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Customer Review

338 of 341 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zoo Talkers vs Learning Zoo, November 14, 2011
By 
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo (Toy)
As my son is a huge animal fan, I found myself not able to decide whether to buy him the Fisher Price Little People A to Z Learning Zoo Playset or the Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo. Ultimately, he ended up getting the first from us, and the latter from his grandparents, but I thought I would mention some of the pros and cons of each.

Animal Realism: This definitely goes to the Zoo Talkers. While they both look cute, the Learning Zoo animals look far more "cartoony" than those for the Zoo Talkers.

Sound Quality: In my opinion, this is close. I think the Zoo Talkers has slightly richer, better sound, but they are both decent for a child's toy.

Box Accuracy: Tie. The box for the Learning Zoo shows a nice, translucent blue for the waterfall yet actually came as a far cheaper looking solid light blue; the box for the Zoo Talkers shows a zookeeper, polar bear, lion, and monkey yet comes with a gorilla instead of a monkey (which is mentioned on the back of the box, but this is very easily overlooked when purchasing online). They also curiously sell the gorilla separately (hence how we ended up with 2), yet don't even currently offer a monkey.

Expandability: Zoo Talkers wins here, but only because the Learning Zoo already comes with a full compliment of 26 animals. The Zoo Talkers currently allows you to expand the set with the Safari Truck and lion cub, penguin, seal, alligator, bear, dolphin, tiger, rhino, ostrich, elephant, gorilla, orangutan, flamingo, hippo, as well as zebra/leopard/whale bundled each with a book. Naturally this also adds to the cost of the product though.

Price: The Zoo Talkers wins in initial cost, but I doubt many children would be content with only the 4 figures that come with it. Once you factor in the cost of additional animals, the Learning Zoo becomes pretty competitive.

Educational Value: Definitely the Learning Zoo. The Zoo Talkers only does (at this time at least) the name and sound of a few animals, while the Learning Zoo does the name of the animal, the sound, and the first letter of the name for all 26 animals included (one for each letter of the alphabet). In addition, the Learning Zoo also has a button that quizzes on the various animals and sounds.

Quality: Zoo Talkers wins here. Once assembled, it is nice and sturdy with an "ice arch" that doubles as a handle to easily transport the play set. The Learning Zoo has the speaker/main play section attach to the mat, but the other parts are merely attached by clipping them by means of the fence only. This fence is easily disconnected and younger children will require an adult to reattach the parts for them, and any attempt by a child to move the play set will necessitate the reattachment. I wish the Learning Zoo was also more of a "one-piece" construction.

Quality Control: In our case the Learning Zoo wins here. All functions of the Learning Zoo worked upon arrival, whereas one animal for the Zoo Talkers arrived visibly defective and consequently didn't work.

Function: Tie. With the Learning Zoo, if the mat is not completely flat (as is to be expected to happen if used on carpet) an incorrect sound/name may be given when pushing a button. I have found this happens fairly often forcing me to carefully try and spread the mat out. In time the crease from shipping should decrease which may help with this. With the Zoo Talkers the animal has to be pushed down fairly straight in order to get the sound to work - which may be difficult for younger hands. I've also had the base give an incorrect response several times (will make the wrong sound or give the wrong name) which I would assume happens if the animal isn't pushed on quite right (I've even had it make the lion cub sound/name and we don't even own that). ***Edit 11/29/11 - Now that my son has had this for a few weeks my initial impression of the Learning Zoo was correct in that the mat has indeed flattened so that it now rarely gives an incorrect response when one of the buttons is pushed. My son (he just turned 2) still gets a surprisingly number of incorrect responses when using the Zoo Talkers when he doesn't push the animal down correctly. It is hard to subtract a star for this as I cannot duplicate the errors so it is something that no doubt will not continue once he gets coordinated enough to put the animals on a little better. It is disappointing though as this set is meant for his age range and I find it hard to believe that other toddlers don't suffer the same issues (and shouldn't something have been done about this during quality control testing prior to manufacturing?) Consequently, I now think that the Learning Zoo pulls ahead in this category.***

Fun Factor: For my son this is definitely the Zoo Talkers at the moment. He loves pushing the various animals down the slide, tipping the one platform causing various animals to land on the slide, putting the animals on the platform to hear the sounds, etc. The Zoo Talkers has a good mix of activities to entertain, whereas the Learning Zoo obviously focuses more on the educational aspect which I decided to rate separately.

Overall they are both great products in their own way and I don't regret that my son has both of them as they excel in different ways. I do find the choice of "sounds" that Fisher Price made for some of the animals rather curious though (only the alligator is currently available for the Zoo Talkers so the rest only applies to the Learning Zoo). I can understand using the sound of splashing water for the x-ray fish, but I (incorrectly) assumed that the animal sounds would all be vocalized sounds rather than clopping hooves (for the zebra), and chomping/eating (for the alligator, camel, koala, and giraffe). I am also disappointed that the lion and the tiger sound the same in the Learning Zoo, although they are different for the Zoo Talkers.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 22, 2012 8:21:25 AM PDT
How old is your son? (i.e. what is a good age for this toy?)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:53:40 PM PDT
chari says:
Officially this is rated for 18 months and up, but my son got it for his 2nd birthday. Although the toy seems safe for the 18 month age rating, even at 2 my son gets a lot of incorrect responses from the toy as he wiggles the animal on rather than pushing it straight down. He has now had this toy for several months and still plays with it constantly (and unfortunately still gets a ridiculous amount of incorrect responses). He knows his animals now though and is aware when it gives him an incorrect response - he just tries it again.

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 6:12:21 AM PDT
lhb says:
Not sure if you have done this already but call Fisher Price with any problems you have with their toys. They are extremely helpful and if there is anyway they can help you they will, especially with a defective animal. I have called them several times for issues I had with their products and they have taken care of my problems every time.

Posted on Mar 5, 2013 9:10:33 AM PST
Army Wife says:
Wow! Thank you for such a detailed review...It helped me tremendously!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013 9:50:48 AM PST
chari says:
Thanks :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013 10:02:32 AM PST
chari says:
Thank you very much for your suggestion! At the time we did get in touch with Fisher-Price in regards to the defective animal. They refunded for the animal without a problem, but the animal was out of stock (I'm sure demand was pretty high that year) and so my son was still without a replacement. Since the individual animals were hard to find, and normally out of stock, when we originally purchased the Zoo Talker I just figured it was worth noting as a possible issue. You are right in that I should have mentioned (count this as the mention) that Fisher-price had no problem refunding for the defective animal.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2014 3:36:16 PM PDT
natasha8925 says:
I didnt make this thread but my son will be two in august and he loves this toy.
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