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Ollie Octopus was a gift to us when my son was born in February, and he has been well loved for the last 6 months. The toy comprises a round green head, eight legs, an orange hat, two little ties on the top so that Ollie can be hung above baby, six little coloured "fins" around his neck and finally a fish on a pull-chord hiding underneath, that plays Brahms' lullaby when pulled. The eight legs are very colourful, with stripes and spots, and different textures for baby to feel and discover. Each of the legs has a particular feature, e.g. it squeaks when pressed or it rattles when shaken. Unfortunately, there are not eight different features, so you have two squeaky legs, three "crinkly" legs, one rattle leg and two legs that both rattle and crinkle. The toy is advertised as being for 0-12 months, but Ollie is quite chunky and colourful so I would say that he is too much for a very new baby. Babies who have not yet learned to grasp toys will have to have him hung above them so that they can bat at him, but the view from underneath could be quite overwhelming for a newborn, so I would say that this toy really comes into its own when it can be grabbed and pulled around. Our Ollie has had some rough treatment over the last few months but shows no signs of wear and tear so is clearly up to being handled by a tot. A few of Ollie's features are too difficult for a baby to use, e.g. the fish chord-pull or the squeaky legs as you need a certain amount of strength or dexterity to use these, but parents can demonstrate the music and squeaks for their babies, and I am sure that by the time my son reaches the upper age limit for this toy he will be able to achieve these bits for himself (although he may have lost interest in Ollie by then). His favourite part of the toy by far is the orange hat, as this is very crinkly (it makes a sound like a crumpled crisp packet) and is also easy to grasp, so a fascinating item as far as my little one is concerned. As Ollie has a music box inside him, he cannot go in the washing machine, but neither is he wipe-clean. Ours therefore has a very slight odour about him now as he has been dribbled on regularly, but a baby wipe usually mops up anything untoward on the fabric.
My grandson Oscar David is now nine weeks old and has lots of smiles for everyone, he has just begun to follow people with is eyes and is rapidly getting control of his head movements moving his neck to follow you around the room and he aso loves music and breaks into a grin whenever he listens to the musical toys he has on his cot and to play with, but what he really likes is this ELC Ollie Octopus that he was sent from family from up north for a christmas present. The toy costs £10 from the early learning centre and is an activity toy with lots of things going on for the inquisitive baby to be stimulated with sounds and music and rattles. You can buy them on Ebay secondhand from £3.99 and also buy now or you can bid for them and take a chance on getting them cheaper. Whatever you spend on this toy will not be wasted money as for a baby just getting used to playing this is a brilliant toy that won't disappoint. The toy is multi coloured and has seven legs and a pull cord. Each leg is made from a different textured material and is a different colour, two are polcadot pink with blue dots and have a squeeker at the end of the leg for you to squeeze and make a noise to attract the babies attention, two of the other legs are striped going length ways that have a crinkle material at the end that can be squashed to make a noise, one of these legs also has a rattle inside that can be shaken. The other legs are and furry material one plain green and the other striped going sideways, both of these have crinkly material at the ends to squash. The cord is a furry material and has a yellow fish at the end, once you pull the cord it plays a lullaby which is like the tiny tear tune. The materials used are of a velvety kind and a smooth material as well as furry material too so that the child also can develop the touch sensations. The head of the octopus is velvety and green with a big red bobble nose on the front it also has a hat of orange which has a crinkly edge to it for extra noise and a yellow fish at the front of the hat. The whole thing has a loop at the top where you can hold it up to rattle it around or hang it above the cot and pull the cord to play the lullaby. This is a 0-12 month toy and when I first saw it I thought it was a nice and bright toy but was a bit worried about the nose on the front, but on closer examination the nose is stitched in as part of the head and filled to pertrude out and cannot be pulled off by a toddler or small child so it's quite safe. The different materials used are soft and also safe for a young child, but you have to hold it up for the baby to look at. My grandson thinks this is the best thing ever and it sits with him on the bottom of his rocking chair when we have him sat up and when you pull the cord to play the lullaby he grins and kicks his legs and waves his arms about getting all excited. If you hold it up infront of him he also grins and watches it as you squeek and crinkle the legs and some of the faces he pulls are hylarious to see. This is worth every penny of the money spent on it as it entertains a child and aids developement of the child as it helps them to be stimutated by sounds and the music. This toy gets a 10 out of 10 from me.
I had already bought an Early Learning Centre Busy Bug and as my daughter loved playing with it, I looked around for similar toys and found Ollie Octopus which I thought she would enjoy as well. I got this when my daughter was about 2 months old. Early Learning Centre Ollie Octopus has 8 legs (obviously!) that all entertain baby in different ways. There are squeakers and rattles which although my daughter couldn't manipulate, she enjoyed it when I played with them for her. The feet are also different materials which can be touched and played with. There is a silky surface, a crinkly one and a rough one. The hat on the octopus has a crinkly rim and there is a fish connected to the centre of the octopus which plays a soothing melody when pulled. The whole octopus is brightly coloured with a smiley face and is made from a soft fabric which is nice to touch. My daughter really enjoyed this toy. The bright colours kept her attention easily and she liked chewing on the different fabrics on his feet.She loved it when we played with the squeakers for her and she would always reach out for him when she saw him. The melody he played was good for helping her sleep and lasted for a good amount of time before having to pull the chord again. The only problem was that it was the same melody as the Busy Bee had so I got fed up of it quite quickly! The quality of this product is very good as I would expect from ELC. We bought ours second hand and have now passed it on again and it was still in very good condition. It was suitable for her from 2 months and she probably got bored of him by about 10 months as she was walking by then and wanted more exciting toys. It costs around £10 new and I think that is a fair price for a great first toy.