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My youngest daughter received the talking De Li for her 2nd birthday last year, so of course my eldest immediately wanted a talking Yo Jo Jo, so when Christmas arrived, so did Yojojo.
Waybuloo is a Cbeebies show aimed at preschoolers and apparently it ‘explores emotions and relationships...and takes young children on a journey through stories of co-operation, friendship and enjoyment’. It is set in the magical land of Nara, where the 4 piplings live, otherwise known as Yojojo, De Li, Lau Lau and Nok Tok. I personally find it the most irritating children’s programme I have ever seen, but my kids seem to enjoy it, hence the need for the soft toys.
The plush talking Yojojo is an average sized soft toy, about 30cm tall, but the main bulk of the toy is the head. These creatures, or Piplings as they are more commonly known have giant heads and tiny little bodies. They are certainly queer looking things, and I find this makes the toy more difficult to use as an actual soft toy. The head is very top heavy, and even the batteries are located inside the head which only exaggerates the problem. Yojojo is an orangey amber type colour and I think he is based on a monkey because he has monkey style ears and a long tail. He also wears a blue pair of shorts. I don’t find the any of the Waybuloo characters attractive looking so I can’t really comment on how nice he looks, but if your child is a fan of the show, then any of the characters are bound to be a hit, but I think Yojojo is a male and so aimed more for the boys. The toy comes supplied with 2xAA batteries, so if you are browsing in the shops you can test him out before buying to see if you can stand the voice!
Yojojo comes with quite a variety of different phrases, I have just pressed his tummy several times and this is what I’ve come up with:
1. Hi Hi 2. Yojojo play happy song 3. Tum Tum Yojojo drum 4. Yojojo feel the beat 5. Yojojo love music 6. Yojojo play pipling pipes 7. Yojojo’s a little funny 8. Play with Yojojo 9. Bulooooooo 10. Let’s play peeka 11. Time for Yo-Go 12. Yojojo loves snugly 13. Huggle Yojojo 14. Yojojo Bulooo 15. Yojojo play whistle stick 16. Yojojo do silly dance 17. Time to play Banjojo 18. Come on GeeBee!
So I have counted 18 different phrases, interspersed with all of that is a bit of music here and there – the type that you would hear on the show. The voice is the same voice you will hear on the show and is quite babyish. To activate the sounds you have to press Yojojo’s tummy, and this is surprising easy, especially when you compare it to other toys of this style (we have an Upsy Daisy from In The Night Garden and you really have to squeeze her to get her to speak). But Yojojo is quite simple and it is more like a button just under her ‘skin’ rather than a pad located deep in her stomach, so neither of my kids have any issues with activating the sounds. There is no squeezing involved and so no tantrums when they can’t activate the sounds! If you have been playing with Yojojo and stop for about 20 seconds, he will shout ‘Come on Geebee!’ as if to remind you to play with him, but he only says this once and doesn’t keep repeating himself. I suppose this is a good point because some other talking toys just don’t know when to give up.
Well I think you have to be a true fan of the show to get real enjoyment from this toy. My eldest only wanted Yojojo because my youngest had De Li, and so it was more of a ‘she’s got one so I want one’ kind of thing, rather than an actual need for the toy. We have had him almost a year now, and he still looks new. She does get him out and play every so often, but it is definitely not a favourite toy, and to be honest I think it is a toy which is very limited in its enjoyment factor. The oversized head doesn’t help, so you cannot sit him up, and with her being almost 5 I actually think she is a bit old for this type of thing anyway. Perhaps it would do better on a younger child, but then again my youngest had De Li when she was 2, and although she has played with it more that my eldest has played with Yojojo, it is still something that I think could disappear and she wouldn’t notice, or even care.
You will find this toy in most reputable toy shops and also supermarkets, I have seen it in Tesco, Mothercare, Toys R Us, and various online retailers. You can expect to pay up to £20, I would not pay anymore.