Product review: Zoku Pop Maker

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It was June 2013 and I was walking along Queen Street West in Toronto and found myself standing in front of this cute little shop. Inside, I saw the candy-coloured Zoku Single Quick Pop Maker. The design and colours are eye catching, and who cannot resist the temptation of juicy popsicles in the summertime?

After speaking to the shopkeeper and hearing about her delicious smoothie popsicle recipes, I decided to give this $43 product a try. When I got home, I wiped it down and put the unit in my freezer. That night, hubby and I made our first simple juice popsicles. As promoted, the juice does freeze within the 7 minutes on your counter. We made two popsicles.

The second time I took the unit out of the freezer to make pops, I did notice some white stuff on the unit, but I thought it was just a little bit of frost, and simply wiped it off. Fast forward to present day. It is winter and I do not have any cravings for popsicles. I decide to put away the unit until spring, so I take it out of the freezer and leave it on my kitchen counter to defrost. After a short time, this is what I see:

That is not frost. It’s powdery and odourless. It hardens and it takes a little bit of muscle to get it off the counter. As you can see, the product is leaking:

I decide to write to Zoku about my situation and I am happy to report that their response time is very prompt. Within 30 minutes I received a response and a solution. They reassure me that the solution used in the unit is non-toxic, but they do not recommend that I continue to use it. They offer to send me a new unit at no cost if I have a US postal address. I reply and inform them that I am living in Canada and would need to know the cost of the shipping before I agree to accepting the new unit. A couple of days later, they let me know that shipping will be free as the replacement unit will be coming from their Canadian distributor. Excellent! The replacement unit arrives within 2 weeks. I was absolutely thrilled! When I took it out of the packaging, I noticed a few little specks of the all-too-familiar ‘frost’, but I wiped down the unit and set it on my kitchen table. The next day, I realize that I am now the owner of TWO LEAKING ZOKU units! And my original Zoku has leaked further.

I am debating whether it is worthwhile to contact Zoku again, or if I should simply consider the Zoku Single Pop Maker as a total fail. My best friend has the same unit and has not experienced any leak problems; however, I did a search on the internet after receiving the second faulty unit and this is not an uncommon problem. Do I really want a third unit that may just end up in the landfill?

I love the idea of having a home-made popsicle when you are craving it. The product idea is brilliant, but clearly the construction of the unit is sub-par. I cannot recommend this product based on my two leaking units.

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