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My daughter has become a bit obsessed with Octonauts over the past year which is actually quite nice as it makes a welcome change from Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam! I saw a double pack of these figures on sale and decided that as she had been a very helpful girl (10 stickers on her reward chart :o) ) she could have these. She was three when she received them.
The Octonauts are a series of cartoon characters created by Meomi (Vicky Wong and Michael Murphy) who have undersea adventures in their Octopod. Their mission is to explore, rescue and protect which they do while having lots of adventures. Their leader is Captain Barnacles and their are several other characters based loosely around other animals, most of them land mammals! The programmes can be seen on CBeebies or you can buy the DVDs.
---About the product:
We bought a set that included both Kwazii Kitten and the Vampire Squid; and Captain Barnacles Bear and the Octopus. This was a special offer at Argos, but both packs can be bought separately as well. Each set contains one of the Octonauts and a creature from the TV programme in the box. The main characters are just under 3 inches in size and the creatures are around 2 inches. They are advertised that the creatures are colour-changing (it says it on the box as well as in on-line descriptions.
The first pack we bought contains Kwazii and the Vampire Squid. Kwazii is an orange cat who is a pirate so has a patch over one eye. The Vampire Squid is red in colour and although I had no idea before what one looks like, a quick search on the Internet proves that there are some that do look eerily similar to this one. The squid also has a series of grey circles on its head.
The second pack contains Captain Barnacles and an octopus. Barnacles is supposed to be a polar bear who is one of the only Octonauts who actually gets to wear a full set of clothes on a regular basis. These are blue in colour which matches his hat. The octopus is yellow with a set of orange spots on his head.
My daughter was very, very excited when we got these out for her at home. She is a bit mad about about the Octonauts at present and started playing with these as soon as my husband could get them out of the box. It was quite easy to get them out at they had bands around them to hold them in place in the boxes. The main characters have jointed legs which allow them to bend to sit or straighten to stand up but they can really only move both legs together (I did a bit of investigating with this!). The arms also move and these can move independently of each other.
I was intrigued by the colour change claim of these toys so took them to water to find out how (I never read instructions...), so I tried them under the cold tap first and then realised it would need heat so tried the hot tap. I kept them there for a while turning them over wondering when they were going to change colour when I realised it was the strange circles on their heads that changed! The grey spots on the squid turn green with heat, while the orange ones on the octopus turn pink. I shows this to my daughter and she was thrilled with it. I discovered I could just breathe on them to get them to change briefly and we played with them a lot like that too.
We have also played with these characters in the bath and she has enjoyed make believe with them using her other toys as well. Obviously she gets a better effect with the colour changing of the characters so she enjoys playing with them there and they seem to suffer no ill effects from continued use in the water. They match the characters found in the TV show closely so she is able to recognise them anf the creatures have featured in the episodes too.
I think these toys are a really good buy except for the usual price. The toys are well made, although very simple bits of plastic, which my daughter has been able to gain a lot of play from. They have helped her develop her imaginative play and her co-ordination with moving their joints. The program itself is quite educational as she has learnt a lot about the different animals that live under the sea; in fact so have I! Where else are you going to learn about remipedes and humahumanukanukaapua'as? These toys allow her to continue her learning from these programs as we can have underwater adventures with them in the bath or pretend adventures with her other toys. The fact that the creatures have the colour changing on them is just a bonus. My only downside for these is the price. Each set on their oen seesm to retail for about £6 which I think is too high for a small piece of plastic. We were able to get both sets for only £5 in clearance which was great but I wouldn't want to pay much more than that for them. I would definietly recommend these (and the programme) if you can find them on offer somewhere.
Collect your favourite Octonaut figure and creature. There are two packs: Kwazii Kitten and the Vampire Squid, or Captain Barnacles Bear and the Octopus. Each duo contains one figure and one colour change creature. Please note there are 2 sets. Unfortunately it's not possible to request a specific set, so please let us choose one on your behalf