“ Manufacturer: Vtech / Type: Talk & Teach Phone „
Last Christmas my 3 year old twin sons received so many toys all associated with the popular Disney/Pixar film Toy Story.
One of the many toys they they were given was the Vtech Buzz Lightyear Talk and Teach phone.
The fact it is a toy story toy I knew it would be liked straightaway, plus they like to copy Mama's conversations on their own phones.
The phone comes packaged in a tightly packaged cardboard box, open on the front so you can press the buttons and have a play first if you are just browsing in a store first. I actually purchased ours off Amazon for £22, the price is still roughly the same depending on offers on at the time.
The phone has a flat back to it so it can be placed onto any flat surface without falling, which is good when your child does want to play the activities the buttons provide.
The phone is a bit smaller than some toy phones I've bought, as well as being lighter. It doesn't have a handle aspect to it like some phones either so when your child is carrying it they have to hold the phone as a whole rather than by a carry handle which does make it easier.
The phone cleverly resembles Buzz Lightyear himself being dominantly white, purple and white in colour - the very same colour theme as Buzz Lightyear. The Toy Story and Vtech logos are stamped proudly on the phone receiver too. The phone receiver is attached by a wire, but when it sits on the phone it slots in tidily and doesn't get knocked off easy which is a bonus as most of the time it looks neat and tidy. Buzz Lightyears head, covered by his protective shield features at the very top of the phone continuing the Buzz theme of course, he is smiling and his hands appear to be waving which looks fun and appealing for a child.
The speaker on the phone is also a bit more exciting than most, instead of the usual circle of holes, this speaker has holes shaped and designed like a planet in space surrounded by stars - this I think adds a nice touch to the phone as it also fits in well with the Buzz Lightyear space ranger theme.
Buttons are situated all over the phone, the main button being the red power button which is situated on Buzz's chest, the way his very own red button is. Also on his chest are the activitity buttons, these being Battery Hunt, Number Code and My Friends. The keypad consists of quite large square, bright yellow buttons each numbered and with a picture of a Toy Story character including Woody, Rex, Jessie, Ham, Alien as well as others. Beneath the keypad is a repeat button and 'your voice' button. Last but not least there are 3 buttons alongside the keypad, each a different colour and picturing a different toy story character too.
When the phone is switched on your child will probably notice straightaway that it is in fact Buzz Lightyear who is speaking which makes this much more personal and interesting for a child. Without even pressing activity buttons Buzz asks children to find characters on the buttons and even tells you that this phone will make your voice sound different so just pick up the handset. This to me seems quite engaging and interesting for a child as it invites them to play more.
Battery Hunt - In this activity Buzz Lightyear explains they need to find batteries and asks your child to find a number - as this is the number of batteries they need to find. This is a good activity for children just beginning with numbers, enabling them to recognise numbers, not in any particular order but just learn what they look like, and even what they sound like as Buzz sounds out every button which is pressed. Buzz is very encouraging even if an answer is wrong saying things such as 'Try Again' or 'Good Try', this is encouraging for a child and allows them to try again confidently and also in their own time as there is no time limit for these activities. If an answer made is correct Buzz says phrases such as 'well done' and 'that's the way' again very rewarding and encouraging sayings for a child who is just learning - also when an answer made is correct the your voice button and the 3 character buttons alongside the keypad all have flashing LED lights in blue, green and red - this is colourful, bright and appealing - especially alongside the tunes which are played here and there.
Number Code - This activity is more for children who are a bit more confident in their numbers, recognising numbers and can perhaps count a few in order. Buzz asks which number 'comes before' or 'comes after' allowing your child to independently recognise patterns and orders in numbers, developing their memory of number patterns and teaching them to count too. Again rewarding and supportive phrases are used whether an answer provided is wrong or right.
My Friends - This Activity is one any child can play as Buzz simply asks children to find his friends, he could ask find 'Slinky' and your child has to find which button Slinky is pictured on. Providing they know the characters from the film this is such a simple activity but one which can keep a child engaged and help them learn, develop hand eye co-ordination as well as learn independently and confidently without feeling like they can't do it or are going to get stuck.
My personal favourite of this phone is the fact the Phone receiver actually works! By picking up the receiver, pressing the your voice button and pressing the button on the side of the receiver and speaking the phone repeats your voice in a funny voice - this is where the character buttons alongside the keypad comes in. The characters pictured Chunk, Sparks the robot and the Alien are the voices you can speak in - my favourite is the alien as it's such a high pitched voice and sounds absolutely hilarious, my boys love doing this and listening to their voices sounding funny and different.
Overall this phone in my opinion is brilliant, it enables children to have fun whilst learning their numbers. It's a very simple phone which doesn't offer too much educationally, but I like this as it doesn't cause brain overload for a child, it's enough for children aged 4-7 - the age range it's reccomended for - to enjoy yet learn at the same time without having to take in too much or feel like these are tedious tasks rather than fun activities. I'd certainly reccomend this phone to anybody, looking for a 'good' toy phone for their children.