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Will Someone Answer That Toy Phone!?

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07.04.2011

Advantages:
Looks nice

Disadvantages:
Kids don't play with it

Detailed rating:

Durability

Value for Money

Educational ValueAverage

32 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (6%):
  1. reddanni
  2. angelboouk123
very helpful by (94%):
  1. supersonic75
  2. KathEv
  3. Juliet101
and 30 other members

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Magic Bags

This was bought as a new toy to pull out of my 'magic bag' whilst on a long journey a couple of years ago. I'd bought a couple of new things so that when the kids got fed up on the journey, a new toy would magically appear to keep them happy.

It was meant to be for the baby (10 months at the time) but when I pulled it out of the bag, there was an initial squabble between her and her older sister (2 ¾ years) but the baby won in the end, as a new book magically appeared for the toddler.

So after the initial excitement, the novelty soon wore off and it was slung around the car a few times before Mummy got fed up of picking it up...However, although the baby showed that she was not in slightest bit interested in this toy phone, it did actually provide some enjoyment for my toddler.

Pretend Phones



So let me tell you a bit about this phone. I am quite sure than many households with young children have this or something similar in their possession, to try and get their kids away from the real mobile phones and onto the more exciting toy ones...well this one clearly hasn't worked in this instance, but I think that's the idea, to give the child their own 'phone'.

Anyway, this version is bright pink, so for girls only, and the word soft in the title refers to the soft outer. The front and back is hard plastic, but around the edge is a soft material. Not actually sure what value this brings to the phone, but there you go. The 'aerial' is also soft. There is also a soft Velcro strap on the back which means you can attach it to a pram (or carseat!!) and it won't get lost...unfortunately, Velcro is something that fascinates my daughter and she has to undo any type of Velcro fastening device whenever she finds one...so this did not stay attached to anything for very long.

On the front of the phone is a mirror at the top which is surrounded by a clear plastic tube which has 4 small balls inside, which obviously move around when the phone is handled. This I guess is aimed at the younger child but also actually adds no real value to the phone. Underneath the mirror is the on/off switch. There are no different settings on this phone; it is either on or off.

There are 4 buttons on the front, numbered 1 to 4 (whoever had a phone that only has 4 numbers, and not one of them is 9 so you can’t even ring an emergency service!!) Each button also has a small picture of an animal - cat, dog, bird, and rabbit. When you press a button, say for instance you press 1, it will light up, miaow like a cat, then say 'hello cat'. Then if you press it again it will say the number and then play a tune. Now I'm not sure how many tunes are programmed into this device but I have heard at least 8 different tunes, and maybe there are more. It seems that each button has 2 or more tunes programmed into them.

Tunes I have heard so far include:
Mary Had A Little Lamb
If You're Happy And You Know It
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Row Row Row Your Boat
Ten Green Bottles
Old MacDonald Had A Farm...

...you get the idea, all well known nursery rhymes which most toddlers (and parents) should know.

At the bottom of the phone is a yellow and green ball which spins and also activates a little jingle when it is pressed - 'Ring ring ring and play away, who is on the phone today?' This ball has seen better days and doesn't spin as easily as it did in the beginning. I can only think that one of my children has clogged it up with something sticky from one of their fingers.

Also, if you leave it turned on, after a few minutes, it will light up and say 'let's call the cat' or 'let's call the dog'. But this only happens a couple of times before it goes into sleep mode. It's not one of those annoying toys that just keeps on pestering you until you turn it off.

And that's everything about the workings of the phone. It's a very simple device and despite its flaws, which I am going to mention next, I do actually like it. I'm not sure if that's because it is pink or more because of the simplicity. But having said that I like it, it's not me that it's aimed at, and my little target audience are not particularly impressed.

Disappointing

First of all, it is incredibly quiet (a good thing I hear you cry!!). While it was in the box, it sounded quite loud so I was happy that I'd picked a good one and not one that had been played with numerous times while on the shelf. But once it was out of the packet, the sound seemed to drop dramatically, so of course my husband blamed me for getting a dud. And with this toy not having a volume control, there was nothing we could do about it, apart from change the batteries, which also didn't have an effect.

It being quiet is not such a bad thing, but when you have two noisy children and one of them is trying to listen to the tunes, it makes it quite hard. And when my toddler was asking me what the tune was whilst the TV is playing, the baby was crying and the washing machine going...I just couldn’t hear it!

I'm just wondering now if the idea is that you have to hold it to your ear like a real phone to hear the noises...to try and force the child into using it as a pretend phone???

Having said before that the baby had no interest whatsoever in this phone, my toddler would play with it sporadically. She would take it to a quiet spot, press all the buttons and sing along to all the tunes. I tried in vain to get the baby to play with it, but it was always just slung away as it was when we were in the car.

I think the problem with it is that it doesn't actually look like a phone. Both my children have been obsessed with my mobile phones, and also remote controls. So why can't manufacturers make a toy phone that is black and actually looks like a real phone? I'm sure that would be much more successful. Neither of my kids have actually twigged onto the fact that this is a phone because they have never pretended to use it as a phone, like they do with our house phone or my mobile phone.

So although I personally do actually like the look, functions and idea of this phone, I can't rate it highly because it just did not and still does not get played with enough to warrant paying just short of ten quid for it!

Maybe my kids are just weird...they prefer playing with fridge magnets and pram wheels...

The toy takes 2 AA batteries.
I paid £9.97 at Tescos and I think that is the average price.

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Comments about this review »

HannahBoo 10.04.2011 22:47

A nice detailed review, well done :)

prettypolly40 09.04.2011 21:26

Lovely review

reddanni 09.04.2011 13:19

A very useful review, well covered.

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This review of VTech Pink Soft Singing Phone has been rated:

"exceptional" by (6%):

  1. reddanni
  2. angelboouk123

"very helpful" by (94%):

  1. supersonic75
  2. KathEv
  3. Juliet101

and 30 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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