Alfie bear was given as a gift for my sons 1st Christmas, when he was 9 months old. He was a big hit with my son, and then later, with his younger brother, as a result Alfie has been living with us for the past four years.
Alfie is a fun little teddy bear who loves hugs, and loves to sing. He has a very enthusiastic voice and sings every word he says. Our Alfie has an English accent, but I am aware that there is also an American version too. He has a smiley friendly face and his arms are stretched out, like he wants a cuddle.
Alfie has a soft beige face, arms and legs and has a red hard plastic belly. On the front of his belly there are 4 buttons which can be pushed to make him sing. The buttons are quite large and very easy for young children to press.
One of these buttons is in the centre, in the shape of a heart; this is the on/off button. When pushed on, Alfie says 'How are you' followed by a little song. 'I'm a friendly light up bear, i'll teach you one, two three, a sleepy hungry, happy bear, hey come and hug me'. When you push the button again to turn Alfie off, he says 'Bye Bye'.
The other buttons are each numbered 1, 2, 3. Each button can be pushed up to 4 times in a row, as Alfie has four settings for each button.
On the first push Alfie will say how he is feeling. Then he will say a number, ask you a question, and finally play a nursery rhyme.
For example- Button 1 - 'Mmm im a hungry bear' - - 'One' - - 'How are you?' - plays a nursery rhyme.
There are several nursery rhymes played including, Skip to the loo my darling, rock a bye baby. Alfie does not actually sing the nursery rhymes, but he plays the tune of them.
Each individual button lights up when pushed. And during each nursery rhyme all the buttons light up and flash.
Alfie requires 2 x AAA batteries. The batteries are secured by two small screws (Philips) on his back. I can't say that we have ever had to change the batteries in the four years we have had alfie. He turns off automatically after a while, when he isn't being used. This helps to save the battery life, and also stops Alfie from continually making noises, like many other children's toys do! The speakers are also located on the back of Alfies belly.
Alfie is recommended for children aged 3 months - 18 months. I would agree with this age range, although both my children played with Alfie up to the age of two. When my children were around 6 months, they used to like the nursery rhyme tunes, aswell as the visual effect of the flashing buttons. As they got older (around 1-2) they started to pay more attention to the number sounds and Alfies comments i,e 'I love you'.
Alfie has a little velcro tab on his head, which makes it easy to attatch him to a bouncer or cot. When my children were little I used to attatch Alfie to the pushchair. He also used to hang from the handle on their rear facing baby car seats, which helped to keep them entertained during car journeys. The tab is a particularly handy when your child is going through the phase of throwing their toys for the fun of it!
As Alfie is an electronic toy, he can only be sponge cleaned. I haven't found any problems with cleaning him in this way, using washing liquid and a damp cloth, he is still in a great condition after four years.
We have the original 'Vtech Singing Alfie' that is made of primary colours, which i feel is visually attractive and makes a great unisex toy. There are also pink and blue versions available for those who prefer toys to be gender specific.
Singing Alfie is widely available to buy in most toy stores i.e, mothercare, toys are us and Argos. I also spotted him in Wilkinson last week! The price is generally around the £9.99 mark, although prices vary from store to store, and I have seen him on offer for as little as £4.95 in the past.
I really cannot think of anything negative to say about Alfie. He is simply a friendly looking bear, that is fun to play with, aswell as being educational. He is easy to carry around, thanks to his Velcro tab, and he can be heard clearly, without being too loud (like some childrens toys)! He even turns himself off when he is not in-use, which saves the battery life, meaning that i have never had to change his batteries.
My youngest son is now 2 and a half and seems to have lost interest in Alfie, so i think it is time to take Alfie down to the charity shop, so another child can cherish him.
All in all, a great toy that is well worth the money!