This review of the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker was in no way sponsored or endorsed by the Nostalgia brand. These are my honest views and opinions based on usage in my own home.
Snow cones and slushies are a must-have item in my house. Every time we leave our Tae Kwon Do studio the girls are begging me to take them down the street to Sonic to get a slushie. After countless nights of getting slushies and then finding them in the freezer two hours later, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It was time for our family to get a snow cone maker. And so we did.
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The Cost of the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker
The costs of slushies and snow cones adds up, especially when you have two children in the house. After back-to-back weeks of buying these slushies and then ultimately finding them hard as a rock in the freezer later, I decided it was time to look into a slushie and snow cone maker.
According to the website Frozen Beverage Dispensers, the average cost of a slushie in 2022 was “around $0.50-$0.60 per serving and drinks […] between $2.50-$4.00 apiece.” If you do the math, that’s a lot to be spending on two slushies every week just for them to be forgotten about in the cold, crowded abyss of the freezer.
It was time to say good bye to weekly fast food slushies, and hello to our very own snow cone maker.
Fortunately, the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker is pretty affordable. I got it from Amazon for a grand total of $37.35. In the world of snow cone makers this one is on the lower end of the spectrum. You can find some as expensive as $300. The main reason I purchased it from Amazon? I had saved up some gift cards. Quite honestly I haven’t found too many other places where you can buy it.
A Very Basic Model
The Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker is a very basic model when it comes to snow cone makers. It has part of the machine that shaves the ice and a holder for the snow cone cup. Other than the suction cups on the bottom, it really doesn’t come with anything else or any other special features.
You can tell it’s kind of basic, too. It’s not very heavy, and the plastic seems pretty thin in some places. Our snow cone cup holder is already loose and not as sturdy after only being used maybe five times. It honestly makes me a bit nervous about the life of the machine itself. And the machine…when it’s on, it rocks around like it’s in an earthquake. The suction cups on the bottom help a little, but not much. Letting the kids use it by themselves would be…interesting.
Looking back on my hunt for a snow cone maker, I remember seeing other machines with guards around the ice dispenser. I wish I had gotten one with a guard because, while making the snow cones, the ice flies out a bit and gets the counter all wet. Yeah, I can clean up my own counter. But that extra step of trying not to get soaked while making a snow cone…well, it kind of sucks.
A Loud, But User-Friendly Machine
The Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker is very easy to use. There are no fancy buttons to push or triggers to maneuver. You simply plug it in, place the lid in its appropriate slot, and lock it shut. Once the lid is locked in place the snow cone maker kicks on.
Now of course that means you have to unlock the lid to turn it off. A few times I have found this to be a tricky maneuver. With one hand holding a cup to collect the ice and the other holding the top of the machine, I feel like I have to quickly undo the lid or I will make a mess. But maybe it’s just me.
When the machine is on and shaving the ice, IT IS LOUD. This is not a snow cone maker that you would want to use while your baby is napping, or while your husband is on a work call. Luckily I don’t have to worry about the naps anymore, but I do have to worry about the work calls. Another reason I don’t like the loud noise? I have a child with sensory issues, and so often times she doesn’t want to be in the room while it’s on.
My Overall Opinion of the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker
The Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker is just okay in my opinion. I’m no snow cone expert, but I did used to work in a snow cone stand during the summer right out of high school. While this snow cone maker does in fact make a decent snow cone, it doesn’t not make one with the same ease as other machines.
For the price, I would give the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker a 5 out of 10. There’s nothing in my mind that screams $40 about this machine. I could see paying somewhere closer to $25 for it, but not much more than that. Especially when the only real features that it has are the snow cone cup holder and suctions cups to hold it in place. Even with the suction cups it still moves around a bit. And for $40 you’re not even getting a machine made with any high quality materials.
Would I buy this same model again? Probably not. I’m curious to see how other similar machines stand up to this one. At this point I’m really wishing there was a splash guard around the ice dispenser. I’d take one of those any day just to avoid getting wet while making my kids an icy treat.
One Secret Left to Share…
I have one secret left to share with you if you’re planning on buying your own snow cone maker. That secret is this…make your own syrups! It’s so easy, and they taste so much better than any of that fake flavoring stuff that you can buy from the store.
After we got the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker I played around with making my own pineapple syrup. My girls love tropical flavors, so pineapple just seemed appropriate. They both approve of the syrup, and honestly so do I. Here’s all that you need:
- 1 large pineapple, skin removed and cut into chunks (I have a pineapple corer that makes this so much easier!)
- 3/4 cup sugar
Once you combine the pineapple and the sugar in a medium saucepan, fill the saucepan with water until it just covers the top of the pineapple. Bring to a boil and boil f0r 15 to 20 minutes. Once it’s done, turn it off and let it cool. From there store it in a bottle or jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Quite honestly, it’ll probably gone by then because you’ll like it so much!
You can also use things like non-alcoholic mixers or premade snow cone syrups from the store. The only time I would recommend buying one of those premade syrups is when you’re looking for a flavor that’s hard to make at home. My girls recently wanted cotton candy flavored syrup, so we got some from Target. Otherwise, I say make your syrups at home!
My Final Thoughts
While the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker is not my favorite, I am grateful that I can lessen our trips for expensive slushies. While this particular product might not be my favorite, I can tell you one thing that the Nostalgia brand has working in its favor: appearance. All of their products are super cute and colorful, and they definitely give off a very nostalgic vibe. Will I try other Nostalgia brand products? Absolutely! It might just take some time, and of course, money.
Let me know if you end up giving this brand a try!