kept me awake at night. Since it has become a fixture in my home, I don't even notice the clacking sound of the steel balls uless I'm actively watching the clock. It keeps time very well, and I have calculated that the time will not be off by more than 1 minute by the time the batteries need to be replaced. Just make sure you place it on a level surface so that all the balls roll down properly!

14 of 16 customers found this review helpful.
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My rating of Time Machine
Posted 3/25/2012 by Brian Furbish - OTHER
Rating: 5

Product works perfectly. I noticed some people stated balls got stuck on the lower level and it would stop telling time. This happened to me when I used it at first, but only because I put the minimum amount of balls on the track. Once I added the extra 4 or five balls to the machine, it worked perfectly with the added weight behind the last ball.

12 of 12 customers found this review helpful.
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Great Item!!!
Posted 9/9/2009 by Rafael Mijares
Rating: 5

This is a really cool way to tell time. I love this thing, it's unique and everybody who sees it seems to just get lost in staring at it for a long while. One word of advise, don't plan on displying this in a bedroom or any place you'd want peace and quiet. After every minute the motorized arm drops in a new ball and other balls roll throughout the machine and it's pretty loud. Other than that this thing is awesome!!!

12 of 14 customers found this review helpful.
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Awesome Gift!
Posted 9/8/2008 by Ginny Storm - RELATIVE
Rating: 5

I bought this for my sister in law for her birthday (I'm always trying to find her gifts that are out of the ordinary) and she absolutely loved it! I think that it's absolutely awesome, and am considering buying one for myself as well.

10 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 5/5/2008 by Kim Sands
Rating: 5

We are very pleased with the time machine and it has kept very accurate time. My husband has one in his 6th grade math classroom and the students just love it. We have one on our mantle and I ordered another to give as a gift for my nephew. It is a wonderful tool to teach time but also as a tool to SEE math. My husband uses it as a Pre-Algebra tool. H (hours) + M (5 min increments) + M (1 min increments) = (C) current time. Would recommend for anyone!

10 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 4/20/2009 by Mark Heimbecker - OTHER
Rating: 4

The Time Machine is a really cool clock. I have one many years ago, and have been looking for another one for a long time. The only problem I have is that sometimes at 1 o'clock when all the trays dump all their marbles, they tend to jam near the bottom of the return chutes. I see where there is a gate that is supposed to control the flow of the return marbles. On my Time Machine, it was to light weight to stay in the down position when it was supposed to. I glued some extra weight on the arm (a quater) and it now works perfectly.

10 of 11 customers found this review helpful.
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A rating of Time Machine
Posted 5/11/2012 by Raymond McLeod - EDUCATOR
Rating: 2

It won't keep time. Two arm mechanism does not deposit the ball bearings into the ramp. Everyday, i have to fish-out 20 ball bearings from the platform, and reset it. I'm hugely disappointed, and would like a replacement sent to me.
Fishing for ball bearings not required. We promptly shipped a replacement to our customer. Please visit the Returns & Exchanges center for details.

9 of 9 customers found this review helpful.
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great birthday gift !!!
Posted 4/23/2009 by jEANINE rUSSANO
Rating: 5

Works great, everyone stops to stare at it.. keeps great time.

9 of 9 customers found this review helpful.
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Product review of Time Machine
Posted 10/26/2011 by Darlene Emery - OTHER
Rating: 5

BougbBought this fr my husband 59th birthday he is difficult to shop for but he showed an interest in this an has it on his desk its a conversation with anyone who visits

9 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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Love it
Posted 10/5/2010 by silvia lopez - OTHER
Rating: 5

More than a toy, innovative and creative.

9 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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A rating of Time Machine
Posted 7/19/2009 by William Degraw
Rating: 5

Seventh year birthday present for my grandson was a huge success. It found its' new place of honor adjacent to his family's huge Living Room Hd TV screen where it became the immediate envy of his ten year old sister. When his bedtime dropped the correct number of the chrome balls it took three trips between his bed and the "Time Machine", and only a parental threat to gain his overnight divorce from the toy. May your Brain get ever Fatter with these kinds of toys. W.E.D.

9 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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Neat little toy
Posted 6/26/2008 by Jennifer N.
Rating: 4

I bought this for my husband for Father's Day. It is a really neat thing to watch. No good for our house because we have toddlers who can't keep their hands off, but it's perfect for his office at work. As others have said, it's a little loud, but not enough to be irritating.

9 of 10 customers found this review helpful.
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Information about Time Machine
Posted 3/3/2011 by Roosevelt - GRANDPARENT
Rating: 1

I had to send it back because the balls kept getting stuck on the lower tracks.
If the balls are not moving- it's time to consider a different track. We gladly assisted. We're quick to set good things in motion for our customers. Please visit the Returns & Exchanges center for details.

8 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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My rating of Time Machine
Posted 4/12/2009 by michael king
Rating: 5

it is amazing. Quite an engineering feat.

8 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Fun & Functional
Posted 5/18/2008 by Somewhere in MO
Rating: 4

This clock is fun to watch and functional to boot. Keeps accurate time over the course of the battery life cycle. Lost time is a clear indicator for battery replacement. My only complaint is that this has the ability to utilize AC current but the cord is not included as part of the package.

8 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Review of Time Machine
Posted 1/30/2007 by LaSinda Hall
Rating: 2

The balls after 12 o'clock all end up getting stuck in the right side of the clock. It needs to have tubes leading to the back tube without intersecting. The concept is a good idea, it just needs a little tweaking.
We emailed LaSinda the manufacturer's number for trouble shooting and offered her exchange of the item or a refund if preferred.

8 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Big Disappointment
Posted 11/1/2006 by Steven Hawkins
Rating: 1

I recieved my Time Machine and after only working for 4 minutes the arm continued to pick up and drop the ball bearings every few seconds, not every minute like it should. I sent it back to manufacturer for repair. I do not recommend this product.

8 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Product review of Time Machine
Posted 8/18/2008 by james baker-noren - EDUCATOR
Rating: 4

Over several days the time wanders, but I am still working on what is causing the varance. My students enjoy watching the time piece.

9 of 11 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 4/1/2008 by Stephen A. Burke
Rating: 4

The Time Machine works exactly as it says, however it is a bit noisy, but that's to be expected. The only really annoying thing I've found is that it picks up the little ball when the seconds read zero, in my opinion this an error, as it drops it on the top track at about 5 seconds past the minute, it should pick the ball up at 55 seconds so the ball is dropped onto the top track at approximately the beginning of the next minute, but otherwise, I'm very happy with my new Time Machine.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Great conversational piece
Posted 3/19/2008 by Brandy Martin
Rating: 5

I love this product!! I've put the clock in my office and almost everyone that comes in will stop and look at it. Then, they're always curious how it works. It's a wonderful conversational piece.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Review of Time Machine
Posted 2/26/2008 by Nick Nedas
Rating: 5

Originally owned a rolling ball clock which was given to me in England around 1976. Always enjoyed it, but finally it was no longer operative. Happy to find a replacement which works beautifully.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Information about Time Machine
Posted 2/22/2008 by Richard Henry
Rating: 4

I was hoping that the ball clock was more as I remembered it to be. I remember that it had a rotating arm at 1 rpm instead of the electrical timer so that the arm pauses. I guess it doesn't really matter though. It works great. Same design.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Fun, But Loud
Posted 2/19/2008 by Robert Foglia
Rating: 4

This is a great way to tell the time. It's very fun to 'watch'(get it?) especially going from 12:59-1:00. The clock is vintage and very sleek, but it's pretty noisy. I found out after about 3 days I got used to the noise though. I'd say it's worth getting, i.e. for an office desk.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Review of Time Machine
Posted 10/28/2007 by Anthony W. Yeatts
Rating: 5

The product is great. I was always facinated by these as a kid, but had not seen one for years until I saw this listed by Fat Brain Toys and had to get one. Now I'm planning to buy another as a gift.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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My rating of Time Machine
Posted 4/17/2007 by Christopher C Cape
Rating: 4

This clock is absolute, pure eye candy to watch. Since being started up last Friday the 13th [it is now almost the 18th], it has maintained the time to within one minute of my workplace, networked computer's time. I would pay $500 for a larger model made of metal, glass and wood. Everyone who sees the clock is amazed and delighted. Let's see how long it lasts.

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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As Time Goes By (or doesn't, with this clock)
Posted 2/12/2007 - GRANDPARENT
Rating: 1

Out of the box, this clock showed two defects rendering the clock useless as a clock and useless as an amusing marble rolling diversion. First, the arm grabbing the marble hangs up twice before attempting to pick up a marble. The arm should revolve one cycle per minute but, with the glitches, it takes 3 minutes to get to the second marble. Time goes s l o w l y. Second, if there are more than a couple of marbles in the pickup tray, the pickup arm binds at the pickup slot effectively stopping the clock. Time s t o p s. Since I've seen many of these working, mine must be defective. (Note from Fat Brain Toys: Clearly, time is of the essence when a customer is caught in a time warp. We contacted our customer and offered a replacement or refund for the defective item.)

7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 8/23/2009 by Joe Chua
Rating: 4

The product is very good. However, there is a crack on the acrylic cover.

7 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Time machine - rolling ball clock.
Posted 4/3/2009 by M. Elkin
Rating: 4

This clock is a re-make of the original rolling ball clock made by Idle Tyme Corporation and then later Arrow Handicraft. I purchased this clock for its nostalgia value. This clock works slightly differently than the original. In the original Arrow clock, the arm would continuously move, catching the ball on one pass per minute. In this version, the clock remains idle and once per minute the arm will make a pass and drop the next ball. The clock looks very similar to the original. The quality of the plastic is not the greatest and it does not keep accurate time. Over a period of a few days, balls may get stuck or fall from the rails. It is important to use the dust cover to keep the rails free from debris. There are small pieces of foam on some tracks to prevent the balls from bouncing and these tend to dry out over time. Overall this clock is a fascinating conversation piece and well worth the money.

7 of 8 customers found this review helpful.
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Excellent Toy
Posted 12/6/2007 by Georges Govaere
Rating: 5

Excellent toy. I placed it in my office (Engineering investigation department at the University of Costa Rica). Everyone wants one. I have searched for this ball clock for many years.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Needs Improvement
Posted 11/25/2007 by Gerald Buscemi
Rating: 3

Product is noisy, needs batteries, batteries are "C" cells, not common size.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine Ball Bearing Clock
Posted 10/30/2007 by Scott S
Rating: 4

This clock is a clever, unique way to display the current time. It tends to be a bit noisy, both from the clatter of the balls as they're dumped to the next level down, and from the motor that actually carries the balls from the bottom to the top. I'd recommend this as a purchase for anyone who fancies themself a tinkerer or someone who appreciates extravagant methods for doing mundane tasks.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Review for Time Machine
Posted 10/12/2007 by Richard K Seastrand
Rating: 5

Over a period of many years, I've purchased this product several times. I love various types of novelty clocks and this one, the "Time Machine," a rolling ball clock, is my favorite one. It arrived in perfect condition and continues to work perfectly.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine
Posted 8/31/2007 by Gary D Brummett
Rating: 4

The Time Machine is a good and interesting product. When adjusted correctly, it will keep excellent time and is enjoyable to watch. The instructions advise you to make sure that the machine is level, but I found that it would only work correctly with one side propped up an additional 1/4 inch and slightly out of level. Other than that no problems. I would purchase it again.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Novelty to Watch, Not Good to Keep Proper Time
Posted 8/14/2007 by Edwin M. Kiser
Rating: 3

The Time Machine is a delightful novelty, a conversation piece, one that people will gather around to watch "the one O’clock dump" where all 3 ramps empty their ball bearings. I owned a similar "clock" many years ago, and prefer the older design, which had the rotating arm constantly in motion, performing as a second hand, rather than the current design with the seconds on a more difficult to see display. My problem is that, as a time keeping device it fails miserably. Power is from an AC/DC 6V adapter, so weak batteries are not to blame. It’s nice to watch, but not a good time keeper. That older one from years ago kept perfect time. So much for "new and improved."

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Great Birthday Present
Posted 7/16/2007
Rating: 4

This was a gift for a 17 year old and she is fascinated by the clock. It works well and keeps very good time.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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My rating of Time Machine
Posted 7/12/2007 by Andy - OTHER
Rating: 5

The Time Machine is awesome! My grandfather had one of these years ago and it has since disappeared. I couldn't believe it when I saw them on your website. It's a childhood memory. Thanks!

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Product review of Time Machine
Posted 2/13/2007 by Daniel Walker
Rating: 4

The Time Machine is awesome. It's definitely a nice conversational piece to have on my desk. I find not only myself staring at it waiting for the minutes to change, but sometimes I walk back to my desk and there are my co-workers staring at it waiting. It's an awesome product.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Information about Time Machine
Posted 1/17/2007 by Staci Hedges - FRIEND
Rating: 4

We love our toy and the whole family enjoys it. It's an amazing gadget. It can be distracting at times, due to the noise. Regardless, we still look at it every time a ball falls.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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A Bit Loud
Posted 1/15/2007 by Duke
Rating: 5

The clock is fun to look at because it is so mechanical, but since a ball rolls every minute, it can get annoying after a while. It does keep good time, though, and it is very easy to set.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Information about Time Machine
Posted 12/24/2006 by Karen L Craft
Rating: 5

My dad loves his new clock. He had one when I was a kid but this one doesn't make near the noise that that one did. The only problem we had was the balls were all lose in box. When we opened it, balls went everywhere. We were able to find them all though. I hope this clock works for a long time for my dad.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Review for Time Machine
Posted 11/25/2006 by Donna Allen - GRANDPARENT
Rating: 5

This is a fun way to tell time. I bought it for my 11 year old grandson and he loves it.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Mesmerizing!
Posted 11/2/2006 by Laura
Rating: 4

I highly recommend this clock. I bought it for my 13 year old daughter. She loves it! If you're considering it for your child, however, make sure you have a good place to set it up. The "plink, rrr-r-r-r, plink" sound of the balls dropping from row to row might be distracting for light sleepers.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Review of Time Machine
Posted 9/18/2006 by Thomas B. Wilson
Rating: 5

This "Time Machine" is absolutely awsome. I've been wanting and looking for one since I was a kid. Now at the age of 46; I'm enjoying each ball-bearing that rolls...as is my 11 year old son.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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An Attention Grabber
Posted 8/1/2006 by Ryan H. - OTHER
Rating: 4

This is a fun clock to watch, and people are always looking at it after they hear it cycle. I only wish it would have come with an AC adaptor.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Just as described
Posted 6/27/2006
Rating: 4

Great conversation piece! At first I didn't have it on a level table and a few balls rolled off the tracks. But after moving it to a level table, the time has been perfect for the last week I've owned it. It is noisy and guests look over at it every 5 minutes when a track clears, but that's half the fun. I'm thinking about getting one for the office too.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine Review
Posted 5/15/2006 by Steve Cross - OTHER
Rating: 4

My grandpa has one of these in his house that I used to play with growing up. I always thought it was so neat, so I finally decided to get one too.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Geeks and their Time Devices
Posted 4/12/2006 by Adrian Hayes - OTHER
Rating: 4

I think one of the requirements of being a Geek is owning an "alternative" time device. You've seen the binary LED display clocks & such. This one definitely fits the bill! It has provided endless entertainment and lots of curious looks as it rolls off the time. The only problem I've had is that the balls will occasionally get stuck on the entrance to the middle tray. Otherwise, it was a great purchase.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine Clock
Posted 2/3/2006 by Frederick Spencer
Rating: 4

My children and I really enjoy watching time roll by. The only thing is that it isn't good for a bed room due to the noise it makes. So we put it in the den and it is a hit with everyone.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Great gift for a technically minded child!
Posted 1/5/2006 by Todd Trotter
Rating: 5

We bought this clock for our 5 year old son for Chrismas. It was a huge hit! He has always been interested in seeing how things work and loves cause and effect contraptions. The clock itself keeps excellent time and the moving parts work smoothly. We're going to buy and AC adaptor for it so that we won't have to use batteries. Parents should keep in mind that it's only a toy to watch and could easily break if a child tries to force the arm to work manually.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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Time Machine is a hoot!
Posted 11/14/2005 by Jim Combiths
Rating: 5

I had the old electrically operated version of this clock many years ago. This new battery operated version is even better because you can set it on any shelf without worrying about the cord. I put a towel underneath the clock to cut down on the noise. Children can stare at this thing for hours. Don't set it in direct sunlight, that's how my old one got ruined.

6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.
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A rating of Time Machine
Posted 5/20/2008 by David Lessmann
Rating: 1

I've had problems having the clock work consistently. The arm gets stuck either at the place where a steel ball is picked up or at the place where the baffle is that keeps the second tier balls from rolling directly to the steel ball feed. The second tier problem I fixed by lubricating the baffle.

7 of 9 customers found this review helpful.
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The Time Machine
Posted 2/20/2008 by Gerard A. Leone
Rating: 4

This is the third Time Machine I've owned in the past 15 years. That says something about how much I like it!

6 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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A Fun and Interesting Gift
Posted 3/22/2007
Rating: 4

It's a good gift for the price. Fun and enjoyable. A real conversation starter.

6 of 7 customers found this review helpful.
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Product review of Time Machine
Posted 12/27/2012 by alice - GRANDPARENT
Rating: 4

The whole family stoped and watched the ball bearings drop on the hour - til bedtime.

2 of 2 customers found this review helpful.
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My rating of Time Machine
Posted 9/28/2012 by bill green - OTHER
Rating: 4

it is a neat and interresting machine

2 of 2 customers found this review helpful.
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Product review of Time Machine
Posted 12/16/2012 by Clark Morton
Rating: 5

Wonderful! If it works half as well or lasts half as long as its predecessor (20+ years), it will be much worthwhile!! :-)

1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.
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Review for Time Machine
Posted 8/3/2013 by Dr. Richard Pisacreta
Rating: 5

I had to return the product the first day that I got it. The motor that turns the arm that guides the balls made a terrible noise like a bearing was bad. To your credit, you treated me excellently with emails and return policy.

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