I came on to write a review about this toy having spent a lot of time watching my children (1 and 3) playing with this endlessly for the last few months. I was surprised to see the only other review of this product is one which scores it just one star. In my opinion this toy is great and my children love it and so it's getting 5 stars from both myself and them.
Vtech have so many great toys for children, the majority of them are like this; all singing all dancing which I used to hate but now actually quite like as they do seem to keep my children very entertained! We have various products from Vtech including a laptop, phone, a plane and many more, when we saw this Pop and Play Elephant in Tesco we couldn't resist it. It retails at £25 but it was on offer for £15 so we really couldn't say no to it! One great thing about it; it comes with batteries in it thank goodness!
Setting it up
Now this toy came in a rather large box but it wasn't actually excessive compared to the size of the toy but it did take a while to get it out... scissors were required for cutting out plastic tags keeping it in place and the box seemed to have plenty of sellotape on it which meant it did take about 10 minutes to free it from packaging but then it was really straight forward. You just have to snap on a piece of plastic to the top of the water shoot and then away you go it's ready to be played with! So compared to many other toys we have had this was relatively easy to set up which is good, I hate it when it takes a long time and the children grow bored before it's even out the box!
What it does
The main point of this toy is to pop out balls which creates fun! It comes with 4 different coloured balls and once you turn it on you can put these balls inside the elephant, you can do this by dropping them down the spout or by having them roll around the spot, down a hole and down into the trunk... but be warned! There is a hole and if this hole isn't closed up the balls will fall out onto the plastic keys below! If you move the red bird along it will close the hole up so the balls can go straight into the elephant's trunk. When the balls go into the elephant the music plays and it announces... "One... two... Three...go!" and the balls begin to pop up out of the top of the toy. This results in my little one laughing and cheering and my slightly older one frantically putting them back in again! This is the point in which some people have reviewed it negatively, they say that a child can peer into the trunk and end up with a ball hitting them... yes they can! My daughter has been but she didn't get hurt, they are only very light and she just found it amusing and had a giggle and anyway since this happened she has kept her face away from the hole!
As well as popping out balls it also does more. As I mentioned the balls can fall through a hole and onto keys. These keys are different colours and have different animals on them. The keys are the same colours as the balls and the balls fit perfectly on top of each key. If you press one it will either play music (depending upon what setting you have on) or will read out the name of the animal and make that animal's sound. These get pretty much ignored by my little ones though, they just love playing with the balls and watching them pop! The elephant also shouts out directions such as 'twist my ear!' which doesn't actually cause anything to happen but it does give your child something else to do.
There are lots of educational elements to this toy. When we bought it we chose it because it looked fun and then once the children started playing with it I kept seeing more and more ways in which it would help them both learn things. They can learn basic coordination skills as they press buttons, put balls in the hole, turn the ears and push the bird along. They can also learn much more complex coordination skills as the slightly older child tries to catch the balls when they come out. Hope is 3.5 and she loves trying to do this so even though we originally bought this toy for our one year old she still gets lots of enjoyment out of it too. Other education elements is that the keys have different numbers, animals and colours on so that children can learn about these things. The balls are the same colours as the keys so children can learn to match up the balls with the keys. They can also learn about things such as how if you open the hole by moving the bird along, the ball can fall through but if you close the hole it will roll down into the elephant's mouth. The various songs it plays can help children learn too as they sing about numbers and so forth. This is a good way to teach children without them realising it! I had no idea it would have so many benefits and every time they play with it I do think what a good toy it is!
This is very entertaining! We bought it for our baby's 1st birthday and it has to be said that Hope's friends (3 years old) love playing with it too so it's given lots of fun for two different ages so far. They love putting the balls in, trying to catch them, guessing when they will pop out and then frantically putting them back in so they can keep popping out again! It has caused lots of laughter and great fun. I haven't seen a toy be such a huge success before, we have five children crowded round it for a good twenty minutes! It is noisy, children love noisy toys so it seems! They love it! It does do different things with the keys and twisting the ear, moving the bird to cover up the hole and so forth but really it's the balls and the popping action which creates the fun.
We bought this from Tesco for £15 and I think that that is a fantastic price to pay for a toy which has been so well loved already. It is fantastic quality, very robust plastic which is easy to clean and sturdy enough to be played with by heavy handed toddlers. It is suitable for young children as there are no small parts. It has been very entertaining for my children and also taught them some things too about colours, animals and trying to catch! I think the only negative I can really think up is that it is rather noisy and there isn't any volume control which would be better. It is quite big so does take up quite a bit of space but was very easy to put together when we first bought it. I really recommend it as it has provided lots of fun and laughter so far.
For Christmas me and my Husband bought Jayden a few new toys, one of which was the V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant, I had seen this sort of thing advertised and liked the idea of this as whilst it was partially educational for him it would also be something fun he could play with either alone or with someone else.
The V Tech Pop and Play Elephant comes in a blue box, the entire front of the box is cut out so that you can see the toy and also test it without removing it from its packaging. There is quite a lot of information on the box including the product name and the V Tech Baby logo, the sides and back of the box contain information about how the product works and also the different features and skills that it will help your baby to learn. The toy was fixed into the box with small pieces of plastic covered wire in several places which needed to be entirely removed before giving it to your child.
The Pop and Play Elephant
The V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant is basically a large purple elephant with a fountain situated in front of it, there are 4 plastic balls which pop out of the fountain, roll around the rim of it and drop through a hole, the balls then roll down a small trough and back into the elephants trunk ready to be popped out again.
In front of the elephant are 4 brightly coloured keys with a number and an animals head on each one, these can be pressed to play different tunes and animal noises. The whole thing is made from tough brightly coloured plastic making it attractive to babies. This toy is designed to combine learning with fun and it has various different features which will keep your baby engaged and entertained. There is a small switch on the front of the toy this can switch it on and off and also change between the Learning and Music mode. The V Tech Pop and Play Elephant is designed for babies from 9 months upwards, although personally speaking this is a matter of opinion.
As I have mentioned the V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant contains several different features and activities, these include
* Learning Mode - This mode is selected using the small switch on the front of the toy, a fun song is sung and the piano keys can be pressed to hear numbers, animals and colours encouraging your baby to learn
* Music Mode - Again this is selected using the switch on the front of the toy, with this a second song is sung and the keys can be pressed in order to hear the different animals displayed on each key and various melodies.
* Twisting Ear and Ball Popper - In either mode (Music or Learning) the elephants orange ear can be twisted and this in turn starts the ball popper, the ball popper fires the ball up out of the fountain and they are supposed to land on top of the fountain and roll down the hole in it, although this is not always the case. Whilst the balls are popping out of the fountain melodies and phases are played at the same time.
* Piano Keys - When the ball popper is on the keys can be pressed to play sounds with the melody, these keys can also be pressed without the ball popper going to help teach colours, animals and numbers.
* Bird Slider - Whilst the balls are popping out of the fountain the bird situated on the trough below can be slide either way to determine the path the balls take, they can either roll back into the elephants trunk or they can drop down over the sensor button and roll over the piano keys, then the sensor button is pressed different melodies are played.
* Sensor Button - This is a small red caterpillar shaped button situated next to the piano keys, when triggered sounds, phrases and songs are played.
* Light Up Hand - When any of the buttons are pressed or the mode is changed the small orange light on the elephants hand lights up and flashes along with the sounds.
All of these different features help to keep your baby entertained, there are several different features so that they do not get board quickly, Jayden will play for ages with toy going through the different modes and features, there really are plenty of different and simple activities.
Care and Maintenance
When it comes to caring for the V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant toy it is very simple, all you need to do is wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth, I personally use wipes like Dettol wipes which are safe for baby toys and this works just as well. It is also advised to keep the toy out of direct sun light and away from direct heat, other information includes that the batteries should be removed when the toy is not being used for a prolong period of time and it should also not be dropped on a hard surface or exposed to moisture or water. Adhering to this advise will help to keep the toy in excellent working condition.
Price and Availability
We purchased Jayden's V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant from Toys R Us, it cost us £25.00, this toy is also available from other stores such as Tesco and the price is around about the same give or take a pound or two. Personally I think the price for this item is fair, Jayden loves his toy so in my opinion it was definitely worth the money.
I have been reasonably pleased with the V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant, Jayden loves it and will sit and play with it for ages, the whole thing is tough and strong so can stand up to the tough time it is likely to get with a baby.
I like the fact that the whole thing is bright and colourful as it attracts your baby's attention easily and makes them want to play with it and the ball popper aspect of this toy is totally different to any of Jayden's other toys. As I have said I think this item is fairly priced due to the fact that it is hardwearing and well made.
Despite being mainly pleased with this item I do have a couple of issues with it, as I have said this toy is recommend for babies 9 months and onwards, personally I think this is a bit young, when the balls pop out of the fountain they are supposed to roll around the top of it and down through a hole, however this is often not the case and as the balls land they bounce off of the fountain and onto the floor, young babies are unlikely to be able to pick up the balls and know where to put them and also if you baby cannot crawl they will not be able to go after the balls, when the balls pop out of the fountain they have to mainly be caught and placed back into the trough again this is not something a young baby of around 9 months would be able to do.
My second issue with the toy is that the balls fire out of the fountain quite fast and the balls are quite hard as well, these could easily hit your baby if they are playing alone with it, this did nearly happen with Jayden as he tipped the toy up towards himself it started to fire out the balls, luckily it just skimmed the top of his head but it could have easily hit him in the face.
Overall I would recommend the V Tech Baby Pop and Play Elephant but I would say that it is more suited to an older baby or toddler rather than a 9 month old, whilst Jayden does love this toy and it really does entertain him for ages playing with the different modes and coloured plastic balls I do find that it is best that someone is with him when playing with it to help put the balls back and also ensure that they do not fire directly at him.
My daughter received this for her first birthday and in all honesty I'm counting the days until she grows out of it and I can take it off to the car boot.
In the box you get the toy itself, four colourful balls and the two AA batteries. In all honesty the best part is the batteries since you can put them in a more useful toy.
The idea of the game is that your little one twists the elephants ear which sets off the fan so that the balls start to pop out of the top and then move around the toy. At the same time it also plays music and sing-a-long songs. There are also four keys on the bottom that either count the numbers or make animal noises depending whether you are in learning mode or play mode.
In reality what actually happened is my daughter would look down the hole and the balls would pop up and hit her in the face. When she realised that wasn't a good idea, the balls would pop up but fly off in any direction other than the right one. She would chase the balls around the room which she did enjoy however it was only on the rare occasion that they would land back on the toy and roll down the slides.
The recommended age is 9 to 36 months however there really isn't much on this to entertain anyone over 2 and if you are buying for the younger age range be very cautious since the balls can hit them and also just about it in my daughters mouth, luckily they are too big to swallow.
The price tends to be around the £25 mark which I think is expensive for something that doesn't do much, seems quite dangerous and only works in the right way for probably one out of the four balls.
The V-Tech Pop and Play Elephant is yet another toy my daughter received for her first birthday. It is definitely safe to say our house looks like an advert for ToysRus!
* What is it? *
The Pop and Play Elephant is predominantly a toy that pops balls up through the elephants trunk. It differs slightly from the picture with different colours. The base of the toy is green with four piano keys with different colours, numbers and animals on each one. There is also a button in the shape of a caterpillar and a switch to change between the two different modes of play (learning and play). The elephant is situated on the right hand side of the toy, it has a hollow trunk to allow the balls to travel through it. From the trunk it looks like the elephant is squirting water. The blue water coming straight from the trunk has a bird slide that can be slid across to stop the balls re-entering the trunk, and instead just falling through the hole and going everywhere.
The toy comes with four balls (red, orange, yellow and purple), which, when the toy is in use, look like the elephant are squirting them with the water. The balls enter the popping mechanism via the elephants trunk where they travel to the centre bottom of the toy and are popped up through the tube and out. The top of the toy has a base for balls to land and then travel back down through the hole into the trunk to start the popping adventure again.
* Different modes *
The two different modes of play are very similar, in fact it's hard to tell the difference between learning and play mode.
In learning mode, the elephant will say "put in a ball and twist my ear", once the ear has been twisted the elephant will begin by saying "1, 2, 3, go!" then will play a song as the balls are being popped up through the tube. The piano keys will say the number of the button pressed, and when the caterpillar button is pressed the elephant will giggle.
The only difference that the play mode has to the learning mode, is that when the piano keys are pressed it starts the popping sequence as well as twisting the elephants ear.
* Our opinions *
When Kacie first received this toy she was intrigued by it for about a month, then the novelty wore off. She did, however, love sticking her head right in the path of the popping balls to see if they were popping or not, coincidently when she got hit in the face by one she didn't do it again. The balls pop quite rapidly so when one is coming it's not easy to get out of the way fast enough. The popping mechanism also makes a very loud springing noise as it pops the balls. So it really does pop!
When the balls do pop up they sometimes come out at an angle and don't always fall back down on to the top tray where they go down to start the process again, this means I have to go running around after all the flying balls and they end up everywhere.
The piano keys don't get a look in with this toy. Kacie has occasionally give them a press, but she really isn't interested. The popping balls definitely steal the limelight when the elephant is played with.
* Useful information *
This Pop and Play Elephant is suitable for children between the ages of 9 and 36 months. It requires 2 AA batteries.
The elephant is available from most toy retailers such as Boots, Tesco and Play.com for around the £25 mark.
* Overall *
I wouldn't recommend this Pop and Play Elephant. It doesn't hold my daughters interest, it's quite dangerous with the fast popping balls, it doesn't have a volume control and the balls don't land where they are supposed to land. I've been trying hard to think of a positive, but I can't. At £25 it's a complete waste of money.