Apr 30, 2010

Ann Tancio


Sumosac Gigantor Bean Bag Chair Review: It’s Nothing Like Standing Up


Somehow I went from discussing reviewing the neat little bean bag chairs Sumo provides to events like the recent Penny Arcade Expo East to having a seven foot by six foot Sumosac Gigantor in my living room.

Sumo sells bean bag chairs, from the relatively small one-person Omni often seen piled throughout the corridors of gaming fan events, to the giant, (at least) two-person polyester fiber-filled Sumosac Gigantor, which must have been a real bitch to ship to my apartment. I know it was a real bitch getting it inside. They’ve been trying to get us to review their product for years it seems, leading to an inside joke about reviewing one just so we could use the line “It felt like I was standing up.”

They approached us again following PAX East, and we caved, but I was worried about my cats. They like to pee now and again, and I was afraid the simple bean bag chair would wind up a sack of cat urine-scented beads. Not a problem, said the Sumo representative. They would send me something with a removable cover, perfect for my cat-pee sprinkled lifestyle.

And so there’s an enormous Sumosac Gigantor in my living room. The cats both love and fear it, for reasons that will become apparent, and I can honestly say this: It’s nothing like standing up.


It Eats Your Will To Move: After two six and a half foot tall men tore open the gigantic shipping box and squeezed its contents through the door to my apartment and stuffed the Gigantor inside of its micro suede cover, I fell upon it in exhaustion, and I did not want to get up. The poly-fill inside the sack bunches where you aren’t sitting, providing adequate support while still remaining soft and giving you some room to maneuver. It’s less like sitting down or curling up on a cushion, and a bit more like being held. It’s supremely comfortable, to the point where I’ve slept in it several times over the past two weeks, both on purpose and accidentally. It’s almost too comfortable, as many of my recent gaming sessions have mysteriously transformed into naps.

True To Form: I’m a large man, weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. That anything I lay on can retain a fair semblance of its original shape is a miracle. As I mentioned above, I’ve slept for long periods on the Gigantor, and within a half hour of me getting up, it’s back to the shape it was in before I burdened it with my presence. Now and then it needs a little fluffing, but there’s nothing wrong with a little fluffing.

Very Roomy: The first night the Gigantor spent in my house was spent with me sprawled out on it playing 3D Dot Game Heroes, my girlfriend next to me playing Plants Vs. Zombies on the iPad, and at least one cat. That’s without anyone’s feet actually touching the ground. Well, except the cat’s, but that was by design. In short, it’s one roomy sonofabitch. I image three regular-sized, relatively friendly people could curl up at once without much of a problem.

Removable Cover: A week into testing the Gigantor, disaster struck. It turns out the door to the room with the cat box in it was closed accidentally, and one of my little furry friends took it upon himself to pee on the giant cat bed in the living room. This was discovered by wandering into the living room, dropping down onto the sack without looking, and being showered with yellow droplets. This was both good and bad. Bad, because ew, pee. Good, because the cover didn’t let the pee through it, resting atop it in a puddle instead of soaking in. So yeah, if you’ve got cats, aim for a covered bean bag chair, or sell them for parts.

Cat’s Away!: The most fun you can have with an oversized bean bag chair like the Gigantor is its ability to launch your feline friends (or small dogs, I suppose) into the air. Wait until your cat is asleep on it, and then fall down hard onto an unoccupied spot. The poly-fill quickly shifts to accommodate you, launching the cat two to three feet in the air, depending on weight. This is the most beautiful thing you will ever see. I wish I had pictures. Maybe this explains the peeing.


Space, You’re Gonna Need It: Most furniture is rectangular. It helps you place it against walls, arrange it strategically, and put coffee tables near it. The Gigantor is seven feet wide, six feet deep, and about three and a half feet tall. Essentially, it’s a giant cylinder. It’s great for very open corners, or rooms with lots of floor space just asking to be covered with something, but in a cramped apartment, there aren’t many places to put it that make sense. Right now I’ve got mine in front of my entertainment center, having moved my couch off to the side. I guess that works, but it leads me to my second negative point…

Aesthetically Unpleasant: It’s a sack filled with foam. It comes in different colors, but a different -colored lump is, for all intents and purposes, still a lump. Unless you’ve been following a strictly lump-based decorating style, the Gigantor is not likely to fit your home decor. That means you either need to really want a giant sack in your living room, or you have a basement rec-room or dedicated gaming room you feel could benefit by the addition of an extremely comfortable mound.

So no, the Sumosac Gigantor is nothing like standing up. It’s an insanely comfortable mass of micro suede and polyester fluff that could easily be the centerpiece of a more expansive game room or, under the right circumstances, act as a love seat substitute in any situation you find yourself needing a love seat. At $399 you’re going to want to be damn sure you have a spot large enough for it, and it isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever sat on, but it could very well be one of the most satisfying.

And you can’t put a price on cat-flinging.

FINE PRINT EXAMPLE: The Sumosac Gigantor is a product of Sumo Lounge International. Retails for $399.99 USD. Smaller, less-expensive sizes are available. A unit was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played both single and multiplayer modes. Tested it in a variety of situations. Yes, it works really well for…that.

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