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This is OK (especially if you're lucky enough to get all of the pieces), but I don't think it's all that it's cracked up to be
on January 31, 2015
2017 Update: Amazing how kids who are raised by the same people can be so different from each other, isn't it? It seems the fewer you have, the more noticeable the differences. I guess I already knew that from raising my own two grown sons, but it took my second grandson having a personality/interests that are night & day different from my first to have my memory promptly refreshed! I'd babysat for my first three grandkids from birth until my daughter-in-law became a full-time mom - the first was very calm, focused, and could play seemingly forEVER with the same small selection of toys we had back then. When he was about 2 1/2, my sister-in-law started passing along electronic toys that my nephew (6 months older than my grandson) had grown tired of, but he wanted nothing to do with anything that made noise or lit up! Enter Grandson #2, who is drawn to anything with "bells & whistles", showing limited interest in the toys Big Brother had preferred.
Well, this "Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker" was purchased for Grandson #3. He's a pretty good mixture of both of his brothers' personalities, but the "1-2-3", "triangle-circle-square" and "red-orange-yellow-green-blue" hasn't held much interest for him - he'll play with it for a few minutes or so, but certainly didn't use it to learn to walk. (By the way, that Christmas was my first experience with Amazon's "frustration free packaging" - several of the toys I'd ordered for my grandsons arrived in it, and what that means is that they're packed in plain brown cardboard boxes... no picture on the outside indicating what's inside, which isn't very appealing to kids... so while I'm sure it makes it easier to stack in the Amazon warehouses, I'm not sure how it's "frustration free" for customers. The first thing we did after the grandkids left our Christmas party was to retrieve everything out of the boxes and get them out to the curb for trash pick up. When we went to put this walker together a week later, we realized we were missing the phone! (I saw several other comments about missing pieces in other reviews.) Since we didn't have the original packaging to return it, I figured it couldn't cost that much to replace the phone... $3 isn't too bad, but that's before you tack on $6.95 shipping! I'm not going to spend another $10 for a plastic phone when I only paid $24.49 for the entire walker!
The walker is cute looking with all of the bright colors and seems pretty sturdy; the two rear wheels have a rubberish strip around them, and a place where they can be adjusted so that they barely move, or move more freely, so the complaints I'd read about these "running away" doesn't appear to hold true with ours when adjusted to the tighter setting. Our grandsons were all late walkers, but we have an infant granddaughter now who might begin earlier and this could be something to steady her balance when his time comes - that remains to be seen. Some of the complaints I'd read were that the front panel fell out easily... ours doesn't - you definitely need to lift the latch to both remove it and lock it back in. Another complaint was how loud it is... there are two settings, and I think the lowest setting is tolerable, but viewing it as an adult, I can see how hearing the same things repeated over and over again in the same voice can become annoying (having experienced that same feeling with some of the hand-me-down toys our middle grandson enjoys... perhaps it wasn't so much that my nephew grew bored with them, moreso that my sister-in-law was trying to hang onto her sanity!) It's too bad the "Off/Talking/Music-Only" is located on the front of the panel... in my opinion, those should be hidden away where adults have a bit more control!
There are a few things to spin, a little door that opens, a few shapes dangling from strings, a miniature piano feature, a phone (IF you're lucky enough to get one in your "frustration free packaging"!) and - of course - those lights and sounds. It's okay... I dunno... maybe I'm just a little old fashioned, but I wonder what effect all of these gizmos are having on attention spans and the development of imagination/creativity. Have to admit hoping that - when I collapse these old bones down onto the floor to play with our granddaughter as she grows - there'll be a lot less flashing gizmos in favor of a lot more block tower building, tinker toy-tinkering. role-playing with trains, and good ol' crayons!