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This was one of the toys which soon ended up left at the bottom of the toy chest because it was never used. It really was a waste of money. I purchased it for my daughter as she loves music, singing and dancing but it was too confusing for my daughter to work particularly given that she kept switching the language to French by mistake. The songs are sweet but the French language function is not exactly a necessity at the age that this is aimed at. We also found that because she found it difficult to switch off, it was often left on and the batteries were always going flat. It really didn't provide much entertainment or interest for my daughter even though she loves music and singing. The most disappointing feature was the actual microphone. It barely amplifies your child's voice which is really the point of it. I certainly would not recommend this product.
I bought this toy a couple of years ago for my baby in a desperate bid to fill her christmas stocking. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised! The price is very affordable, and the toy is well-made for the money. The size is slightly bigger than an ice cream cone, and my baby was able to hold it herself easily from about six months - a big bonus when you see some of the mammothly heavy toys on the market for wee ones?! I would say it suits age 6 months to 3 years best, but the child may play with it beyond that (as my 6-yr-old does!) We are a family of self-confessed Francophiles, and so the fact that this is bilingual and sings in French as well as English was a major selling point for me. I am not convinced it had much educational value for my baby when she was small, but now she is two and repeats the French songs I am sure it can only be a good thing. The mic has three settings - English, French or Instrumental. With babies it is pot luck which one they find, unless they let you help. The tune is the same for each. The head of the mic also twists to different song settings within each language - so the elephant pic gives the "Animal rock" song ("Lion roars with his mouth open wide...."), the apples (my personal fave) lead to "Please, please, please" song, which is about asking for bread, biscuits and apples (or "pommes" in the French mode.... you get the idea!) It has a switch to change the volume to loud or quiet too, which can be useful. The singing voice is clear and British sounding, and less annoying than some toys. The tunes are catchy if a little electronic. After a couple of years of use, the pics have ever so slightly started to fade, but generally the toy has held up well to wear and tear. I am considering buying this same toy as a present since we enjoy ours so much!
My daughter received this for her second birthday and it cost £9.99 to purchase, this is not the sort of toy to give your child with the instruction go away and play quietly with your friends as soon the noise will rise as they get to wail into the microphone. The one my daughter has is a different colour to the one in the picture above as the body of the microphone is pink and not green. It comes with the 3 AAA that you need to get started straight away and the battery life is not bad with this toy. Made of plastic it is nice and chunky but my daughter has no problem gripping it even with her small hands, she tends to have to grip it in both hands as it has a bit of weight to it. The one slight issue I have with this microphone is that it is very easy for her to accidently press the button that switches into a different language hence on the pre set tunes often here the words and numbers in French. Other than this slight issue which does not really bother her I cannot find any fault with this device other than the fact that the noise can be a bit much sometimes. At the top of the microphone there is a twist section which you move around to scroll through the six different modes available, you can just opt for the standard voice amplification mode which just lets your child sing along to whatever they want, my little one tends to like to have the radio of music system on at the same time when using this mode as she just sort of follows whatever is playing, often with her own words or noises, lots of la la la going on in this mode. The other modes all tend to m ake use of pre recorded material for your child to follow along with and to learn some basic vocabulary and mumeracy, initially her favourite was the animal mode as it combined names with noises and like all children animals fascinated her, it also in the song says what the animals like so your child gets to learn a liottle about each animal. More recently she has gravitated more to the number mode as it teaches your child to count up to 20 and she seems to really like doing this. The sing along mode which has music playing and the Bumble Bee mode are the two that she tends to play with the least although with the bee mode she does like the counting bit in that song but I think she finds it a bit repetitive as it rarely gets through the whole reportoire. The food mode gets a decent amount of use although it is the one I dislike the most as the tune is annoying, as I said thankfully she does not seem that interested in this one. Sound wise it is pretty decent although on a couple of modes the music is almost too loud and does drown out my daughter voice a bit, there are two volume setting but there is not much difference between the two. My daughter often plays with this and she enjoys the learning element of the toy and also that it is fun, it is also popular when she has play dates with friends children. It is easy to wipe clean after use and I do use antiseptic wipes to get rid of any germs on it.
My daughter loves singing and dancing so for one of her Christmas presents a few years back we decided to purchase this for her. It comes in pink or green and as it was for my daughter we purchased the pink version although the green would be more suited if you have a little boy. **The microphone** It is a good size and made of sturdy plastic meaning if little one drops it there is no chance of it breaking which is good as my daughter has butter fingers and it has hit the ground a few times. It is shaped like a real microphone and although it is a little long and looks a little big when a 2 year old is holding it the patterns engraved around the microphone make a good grip meaning little one can still hold it fairly easily. It is not heavy either although it is sturdy and well made it is light enough for little one to hold comfortably in the palm of their hand for fair amount of time.There are 6 different modes of play which you activate by switching a small carousel picture slide at the top of the microphone this is easy to do although my daughter was a little confused at first she soon got the hang of it. Each picture represents a different mode which I will explain more a little later.There is also an option to switch the microphone off or from English to French and a sound button so you can choose 2 volumes although to be honest there is not a whole lot o difference between the two. Finally there is a large music button at the front which we were a little lost as to what is does we thought it was to activate the microphone but this automatically works while it is in each of the different modes. **In play** As mentioned before there are 6 different modes;Counting mode represented by a little picture of 1 2 and 3 this is simply singing a song counting to 20 it is great for teaching little one numbers and with a catchy tune and a recount it helps little one join in although I did find my daughter tended to listen to the microphone singing a lot more than actually joining in at first she now knows the tune and happily sings along. Animal mode represented by a picture of an elephant sings a song about of course animals, it sings the animals name and then the noise that animal makes and a little fact about the animal too so it not only encourages little one to sing a long but teaches them at the same time about a range of animals and what they are like. I personally like this mode as it encourages little one to ask what else the animals like and makes them eager to learn more and anything that does this is a plus for me. Sing on your own mode is represented by a microphone with music notes around it this is the simplest mode but actually my daughters favourite there is no music or anything in this mode a friendly voice just tells little one to make up their own song on their own. The microphone is switched on and the floor is your child's to sing about whatever they like this is great for creativity as your child can get on with singing rather than half listening trying to stumble along with the voice pre recorded on the microphone. Unlike the other modes this does not switch of at any given point she can sing for as long as she likes. Sing on your own with music is represented by music notes again is a free play mode for your little one to make up their own song but we find the music is played too loud and the singing of your child is rather hidden by the music being played. This irritates my daughter as she tries to sing along with the music as it does not change can be a little repetitive. Bumble bee mode is of course represented by a little bee in this the lady pre recorded on the microphone sings about a bee and his friends and the adventures they come across this includes counting also so again helps teach little one numbers. Finally food mode this has to be the most irritating out of all the modes it is represented by a picture of an apple. This sings over and over again I like ... please may I have some ... replacing the ... with different types of food. This is supposed to be teaching children about food and manners but it is one of them tunes that gets stuck in your head and is highly irritating one of the strangest is bread so I find my daughter running round singing how much she likes bread and the tune stays in my head for the rest of the day! The microphone although you can tell it is switched on is very low indeed and little one really needs to shout to be heard over almost all of the modes as the pre recorded voice and lack of amplifying from the microphone means they get lost under all the noise. I did worry that this would become lower over time as my daughter tends to hold it a little close to her mouth and it can receive a fair amount of spit and dribble (nice I know) from her singing into it but it has stayed steady it was just not loud enough to begin with.A lot of the songs are rather fast paced and little one does need to listen a few times to find the tune and words before they find themselves joining in but once they have learnt what to expect from each mode it does provide a lot of delight for my daughter and she will sing along with them.The twisting feature to change the mode means little one has to use fine motor skills to turn it to the program they would like and the different features teach them about a range of different things including manners, numbers and the world around them so it is not all bad and has some educational value.Although the toy is not overly loud it is one that by the end of the day you wonder why you purchased such an irritating toy as once you have heard all the songs once you want to hide the microphone away to stop the irritating woman singing another song. However we did buy this for my daughter and she loves it the woman pre recorded has an appeal to all my children and they will stop and listen to what she wants them to do and then copy and they find the songs fun and entertaining so I suppose that is all that matters. **Negatives** My only negative would be the button to switch the microphone off and to English mode is a little too easy to push along meaning 9 times out of ten my daughter finds herself in French mode rather than English. Although this is easy to fix by sliding it back one peg this can be rather difficult for younger children to do and even when I try to correct it I find it slides too far and have to switch it back myself. **Summary** My daughter loves this and I often see her playing with this toy although she is shy and if I catch her singing she stops and hides somewhere with it. My little boy who is nearly two has also found that he loves it which is great for mummy as it means I have 2 children that love running around playing these songs over and over.It is well made and has a lot of features for the money we paid and my children do love it the age recommendation is from 2 years plus which for the size of the microphone and need to switch from mode to mode seems about right. There really is no age limit my niece who is 9 will play with my daughter when she comes round and although it is not a great interest to her for long she still loves getting up and singing for us all. This is one of those toys that your children will love but you will want to throw away while they are not looking it is not overly loud but is rather irritating it could have been thought out a little better and the microphone could be a little louder but overall my children love it and that is who we brought it for.I originally purchased this from Argos over 2 years in their 2 for £15 toys promotion but having a look now they do not seem to sell it anymore. However it is available to purchase at toys r us and a lot of the leading supermarkets and is not hard to come by. It retails around the £10 to £15 mark which I think is a fair price to ask considering how well it has lasted for us.