I should point out that Alfie Bear has had a revamp since the above picture as his stomach is now different as detailed in my review.
==Why This Bear?==
I first saw this lovely bear sitting on a shelf in the brilliant B and M store and was drawn to touch him for some reason, when I did I was amazed at how soft and snuggly he was. The bear is not cheap at nearly £40 so I did resist at the time however when I saw the very same bear on offer at just under £27 in Argos I decided I would give him a home.
The bear is approx. 10 inches high and his span is probably about the same, the bear has a large smiley mouth and large welcoming eyes and is sporting a bright red jumper with little shapes embossed onto it. On Alfies paws there are difference indications of what the paw will do, on his top paws you have 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C and on his bottom paws there are dome shapes and some music notes. On the front of Alfies jumper there is a screen in a blue frame and a different shaped and coloured light on each corner, this is also where the on switch is located and this has two options, A, B, C and music. I think this bear has a lovely look, he looks a happy little bear and my daughter cuddled him as soon as he came out of the box although I admit she got a bit of a shock when he made a noise as he was turned on.
==The Music Option==
When first switched on the teddy announces its learning time or its music time depending on which way the switch is moved, if after switching him on you don't do anything else he will ask you for a big bear hug and giggle, I love the voice of this toy he sounds like a cheeky little child. On the music setting the A, B, C button sings the alphabet song and the letters actually flash up on the central screen made up of bright yellow dots, the numbers paw sings the 1 to 10 song, the shape button sings a song that I have never heard of about learning colours and shapes and finally the music paw plays a number of well-known rhymes such as incy wincey spider although it doesn't actually sing the words just plays the tune. With all the options the coloured shapes around the screen flash on and off in different patterns which is very eye catching and keeps my daughters attention well.
==The Learning option==
When placed on the learning setting the A, B, C button announces every letter of the alphabet when it is pressed so to get through this you would have to press the button 26 times in total which I believe is a bit much to expect of a young child and even my 4 year old got bored with this option, every so often rather than just naming the letter you are told what a word starts with such as B is for Bear. The numbers button is just as boring as the letters button on this setting and has to be pressed ten times for the numbers 1 to 10 to be announced, with both these options the number or letter is displayed on the screen but no lights flash so I don't think this option is entertaining for a young child. The shapes paw is a little better as when pressed the first time one of the shapes around the screen light up and the bear announces the shape, when pressed again the bear announces the colour and the shape, I think this is much better as the shape is also displayed on the screen and moves about to so is a lot more eye catching than the other paws and more likely to help a child learn. The music button plays a sing please and thank you which I have never heard and is played to the tune of a well-known French tune of which the name escapes me, the second song is about hello and goodbye and then there is a song about the teddy bear. According to the box the bear teaches first words which I think must be what this option is about.
This bear is lovely to look at and very appealing to little hands, he is extremely soft and can be snuggled without the hard screen causing an issue. The toy teaches a lot of different things which I think is always good as you are getting a lot from one toy but I think some of it is boring and if my four year old got bored with the alphabet how you would ever be able to expect a one year old to find this entertaining is beyond me. I think the music options are the best and the bright lights help keep my daughter interested and she does seem to enjoy playing with it but probably because I automatically turn this to music for her when I turn it on as the slider is still too stiff for her to do it herself. I do find it weird that when the bear speaks it sounds like bpy but when it sings it sounds like a girl. I wouldn't pay £40 for this but I would recommend it as whether it manages to teach my daughter anything remains to be seen but she is mesmerised by the flashing lights and displays.
We bought Alfie the Vtech bear for our 18 month old nephew last Christmas in keeping with our usual standards of thoughtfully buying noisy,messy or annoying presents for all the kids in our families!
Once again toy shops were left in trails of noise and flashing lights before we decided that Alfie was the winning toy for destroying Jamies mum and dads peace while keeping our beloved little nephew happy and amused for hours!
We had been well warned by Jamies mum and dad that we weren't to repeat the previous years Christmas toy assault which left them tearing their hair out and considering removing batteries from Jamies rather loud singing car and his 4 year old brothers equally loud guitar toy before they even got to Christmas dinner!
Alfie is a cute cuddly plush teddy bear with red dungarees with plenty of soft touch buttons on the
vinyl overlays on his tummy and paws for your little one to get pressing! Alfie is supposedly suitable
for 2 years plus but there's no small parts to worry about and our nephew was happily playing with
him at 18 months.
Alfie talks,makes funny noises, plays music and also teaches the alphabet,numbers,colours and shapes what more could you possibly look for in a present Alfie's cute, cuddly,educational and makes plenty of noise! Ok so the other thing that attracted us to Alfie was the fact that we could disguise the present as an innocent soft toy when we wrapped it up thus denying poor mummy and daddy any prior warning of the noise to follow!
I was surprised at how heavy Alfie is he certainly hasn't been to many weight watchers meetings
recently but most 2 yr olds will still be able to carry/drag him and chuck him around he is quite cuddly but you can obviously feel the electronic pack inside his tummy.Alfie takes 2 AA batteries but these seem to last pretty well as our Alfie was still on his original batteries nearly two months after Christmas.
Jamie fell in love with Alfie the bear instantly and even more so when he realised his new teddy could talk although the buttons pressed at that point were pretty random more often than not a full assault of press everything at once then dancing when he found the melodies! Nearly one year later and Jamie is still happily playing with Alfie and enjoying working out which button does what rather than battering them all at once and is now naming his letters,shapes,colours and counting to ten along with Alfie although his favorite part is still dancing along to the tunes so not a bad result for a talking musical teddy.
The only downside I can see to Alfie is obviously due to the electronics you can't wash him apart from a surface wipe but after nearly a year he still looks good which is good going for any soft toy in the hands of a toddler.
When we bought Vtech Alfie he cost us £21 which I think is pretty good value for a toy that will hopefully last your little one for a year or two.
When my daughter was born I went a bit mad buying toys for her. Most of these were second-hand though so I didn't spend too much money! One of those I bought was the Vtech Alfie Bear. I got him for £1 from ebay and thought he looked like a great toy for when she was older. I ended up giving him to her just before Christmas as she was bored so I thought I'd try him as he had been sitting on her toy shelf for a while. She was 16 months when she got him.
---About the make
Vtech make a lot of electronic learning toys for babies up to 5-9 year olds. We have had various toys from them before and I have generally been impressed with them and was hoping for similar with Alfie.
---Features of the toy
Alfie is a brown teddy bear wearing a red top with his arms open wide. On his top he has all the letters of the alphabet listed with pictures next to each one beginning with the letter it's next to. Above the letters are four pictures that control which mode Alfie plays in. On his hands he has the numbers 1-10 listed and his feet he has shapes on one and pictures of teddy bears on the other. (Mine appears to be a slightly different version than the one in the picture). Alfie also has a Velcro pocket in his back which has his off switch.
When you switch Alfie on he starts by saying 'Hello, I'm Alfie. Let's play'. He then defaults to the mode when you press a letter it gives the sound of the letter. If you don't press a letter he plays a tune that you will quickly tire of, but at least you know he's on. You can then choose one of four modes: letter phonics, letter sounds, guess the letter, and music mode. My favourite at the moment is the music mode. When you press any of the letters it plays a different tune for each letter of about 30 seconds length. Once the tune has
finished, it reverts back to its default tune which can get a bit annoying.
The letter phonics mode gives the phonic sound of the letter but some of them don't sound quite right to me. As this is the default mode, I would have preferred the sounds to be a bit clearer and correct sounds. This might be because of the age of the bear and they have changed a bit, but having read other reviews it seems to be a common complaint. The letter sounds says the letter as we would if we were saying the alphabet which would have been a more useful default. The last mode is a game to guess the letter he is thinking of. It generally starts by saying it's the first letter in a word (which matches the picture next to the letter on Alfie) and if you get it wrong, it then gives the phonic sound for the letter as well.
Also on Alfie are the numbers, shapes and bears. In several of the modes when you press these it either tells you the number, tells you the shape and colour or tells you the size of the teddy bear. He sometimes says phrases instead when you click on the teddy bears such as 'I love you' or 'Give me a kiss'.
My daughter loved this as soon as she saw him. She gave him a massive hug and wouldn't let go and was even more excited when he started talking to her as well. She takes him to bed every night and now she starts to play before she goes to sleep, we can often hear Alfie playing music and talking through the
baby monitor. In the morning when she gets out of bed, she often wants to bring Alfie with her and she will give him big hugs and kisses too. Although she doesn't know what all the buttons do yet, she is able to press most of them easily although some are a bit stiffer.
My daughter seemed to really like Alfie and he is still in the cot every day. We do wake up in the night sometimes to be greeted by 'Hello My Name's Alfie' as my daughter rolls onto him in the night, but it doesn't seem to wake her up. The first time it happened it was a bit disconcerting but we're used to it now.
My daughter seems to be learning from him as well as she is trying to say some of the alphabet letters and knows how to make him work. She doesn't understand the guess the letter game yet but I hope she can use that as she learns the alphabet more. Other than my issue with the phonics and the annoying habit of playing the default music over and over again, I am very happy with Alfie. It takes a bit of getting used to when you can hear 'Give me a kiss' over the baby monitor, but we got used to that now.
I'm really pleased that I bought Alfie in a moment of madness as he's been a great addition to my daughter's cot. Considering he's already had at least one owner, he's in great condition so will obviously last a while. I would say that he is suitable from about 12 months because it is more of an educational toy although younger children may enjoy hugging him and hearing him speak. You can't buy Alfie new anymore but I would highly recommend getting a second-hand one if you see one!
not only is this item a cute and cuddly teddy bear, it is also a great learning tool for your child, it teaches colours, shapes, numbers, and the whole alpahabet along with everyday things assosiated with each letter of the alphabet. also it plays lots of different songs, and you can play games to see if your child is learning the alphabet it will ask questions like what letter does the word car start with and your child will have to press the correct letter, its all around great fun also another thing i might add that my daughter has had her alfie bear since december 2008 and the batteries that came with him are still im perfect working order and have not been changed once and after hours and hours of playing this is great. You are getting so much for your money and at such a great price its brilliant hope this helps
My sons were given this (second hand) recently and I have to admit to being rather dubious of it at first, but it's grown on me.
This is a teddy bear with a difference! As well as being fairly cuddly he contains enough educational stimuli to keep your child occupied and elarning for hours. This bear is covered in soft touch buttons, including letters of the Alphabet (hence "Alfie") all with a small picture of something beginning with that letter, numbers, colours and shapes, which when pressed are said phonetically by the bear - in an English accent!
There are different functions you can chose, depending on what level your child is at and what they want to play, for example the bear can tell you to find a certain letter and your child will be rewarded with praise from the bear when they find it. This is a very educational toy and your child won't realise they are learning, but they are.
My sons are 2 and 3 and both of them play with this fairly often and for quite long periods of time considering their age, so it is a pretty engaging toy and keeps their interest. My eldest can manage the letter finding game (with the help of the pictures) and my youngest son likes to press the buttons and hear the bear talk, he will repeat the letter sounds and numbers and I know he is picking up more every time he uses it.
I am very impressed with the quality of the Vtech Alfie, it seems hardwearing and puts up with being used as a bear as well as an educational toy! There are enough functions to keep a child amused and entertained for a while and it is suitable for age 2-5 apparently so should last them a while. I especially like the fact that it reads out the letter sounds phonetically and in English, rather than American like many other toys.
The only problem I have with it is sometimes I find the bear doesn't say the letters very clearly, it can sound a bit muffled, but that may just be me! It can also get a bit annoying when it keeps saying "I need a hug" but you get used to it!
All in all, a great toy that is attractive as well as educational - a winner!
This is quite a cute teddy, we bought this quite a few years ago for my step daughter and she loved it. She seems to have got bored of it the older shes got and now its just sat on the shelf but will come in handy once our twins are a little older.
It has some great activities and is great for learning. On Alfies tummy is the alphabet, its also in English which is great as a lot of toys these days dont pronounce the alphabet as we normally would. Every time you press a letter it will say an object that begins with that letter.
The circles on the top of his chest are for different activities to be played, the first circle is the alphabet sounds so when you press the letters it tells you them and how to pronounce them. The words used on this are also really simple.
I would say this toy is from around 1 years of age and could be used for many years however my step daughter got bored of hers at around 3 years old, by that time she wanted to play with different things.
Alfies paws have the numbers on from 1-10, each number is just a little sticker however weve had this a long while and none of them have started to peel.
On his right foot is different shapes which are also different colours so it helps them with both and on the left paw is for different music and rhymes to play.
VTECH are a great brand of toys and always ones you can trust, Alfie the bear holds up to this name and i would definately recommend to help with the alphabet and numbers.
I have to add the only down side to this toy is that its really hard to keep clean, obviously it can only be sponged or wiped down which isnt great for a childs messy hands lol.
The Vtech Alfie bear is a well known interactive toy that has been around for a number of years. The advertising has died down a bit in recent times but most of you can probably recall the Alfie line ?I need a hug?. He is named Alfie, I presume, because he helps young children learn the alphabet but this is not the full extent of his talent. He also teaches numbers, colours, shapes, words and plays various tunes. THE BEAR Alfie is a teddy bear with a friendly face. His two arms stick up in the air and each hand has five numbers on it. His right shows the numbers one to five, and his left has numbers six to ten. He wears red dungarees and across his chest are four circles. Each of these circles puts Alfie into a different mode but more about that later. Underneath, on Alfie?s tummy is a bright yellow block with the letters of the alphabet printed on it. Each letter has a corresponding picture eg A is pictured with an ant, B with a ball etc. The consonants are in blue and the vowels are in red to make them different. Alfie is sitting down so that you can see the bottoms of his feet. The right foot has the different coloured shapes and the left foot shows a piano, musical notes and a bear?s face. Pressing any button on Alfie will start him up. He will play a short tune and greet your child in one of a few ways such as ?Hello. Pleased to meet you? and ?How are you?? On the first use he will ask your child to press one of his circles (modes) but after that he will be in a mode and starts whichever game he is in straight away. MODE 1 ? ?Let?s learn the letter sounds.? The first circle on Alfie?s chest shows the letters ABC. Pressing this will enable your child to learn the letter sounds. Pushing any of the letters on Alfie?s tummy will make him say the letter in phonic speak (ie not the adult way of saying letters). Alfie does have an English accent but I don?t like the way he says M & N. They are said as mmmm and nnnn
. X is also bad. Rather than saying Ex, he says cks. I?ve never heard X said this way ever and it is especially poor as the picture that goes with X is X-ray so this is said as Ex anyway. In this mode the numbers are said when pressed so the child can learn the names for each of the numbers 1-10. The child is told the shapes on Alfie?s right foot ? Star, Triangle, Circle and Square ? and the musical notes on his left foot play one of three tunes ? Looby Lou, Hickory Dickory Dock or Three Blind Mice. The piano plays a musical scale and when the bear?s face is pressed, you get the famous line ?I need a hug.? MODE 2 ? ?Press a picture please.? The second circle shows several of the pictures that are on his tummy and this mode enables the child to learn words. The child can press any letter and Alfie will tell them the word of the picture. There is also a sound effect with most of the pictures. For example pressing E will make Alfie say Egg and then there is a sound of an egg cracking. Some of the sound effects are better than others. Pig, Girl and Cat are good ones. Jacob also liked ball because it makes a funny boing noise. Several of the pictures don?t have a sound effect and just make a noise or play a tune. Hat, Kite and Web are three of these. In this mode the numbers are said again when pressed and the left foot does exactly the same as in mode 1. But on the right foot, the shapes are now given their colours. So we have a red triangle, a yellow star, a green circle and a blue square. MODE 3 ? ?I?ve hidden a letter. Can you find it?? This is a game that young children can play and gets them to use their knowledge of the alphabet. You have to find the letter that Alfie has hidden and you have three guesses, each guess coming with a clue. Guess 1 is just random and Alfie will tell you whether his hidden letter comes before or after your first guess. Using his clue, you then go on to choose another letter
. Alfie then tells you whether his hidden letter is before or after your second guess and he tells you that ?it is the first letter in?? The child can then use picture clues to find the letter. If the child guesses correctly, Alfie says ?Brilliant? and there is a round of applause. If the child chooses the letter either side of the correct answer Alfie will tell them that they?re ?Nearly there? and give them the correct answer. If the guess is completely wrong a tune will be played and Alfie will say the correct letter. This game is quite good fun for young children and enables them to make use of knowing the letters and pictures but this is where Alfie can start to drive you mad. He doesn?t give up with his ?Press a letter please? and ?Go on you can do it? and ?I?ve hidden a letter. Can you find it?? so if the child walks off Alfie will still be asking them to press a letter. It doesn?t last too long but young children often go onto another activity and so a few times of this can start to get annoying. It would be better if he had an on and off switch so that he hasn?t got to shut himself down. In mode 3 pressing the numbers and shapes will still make Alfie ask for a letter to be pressed so his hands and right foot are out of action. His left foot, however, still plays the scale, tunes and asks for a hug. MODE 4 ? Let?s play. This is the music mode. Pressing the letters just produces the sound effects and the shapes are given their colours as well, as in mode 2. The numbers in this mode change into tunes. Each number plays a different tune. Three examples - 5 plays Twinkle, twinkle little star, 2 plays Row row row your boat and 4 plays If you?re happy and you know it. On Alfie?s left foot, the piano still plays the musical scale, the bear still needs a hug but also plays ?Teddy Bear?s Picnic? and the musical notes plays a very fast drum beat which keeps Jacob entertained for ages. He used to find it hilarious. O
THER INFORMATION Alfie takes 2 AA batteries which are included with the toy. When the batteries need replacing, his dungarees have a Velcro opening on his back and the battery compartment needs to be opened with a small screwdriver. The panel can then be removed and new batteries inserted. Because of the limited space this can be a bit fiddly. According to the Vtech website Alfie is currently retailing at around £20 which I think represents good value for money when you consider that he could remain interesting to the child for a long time. The recommended age is 2-5 years and I think this is just about accurate for getting the most out of the toy, although Jacob at almost 3 and a half seems to have had the majority of his use out of it. Younger children will enjoy pressing the buttons and getting Alfie to speak. Stockists of Alfie include Argos, Toys R Us and Mothercare. The Vtech website at www.vtechuk.com gives a more comprehensive list. OVERALL OPINION I think Alfie is a very good interactive toy which could be excellent with a few improvements such as pronunciation of certain letters and perhaps a few more games. I also think the design needs to be worked on more. It can be hard for the child to press the correct letter because the buttons underneath the letters are slightly adrift and therefore the child can try to press K but may end up hitting the D button which is just above. This can be especially demoralising when trying to find the hidden letter. Alfie certainly kept Jacob occupied for long periods of time and we expect the same when Jon becomes old enough to appreciate. Once the child starts learning language and starts copying words, Alfie can be trusted to say words clearly and correctly in an English accent. Alfie also grows with the child as each of his modes requires something else from the child. All in all, a very successful present.
We were a little stuck this year as to what to get for our little ones at the last minute, you know how it goes, for a brief moment it is October and the next there is less than a week before Christmas. Well browsing though the catalogue and looking at all the toys suitable for our 10 month old daughter Rebekah, I was a little disappointed with the lack of items still in stock and as it was for Christmas, we had to have a re-think. So on with the page browsing until we get to the toddler section and spotted this cute, light colour brown bear named Alfie, sporting a bright red pair of dungarees and a whole host of shapes, numbers, letters and pictures for little hands to touch and be delighted with. Well our little Alfie is supposed o be designed for a 2-5 year old but hey he?s a soft toy apart from his nose and eyes, so how much trouble could a little girl get into playing with her new found friend? To be exact none, apart from the odd cry as our 2 year old John snatches him right before her very eyes! Poor little girl, I bet its times like these she wonders why they ever invented siblings. So let's talk about Alfie (sounds like a song title) ----------------------------------------------------------- Well our little friend Alfie is not too bad a size for starters, but just to give you an idea he sits to the height of my 15 inch monitor, okay I know monitor cases have different depth surrounding, so I guess its time to get the tape measure out. Liam be a love please and get the green tape measure from the draw with the knives and forks in? Reply: Tape measure?! Puzzled look upon his face. Yes the green thing that hurts when it pings your fingers. Reply: Oh that thing ??.. Ok As I sit here waiting , then I hear the kitchen door close, sounds like he found it and yes here he comes ........ There you go mum (he has stopped calling me mummy now ever since he went up a new class, h
ow strange). Thank you Okay, sorry about that on with the opinion. So let's talk about size. Alfie tends to prefer the sitting position so from bum to head he is 13 inches high, and from side to side, minus the arms he is 7 inches. Now his arms are 5 inches long but only poke out to 4 and half inches as they are in the arms up and out let's give us a cuddle mode, where the legs are just 4 inches long. So over all he is 13 inches by 11 and half inches wide when sat down. There is point telling you what he his standing as he simply refuses to stand, probably too tired from all the talking he does. As for the functions on his body there is hardly a part that has been left alone, well two parts to be exact his bottom and his face, saying that those nice people who make Vtech toys have gone and stamped his right cheek of his bottom with those ever warm and welcoming words 'Alfie My Alphabet Friend'. On Alfie's hands you will find the numbers 1-10, with 1-4 being his fingers and 5 being his pad all on the right hand, the same goes for his left hand but this time with the numbers 6-9 for his fingers and number 10 for his pad. When any of the numbers are pressed, you will hear a male sounding voice saying what each number is, that is provided the music function on his belly has not been pressed, in which case you will hear a different tune for each number, some will sound familiar and other I am in a complete blank. Moving down towards his tummy there are a row of 4 circles, this is what I will call the functions as the shapes, letters, numbers and pictures will respond in a different way, in accordance to which have been pressed. 1: A B C, which is aimed to teach small children the sounds of each letter. After this button has been pressed you the go on and pressed any letter in the alphabet you or even your child wish and as if by magic, or the touch of a finger tip, each sound o
f the letters pressed are sounded for little delicate ears to listen to. 2: The picture button, which when pressed followed by a letter that has a picture beside it, the name of the picture will be said followed by the sound the picture if real would make, but for some pictures such as a rainbows that doesn't make a particular sound or noise they have decided to improvise to give a cracking sound that I must say fits in very well with the pictures. 3: A ? button, is aimed at helping children learn to listen and follow directions a big part of growing up and an essential part of learning to. Not only does this allow to the child to listen carefully but it also gives the understanding of what letters come before, after, words begin with and of course co-ordination. When the ? button has been pressed, polite Alfie will talk nicely to you with such a phrase as 'Nice to meet you', I've hidden a letter can you find it? It comes after (a random letter) and so on, when the child has still not found it, little Alfie will let your child know what picture begins with that particular letter, and if your child is correct it will clap and tell your child just how brilliant they are (great for a confidence boost). 4: The music button, which I have to say apart from trying to pull Alfie's nose off with her new found teeth is Rebekah?s favourite. John on the other hand like all the smooth talk that Alfie gives from time to time, such as I am you best friend, I need a hug and so on. When this one has been pressed, most but not all the shapes, etc will sound a tune or two. So there you have that was the function button, but below them you have all the letters of the alphabet, each with a picture to accompany the letters, each letter is blue with the exception of the vows A, E, I, O and U, which stand out a bit more from the continent letters as they are red, a nice lovely letter box red (sorry that was poor). Oh yes and
I nearly forgot to mention that Alfie has a few shapes on the bottom of his right foot (paw). 1: A yellow star. 2: A red triangle. 3: A green circle. 4: A blue square. When each are pressed Alfie will let your child know what colour they are and what shape. On Alfie's left foot there is a picture of Alfie?s face, which when pressed, will say how are you? I need a hug, and will follow with the likes of the Teddy Bears Picnic tune. A picture of a piano, which when pressed will say 'Nice to meet you' followed buy the main notes used in music and last but not least a musical note, that plays tunes and creeps to your child by telling them he is their best friend. So as far as Alfie is concerned that's about that. Despite the fact that our Alfie cost £29.00, there is one thing you have to remember, he is made by Vtech, known for making high standards of educational toys and learning aids. If you compare a large soft plush character toy that say's a few phrases when hugged to the possibilities of what Alfie is capable of I think that he is a fair price. Alfie make learning fun and is a great way for a child to learn how to interact whilst learning Basic English. Our Rebekah loves Alfie, but has this bizarre liking for his nose, where are John whose age it is more suited for loves getting Alfie to talk and teasing his sister with her own toy. P.S Alfie does come supplied with batteries (2AA's) , but then most toys for younger children do, where as the likes of 5 years + don't on most occasions. So if you do get this toy, you will not be disappointed, perhaps you may get a little fed up with the sound of Alfie's voice, so just in case you do they have thought of everything, hidden in the back of Alfie is the battery compartment and a little switch to turn him off. As far as cleaning is concerned, I don't think washing powder and a nice harsh spin is best for Al
fie but any marks can be removed with a damp cloth. After all that in Alfie style 'I need a hug', think I will wait till Chris comes home ;-) Price update ------------ I had to pop in town yesterday and whilst I was waiting for the bus I decided to pop into Toys r Us and spotted Alfie sat there all on is own for the much better price of £19.44. So if you are thinking of buying Alfie and want it for around £10 cheaper than catelogues and some other outlets then head down to Toys r Us.
This must be one of the few good interactive toys that has an English accent, which is brilliant when he is rhyming off the alphabet. He is quite a cute mink coloured plush bear about 10 inches tall, stitched together in a sitting position with his hands in the air (looks a bit like he has been 'held up' at gunpoint) but only because this makes it easier to use the numbers on his paws. He is dressed in a pair of red dungarees (not removable)with yellow felt buttons which are stitched down (I imagine these stiches could be broken when the child gets older and more inquisitive). He is operated by two 1.5V size AA batteries which are placed in the box in his back, just undo the velcro strip unscrew the lid of the box and insert, couldn’t be simpler. You also know that inquisitive little fingers can’t pull the batteries out if they are screwed in. He is made from flame resistant polyester fibre and is obviously only surface washable. The numbers/pictures are plastic and have been stuck on which sounds a bit cheap and nasty but none of my daughters have ever started to peel and she plays with it on a regular basis. When you first press a number on his hands (yes, I know they are paws but please, bear with me! Ok, so I won't go on the stage)he will play a little tune and say: " How are you? Let's play!" or "Nice to meet you. Let's play!" or "I'm your best friend. Let's play!" or "Hello! Let's play!" Press a letter please , go on you can do it. I've hidden a letter, can you find it? If you don't respond by pressing anything he will say "let's play" again. If you still do don't respond (takes a few seconds) he will play a little tune again this means he has switched himself off. There are four circles on his chest. CIRCLE ONE Letter sounds
. Alfie says "Let's learn the letter sounds". Press a letter and he quotes it using the 'phonetic alphabet'. CIRCLE TWO Alfie says what the picture is and makes a corresponding noise ie press nest and birds tweet. CIRCLE THREE Alfie says "I've hidden a letter can you find it? You press a letter and he says "Let me help you. It comes after K, it is the first letter in Web!" CIRCLE FOUR When you press a letter it makes a sound to match the picture ie Queen = fangair, x-ray = sound of a picture being taken etc. I always used to find alphabetical things in kids books were a bit obscure or too complicated for toddlers but the items used for this one are brilliant. I have decided to let you know what they are to give you a bette idea (long winded I know but what the heck, I have the time to spare, the little one has just gone to her sleepy hollow - fingers crossed). Ok, so here goes, these are the items used to describe each letter of the alphabet: A - ANT B - BALL C - CAT D - DOG E - EGG F - FISH G - GIRL H - HAT I - INK J - JAM K - KITE L - LEAF M - MOON N - NEST O - ORANGE P - PIG Q - QUEEN R - RAINBOW S - SUN T - TREE U - UMBRELLA V – VAN W - WEB X - X-RAY Y - YO-YO Z - ZEBRA As you can see, they are all simple and so the sounds that correspond are also basic. Ok, some you can't really have a specific sound for like hat, moon, queen, rainbow etc but RIGHT HAND Numbers 1 to 5 LEFT HAND Numbers 6 - 10 LEFT FOOT Yellow Star Red Triangle Green Circle Blue Square RIGHT FOOT Piano keyboard (Scales - do rey me etc) Musical Note (Hickory Dickory Dock, jungle drums) Teddybear's Head (I need a hug, then Teddy Bears picnic begins to play)
So, all in all a pretty good toy for the price. My daughter is only two and a half and her vocabulary is brilliant for her age and I am sure this helped a lot ( I bought it her last Christmas). I would say Alfie would suite any child from the age of about one to three as a learning aid, but don’t forget he is a cuddly toy! There really isn’t an age limit on those now is there? Why not buy it from either Argos or Index and if you don't like it use their money back change of mind guarantee. The only negative thing I have about Alfie is the time when I tried to creep into my daughter’s room one night for my ‘regular’ check and I stood on him now to be greeted with “Hello! How are you? At that moment in time was…….well, say no more except it took me another two hours to get her back to sleep again! Bless him :)
After searching for 3 months to get hold of an Alfie Bear, I finally managed to get one for our daughter's second birthday in March and she loves him! Alfie bear has a number of different settings; you can play find the letter, or press the pictures to hear what they are and an associated noise that goes with them, learn numbers, colours and shapes and the letter sounds. He has the numbers on his top paws and coloured shapes on another one. The fourth paw has symbols so you can either get him to play nursery rhymes, speak to you or play a little note tune. Our daughter loves him, and even though she's only two and only had him for a week, she knows that c is for cat and d is for dog and f is for fish. She's starting to learn the colours and shapes as well. He's a quite a soft bear but well made and sturdy enough for even the worst temper tantrum. It's quite expensive at £29.99, but it's certainly good value for money. Like all the VTech toys, he makes learning fun and he's certainly been a hit so far.
We have Alfie bear! We have brought it for our two year old as he likes large soft toys. Our current collection includes a large white monkey called Cujo!! He is not a named item such as Barnie or Tweenies but give him a shot if you like to give your kids educational toys. Right, on the box it says age range 2-5, but after asking my six year old what he thought he just said that its for babies! (he who likes to think hes a man already!) And thinking about it, a five year old boy may prefer something else. Alfie bear is very brightly coloured in a pair of red dungarees, which are very appealing. The alaphabet is on his chest aganist a bright yellow background, the letters being displayed rather nicely. He is very soft, and his head and arms feel very velvety. He has a very friendly face with a smile on it. He teaches the alphabet, through phonics (sounds of the letters) on his stomach. Also numbers 1-10, on his hands. On his right foot he has shapes, he describes what the shape is and what the colour is. For example, Yellow Star. On his left foot he has music and sound effects. He has several different modes, one of which is called hide and seek...this is where the child has to find a missing letter. This one made me smile, as the bear encourages you to press the letter with little phrases such as "go on you can do it!" Another mode is where he tells you what a picture is. All the pressure points have to be pressed with slight force. So if your child can't be parted from this it can be taken to bed and won't accidentlly get set off. (unless your child has a hard hug!) If you own any other Vtech toys (and we have a few), you may recognise some of the sound effects from then. For example: Ball (boy-ing, boy-ing). He speaks in a very friendly way, and he does not sound "tinnie" at all, something that I found slightly annoying with other Vtech stuff. He
also dosn't sound to American! (of course theres nothing wrong in sounding American!) I love Alfie myself and I have to smile when you turn him on, as he says " I'm your best friend!" Lovely. To turn him on you just have to press anything!!! He also has automatic turn off, and you know when he is about to turn off as he plays a little tune as if to say goodbye. This is a lovely product, and I'm sure my little one is going to have fun using it, he loves all the Vtech stuff we have in our house. So much so that they all need new batteries!! The only thing about it is I'm not to sure how long the alphabet, numbers and other pads, will stay on the bear. They feel as if they have been stuck on, so I am a bit dubious as to how long they will last? I will reserve my judgement, and report back in a while about this... I would buy this again, and I want one for myself now!!!! (oh to be two again!)
Cuddly bear that teaches the alphabet, phonics, numbers, shapes and colours. Includes 14 playful melodies and a fun hide and seek game that encourages interactive learning.