Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
Definite pros and some clear cons to consider
on August 2, 2013
Our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter is at a perfect age for baby dolls (yes, the recommended minimum age is 3.) Today, I took a morning off work to help out her parents and do Gramma duty with just the two of us so... perfect opportunity to test this toy.
1. The talking/baby noises feature is brilliant. The grandgirl loves it and figured them out quickly. Squeeze her hand and she speaks several phrases or makes baby-babbling noises. Put her binky or her bottle (or a little girl finger) in her mouth and she makes sucking noises and moves her head. Brush something against her foot and she giggles and declares that it tickles. Pat her "back" a few times (there's a broad, flat trigger between her shoulders)and she burps or passes gas and excuses herself. Her voice is high pitched, but clear and not at all too loud.
2. The accessories are cute. The "wipes" container is not a success for little bitties - too much fussing to make it work and the pieces are highly "losable" - although an older child might have better luck. The "powder" is cute and I loved watching her powder the baby in all the places her Mama and Daddy powder her. Baby also has a "magic" spoon gimmick that's cute but not impressive. There is also what I think is supposed to be a container of baby food (although not sure why its lid has holes in it.) Her baby carrier is cute; doesn't stay on well.
3. Reasonably good play value. It engaged the grandgirl off and on for a good part of a four-hour visit. In addition to playing with the various features of the doll itself, she also walked the doll and her ever-present soft "Heidi" doll in Gran's toy stroller and tucked them into the wooden cradle made by her great-grandfather for her mother. She played "hold the dolls and spin in a circle until you're dizzy then fall down and fling the dolls across the room and giggle" for a while. She also had a baby doll tea party and sat the baby on the potty she herself doesn't particularly care to use. (Baby doesn't have a name yet.)
1. The packaging is typically nightmarish, requiring a good 10 minutes, a knife, scissors, brute strength and a small nuclear weapon to free the doll and her accessories from the(admittedly cute) box from Hell.
2. The directions are only OK. Check and reset the switch on her back. It has settings for On, Off and Demo. If it's not in full ON, all her features won't work. You may also need to swap out her "demo" batteries. Don't assume the doll doesn't work - just check the switch and whip out those AAs. You'll need a very small Phillips head screwdriver to open the battery compartment, and small fingers to get to it at all because the opening in her onesie is so small and it doesn't come off.
3. Her onesie doesn't come off; it is sewn on and it's not at all clear to me why they did this. This creates two - no, three - definite star-losing issues.
- - a. Her clothes cannot be changed so her little "Mom" can't undress or dress her. This matters in "playing dolls" and it was clear to me that an older child would not like this feature at all. As the grandgirl gets older - if her interest continues - I may just cut the darned onesie off the doll so other things can be put on her.
- - b. If her onesie gets dirty, it will stay dirty.
- - c. It makes changing the battery darned difficult because the opening in the back of the onesie is smaller than the battery cover and compartment.
- - d. Once you undo the velcro-ish fastening at her crotch to put on her diaper, it pretty much isn't going to stay closed after that.
4. Forget the headband and bow in her hair. Just take it off and pitch it. It won't last 20 minutes and the net will get majorly tangled up in her hair.
5. She's not particularly "cuddly." Mostly, she's made of hard parts - head and limbs are not smooth, hard plastic, but they aren't "soft" either. Her torso contains the working parts that make her speak and move her head, which are covered in fabric.
6. Her coloring is garish. I don't know why doll manufacturers do that, but she looks a bit like a baby street-walker on meth.
7. She only had a four-hour initial workout with a 2 1/2 year old, but she seems only marginally sturdy. We'll see.
In all, I would not recommend paying $50 for this doll. The talking feature is very cute, but I'm not sure that's enough to justify the price, considering the immediately obvious drawbacks.
Edit August 29, 2013: I've had the doll for a month and the granddaughter has been over 7 times during that time, 3 of them for several hours by herself. Each time, she has made a bee-line for "Baby." She loves the sounds the doll makes and she plays with it for extended periods, talks to it, imitates it, gets it involved in other play and generally seems to love it. Because she struggled to carry all the little accessories with her wherever she went, I gave her an old purse as a "diaper bag." She is quite the little mama - except, of course, when she uses "Baby" as a soccer ball, tossing toy or to play "Baby fell down."
Her continued interest in the doll has caused me to up my star rating to 4.
I still have my doubts about durability if this doll lived at HER house. Since "Baby" only gets played with when the grand is at our house, it gets considerably less wear and tear than it would if it was at their house.
Update, December 4, 2013: She continues to play with the doll when she visits. It has a name now - "Baby." She's firm about that. Baby's accessories are kept in a "diaper bag" (old purse) and playing "mommy" is still a favorite activity when the grandgirl visits. The onesie is still on and she doesn't appear to mind, although it bugs me that the velcro closure is so very poor. It doesn't seem to matter to her though. I've upped the durability rating to 4 stars, however, because Baby really is holding up very well.
If you have a 2yo, with Christmas coming, I am going to change my mind about recommending this toy. With the price down to $37 (as this is written) I'd buy this if I didn't already own it.