Before my son arrived my husband and I spent some Tesco Clubcard vouchers in their double points event, and we each chose a sensory toy to buy. I chose this robot because he was bright and colourful, and seemed particularly suitable for a boy in a gender sterotyping way. The price of Lamaze toys varies drastically, but I have seen this on sale for around 10 GBP in the main supermarkets. Rusty the Robot has some standard Lamaze features, in that he is bright and eye catching, and has lots of different fabrics for sensory play. His face is square and very smiley, and he has lots of bits and bobs dangling off his hands and legs. Starting with his head, he has knotted pieces coming out of his ears, teething rings on one hand and rattles on the other, and taggies (ribbon pieces) coming off his feet. His feet crinkle, he has a mirror on his tummy, and his arms are knitted. My son loves to run his fingernails across different materials as he gets used to the feel of different things, and this is one of his favourite toys to do this with. I tend to put this one on the pushchair to keep him entertained when we're out and about, and he likes to grab hold of the teething rings and pull at him so he can chew on the different textures. He also loves looking at himself in the mirror, and gets very excited when he sees something in the mirror move! The only thing I have noticed with the mirror is that you have to take care in the sun that it isn't facing the baby and deflecting the sun's rays into their eyes. I have noticed this a couple of times and just turned him to the other side instead. There are no downsides to this robot - it is excellent quality as you expect from a brand like Lamaze, and despite being played with daily it shows no signs of wear and tear. The recommended age is from birth to 24 months, so there is good use to be had out of this robot. I would say my son was probably about three months old before he started to take notice of all the features of the robot. It has a clip which allows it to be attached to the pram or car seat and I find this handy for keeping him entertained - we always joke on days out that Rusty loves a free day out with us, he has become my son's little playmate.
We love the Lamaze range of soft toys in the Sandemp household, Big Brother owned lots of them as a baby and young toddler and now Baby JJ has a collection of his very own. As much as we love these Lamaze toys, they are very busy and could prove to be overstimulating for ten week old Baby JJ, so rather than leaving them all out for him to play with at once we try and rotate them, so he has some in his crib, one hanging from his car seat, one hanging from the toy bar of his bouncy chair and one for floor/tummy/Mummy time that we use to play with together. For the last (and next) few days Rusty The Robot has been taking his turn as the toy that we are exploring together and while neither of us think he is the best Lamaze toy, he has still proved very popular.
Currently selling for £7.50 on Amazon (the price fluctuates wildly, I paid nearer £10), Rusty is one of the larger toys in the Lamaze Play and Grow range, coming in at approximately 25cm in height. This height means that he is less suitable for hanging from toy bars, he certainly cannot be hung on the bouncy chair as he doesn't have enough room to swing. In common with all Lamaze toys, Rusty is very brightly coloured with lots of patterns, textures and sounds for your baby to explore and is suitable from birth upwards.
The first thing to note about Rusty is just how hugable he is, some of the Lamaze toys have sacrificed cuddlability for activities, but not Rusty. He has the perfect amount of stuffing in his head, body, arms and legs to make him one of Baby JJ's favourite toys to hug. There's been many a time where Baby JJ has been seen with his arm over Rusty during nap-time. Following on in the comforting, cuddles theme, Rusty does feature an awful lot of soft, strokable, plush material. Three sides of his head are made of plush as are four of his body, both of his hands and his legs. Baby JJ seems to have developed a real liking for plush lately, and enjoys exploring this material with his mouth (something that makes me cringe). The plush material has stood up well to this treatment, obviously getting a little soggy but not shedding fibres, I would be most upset to find fibres in Baby JJ's mouth. Baby JJ's very favourite parts of Rusty to mouth are the knotted, plush cords coming out of each ear.
I would have thought that given free choice, Baby JJ would far prefer to stroke and feel the silky material that is to be found on Rusty's facial areas, tummy, back and feet, but he after the plush areas he does seem to favour the stripy, knitted arms, really only taking notice of the silky areas during shared play when I will either guide his hand to those areas or stroke them against his face while talking about what he is feeling. Up until recently it has only been during shared play that Baby JJ has been able to access any of the other activities Rusty has to offer, but as promised by the Play and Grow title, the way Baby JJ plays with this toy has "grown" as his hand eye coordination has begun to develop.
I have to admit that Rusty does not have nearly as many activities as some of the Lamaze toys (the firefly for example), he doesn't even have a squeaker, but the activities he does have are well thought out with something to attract the attention of a wide age range from newborn until two or three years. For the very youngest babies who are just making sense of the world the soles of Rusty's feet and under his chin feature high contrast black and white patterns, although I have to say that Baby JJ seems to have missed that developmental stage completely always preferring bright colours to black and white. Once baby starts to develop their social skills then the mirror on Rusty's tummy comes into it's own. Baby JJ adores mirrors and has done ever since he developed his social smile at about two weeks. He loves to look and smile at the baby in Rusty's baby safe mirror and is very impressed at how the baby not only smiles back but also knows the sticking out tongue game. Meanwhile I'm impressed that despite been small, the mirror does give a good reflection with very little distortion.
As Baby JJ has started to develop his grasping, grabbing and batting skills he has started to enjoy the rings on each of Rusty's hands. On one of his hands there is a ring that houses two translucent beads while the other hand houses a pair of textured clanking rings that not only make a great noise whenever they hit each other but will also make great teethers when the time comes. Both sets of rings are excellently designed and Baby JJ can manage to grasp hold of Rusty using either set, even though he can't quite manage to keep hold as Rusty is still a little too heavy. While the high contrast patterns never really floated his boat, Baby JJ is far more impressed with the crinkle material housed within |Rusty's feet. This is something he has only just discovered and as it crinkles at the slightest touch it is something Baby JJ can manage independently during floor/tummy time and he shows his appreciation with giggles and squeals of delight.
Unlike many baby toys, Rusty is toy that while being attractive to a newborn will also grab the attention of an older baby or toddler, with there being lots for them to explore. For example, Rusty has two face and body designs, which can be mixed and matched by turning his head, which then makes a great clicking sound, I can imagine that mastering turning the head will lead to many hours of enthralled fun as the toddler's improving dexterity is rewarded. Then Rusty simply makes a great cuddly toy that can be used in role play, Big Brother is nearly four (with a developmental age of about 2.5) and has been found having a sneaky play with Rusty, chatting away to him and making him watch Justin's House, so this really is a toy that will last.
Talking about lasting, in common with all Lamaze toys Rusty is very well made, I have pulled at the stitching and it has all held tight. With older versions of these toys they were sponge clean only, but recently Lamaze have changed the materials used in these toys, and Rusty can be given a bath (hand wash), which is excellent news with a toy that will come into contact with baby sick (among other things) and find itself in a baby's mouth. Rusty does have one final feature worth noting and that is a clip that allows him to be attached to cribs, baby gyms, buggies, car seats and play bars. As with the materials used in making Rusty this clip appears to have been redesigned in the last year or so, and while it is now harder to put the toy in place it is also harder for the baby/toddler to remove it.
Although not the favourite of Baby JJ's Lamaze collection or the most activity filled, Rusty certainly does have a place in his heart, has proved to be a toy that has grown with Baby JJ over the last ten weeks and always has a place in either the crib or shared play. I genuinely would recommend this as a toy from newborn upwards, and feel it would make an excellent present to give to a new baby as it is not only fun but also helps baby develop essential skills.
My daughter was born in February last year and was obviously too young at the time for the multiple chocolate Easter eggs that her sister gets from Granny so I was asked to choose an alternative present. I choose this (with the help from her big sister). We chose it from the Tesco Direct catalogue.
This toy is made by Lamaze. Lamaze is quite a well known toy brand which is advertised as being educational toys which are developed in conjunction with child development experts.
-- Rusty the Robot --
Rusty the Robot is a rather eye catching attractive chap, which caught my daughter's eye from the beginning. Despite Granny asking her repeatedly if her baby sister wouldn't prefer the 'girly one' (Emily the Doll), she stood firm!
The dimensions of Rusty are approx.: 24cm High, 11cm Wide. He is brightly coloured and has different features on both sides. There is a hanging clip on the top of his head, which enables him to be hung on the car seat handle or onto the pushchair so fun for when you are out and about too.
On the first side Rusty has a slightly silky fabric on his face with a smiley face, they are two knotted velvety cords where his ears would be. He has stripy knitted green, blue and white arms, One arm is holding 2 plastic hoops and the other side has a plastic hoop with 2 chunky beads on, one orange and one green.
The body is soft and squidgy and has a mirror. The legs are soft yellow velvet type material, there are ribbons around his shoes and the bottom of the shoes make a crinkle sound when you touch them.
On the reverse it again has a smiley face and a silky material on the body rather than the mirror.
-- Age Range --
It is advertised as being for ages 0-12 months, so it is suitable from birth.
-- Price and Availability --
It was £9.94 from Tesco Direct. It is sold in other places too which stock Lamaze toys.
-- Overall Thoughts --
My eldest daughter loves this Robot (she is now 4). My daughter that is was actually intended for, does quite enjoy looking at this (when it is available). I think she will enjoy it more in time. She was 14 weeks old when she first had the robot and enjoyed holding onto it and throwing it about! This was a good toy for being out and about with the pushchair, very handy that it can be clipped on so it won't get lost.
After seeing the quality of the toy and seeing how well made it is, I actually think it was worth the price paid for it. It is an interesting, bright colourful toy for a baby (and a 4 year old!) and if it stays in reasonably good condition it should sell well on eBay afterwards!
Thanks for reading.
At a Glance Full of developmental features that capture baby's imagination and stimulate the senses, Rusty the Robot links to play mats, change bags, and strollers for on-the-go fun. Features and benefits for Lamaze Play and Grow Rusty the Robot Full of developmental features that capture baby's imagination and stimulate the senses Packed with two sides of features including crinkle fabrics, ribbons, clanking rings, busy beads, and a discovery mirror Ratcheting head allows you to mix and match his body Lamaze link attaches to play mats, change bags, and strollers for on-the-go fun Mothercare loves...??the colourful character that is easy for little hands to grab and helps them explore textures and sounds.Want to know more?Lamaze's Play and Grow Rusty the Robot features a number of developmental features that capture baby's imagination and stimulate the senses on-the-go. Rusty comes with two sides of play. His ratcheting head allows baby to mix and match his body with his head. Features include crinkle, ribbons that spring from his robot boots, and clanking rings that protrude from his hands, along with busy beads and a discovery mirror that faces baby from robot's chest. Lamaze link attaches to everything from play mats, to change bags and strollers for entertaining baby wherever you are!Don't forget...Mothercare stocks a range of toy tidy and storage solutions to keep your little one's toys neat and tidy when not in use. Fabric composition: Polyester fibre, Polyurethane foam, Cellophane Care Instructions: Hand Wash Only What's in the box: 1 x Lamaze Play and Grow Rusty the Robot