Product Type: Leapfrog baby toys
Newest Review: ... toy is brightly coloured, in primary colours and has a green bear as the pilot. It is chunky and sturdily made. It requires 2 AAA batte... more
ABC or Not For Me?
Leapfrog Alphabet Airlines
Member Name: kat1234
Leapfrog Alphabet Airlines
Advantages: handheld, cheap, teaches alphabet
Disadvantages: song can get annoying!
When Sainsbury's did their recent half price toy sale I decided to look for some Christmas presents for my son. Inevitably, I also found one or two small toys that would be suitable for him to have before Christmas, and the Leapfrog Alphabet Airlines toy was one of them. I paid £3.99 for the toy, which is a reasonable price for a baby toy - it tends to retail at around £5-6 generally (it is currently in the Mothercare sale for £3.99 Dec 2011). The toy is suitable for 9 months to 36 months. This age range was one of the appealing factors to me as toys tend to be suited for 6 months plus or 12 months plus, so I thought that this was a happy medium between too basic and too advanced for him.
The toy is quite basic and effectively a handheld toy - as you would probably expect from the price! It comes attached to a cardboard backing with wires - as seems pretty standard for children's toys - very irritating to open. Once you get the toy out, you can feel it is made of a smooth plastic and is quite lightweight.
The toy is basically a white aeroplane, with some blue patches (a blue undercarriage and visor) and three yellow wheels (two at the front and one at the back). There is also a red tip to the nose. Sitting in the pilot's seat is a green bear who is waving. On the side of the plane is a yellow sliding switch that turns the toy on and selects between the two volume settings.
The plane sits nicely in my son's hand and he can grasp it well by the wings or wheels. He likes to explore the toy and, particularly, roll the wheels. The bear can be pushed down in it's seat and he likes to do this. When switched on, this action alternates the sounds that the toy makes. There are three different 'tracks' that play. The first one is a childlike voice that says 'let's fly to the sky in my aeroplane' and then makes a 'neeeoooww' aeroplane sound. The next time the bear is pressed, the alphabet song is played and, finally, there is another plane noise.
At 9 months, my son is at the lowest end of the recommended age range. He seems quite non-fussed with the noises and songs the toy makes. He much prefers to use this as a simple hand held toy and learn to push this along the floor. I can see this changing as he gets older though and hope that this will help him to learn his alphabet.
For the price I paid, this is a lovely handheld toy for babies. The bear in the plane has a friendly face and is brightly coloured so it is attractive and stimulating. The toy has a clear, English voice which is childlike and friendly. The alphabet song, in particular, is sung clearly so that baby is able to pick this up from the toy. The alphabet is also the English version - so 'Z' is pronounced 'zed' rather than 'zee'.
My son is a little young to fully appreciate the toy, but I hope that he will gain educational benefits from it in time - helping him to learn his letters and teaching him what a 'plane' is. It is a lovely toy that can be easily carried with you in your changing bag to amuse baby when on the go.
The song can get a little bit irritating for adults - with the childish voice especially grating over time but is very appealing to children. The volumes on the toy are pretty much spot on though, which is rare for children's toys that often are too loud even on the lowest settings. On the lower setting, the noise is not too intrusive.
The toy has helped develop my son's manipulations skills as he works out how best to grip and hold it as well as spinning the wheels. It has also helped him to learn about the world by studying how the wheels work. For the amount we paid, this is great value for money.
Summary: Let's fly to the sky
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