“ Age: 3 Years+ „
As we walked round our local car boot I noticed a boxed toy called Yano. When I picked it up I thought it looked a bit scary however my son thought Different. So I cautiously paid £3 as it didn't have batteries I was dubious if it would even work.
The toy itself Stands 30cm tall. He has two human looking feet although with four toes on each foot and what appears to be brown nail polish, these are the same as the hands although they also have three fingers and one thumb on each hand. These are both made of tough durable plastic. He has short stumpy legs only about 5cm long which does mean he actually does stand. The arms do twist like a doll would. His face and ears are made of a soft rubber and is covered in wrinkles. The facial features with its wrinkles and pointy ears do actually remind me of Yoda from star wars although a much younger version. He has large piercing blue eyes. The rest of Yano is covered with soft medium length hair but he is not cuddle as he does have a hard body is hidden underneath the fur. His Tummy Has an Emblem on is the receiver and wish centre.
He comes with a hand held wireless interactive device which answer questions. It has some standard buttons at the bottom Start, Pause, Wish, Yes and no. It also has a large area in which to insert story boards which give options for the story cartridges. This is quite large so less likely to get lost and easy for little hands to hold.
The toy I bought only had one cartridge but usually these do come new with two cartridges.
When we got home I discovered that it took 4 C cell batteries in Yano and 3 AAA batteries in the controller. It actually cost me for the batteries than then toy. To start him you insert a small cartridge in the back of him which does stick out slightly and insert the story board which slides in easily and can easily be done by my four year old son. There is a small switch which needs to be turned on and off each time you play with Yano.
As Yano springs to life he talks by not only his mouth moving but all his facial features, his eyes and ears which makes it look realistic. The only problem is the motor that powers all the movements is actually loud and does make it more difficult to listen to Yano. There is no volume control so you simply have to live with it. We have found though on occasions when he twists his head he will fall over so he isn't too agile on his feet.
Yano first asks you if you want to go on an adventure. To respond you have to choose either the yes or no option. If the child is struggling Yano does repeat the message but also gives the colour of the buttons for an additional clue. If you chose the no option then you can ask Yano for a wish. You need to press the yellow wish button and make a wish but these are not automatically granted. If they are the emblem flashes in the centre of his stomach and he will give you a verbal response. This is quite magical for a child. My son loves making wishes and makes many wishes a day. After a wish has been granted you are returned to the option to go on an adventure.
The adventure is an interactive story. Yano will tell you the title of the cartridge so you can check against the story board. The great thing about these stories is that the child controls the direction of the story. Each story has 15 button options but you do not use each of them in every version of the story. On some points of the through the story you are asked to press specific buttons .The buttons as square with both pictures and words to indicate the choice. This usually gives a character a voice and adds to the story. At further points you are given a choice of two buttons your choice will determine the direction of the story. The stories no matter what the direction do all have happy endings and are quite moralistic as an additional bonus.
Yano Lives in our home.
Yano has been very welcome in our house. We do turn the TV or stereo off so that my son can concentrate on what is been said. My son can easily operate the toy and we do tend to sit together when he reads an adventure. My son can read a few words but after only one reading session knew which all the buttons on the controller mean. We have actually found the pause button far more useful than I ever imagined. It does mean that if he wants to stop it and ask questions then he can without having to restart the story from the beginning. The length of the story does vary dependent upon the options you pick but this adds to the variety. I do think that the greatest benefit of this toy is it is a great way to improve listening skills in young children. It also helps with fine motor skills, problem solving, stimulates imagination and makes the child in control of a story.
I have found the toy for sale on both EBay and Amazon new. On Amazon it is currently £28 postage with free delivery which is cheaper than EBay. The cartridges I have only found on EBay and the choice is very limited. There are often no cartridges for sale in this country on eBay. The only game currently listed is £4.
Yano is recommended for children three years and older. I do think it would be quite a pointless toy for a child younger than four but do think it will be a toy enjoyed by my four year old for years to come. This is and Learning toys and not something to cuddle. I have softened to my feelings about how scary he looked since he has become part of our household.
I am delighted with this toy it has gone way beyond my expectations. It is loved by my son and is also a great teaching tool. I would advise that if you want this toy, then you look at a second hand versions listed on EBay as these are significantly cheaper and come with more cartridges.
I would at least show an image of Yano before purchasing as despite my son loving him I do think his physical appearance would be loved by all.
I first saw Yano: The Interactive Storyteller on one of the TV shopping channels last year and to be honest the first thing that went through my mind was how scary Yano would be to a child! So obviously I was a little shocked when a few months later one was given to my young nephew...and he loved it!
Yano is advertised as 'an interactive storyteller electric animated talking pal that loves to tell you stories'. He is a small, fluffy, electronic creature that looks as though he would be more at home in one of the Star Wars films! When combined with the cordless remote control and storybook touchpad supplied, he tells some lovely stories that children can really get involved in and help tell themselves.
Yano is about the same size as an average sized teddy bear (around 12" tall) but is quite heavy so he is best stood on a level surface like a bedside cabinet while he tells his stories. He feels nice and robust and it would probably take more than a short fall to break him! He is covered in long, beige fur apart from his hands and feet which are hard plastic and his face, which is rubber to allow him to make all sort of different facial expressions while he is telling his stories. He is wearing a 'magic amulet' around his neck which also doubles as Yano's control panel. The amulet has 5 buttons on it so you can carry out basic functions without the remote control (just incase you lose it) and it also lights up when Yano is making wishes!
Aswell as 4 C cell batteries, Yano also needs a 'Story Cartridge' to be able to tell stories. The cartridge is very similar to games cartridges you would use in a game boy and needs to be inserted into the cartridge slot on the underside of Yano. There is a lock facility that stops the cartridge from being accidentally pulled out during use and spoiling the story. The lock switch is located on the underside of Yano, and the whole area can be covered over with a flap of fur, so you can forget all about it once the fun starts!
Accompanying Yano is a remote control called the 'Storybook Touchpad'. It needs 2 AAA batteries and a 'story art card' to function. It is made of plastic and is nice and chunky and simple to use for children. The touchpad has the same 5 buttons on it as Yano has on his amulet; Start, pause, wish, no and yes. The buttons are all bold, bright colours and different shapes. To be used, the touchpad needs to have a 'story art card'. The card has lots of different pictures on it, and once slid into the front of the touchpad, becomes the buttons for the remote control! During Yanos stories, the child can press the different buttons to direct the story down a different route and change the ending!
The story art cards come with the story cartridges, each one helps Yano tell a different story. The Story packs can be bought separately, but one is supplied with Yano; Jana and the magic fish. Other story packs available include; The Secret Singing Stone, Bunny or not and The Search For The Golden Whale.
When you first turn Yano on he asks if you would like to go on an adventure or make a wish. If you choose to make a wish Yanos amulet will flash different colours while you make your wish. Then he will tell you one of several different answers including; 'try again later' or 'I think your wish will come true!'.
To begin the story follow Yano's simple instructions. As Yano begins telling the story his face becomes brilliantly animated. He smiles, frowns, wiggles his ears, moves his mouth and forehead and blinks to create lots of different facial expressions. Yano can make a happy face, sad face, scared face and excited face and when you have finished playing with him he closes his eyes and goes to sleep.
As well as his face, Yano can also move his hand and head around during stories. The effect is so captivating for children (and adults!) but if the child does get bored there is a pause button so they can continue their story later or by pressing the wish button they can wish themselves out of the story! If Yano is left alone for too long he will say goodbye and shut down to save battery power.
The stories are fairly simple and no matter what ending you choose there is always a good moral to the story. The touchpad buttons are big and bright with bold pictures and words accompanying them. They help to encourage children's reading skills by helping them learn to associate the pictures with the words.
Yano is suitable for children from 3 years old and is best suited for children up to around 9, although adults can find him fun aswell!
Yano speaks in a soft, male voice with 'The Queens English'! He has the voice of a lovely old man (what I imagine a lovely old man sounds like anyway!). He is easy to understand but one problem with Yano is that the sound of the motors moving his face are loud enough to be noticeable and can make it hard to hear Yano's voice. There is no volume control either so there's no way of remedying this.
Younger children will need to be accompanied when playing with Yano for help operating the touchpad, especially as it needs to be quite well lined up with the sensor on Yanos chest to operate., but whether children are playing with Yano alone or with a grown-up the story can go so many ways it will keep them entertained for hours!
Overall Yano is a great toy for children to play and learn with. I recommend him for children of all ages as he is not the sort of toy a child would grow out of in a matter of months and even very young children can enjoy listening to Yanos stories and watching his funny face with a little help. He certainly has the stamp of approval from my little nephew!
More information about Yano can be found on the official Yano website:
Yano is available to buy at www.ebay.co.uk for around £19
New story packs are also available from www.storyplus.com/yano.
My boyfriend brought a Yano into the house just before Christmas. It was to be given to my son for Christmas! No, dont worry! No strange rules like 'Dont feed them after midnight!' although Yano was a creature I hadnt seen before! Yano is approximately 32 cm tall and 20cm wide. He has blonde fur over his head and body. Pointy ears, a brown nose, brown eyes and wrinkly skin make up his face. His hands, eye ears nose and mouth are soft and rubbery and move as a real face! 'What! He isnt a real creature!', I hear you cry! No, Yano is an Interactive Storyteller. Let me explain. Yano The Interactive Storyteller is an electronic animated talking pal! He frowns, he smiles, he gets scared and he waves goodbye! He is accompanied buy a cordless remote control , interactive story touchpad. The pad is 20cm long and 12 cm wide! There are five relevant buttons;- Blue Oblong - START, Orange Oval :- PAUSE, Yellow Hexagon :- WISH, Red Oval :- NO, Green Oblong:- YES. The control pad works with an amulet which is attached to Yanos chest. It must be lined up to work, which is quite hard for young children. With Yano, you receive one or two story packs, to use with him. We received Jana and the Magic Fish and The Search for the Golden Whale. Each pack contains a memory card, similar to those used in Playstations, and a pad for use in the remote touch pad. To insert the cartridge into Yano, you un- velcro a flap of fur on his base. The cartridge can then be easily slid into the slot. The batteries are also placed in his base and a screw secures the catch. There is also an On and Off switch. On the remote touchpad, when a cartridge is inserted, there are a variety of pictures which are used to press to determine how the story will go! Rather like Dungeons and Dragons books from the Eighties. There are also stories called :- The Secret Singing Stone, Bunny or Not, Bernie the Computer Bug and the two I have nam
ed already. The packs cost around £10 each to buy separately and are available from their online site, or Toyrus. Yano himself costs anything from £19.99 to £54.99. I have seen all sorts of prices. We personally paid £40 .00 from Factory Outlet Tv on Sky, but if live anywhere near a Yorkshire Trading Company, they are less than £20.00!! This shop opened in our town a week after we bought ours!! Typical!! Yano is suitable from 3 upwards but it may even be too hard to use then. It is frustrating for the child to have to listen to the story when he wants to change it. Yano just goes to 'sleep' if the remote touvchpad is confused. There is also a Yano character called Whittley. He is similar to Yano but is meant for younger children. He focuses on ABC and 123. He costs around the same. The remote touchpad is slighly larger and Whittley himself wears glasses. To be begin a story, turn Yano on. His head will turn, eyes will open and ears wag. 'Hello, My name is Yano! Do you want to go on an adventure?' At this point the child has to press the green yes button or the red no button to answer the question. The story begins and you choose your route through the story, using the pictures on the touchpad. If you want to leave the story, you can make a 'Wish' using the amulet. It will then flash and Yano will grant the wish and go to sleep! Yano allows the child to participate in the adventure whilst telling the story. The child is prompted to choose which way he should go; 'Should Jana keep the fish or throw it back into the river?' The child then has to press either the picture to keep the fish or the picture to let it go! Each choice leads to a whole new road to the story. Some longer than others. Each path that is chosen teaches your child a positive value; eg/ ' Choose what you can see, rather than what could be!' A bit too tricky for my two year old but great fun for us adults
! Sshh!! Did i say that! With older children, because there are so many endings to the story, boredom would not creep us as fast! Unfortunately Yano does not have a volume control and he is rather loud spoken! He has a properly spoken voice and is very polite. A delight to any household! AND he never answers back!! Yano is very sturdy but quite heavy so it would not be suitable to take to bed!! It is a robust toy which will give hours of pleasure. The control touch pad takes 3 AAA batteries and Yano himself, takes 4 C size batteries suitable for high drainage devices. Thanks for reading Kerry xx
Electronically animated, Yano will keep children amused and entertained with the stories he tells from the included storybook touchpad.