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I bought my son the Fisher Price Chatter telephone for no other reason than pure nostalgia. I remember me and my brothers and sisters all playing with this toy as youngsters and thought it would be nice for him to play with a toy that I had – toys have moved on so much since I was young that there is not much else about that I would have had. At Ł5.99, I felt that this was a nice, reasonably priced toy for him to play with.
The phone is basic – and modelled on the old fashioned phones that I shouldn’t imagine my son will have much contact with when he is older! The phone has a bright yellow dial on the front which can be turned using a finger. The receiver sits on top of the phone and this is bright red. It is attached with a short, thin blue string/rope material that is spiralled as a telephone cord would be. The front of the phone has a thin red cord attached and the phone has four red wheels, so it can be used as a pull along toy. The front of the phone has a smiling face and googly eyes, which move as the phone is pulled along. The phone makes a sharp ringing noise as the dial is turned and also makes a noise at it is pulled along.
My son first played with the phone at 8 months – it is suitable from 12 months but I felt that, as long as he was supervised, he could benefit from it at that age. There are no small parts and it is really just the cords that he needs to be watched with. He loved to pull at the dial, but has only recently learnt to use it properly with his fingers – it has helped to develop his manipulation skills. He also likes to pick up the receiver (although this is usually to bite on!). The cord between the receiver and the phone is very short and he does find this frustrating sometimes as he lifts the whole phone when he just wants the receiver. I understand why this has to be short to prevent any choking hazards, but at the same time can understand his frustration!
There is not a great deal to this toy, especially not compared to a lot of his toys that have buttons and noises galore! The wheels hold some interest to my son, as does the dial but, other than that, there is not a lot for him to fiddle with. As he gets older, I am sure that this will be of benefit for role-play games and help develop language skills. His older friends love to play with the phone and ‘pretend’ to ring people and none seem to question the old-fashioned dial!
In summary, this is a nice basic toy that holds some use for younger babies but is probably better used as a prop for role-playing once language skills are being developed. For the price, it is a nice toy and is well made and durable.