Junior Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker

I found this story today: Kids go popcorn crazy at Christmas about the Junior Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker. Which claims

The £29.99 popcorn maker has been tipped by industry experts to become one of the top 10 Christmas gifts.

and goes on to say

The British Toy and Hobby Association and the British Association of Toy Retailers both agreed the popcorn maker was up there with the best of them.

Well I guess there will be a lot of disappointed kids round about now.
Jamie got one of these from her grandma for Christmas and I can only say it’s rubbish. Really! It is powered by an 80-watt light bulb. Which I’m sure is nice and safe, but is next to useless for popping corn.
It takes 10 minutes to heat up, and then it pops about three kernels at a time every fifteen seconds or so into the tiny collecting bowl. But it also throws out five unpopped kernels too which then have to be seperated and put back in the top. In all it took about 15 minutes to produce a handful of popcorn.
After the second lot, it switched itself off (probably for ‘safety’ reasons) and then took half an hour before it came back on. Jamie was very disappointed.
The only good thing it has going for it is that it looks great. It’s a pity it doesn’t live up to its promise.
We will be taking it back tomorrow and getting the money back. We’ll probably put the money towards a proper popcorn machine. The Prima ‘Duck’ Popcorn Maker looks good and at around half the price.

39 thoughts on “Junior Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker

  1. In relation to the Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker – “What a Complete Waste of Money”. I am so disappointed and so was my son. I’m going to do everything possible to get a refund on this item as the advert for this makes it seem such a wonderful present!!! I have three options – put in attic, put in bin or try and get a refund/replacement popcorn maker but not Ready Steady Cook.

    p.s. Don’t even go there – throw you £30 straight in the bin!!!!

  2. Thanks for your comment Anita, I agree entirely. I managed to get my money back from Argos with no problem. I even told them it was rubbish. I said my daughter was very disappointed.
    One problem, I haven’t found a replacement yet. Everywhere is sold out of every kind of popcorn maker.

  3. I agree. What a total waste of money the popcorn maker is. Problem is with no alternative out there my son will not let me take it back to the shop. I have tried to find somewhere to complain to )BBC, Endemol, Character Options Limited) but I cannot find anyone to complain too. I know that I am one of many who feel like this about various Ready Steady Cook products and would like to take this to Watchdog or someone similar. Any thoughts?

  4. Hi Jacqui, I know what you mean about there being no alternative which is safe for kids to use on their own.
    The alternative we considered was the ‘Prima Duck’ one I mentioned, but as a ‘real’ popcorn maker it would not be safe for a child to use.
    As for complaining, I think you should consider Watchdog. As we were able to take ours back (and Argos did refund the money with no problem) we didn’t persue it any further. But I’d say go for it!
    It really is an overpriced novelty item that just doesn’t do what it is supposed to.

  5. Jacqui, another thought. I believe the Junior Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker was advertised on TV (I don’t watch TV so I didn’t see it), and appeared to show a steady stream of popping corn. If that was the case, and the fact that the packaging gives an impression far from reality. As such it really is not ‘fit for purpose’. There is some info on the law here, here and here.

  6. I completely agree with the comments about the popcorn maker. It is useless and I wish we’d never got it. It may look good but it’s a pain to store and does not work! The Duck popcorn maker is good but I tried making some in a pan today and it was great. Use 60 ml of oil to 100g of kernels, warm the oil gently with one kernel in – when that pops take it off the heat and add the other kernels. Make sure you use a medium/large pan and a lid! In about 1 minute you have a pan full of popcorn – it isn’t greasy and the kids loved it. I did this after wasting a hour with the RSC machine which I’ll probably not use again. Does anyone know if it could be taken back to Argos without the receipt or box as it obviously does not do what it’s supposed to? It was a Xmas present but it’s just such a waste of money!

  7. Hi Anita B,
    We ended up buying the Hinari Popcorn Maker which uses hot air to heat the corn. It’s great! Really fast, and half the price! The only (minor) down side is that it is not suitable for a child to use as it does get very hot on top. But even watching is quite exciting as once it starts popping it comes out really quick!
    I would try to take it back to argos even without the receipt. In my opinion the Junior Ready Steady Cook Popcorn Maker is not ‘fit for purpose’ which I believe gives you the right to a refund.

  8. My daughters were given the ready steady cook junior slush maker for their birthday..it too is total and utter rubbish. These products shouldn’t even be on the shelves. I don’t have a receipt so I think it’s the bin.

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  10. Cannot believe how right you are about the ready steady cook junior popcorn maker. My boyfriend bought it for me from a boot sale for £3, and the person that he got it from said it had only been used once. Thats not a shocker. Its proper crappy, but it does look good! Thankfully Im in my twenties so there were no tears before bedtime. Twenty minutes and 6 bits of popcorn later….. its in the bin.

  11. it’s my daughter’s birthday today and she has been so excited about getting her ready steady cook slush maker from her gran. We spent half an hour trying to crush the ice and when we eventually had enough we added the chilled juice and all the ice melted. I got my braun out which has an ice crusher attachment and at least we made a slushie but i still have a very disappointed birthday girl.

  12. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s disappointment, Joy. I hope you can get your money back and buy her something else.
    I’m beginning to think the whole range is probably useless. It seems that style wins out over functionality with these people.

  13. It seems that one year on, the quality of the ready steady cook popcorn maker has not improved. I am deeply concerned about the continuing sale of this item. I purchased a ready steady cook popcorn maker for Christmas for my little girl, we all stood in the kitchen excitedly waiting for the popcorn maker to heat up, as soon as we put the corn into the maker, it exploded! the lamp went off, there was smoke and a small flame inside the item, which was soon put out with water! thankfully no-one was injured on this occassion! I intend to write a strongly worded letter and return my item direct to the manufacturer, and make sure I quote the consumer law at every opportunity. I felt I had to post this message as I am worried that other children may get injured. My advice if you own a Ready Steady Cook Popcorn maker is to not use it! take it back to where you bought it, but do not use it! they are dangerous!.

  14. Oh dear, I do wish that I had found this site before I bought my two young sons the Ready steady cook popcorn maker and mini oven. The mini oven does actually work, although it takes half an hour to “cook” 2 tiny cakes, my 7 year old son is happy with that. The thing that I am not too happy with is that you have to send off for special cake mixes which quite frankly are not cheap.(Hardly “real cakes” as advertised!)
    The popcorn maker just makes me frustrated and my 8 year old son annoyed, like many others we waited…and waited etc just to get a small handful of not properly popped “popcorn” and many burnt kernels, one of which spat out of the machine and burnt his arm as it landed on him. I also ended up pan-cooking popcorn for my son, quicker, easier and nicer tasting too!! Thankfully I kept the receipt and the RSC popcorn maker will be going back to woolies just as soon as I can get into town!!

  15. My Daughter had a popcorn maker and marshmallow maker for Christmas and both are rubish. Not only do the machines not perform but the instructions are rubbish as well. The instruction book for the marshmallow maker consisted of a series of repeated pages of non-sense.After following to the best of our ability the instructions we ended up with a bowl of goo that would not set enough to use in the syringe even after being left in the fridge over night. After looking at your web site it is clear that we are not alone.

  16. My kids got the popcorn maker and marshmallow maker for Xmas – and all I can say is what a total waste of money. The marshmallow maker makes 7 very strange looking and tasting marshmallows at a time and it takes about 3 hours! The popcorn maker is totally useless. My other son got the mcdonald mcflurry maker and that is just as bad.

  17. We were bought the Junior ready steady cook marshmallow maker for christmas ( well our son was!) and after several attempt by us, not our son, we could at best only make a gelatinous mess and at worst a sticky conconction more powerful than super glue!

    I have spoken to the trading standards people and they are hopefully going to continue investigating – these ‘toys’ just don’t do what they say they do on the box and on the advert. The more people that contact them the stronger the case so please send them an e-mail This is a useful website where you can find your local office and contact them. http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/speakup/index.htm Whoever decided these were good toys should see the disappointment on our children’s faces!

    Keep fighting!

    Anita Wagar

  18. Thanks everyone for your comments.
    I find it incredible that they are still selling these things. Angela, yours is the first I have heard of actually catching fire! Anita, thanks for the Trading Standards link. I hope people will find it useful.


  19. I am just joining the queue of disappointed parents and upset children as i bought a marshmallow maker and toffee apple maker. 3 marshmallows and an hour later; 1 toffee apple and yet another hour to make it and the toffee apple maker now doesn’t work as its clogged up. never again will I waste my money on thos range which set us back £50.00 at christmas

  20. I find some relief that it is not me being incompetant with the Marshmallow Maker and sympathise with all the above experiences as I too have had the “blobs”. When I threw it in the sink it bounced back! My children are very disappointed. It says on the box for children 5 years+ – how wrong they are.

  21. My daughter got the marshmallow maker at Xmas we have attempted twice to use this and the crap that it makes is unreal, we are disgusted. My little girl was so disspapointed, however my husband went to the shop and bought a bag of real marshmallows and put those in the fridge on top of icing sugar. She now thinks that they really made these and she was extactic , I hope not a big mistake but at least it put a smile on all our faces ! Daddy is now the King of marshmallow making she told him he was fantastic !

  22. I’m afraid we had to resort to deception too. An hour of slow toffee torture and a couple of half melted lumps on an apple, my daughter and I decided to melt the toffees in the microwave and pour it over (took 2 minutes!). A few ‘sprinkles’ later and voila! Dad was impressed. Don’t tell him. What a waste of money.

  23. many thanks for this site, and the time people have taken to post their experiences. I was just about to buy the RSC popcorn maker, as I thought it would be easier and healthier than the frying pan we have used for years, many thanks again for saving me the money and the experience of frustrating the children, they think the frying-pan takes long enough, although if there is time they enjoy watching the poping and get very excited if one escapes, (just use a pan with a splatter-guard).


  24. The best way to make popcorn is with a proper popcorn maker and good adult supervision. I searched for weeks for a nice cheap popcorn maker and eventually got a Ready Steady Cook one on a market. I waited all day while I was out to use it and, when I got home, looked up instructions online only to find these every negative reviews. I switched on the machine and, after 2 hours, has about 6 pieces of popcorn. I have since purchased a full-price Swan machine at Argos for £12.99 which was £5 dearer than the RSC one, but at least it works beautifully. In fact, I highly recommend the Swan machine – and makes kids laugh when the popcorn jumps all over the place. Much more fun.

  25. Well, i’m not that impressed by the popcorn maker, but my daughter loves it! She always wants to make popcorn, and i like it in the sense that i dont have to sit and do it with her, it makes her feel independant. I dont think it pops enough popcorn, but she does and i guess thats the main thing. The price is rediculous though. we also have the candy floss maker, and thats a bit crap really!

  26. don’t be mean about the popcorn maker!! its groovy and fun!!! It also has very good safety features so you mean grown ups can go hav a cup of coffee while us kids r entertained :p i think you are boring and mean people making horrible comments lyk that ‘im not impressed’, ‘totally useless’!!! its GREAT! G-R-E-A-T! end of discussion!

  27. I too wish I had seen this site before letting “Santa” buy that STUPID popcorn maker for my daughter. She was soooo disappointed and I have to admit so was I. I am a single parent and try hard to get the things for my daughter that every other child can get and on this occasion I am so sorry I did!!! She was expecting what she saw on TV and the side of the box – loads of popcorn shooting out and instead she went and watched and entire video and came back to see me STILL readmitting the kernals to get half a small bowl of popcorn!! I have tried to find an address to complain to but they are all very good at hiding their contact details, I won’t give up though!!

  28. Thankfully I read all your comments as I was going to buy alot of the stuff, I did buy the mini oven though.

  29. Wow I feel quite relieved that we have the duck popcorn maker which is excellent, but feel very sorry for all those who have been lumbered with the RSC ones. Talking of lumbered, I have tried in vain to find contact details for Character Options Ltd, as Father Christmas got my son the candy floss maker, which hasn’t got any instructions at all! Boots the supplier cannot help me, and for the first time the web cannot help me either. If anyone out there has either the instructions or contact details for Character Options the manufacturer, I would be very grateful! We all wait in hope-thank you Mike for this website-did you ever guess that a simple Popcorn maker could cause so much outrage??? 🙂

  30. I found your site looking for places that sell the marshmallow maker so ican send one back. I bought one last year for my daughter, used it once but could only manage non setting sticky blobs, and left it to gather dust in the back of the cupboard. last week it was my younger daughters birthday and imagine my horror when she was bought one as well!!! I now have two of them in my house! I’m hoping to take the new one back without telling the friend that bought it!

  31. We bought our son the RSC Mini Oven and while i agree that two cakes at a time was a surprise my son loves being able to cook the cakes himself. My problem is that i have lost the tiny piece of paper which gives the details for ordering more mixes. Can anyone help?

  32. I am so grateful I cam across this site—I was about to buy a RSC Slushee Machine, but wanted to find some personal reviews on it first. Thanks for those of you who posted about it. Sounds like a load of rubbish and I will start looking elsewhere for Christmas gifts.

  33. was just looking to buy a ready steady cook popcorn machine and came across this site. Thanks for everyones comments, wont be bothering now. Happy Christmas to all.

  34. I thought it was because my mum had bought the ‘as new’ RSC popcorn maker from a charity shop that it didn’t work very well – I now realise that ‘brand new’ ones are the same! 2 children desperately willing it to work (yes they’d seen the adverts) didn’t help – one of my 4 year olds handfulls of popcorn in about half and hour! Complete waste of £4 – thank heavens mum didn’t spend any more on it!

  35. Hia x
    My cousins got like the whole rsc set + its CRAP! wat a total watse of time. We spent like 4eva slavin ova da popcorn maker just 4 it 2 spit 5 pieces of burnt popcorn on the floor which wer promptly eaten by the dog!!! lol
    Dont buy it it is rubbish + u’ll probably end up makin popcorn in the pan in the end 2 shut ur kidz up! omg! they can b pretty moany lol. i dunno about da rest of da rsc stuff. we didn’t bova afta the popcorn makers crapiness! lol
    luv ya, Pip x

  36. we’ve tried the marshmallow maker, which was a nightmare and didn’t work,slush maker-utter rubbish and the hideously bad chocolate maker. 2 or 3 hours of absolute torture each. who designs this crap? i doubt their kids have used them! let’s melt them down and put the mess on the tip where it belongs!!!!!

  37. Am I the only person who liked their popcorn maker? Granted I was young about 11 I believe and now 21 but I loved it. Yes it took forever but I sat like a kid at christmas waiting for a pop and jumped with joy as it did pop. Unlike most of thesr reviews mine has fond memories! So thank you mum!

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