Product Type: VTech baby toys
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Not such a surprise!
Vtech Pop-Up Surprise Ball
Member Name: PerfectPeaches
Vtech Pop-Up Surprise Ball
Advantages: Colours and phrases
When it comes to toys my daughter has masses of them in all various shapes and sizes and they all have different functions. Some are absolutely wonderful and some are just pointless and I wondered why I ever spent the money on them but I guess that is all part of the learning curve when it comes to toy buying. I do tend to stick to various brands of toys simply due to quality and I do think you get what you pay for. However, this review says different!
VTech is a world toy manufacturer and I am sure every parent has probably owned a VTech made toy at some point and generally I do find VTech toys fun and imaginative. For this review I will be reviewing the VTech Pop Up Surprise Ball in pink. It was bought from Early Learning centre when on offer and I thought it would provide my daughter with a bit of enjoyment and at half price it wasn't breaking the bank.
The Pop Up Surprise Ball is as you can see from the picture the Pop Up Surprise Ball is circular in shape and has colourful panels around the ball itself. At the top there is the pop up part where a small 'puppy' pops up at various times, although personally I think this looks like a cat! I bought the Pop Up Surprise Ball in pink and the theme is girly which is perfect for any baby girl. The ball itself is plastic and is actually quite solid and seems well made which I would expect from VTech.
The shell of the toy features different panels as I said above. These are either plastic or made from a soft fabric and these can help encourage sensory stimulation and discovery. Don't expect the fabric to be soft and fluffy but the fabric panels are colourful and softer (but not much) than the plastic. Basically the whole idea of the toy is to help stimulate a baby's senses and help develop fine motor skills. Which as a parent is something we all want to encourage with our children.
To make the little puppy pop up a baby needs to press the light up star button and he will pop up whilst various tunes and melodies start to play which is quite nice but it is very repetitive. However, the flashing lights certainly help the stimulate a baby's senses and my daughter particularly enjoyed this part of the toy and once she had managed how to pop up the puppy it did bring a smile to her face. The animal buttons around the ball are quite large and chunky and easily pressed by little hands and this helps to develop the fine motor skills which are associated with this particular toy. Once these large buttons are pressed animal sounds start to play which again is something new to be learnt. To switch on or off or even turn the volume down (2 volume levels) there is a little pink switch on the main part of the toy.
The main features to the Pop Up Surprise Ball are quite simple and certainly not too complicated in terms of how to use them and what they do. Basically they are comprised of a the pop up puppy which gives the peek a boo effect, the contrasting textures, variety of colours and flashing lights which help towards the tactile and visual stimulation, the animal buttons which have the animal names, sounds and phrases and the 10 melodies (I'm sure I have never heard all 10!).
VTech advise that this toy helps with the following:-
"Motor Skills - Encourages fine motor skill development.
Sensory Development - A variety of textures, visuals and sounds stimulate sensory development.
Discovery and Exploration - Heightens curiosity and encourages exploration.
Language Development - Introduces the alphabet, letter sounds and vocabulary"
Now when I bought this for my daughter I was of course liking all of the reasons VTech give for why this toy is great and marketing is a big ploy especially for a first time mother! My daughter initially did not know what to do with it and after a while of me showing her what to do and how to press the buttons it suddenly clicked and she mastered the fine art of making the puppy pop up and the lights to flash - so far so good. She initially liked the animal sounds and melodies but it didn't take long for the novelty to wear off as apart from the pop up puppy, a few flashing lights and the phrases/ melodies this toy doesn't actually do anything else.
So after a while my daughter quickly lost interest and it was soon discarded along with her other toys which had fallen out of favour! The Pop Up Surprise Ball in some ways has lots going for it as the phrases are nice as well as the melodies and of course the flashing lights are always a big hit with a baby but other than that it doesn't actually do anything else and I therefore I think that the amount of time a baby/ child plays with the toy would soon be limited after receiving it.
My daughter's Pop Up Surprise Ball now remain at the bottom of her toy box and very rarely comes out to play which to be fair as made the batteries last a lot longer! It is on the plus side well made and has suffered a few knocks and bangs from my daughter but I think it would fair far better with a younger baby who is just starting to play with toys rather than an older baby and maybe this was the mistake I made and I should have bought it when she was a lot younger but even so the toy is still limited as to what it can do and does. Therefore, I would only recommend it for younger babies than older ones but it isn't going to break the bank so you won't regret purchasing it if it fails to live up to your child's demands!
~ Useful Info ~
Age Range: 3 - 18 months
Price: £9.99 - Vtech RRP
Batteries: 2 'AA'
Summary: An okay toy but much better suited to younger babies
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