Newest Review: ... toy I bought only had one cartridge but usually these do come new with two cartridges. Starting Yano When we got home I discove... more
Stories and Wishes with Yano
Yano the Interactive Storyteller
Member Name: cloud99
Yano the Interactive Storyteller
Date: 12/06/11, updated on 16/07/11 (296 review reads)
Advantages: Educational, great for listening skills
Disadvantages: loud motor, Stories hard to get hold of
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.
Summary: A toy that has exceeded my expectations
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