Product Type: Zapf Creation Doll
Newest Review: ... picked her up but still!! There is an off button on her back under two layers of material but it doesn't take a clever little three ... more
Does Your Baby Cry?
Zapf Creation Baby Annabell
Member Name: arleek
Zapf Creation Baby Annabell
Advantages: It looks nice
Disadvantages: Expensive, doesn't cry much
**Baby Annabell Version 5**
Version 5 Baby Annabell is not quite as advanced as this, but she does have many features. According to the manufacturer she gurgles, babbles, sucks on her dummy and bottle; drinks real water and cries real tears. She also burps and yawns, and also responds with a giggle to a lullaby played by her cuddly lamb. I'm not quite so sure about all of these things, but I will get onto that later.
When you purchase the version 5, along with the doll in the box you will get a romper suit, a dummy, a bottle, and a toy lamb. You can expect to pay between £35 and £50 for this set, it depends where you go because she is often on offer and will be more so now the newer version is out.
When my daughter opened this on Christmas day, we were all very eager to get Baby Annabell out and see what she did (I never had such a luxury when I was a kid), but first of all we had to insert some batteries, which are not included with the doll; she requires 4 AA batteries which go in the back of the doll. The lamb also needs 3 x AG13 batteries, but these are provided.
**Does She Cry?**
The first thing I noticed about the doll was the size and weight of it, it was pretty heavy and actually felt heavier and looked bigger than a real newborn doll, I suppose the fact that she giggles indicates that she is older than a newborn anyway. The actual size of Baby Annabell is 46 cm in length, which I think is pretty big! So if you are requiring a toy pram you will need to check the sizes because she is the full length of our toy Silver Cross prams.
My daughter immediately wanted to see her cry, so we first of all had to give her a drink so the bottle needed to be filled with water, this was very simple, the lid just screws on and off. But the bottle is quite annoying because the bottom of it is curved so you cannot stand it up, so if it is left lying around the water can seep out. Anyway, to get the doll to drink you have to insert the long spike (otherwise known as the teat but it looks like a spike) into the hole in her mouth, and it's not like feeding a real baby, you really have to shove it in hard to get the doll to start sucking and at first my daughter could not do this. And sometimes if you do not keep the pressure on, the doll will stop sucking and so no water is actually going in. We had to do this over a period of a couple of hours before any water seemed to have been drunk. And then we had to wait for her to cry.
Eventually she had a bit of a sobbing session, but no tears appeared. This resulted in real tears from my 3 year old! Anyway, I had to take over and be the mum for the next few hours and get this damn baby to drink. When giving her a bottle, if you do it for long enough, she will burp after you have removed the bottle, my daughter find this quite funny. Anyway, we eventually managed to get some tears to fall, the only problem being that only one eye was crying, but my daughter seemed to be satisfied with this. And over the 7 months that we have had this doll, I have rarely heard this baby cry or seen any tears come out of her eyes. My daughter actually gave up trying to get the tears to fall and started poking her in the eye with the bottle so it looked like she was crying, but it wasn't because of the doll's mechanism, it was just because my daughter was blobbing water into her eyes. I have to say I am really disappointed with this aspect of the doll because for it to have the feature of the doll crying, you would have expected it to cry quite regularly, but she rarely cries at all, not even the sound of crying. The main thing she does do is say 'Dadda, Da Da Da Dadda' over and over again which REALLY annoys me, and I have yet to hear any 'babbling or gurgling'.
**What Else Does She Do?**
Other features such as the dummy work quite well, you put the dummy into her mouth (which again is a spike rather than a teat) and she will suck it, and sometimes fall asleep. When she falls asleep she closes her eyes and makes snoring sounds. If you press the lamb's tummy this will play a lullaby and this either stops her from crying or makes her laugh, I have never heard her laugh. Another thing you can do when she is crying is pick her up and cuddle her and she will stop. The thing that I find quite infuriating is that when she cries (back to the crying thing again) you have to either put her dummy in or pick her up to soothe her, so the slightest movement you make with the doll makes her stop crying, and this is preventing the tears mechanism from really kicking in. She's not like a real baby that can scream for hours before they can be settled, if Baby Annabell cries you only have to nudge her and she will stop.
The romper suit you get with the doll is a very simple and pink, and the dummy is attached to this with a ribbon. I have left the dummy attached to this item of clothing so that we don't lose it. But my mum knitted a load of clothes for the doll so it's quite annoying that if you want to put her dummy in, it's got a romper suit attached! I think it would have been better if the manufacturers had provided some sort of dummy clip so that you could attach it to whatever item of clothing the doll was wearing at the time.
Speaking of clothes, the fact that the doll is soft bodied makes it easier for a young child to take her clothes on and off because they can bend the limbs. If she was rigid then undressing her would be a difficult task. You can buy extra clothes for Baby Annabell but they are quite expensive so I would recommend getting someone to knit you some, or buy some real baby clothes because that will work out a lot cheaper. We have used a couple of newborn sized babygros and they fit fine and actually look better quality than the Baby Annabell ones.
Overall I have been quite disappointed with this doll, and I think my daughter has too. The fact that she doesn't cry very well really put my daughter off, and the noises she makes are not varied or actually any good; she only says 'Dadda' which I just find irritating. Actually, thinking about it she also makes a groaning sort of sound but it's very nondescript; I wish they would have put some more noises in like the babble that you get from real babies.
My daughter, who is now 4, recently rekindled her romance with the doll, and she enjoys taking her clothes on and off and changing her nappies (which can be bought separately) and pushing her about in her pram, but I was secretly watching her and she sat with the doll and kept smacking her on the head to make her cry, which didn't work by the way, but this just proves how frustrating it is, and how annoyed my daughter is that she doesn't cry as often as she would like!
Recommended for children aged 3 and upwards, and I would say this is spot on. A younger child would find the doll too big and heavy.
Summary: Its okay but disappointing
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