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My daughter received Mothercare's activity dog when she was around 11 months old, as she seemed to keep pointing at it whenever we visited the shop and one day, Nan was with us and treated her to it. He cost £12 and as it's a Mothercare own brand is only available in their stores and online. Looking today, he's half price, costing £6.
He measures around 25cm x 20cm x 8cm so isn't a massive toy, but is a nice size for her to cuddle into. He's a very cuddly toy as he's made of very soft fabric. He's mainly beige in colour but does have quite a few different colours dotted about him too - he has plastic hoops over his feet and neck for example, as well as mutlicoloured ears, spots on his body, the pads of his feet and tufts of hair at the top of his head and his tail. He comes with a small velcro loop at the top of his body so that he can be attached to other items.
I do think he's a lovely looking toy, but I'm not convinced that he offers all that much given his price. He is suitable from birth, so perhaps we bought him a little late on, as now, at 19 months, she's just reached the stage where she puts him back into the toy box when I pull him out of it because she's a lot more interested in some of her other cuddly toys. The ones she seems to opt for now are bigger and much more colourful. When she was younger though, at around 1 year, she would choose this one, mainly because he comes with a bell inside his soft belly and she loved to throw him and hear the sound he made. That appeared to be the main attraction for her - I've never really seen her explore much else, apart from using him as a cuddly toy too. A yellow spot on his belly makes crinkle sounds, which she did also touch to make the noise on rare occasions.
He also comes with a mirror on the other side of his belly but that isn't something she had any interest in. One thing to note is the plastic that covers over the mirror - such a bad design in my opinion. It is not clear whether this plastic is to be peeled off or not - it is not visible as a covering when purchased and I never knew it was there. But, after around 3 months of use, I noticed that something on the mirror was bubbling up and when I looked really closely I could see that the mirror was indeed underneath this plastic covering. I was with my Mum at the time and asked her to take a look to get her opinion because it wasn't clear whether it was part of the mirror or not as it was practically glued on, even going underneath the stitching that held the mirror piece in place. I eventually managed to pull it all away but I really had to pull to get at small plastic pieces under that stitched part, something that to me was ridiculous given it is a baby toy.
The only other part worth mentioning are the hoops around his feet and neck. They seem to form one of the main attractions to this toy, but unfortunately we've never gained anything from them. I think for smaller children, the colours could be fascinating and interesting, perhaps the plastic texture against the soft toy too but they never fit any purpose for my daughter during her use.
I imagine she would have loved this toy as a baby and she did enjoy playing with him until a couple of weeks ago so we did get a bit of use. If we'd have bought it at it's recommended age from birth, we would have got a good few months from it. I think he may have lasted even longer if he'd have been a brighter colour than beige.
I've rated him 2 stars, perhaps more 2.5 stars. I think he's a decent enough toy at his half price offer, but I don't think he was ever worth the full price of £12 - there is just not that much to explore. Even for a small baby, who would perhaps appreciate it a little more, I would be disappointed spending that. The plastic on the mirror bubbling up was also a major issue to me.
Thanks for reading :o)
At a Glance Mothercare's Activity Toy is a cute soft cuddly dog that features a range of colours and textures to stimulate baby's senses while still providing a lovely toy to snuggle. Features and benefits for Mothercare Activity Toy Suitable from birth - a perfect first gift Featuring soft fabric, this activity toy is lovely to cuddle and great for snuggling at bedtime Has different colours and textures, including brightly coloured plastic bangles for baby to explore and feel A Velcro strap is perfect for attaching to baby's stroller or cot Mothercare loves...??the range of colours and textures your little one can discover with this activity toy, including the ribbons on his tail and head which are almost always a firm favourite with little ones.Want to know more?The Mothercare Activity Toy is a lovely gift for a newborn baby. Soft and cuddly, the cute dog is great for snuggling and perfect for beginning to explore different colours and shapes.Baby can develop imaginative play through make-believe games with this cute dog. The Mothercare activity toy also features a range of colours and textures for baby to touch, feel and see for gentle multi-sensory stimulation.Don't forget...Mothercare stocks a range of storage solutions to keep your little one's toys neat and tidy. What's in the box: 1 x Bright Starts Activity Toy