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If you're happy and you know it clap your paws!
LeapFrog MyPal Violet Interactive Teddy
Member Name: mumto3
LeapFrog MyPal Violet Interactive Teddy
Advantages: interactive - not pink - cuddly - easily understandable - can change the interactive details
Disadvantages: quite heavy - not as many recognisable songs as i had hoped
My daughter received the Leapfrog My pal violet interactive puppy as a gift for her first birthday. I had seen the green scout puppies around but hadn't realised there was a girlie version.
Violet is a soft cuddly puppy with a cute little face and a flashing bone on her collar. She is purple and white which I like as so many girls toys are pink and usually garish hot pink. She comes with instructions and a usb cable. On her paws there are different embroidered symbols which activate different things when pressed. Violet is interactive and can be personalised using the internet.
The interactive nature of violet is all done online and you connect the puppy to the computer using the usb supplied. I was a little worried about this process but it was so simple and only took a few minutes. You go to the website stated on the toys instructions and there is a step by step guide of how to activate your new puppy. The first thing you do is enter your Childs name and you can even test the sound of the name before you select it. My daughter has quite a traditional name but I'm not sure if the site would cater for something unusual. You can then go on and choose up to five songs from a list including lullabies and other recognisable songs like 'if you're happy and you know it'. There is the option to choose some of your Childs favourite things like their favourite food, colour and animal and these details are all then incorporated into songs that play when the correct paw is pressed. You can choose not to make any of the selections online and you can also change them at any time simply by using the icon that is downloaded to your desktop.
Violet needs 3 x AA batteries but these are supplied. The batteries are housed in a box that sits inside violets tummy and this can be accessed by a Velcro opening on her back.
The manufacturers recommended age range is from 6 months and I would say this is fairly accurate as any younger and the puppy would be too big for your baby to hold and also they would not be able to activate the toy themselves. Violet is quite big and heavy because of the battery pack and her large head.
My daughter took to violet instantly and soon worked out that by pressing the paws a song would play. Unfortunately my daughter doesn't tend to listen to the songs but just continually presses the paws so you only hear a couple of notes of each song then it is on to the next one. If she does let the toy sing she loves the fact that it says her name and makes noises like a cat. You can set the toy to play lullabies at bedtime and it will play 2, 5 or 10 minutes of soothing music but my daughter doesn't take Violet to bed so we don't use this function.
The songs are very upbeat and jolly and they feature the letters of your Childs name and then say the whole name and another song sings about your favourite things and says that the favourite pet you have chosen will be called your Childs name. My daughter likes to dance along when she isn't just pressing the paw over and over! The voice used is british and apart from being a bit shrill is easily understandable and child like.
Unfortunately Violet doesn't seem to be as widely available as Scout. In Argos Violet is currently (Nov 11) £19.99 but is only available online and is £14.99 on www.amazon.co.uk. The puppy is available online and in store at Toys r us for £19.97 and you can reserve online to pick up in store.
I'm not sure how long my daughter will be interested in violet. She is nineteen months now and although she still plays with violet she isn't as popular as she was at first. My older children aged 3 6 and 7 like to sing along with Violet but they are only interested in the songs that contain their little sisters name and will sing the songs to her.
I would recommend violet as I think this is a lovely idea and I know other children who keep Violet as their constant companion.
Summary: A cute puppy with a personal touch
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