“ Brand: Mattel / Type: Barbie themed soft toy / Available: Various animals „
My younger daughter loves cuddly toys and she also loves Barbie. Added to this, she and her sister are often to be found playing doctors and nurses which seems to bring out her caring and gentle nature. It is for these reasons that when I spotted the Barbie Care n Cure Wildlife Doctor
Endangered Species Panda in Toys R Us I knew that it would make an ideal gift for her sixth birthday.
The panda is small and cuddling and looks adorable. However, it is also a not very well panda and therefore needs nursing back to health! My daughter has to take on the role of a wildlife doctor and supplied to help her in her task are a thermometer, syringe, ice pack, tweezers, bottle, bandage, passport and an adoption certificate for the panda.
The panda is very soft and furry and you just want to keep on stroking it. However, when you pat its head you will find out exactly where it is feeling a bit poorly because different parts of its body light up and your child can attend to it by using the various pieces of medical equipment at his or her disposal. However, quite annoyingly, not only do you hear some agonising yowls from the panda as the different parts of its body light up, you also hear Barbie's rather whiny high pitched voice telling you that the panda is feeling unwell. Every single time that you pat the head she says the same thing along the lines of 'Hi it's Barbie, meet my new friend, a panda bear who has a boo boo - look at it light up....' As you can imagine this goes on a bit more than this and it gets very tedious every time you pat the panda's head even if you do so by accident!. I really don't think that it is necessary and especially as it makes it look as though the panda is speaking! It's very silly and would be far better just to leave it to the panda to moan and to light up!
This is a bit of a shame because otherwise this is a brilliant toy to encourage caring and imaginative play. What better than to have a poorly animal and to see that you are making it well - even if it is only pretend? It's a shame that, as far as I can see, you cannot turn the sound off but allow the panda to light up. As it is, when the batteries (that did come with the panda) run out, we probably will not be replacing them! I think the girls will still enjoy nursing and playing with it as it is quite cuddly and well made.
It is not hugely expensive too - I bought this one from Toys R Us in the sale but on Amazon, a similar snow leopard is selling for only £8.95. And one thing that I particularly like about paying for this toy is that there is a sticker on the box saying that Barbie has made a donation to IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) even though it doesn't say exactly how much!
Overall, my daughter loves this panda, but I have to say that the extremely annoying voice is too much me and therefore I sort of wish that I hadn't bought it!