The Pitch: "The personal, versatile, counter-top magician."
April 2009. The Magic Bullet Blender is an infomercial staple, but it's also available online and in some stores. Billed as a do-everything countertop appliance -- ads claim the Magic Bullet works as a blender, a juicer and a food processor -- tests by experts and consumers reveal a somewhat different story. Although it does do a good job of blending liquids, whipping foods like eggs and grinding dry foods such as coffee beans and peppercorns, other foods like vegetables are a challenge for the Magic Bullet.
One of the big impulses for buying the Magic Bullet blender is creating smoothies. However, many reports say that the food processor struggles when blending solids such as fruits and liquids together into a smooth and appealing consistency. An excellent video review at InfoNOTmercial.com illustrates this and also demonstrates an alternative technique that produces better results -- shaking the blender. Reviewer Mindy Weinberg speculates that there's probably a good reason why that little tidbit is omitted from the Magic Bullet infomercials -- it cuts against the claim that the Magic Bullet is easy to use.
User reviews are plentiful and mixed. While many consumers are enthusiastic about their Magic Bullets, we also read many complaints about fragile plastic parts that break and an inflexible policy that forces customers to pay for a new base instead of a single replacement part. Many also say that contrary to the as-seen-on-TV infomercial, the Magic Bullet blender doesn't do a great job when chopping certain vegetables such as onions, garlic and tomatoes, delivering an unappetizing mush. Reviewers at InfoNOTmercial.com state that one reason results look easier and nicer in the commercial is that small cherry tomatoes and pearl onions are used in the demonstration -- something that's not revealed to the viewer. The fact that the blender could overheat if operated for more than a minute at a time also gives users and experts pause.
In the end, reports largely agree that the Magic Bullet can be useful for certain tasks If you don't expect too much.
This video review of the Magic Bullet blender is detailed and comprehensive. Mindy Weinberg examines the claims made by the Magic Bullet infomercial and tests whether each is valid. She also documents several hidden "gotchas" that the marketing for the Magic Bullet fails to disclose. Although the Magic Bullet works, she says, it doesn't quite live up to all of the claims made for it, but it does excels at certain tasks. It earns a three-star (out of five) rating and is worth owning if you cook for one or two people, Weinberg says.
Review: Magic Bullet, Mindy Weinberg, Feb. 4, 2009
The Magic Bullet blender has accumulated more than 500 reviews at Amazon.com, and owners seem to either love it or hate it. Many say that you must use the pulsing technique described in the manual or risk burning out the motor. Some owners say that this machine is cheaply made, while others say it's compact and convenient.
Review: Magic Bullet Express, Contributors to Amazon.com
About 250 users rate the Magic Bullet here. Opinions are split, with some raving about how well the Magic Bullet works as a food processor and some ranting about the blender. Issues cited by those who are unhappy include poor blending and poor durability. Users who don't expect the Magic Bullet to live up to all of the promises made in its commercials seem happiest with the product.
Review: Magic Bullet Blender Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
The Magic Bullet blender does better at this user-review site than most others, securing a very high rating after more than 120 reviews. Notably, more than 85 percent of users say they would recommend the Magic Bullet.
Review: Magic Bullet Blender, Contributors to Viewpoints.com
More than 20 Epinions users review the Magic Bullet blender, giving it a rather mediocre three-star rating. Some owners say that it turns soft or wet foods to mush and fails to live up to the infomercial hype. Others find it efficient and easy to use.
Review: Magic Bullet Reviews, Contributors to Epinions.com
6. KOMO-TV (Seattle)
Reporter Connie Thompson hands the Magic Bullet blender to a volunteer for a test. A regular blender wins out, but the Magic Bullet works for small servings and is easy to clean up. One negative, Thompson says, is that it isn't as easy to use as it looks in the commercials.
Review: Does It Work? - Magic Bullet Express, Connie Thompson, Aug. 31, 2006
7. Cook's Illustrated
Editors say that while the Magic Bullet blender does a good job grinding dry ingredients, it pulps onions and emits an "eardrum-bursting" noise. In addition, they say that it's tough to store all of this blender's accessories.
Review: Magic Bullet, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, June 2005
8. Good Housekeeping
In this older review, the Good Housekeeping Institute tests the Magic Bullet blender. Commercials boast that this small blender can do just about anything, but Good Housekeeping's tests prove otherwise. Testers report mushy onions, chunky smoothies and uneven chopping.
Review: Infomercial Road Test, Editors of Good Housekeeping, July 2004