10 Oversized Water Toys That Are Worth the Splurge

RAVE Sports, Amazon
RAVE Sports, Amazon

Pool floaties are like perennials with air nozzles. Every year, when the weather warms, they emerge from their hibernation in garages and sheds to help us beat the heat in style, whether it's at the pool, the lake, or the beach. If you’re looking to add some new inflatables to your collection this summer, we've got you covered. From floating amusement parks to inflatable livestock, here are 10 oversized water toys you should splurge on.

1. Party Bird Island Flamingo; $172

Inflatable flamingo with people on it
Sun Pleasure, Amazon

Fun Fact: Real flamingos lose their pink coloration if they stop eating certain foods. Luckily, this 16-foot-by-9-foot balloon version doesn’t need shrimp, larvae, or plankton to stay pretty and pink. Coated in durable vinyl, the buoyant bird can support 1320 pounds while drifting majestically through the waves. The company also makes equally giant peacock and unicorn floats.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Giant Inflatable Pizza Slices; Starting at $21

Pizza pie inflatable with one person on each slice
Swimline, Amazon

Pizza is a pool party staple. Now you can set yourself adrift on a human-sized raft that’s shaped like a gigantic slice of it. The crust doubles as a headrest, and there are cup holders hidden among the—ahem, pineapple-free—toppings. By the way, individual “slices” can be linked together along the edges. Purchase eight rafts for roughly $117, and you’ll have enough to make a full-fledged pizza pie. Mama mia!

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

3. PVC Water Walking Inflatable Zorb Ball; $163

A person rolls across the surface of a lake in a giant ball.
Preenex, Walmart

Zip across the neighborhood pond without even getting your feet wet. Simply inflate this spherical vessel, open the waterproof zipper, and climb inside. Then make like a hamster and roll over the water’s surface. The ball can bear up to 396 pounds—and there’s an 800-watt inflation device included.

Buy it: Walmart

4. Swimline Floating Inflatable Tiki Bar; $58

Inflatable swim up bar
VM Express, Walmart

Why go to the tiki bar when the tiki bar can come to you? Swimline’s blow-up taproom has a pair of ice storage bins and half a dozen drink holders to create your own watering hole in the water. Best of all, there’s a 90-by-90-inch canopy that’ll shade you and your buddies while you enjoy your drinks.

Buy it: Walmart

5. RAVE Sports Splash Zone (Plus 12-Foot Water Bouncer); $639

Bouncer in pool
RAVE Sports, Amazon

For just a few hundred dollars, you get a water slide, a balancing log, and a water bouncer (which, unlike a trampoline, doesn’t depend on springs. But don’t worry; you can still do plenty of neat flips on this thing!). Basically, it’s a portable, miniature water park—perfect for lakeside afternoons and family getaways.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Pirate Pong Inflatable Raft; $20

Beer pong inflatable raft
Pong, Amazon

Avast, ye land-lubbers! Feast yer eyes on this buccaneer-themed floating beer pong table. Measuring 6 feet long by 3 feet wide, the sizable inflatable game surface comes with a set of Jolly Roger ping pong balls, making it the perfect accessory for your next summer parrr-ty.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Aquaglide Malibu Island; $400

People sit on an Aquaglide Malibu Island
Aquaglide, Camping World

The Aguaglide Malibu Island, a massive floating lounge space, can seat up to 10 people at a time. The floor acts like a self-contained wade pool, so you can soak your legs without touching any sand, seaweed or aquatic critters. It includes 11 cupholders along with ample basking space for anyone who wants a good tan.

Buy it: Camping World

8. Inflex Inflat-A-Bull; $44

Inflatable bull
Intex, Amazon

Who’s up for a backyard rodeo? It’ll be tough to keep a straight face when the Inflat-A-Bull crashes your next pool party. Kids and adults alike will get a kick out of riding this thing ‘til the cows come home. Let loose a “Yee-Haw” and let the games begin.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Aquaglide Jungle Jim Water Play Station; $2100

Kids play on an Aquaglide Jungle Jim Water Play Station
Aquaglide, Overton’s

Inside and out, this pyramid is a treasure. The exterior walls are built for leaping, sliding, and climbing. Meanwhile, the hollow interior has recreation space aplenty—and there’s an opening at the pinnacle that you can climb right through. When fully inflated, the play station measures 6 feet, 9 inches tall.

Buy it: Overton’s

10. Aquaglide Summit Express; $10,000

Kids play on the Aquaglide Summit Express
Aquaglide, Overton’s

Does it come with monkey bars? Check. Climbing walls? Totally. An extra-wide water slide? You bet. Aguaglide’s Summit Express has everything your family could ask for (as you might expect from a $10,000 toy). With its strategically placed climbing steps, you don’t need to be Sir Edmund Hillary to reach the tippity-top, which stands 16 feet above the water’s surface.

Buy it: Overton’s

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Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus

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See What a Trailer for The Empire Strikes Back Might Look Like in 2020

Do or do not watch this trailer. There is no 'try.'
Do or do not watch this trailer. There is no 'try.'
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Special effects, cinematography trends, and acting styles may have changed over the last 40 years, but Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) remains one of the most beloved film sequels—even among younger generations of Star Wars fans—to this day.

The trailer, on the other hand, seems pretty outdated, mainly due to the voiceover narration that expels lofty phrases like “an epic of romance, of heroes and villains,” and “a galactic odyssey against oppression.” To see what The Empire Strikes Back would look like with today’s trailer standards, YouTube user AD_edits created a new one, which relies on dialogue from the film itself to set the stage for the galactic odyssey against oppression.

As Nerdist points out, AD_edits’s trailer also manages to hint at important plot points without giving too much away, like mentioning that Luke must find a great Jedi master without revealing Yoda’s identity. The original, meanwhile, contains a couple outright spoilers—it shows, for example, Darth Vader sitting at the head of the table in Cloud City, waiting to ambush Han Solo and Princess Leia. Viewers might not have realized the significance when they saw the split-second clip in the trailer, but it would probably ruin the surprise when they watched the actual film.

Of course, there was always the possibility certain parts of the trailer could’ve ended up on the cutting room floor before the movie hit theaters, which has definitely happened before. The Cloud City scene made the final cut, but some storylines from earlier in the filmmaking process weren’t so lucky—in fact, most of the first draft for The Empire Strikes Back was completely scrapped. Find out about Darth Vader’s gargoyle-filled castle, Han Solo’s stepfather, and other axed ideas here.

[h/t Nerdist]