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When it comes to purchasing toys for big occasions I leave it up to my son to choose his birthday and christmas presents and I just get the little stocking fillers.
My husband has always preferred to purchase the Leapfrog toys as they tend to use British voices which we thought it would be better when our son begins to learn 1-2-3 and A-B-C.
After browsing the internet to see what my son would prefer for his First birthday my husband came across this toy and thought it would be ideal for him to use as it teaches colours, sea animals and numbers.
The toy itself does take some assembling so the night before our son's birthday we took it out of the packaging, as let's face it we all know how ridiculous the packaging is when it comes to children's toys and we wanted to capture him playing as soon as he unwrapped it.
The shoes simply needed to be clipped onto the purple body of the octopus and batteries also need to be purchased before hand as they are not provided in this toy. So stock up on AA batteries as this toy will need 2.
The fairly large purple octopus has a centre hole which is hidden in his hat, simply drop one of the 5 colourful balls down his hat and dependent on which mode you have selected it will ask your child to state which shoe the ball is hidden under. The main purpose of the toy is for your child to lift the shoes of the octopus until they locate the coloured ball. It will state "not under the xxxx shoe" or if baby finds the ball it will state " Peek a boo you found the ball under the xxxx shoe"
On the blue collar of the octopus there is the power on button and slide it to the right one more time and it will move it to the loudest volume. To the right hand side of the toy you can choose which play mode you would prefer, counting or colour recognition. By pressing the centre of the collar where there is a music note you can play 2 lyrical or 4 instrumental songs along with your chosen game mode.
The age range for this toy is 9 months to 36 months but in all honesty our son doesn't really concentrate on playing this even at 12 months so I certainly think from 9 months would be asking a bit too much. When our son first had this toy he just kept turning it upside down rather than playing with it as it is designed.
In terms of ease of use I am 30 years of age and I cannot get this to work properly, it states it has to be on a flat surface and we place it on our sons bedroom floor and it still plays up and he is not at the age where we can place it on a table as he will just swipe it off!! The toy will not always state the same colour of that you pick up to locate the ball so this could cause some confusion when teaching your child the colours and numbers as they learn to recognise them.
The toy itself is pretty well made and even if the shoes are a little flimsy when hooked onto the octopus they do life up quite securely.
The toy cost us £17.99 and it was reduced down from £24.99. This is a reasonable price for a toy of this size but I am slightly disappointed in how inaccurate it can be. I like the fact that his has british voices and that it is bright and colourful and with a bit of tuning up from the manufacturer this could be a really good toy.