Product Type: Vivid Imaginations baby toys
Newest Review: ... is for ages 2+ but our son has used it from 9 months upwards but always supervised. I have to admit when I made the purchase I was expe... more
Timmy's driving Mummy crazy
Timmy Time Sing Along Musical TV
Member Name: sandemp
Timmy Time Sing Along Musical TV
Advantages: Freddy loves it, easy for young child to operate
Disadvantages: Annoying, Educational claims are bunkum, loud, repetitive
I have a confession to make, if there is one toy in the house that I absolutely loathe, one toy that I would quite happily retire to the great toy box in the sky (using a big hammer), it would be this the Timmy Time Sing-along Musical TV (henceforth known as the TV). It's not like these are new feelings, I've never had any warm, fluffy feelings towards this Satan's spawn of a toy, it's noisy, barely educational and quite simply there are days when I feel that if I have to hear that interminably cheerful "It's Timmy" one more time then I'll welcome the men in the white coats. Unfortunately, seventeen month old Freddy, doesn't share my feelings, having been completely entranced by this piece of rubbish from the day Daddy bought it for him about three months ago.
Let's be clear, I'm not to blame for this monstrosity making it's way through the door, that fault lays at Daddy's feet. He took Freddy out for the afternoon and came back with this, proudly telling me he had "only" paid £10 for it in the local shop. £10!! he was conned, I mean I only paid £5 for Freddy's clockwork musical TV from the ELC. Apparently this Timmy Time TV is suitable for children over the age of two, but there really is nothing about that would cause a danger to a younger child, the battery compartment is securely closed by a tiny screw and there are no small parts. Really I reckon this is suitable for children over a year and that children over about three are going to find it rather babyish.
The TV itself is quite compact and lightweight with a small carry handle, meaning it's easy for young children to carry around. I regularly have to extract it from Freddy's hand so that I can have a few hours peace while we're out and about. Being battery operated it does have an on/off switch and this is oh so easy for little fingers to operate. This switch also works as a volume control allowing you (or toddler) to chose between half and full volume. The only trouble is that even half volume is loud enough to drown out conversations on the TV, while full volume is ridiculously loud. There is a small button on the front of the TV that once pressed sets off the wonderful theme tune to the children's programme, Timmy Time. It doesn't play the whole tune, but lasts for just long enough it irritate, with it's cheery "Timmy, it's Timmy, he's the little lamb with a lot to learn, Timmy, it's Timmy, he's a handful of trouble at every turn". As the music plays the screen moves showing a scene along from the show with the lyrics to the song. Now the manufacturers claim that these lyrics will help encourage your child to read, but I'm going to put a dampener on that right now. Firstly I don't believe that this a toy that would hold a child's attention at the age where they will be starting to learn to read and secondly the words are simply to small for budding readers and don't contrast enough with the background.
As much as I detest this toy and fail to see any redeeming features, there's one person who loves it and that is of course Freddy. He finds it easy to switch on and the button is very sensitive requiring the lightest of touches. Even when I've carefully hidden this at the toy box, Freddy manages to root it out and then spend a ridiculously long time playing with it. He'll press the button and then dance while the music plays before pressing the button once more, with this continuing for what feels like an eternity, but in reality is about twenty minutes. I suppose I could cope with this if it only happened once a day, but no, I'm subjected to this torture several times a day, sometimes hearing that song over 100 times in 24 hours. I swear there are nights where I don't even get peace in my sleep, because that tune has wormed it's way so deep into my subconscious that I even dream it. No counting sheep for me, instead I'm accompanied by Timmy, Ruffy and friends.
Because this gets so much intensive play, it's goes through quite a few batteries, in fact I would say that it runs through batteries at a ridiculous pace. The initial set of demonstration batteries didn't even last until Daddy got Freddy home, and as the batteries run down the tune is played slower and slower until all you are left with is the sound of the motor running. Have I mentioned how loud the motor is yet? No, well that's another thing about this toy that annoys me, the motor is almost as loud as the tune, which is probably why it needs to be so loud even at half volume. Changing the batteries is easy enough, although you will need one of those tiny screwdrivers (you know the ones you buy and then lose at the back of the drawer). I would recommend that if you buy this, then you either invest in rechargeable batteries or buy Duracell as cheap batteries only last a day or so.
Durability-wise the TV does quite well, it's survived being dropped from a buggy onto concrete with only a tiny bit of cosmetic damage. The screw closing the battery compartment has started to wear a little with the continued opening and closing as my screwdriver isn't an exact match, so it's definitely worth your while trying to find the perfect screwdriver. My only real complaint about the build quality is that there are various decorations in the form of stickers, and we all know that stickers and toddlers really aren't a match made in heaven.
As to my final recommendation, well as a parent I really can't recommend buying this for your own child. As much as Freddy loves it, it really is one of those toys that seems to have been designed to annoy adults as much as possible, loud and repetitive with a song that will soon drive you mad. It's also very basic with any educational claims being rather over-egged, personally I see nothing educational about it, I can't even say that it would help a child develop their fine motors skills as all they need do is press a button. Daddy, however, thinks it's a fantastic toy, but there again he does work full time and really only has to hear the tune a couple of times over the weekend. If only my opinion counted, then I would be giving this one star out of five, seeing as I can't give it a negative score. But I have to take Freddy's opinion into account and he does love this even though it doesn't challenge him, so I'm going to give the Timmy Time Sing-Along Musical TV a grudging three stars out of five.
(Much as I hate this toy, I do think it would be perfect to give to a child you don't live with. Grandparents, remember all those times your children wouldn't be quiet during your favourite programme, well this would be the perfect revenge).
*Timmy Time is a popular pre-school TV programme, featuring Timmy The Sheep (Shaun's little brother), his friends and their adventures at pre-school.
Size : 19x19x4cm
Weight : 540g
Batteries : 3xAA (demonstration set included)
Summary: Steer clear unless you don't live with the child
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