“ Brand: VTech / Age: 12 months „
There is no end to the mountain of toys in my house, everywhere I look there are more, no matter what you do there's no avoiding them, every special occasion means a new toy for my children, the Vtech ABC Spinning Lion is one of our latest additions, given to my daughter to keep her distracted as our little boy opened his gifts on his birthday.
Vtech ABC Spinning Lion-
The ABC spinning lion is a brightly coloured pull along toy, suitable for childrens from 1-3 years. As he rolls along, pulled by your youngster his head click clacks from side to side. His mane is a circular disc decorated with letters and shapes in various colours.
The ABC lion has 2 different modes and 3 different volume options. You can have the music and lights switched off or at level 1 or 2, accessed by selecting your choice using the red slide switch on lions tummy (on the front of the toy) either side of the slide switch are 2 buttons that light up, the ABC button is for learning letters and as you turn the lions mane he will tell you the 3 letters that are positioned by the flashing light in his tail, he will also play a tune after telling you the letters, all the while his red lights flashing. The 2nd button features a paint brush and palette, this mode will tell you the colour and shape that is positioned by lions tail. By pressing the mode button directly after being told a colour & shape or letters the lion will repeat what he has just told you.
As well as telling you the letters, colours and shapes lion will also randomly say things like "lets go adventuring" and "where is your nose" he plays several different tunes and sings a song about learning colours and shapes. With each movement of the mane lions head will move from side to side he also talks ever so often if he's been left for a while to draw the child's attention back to him. The lion has a battery saving mode meaning that if he hasn't been touched for a while he will turn himself off, all you do then is press a button, wheel him along or move his mane to reactivate him.
What Elsa Thinks-
Elsa, being 1, thinks the toy is great it has flashing lights, plays tunes and can be dragged along behind her. She is a little young to really grasp the educational side of the toy, she wont intentionally learn the colours etc but she will take it all in and start to identify the differences. Rather than spinning the mane and using the different modes she prefers to pull the toy along and pet it like it's a real animal, she just loves how his head goes from side to side and will copy it (which looks hilarious)
Christopher is 3 and is more aware of colours and shapes, he loves to sing along with the lion and repeat what he has just heard, this is particularly helpful with numbers as he sometimes gets them confused.
A Parents view-
All I can say is thank goodness you can still use the toy without the volume because it is quite frankly the most annoying toy EVER! The voice is enough to drive even the sanest person crazy and you can guarantee that it will sing the colour and shape song over and over as if it somehow knows that it is annoying. Even in it's silent, pull along mode it can be a bit annoying as the clicking of the head movement can get really irritating.
From an educational point of view I think it is most suitable for little ones in the 18 months to 2 years range although it does really depend on the development of the individual child, at 1 Elsa doesn't really get any use from the educational aspect of the toy whereas Christopher already knows his colours and shapes so it's not a lot of help for him either. But of course, as I've said before, it's bright, colourful, plays music and has flashing lights, all education aside it's still a fascinating and entertaining toy for children.
He is a good toy for new walkers as the excitement of his moving head and the reactions he will have (tunes, lights etc) as he is pulled along will encourage your child to walk more just so they can pull him further. The chunky buttons and mane are perfect for small hands as they can still operate the lion, the volume switch is quite small, which is great as a parent because you can set it to of or volume one and you know that your little one can't change it, unfortunately that is not so for slightly older children and Christopher has mastered the art of turning it to full volume.
The lion is made of durable plastic and is easily wiped clean although the pull corn is prone to getting mucky, the cord is however the perfect length for my little ones to be able to pull it along comfortably.
The battery compartment is on the underside of the lion, it takes 2AA batteries which come supplied and the compartment is screwed down meaning your little ones aren't going to be able to get to the batteries, Elsa has a habit of putting such things in her mouth so it's reassuring that she cant get to them. Similarly the wheels on the lion are chunky plastic and unlikely to come off easily, there are no visable screws or fixings either so there are no choking hazards.
Overall it's a pleasant enough toy when it's switched off but if you're like me then the singing and talking will be annoying, as for kids, well they seem to love it. Educational toys are all the rage right now and this one has a little something extra in being a pull along toy too, which makes up for the fact it only has 2 modes unlike many similar toys aimed at the same age group, it's definitely good value for money even if it does drive you nuts.
The lion's RRP is £12.99 and he is available in toy stores and supermarkets stocking the Vtech range, he is also available online and direct from the Vtech website.
Press the buttons and spin the lions mane to learn the alphabet, colours, shapes, body parts and hear fun melodies! Watch the lions head wobble from side to side as the disk is spun and the light-up tail flashes along with the responses. Pull the lion along to hear fun phrases, melodies and jam sound effects into the tunes!