Last Updated on December 27, 2020
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The pastime known as table tennis traces its origins to the 19th century in England. Originally an after-dinner sport for rich people, in 1901 a British company trademarked the name ping-pong, eventually selling the rights in America to game manufacturer Parker Brothers. Today, table tennis — or ping-pong — is both a competitive sport and a hobby for families. I’m probably not the first person who remembers playing ping-pong against my cousins during family reunions at my grandparents’ house.
A table-tennis table would seem an unlikely thing to find at Aldi. For one, it’s big, and Aldi has to be particular about big items in its small stores. For another, I can’t recall ever seeing Aldi selling one before, not even during the holidays. So seeing one show up at Aldi as part of its holiday toy selection is a big surprise.
What We Know:
The Crane Full-Size Table Tennis with Paddles and Balls is an Aldi Find, which means it’s a limited-time item. At the time of this post, it retails for $89.99.
How good is this price? To understand that, we should first talk about features, because not all ping-pong tables are the same. They come in different sizes, with many of the ones in stores either being “mid-sized” or “full-sized.” A mid-sized table tends to run about 93-96 inches long and roughly 45-55 inches wide. A full-sized table, meanwhile, is a fixed 108 inches long, 60 inches wide, and 30 inches high — 9 feet x 5 feet x 2.5 feet. Full-sized tables are the official size used in table tennis competitions and are often called “official size” in product listings.
As you might expect, mid-sized tables are cheaper than full-sized ones. I looked at Walmart, Target, and Amazon, noting that mid-sized tables tend to run $125-$200, while full-sized tables tend to run $300-$600+.
The Aldi table is full-sized: 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2 1/2 feet high. At $89.99, it would be a great price even for a mid-sized table, but as full-priced tables go it’s spectacular. I don’t see any new ping-pong tables anywhere at this size for anywhere remotely close to this price.
What’s more, the Aldi table also comes with a net and post set, two paddles, and two balls. It also is a foldable design.
The table also comes with a 2-year warranty, serviced by a company whose website is run by MD Sports. Not coincidentally, MD Sports sells a table tennis set that looks identical to the Crane one, and also includes a manual. MD Sports sells their version on Amazon for around $210, and it averages 4.3 out of 5 stars based on over 1,100 reviews. The Amazon listing also indicates that MD Sports has an assembly video for their version, which you can find on the Bilt App on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
What We Don’t Know:
There has to be a catch, right? It’s hard to say how easy it is to assemble, how stable it is, or how durable it will be under repeated play. Those are all considerations.
For this price, though, it may not matter.
Have experience with this table? Let us know in the comments!