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What I mean by my title is perhaps I misunderstood what a "soft toss" pitching machine does because what I found is that a ball rolls down the arm and then drops to the ground. I expected it to at least toss it in the air abit so that it had farther to travel before hitting the ground. In fact the ball literally just falls off the end of the bar and immediately heads toward the ground. My 6 yr old had to stand so close to the machine that it seemed that he was going to hit the stand every time he took a swing. I would call this a design flaw (particularly given the product photo which clearly shows the ball moving in an arc up and away from the machine).
Secondly, I had trouble getting the c batteries to work and when they ultimately did the mechanism that moves the balls towards the arm actually ran in reverse and thus attempted to push the balls back up the ramp never allowing any balls to actually be "pitched". I understand that this is a DC motor and if the polarity of the batteries are reversed the machine will run in reverse but I was unable to get the machine to run at all with the batteries put in with the opposite polarity.
I have returned the product because I found it to be useless frankly.
The top piece that mounts on the motor doesn't go on right. Haven't had time to call about it but it wobbles when I put it together. Ball just drops and the whole top moves. Will be contacting them for a return.
I'm updating this review. I had a fix for it whereby I just put some packing tape (reversed it) around the part that the motor slips onto and it now holds it fine. Should've come pre-assembled though. It works fine now so I changed the rating to 4 stars.
Ball feeder base turns on but does not turn wheel to feed balls. If you touch the wheel with your finger to help it along it does move ever so slightly but stops again. Feeder assembly cheaply made and wobbles on stand. Stay away.
Hi, I have owned the Scorpion soft toss machine for a week. i bought it at Fogdog for $50. It is a very simple device. The motor unit sits on top of a pole. A wheel spins which slowly moves the balls down the spiral until the first ball in line gets past the wheel and drops down and across the metal ramp. My 7 year old son can operate it himself. I plug it in and he loads the balls in. Each ball takes about 7+ seconds to reach the dropping point which gives you plenty of time to get in your batting stance for each ball. It holds 12 regular baseballs. You can use Slider balls as well but I am using regular baseballs. When the balls drop down the ramp they just pop up very slightly at the end of the ramp and then fall to the ground. It teachs quick reflexes to hit the ball squarely before it hits the ground. I didnt have any trouble with the top part of the unit being loose on top of the pole. The top unit does not fit snugly on the pole. You can rotate the ball holding unit with some ease. I think this is in case you swing too high and hit the metal ramp part. The top unit would then spin around to absorb the blow. But the top unit stays in place fine and my son has not hit the unit with a bat. Also, the whole thing is very stable since the tripod legs are wide enough to make it stable. Also, the whole thing was very easy to assemble. No tools required. I have not tried it with batteries, but it is nice to know you can take the pitching machine out to a field and let your batter whack away.
This is the second scorpion soft toss machine I have purchased, and after the battery connection broke before i was even able to use it, I am extremely frustrated with this product. When it works it is a great machine to use to practice hitting mechanics and timing, but it is ridiculously overpriced. The first machine broke because the plug in for the top half motor broke the outlet because it is seated by cheap plastic. In addition, the machine uses flimsy connections between it and the battery, and while trying to connect the battery (on my second machine), the connection on the machine broke, and now the thing is worthless. I will try to see if they will offer an exchange or a refund, but for a 60 dollar piece of equipment, I highly doubt they'll do anything but say I can buy a new one.