“ Manufacturer: Garden Friends / Type: Baby Toy „
We were in Toys R Us a couple of months ago and I was looking to buy my baby son a toy. I was looking for a soft-bodied baby doll for a boy, but could only find pink girlie ones that were not what I wanted. But while I was browsing the selection of baby toys they had in the shop, I came across the Garden Friends range which is apparently exclusive to Babies R Us and has lots of brightly coloured toys in a variety of bugs and animals - frogs, worms, snakes, caterpillars, newts, ladybirds and the like. Amongst this section, I found Franklin and the Comfort Blanket, which we bought for £10.
Garden Friends Franklin Comfort Blanket is a two-part toy, as Franklin is a bright neon green soft cuddly frog and the comfort blanket is, well, a comfort blanket. I had been planning to buy my son one of the Taggies range comfort blankets, but these are rather expensive and I was impressed at the Garden Friends version, especially only having to pay £10 for both the blanket and the frog!
The comfort blanket is beautifully made - soft, bright and snugly. One side is light blue velour with a darker blue silky edging and it has 'my first comfort blanket' embroidered on it in yellow stitching. The two textures of the material feel really nice and you can definitely imagine this becoming a favourite at bedtime. The reverse side has the same colour scheme and material, but on here there are four big shapes - an orange heart in cord material, a yellow swirly star, a soft neon green circle and a stripy blue and purple triangle. Each shape has a little Taggie coming from it, giving babies plenty of opportunity to feel different textures.
The comfort blanket is quite big and easy to wash, as you just put it in the washing machine at 30 or 40 degrees. My son is almost six months old now and he does cuddle the blanket sometimes and feels different areas of it or puts bits of it in his mouth when he is teething. I have also found it is the perfect size for putting over him if he is napping in his bouncy chair or the car seat, as it just covers him nicely over his legs. I would happily pay £10 for the comfort blanket alone, so as far as I'm concerned, Franklin the cuddly frog came as a freebie, ha!
Franklin is again brightly coloured, mostly neon green but he has three different textured sections across his chest and tummy - a patch of the stripy blue and purple material (like the triangle on the blanket), a patch of the orange cord (like the heart) and a black and white checked pattern in the middle. He has a big smiley face, his name embroidered on his back and both his hands have Velcro patches on, so you can stick them together or attach them to something. He is sponge clean only.
Franklin is pretty, soft and well-made, but not as appealing as the comfort blanket - either to me or my son. I wouldn't have bought this if it hadn't come with the comfort blanket. My baby occasionally plays with it, but it isn't a big favourite and usually lingers near the bottom of the toy box.
Overall, I am happy with this purchase and will look at the Garden Friends range again, the next time I am in Toys R Us.