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Another special occasion sees another bundle of toys and amongst the latest array is a Fifi Forget Me Not talking plush toy.
Fifi Forget Me Not Talking Plush- Fifi stands about 14 inches tall and is perfect hug size for small children and toddlers. The first of several talking plush designs Fifi is dressed in her famous dungarees, pink t-shirt and wellies, later designs have seen her in pyjama's. Fifi is gently scented with a floral perfume smell, it is only a very mild smell but it is pleasant and light.
Her body/face are made of various different textured fabrics meaning that, while they're not specifically aimed at sensory stimulation, they give the child an interesting range of textures to feel. Due to the battery powered nature of the toy the fabrics are only wipe clean.
When her tummy is squeezed Fifi will say several different phrases usually beginning with a "oh, hello!" each subsequent squeeze will produce an alternate phrase, each of which would have appeared within one of the Fifi television episodes. Fifi has a shut down mode for when she's not been squeezed in a while at which point she will tell you to come back again soon, this is a great little feature which saves on battery life but can also draw the childs attention back to the toy ensuring it gets well played with.
Suitable from 2 years upwards Fifi takes 3x LR44 cell type batteries which come included.
Elsa's Opinion- Elsa is only 19 months old, technically not quite old enough for the toy, so her level of expressing her opinion more or less comes from excited rambling and a broad smile, her range of speech is great but "mummy this toy is my favourite" is a bit beyond her means. We knew that Fifi was going to be a big hit with her even before it had been purchased as she spotted it on the shelves in Toys R Us, gleefully picked it up and refused to let it go, we didn't actually buy the toy at this point (a relative bought it as a gift a few weeks later) so it was tricky separating her from the toy and we had to resort to all manner of distraction and bribery to be able to move on.
Come the morning of present opening, Christmas day (I'm sure most of you can identify with the chaos that can ensure on that particular day) and Fifi was one of the earliest gifts we opened with Elsa. In typical toddler fashion she wasn't interested in the rest of the gifts or what was going on around her she just wanted Fifi out of the box and "now" heck it was Christmas so we pandered to her and she happily snuggled Fifi, giggling excitedly every time a cuddle ended in Fifi talking, we eventually managed to get through the rest of the gifts and Fifi quickly found herself next to a baby doll in Elsa's toy pram, wrapped in a tiny fleecy blanket and being fed juice.
Ever since that first encounter Elsa has loved her Fifi toy, we had to stop her taking it to bed on an evening because she would keep Christopher up half the night with Fifi's "fiddley flower petals!" She does occasionally struggle to get the voice working as her hands are quite tiny and can't squeeze the toy very well but that's all the better for me who'd have to listen to endless Fifi chatter if she could manage it perfectly on her own. A child of the designated age group should be able to manage this with ease but it just goes to show the quality of the toy that it is durable and safe enough for a younger child to manage (at this point I will point out that it is the parents responsibility to monitor play if the toy is given to a younger child, just in case)
As far as I'm concerned this toy was quite a good choice, yes it has quite a limited entertainment value and there is little educational about the toy but Elsa loves it and is clearly finding her own ways of playing with Fifi and stimulating her own imagination. My one complaint is a small one and that is the fabric on Fifi's nose and the bottom of her shoes, it's an unusual texture and has a terrible habit of attracting dirt, not a good feature when you consider the toy is for young children who inevitably end up hand in hand with dirt.
Price & Availability- Fifi is available from most larger toy stores such as Woolworth and Toys R Us, she is also available online from places such as Amazon in the region of £14.99. In my view that's a little pricey for what is effectively a stuffed toy but I'm sure the price will drop in future, certainly online.
Overall- A successful purchase that has seen many hours of love and play, not sanity breaking for a parent even if it may seem a little bank breaking. So what if it doesn't teach the ABC, Elsa's expression when she plays with Fifi is all I need to see to know the toy is worth having.