“ Electronic Interactive Toy / Age: 4 Years+ „
I bought Gupi (now renamed Harry) as a birthday present for my 7 year old.
Gupi comes in a partially see through box, the outside of which looks like a wooden hutch and the insert of which can be taken out and used as a little home/bed for him as it has straw pictured on the bottom of it and wood drawing around the sides.
Gupi comes with a carrot that can be used in several different ways. I did note that Gupi initially needs 12 hours to charge so I did this and then replaced him in his box and wrapped it up so that my son could interact with him straight away. There is a power switch underneath a fur patch on the underside of Gupi's belly which needs to be switched to on once he is charged. You are then ready to start taking care of your new pet!
He is a similar size to a real guinea pig and his fur is quite soft. My son looked delighted on seeing him and we showed him how to comfort Gupi (as being in a new place makes him quite frightened). Once you have given Gupi his carrot and stroked his back he becomes more confident and can be put down on the ground where he will start exploring his new home.
Gupi makes very sweet little noises as well as sad noises (when he is hungry or scared) and giggles alot. Parent will be pleased to note that there is a volume control to decrease these noises should they become a bit wearing! If you turn Gupi upside down he emits a range of volumes and when you hear the preferred level you just turn him right side up again and he will be as quiet or loud as you have requested!
Gupi likes lots of love and attention so he likes lots of petting. Although he has infared sensors in his nose to help him avoid obstacles, he does sometimes still bash into things and/or get stuck if he cannot easily free himself. To help him, if you see him approaching an obstacle you can stroke his back to warn him. He then stops, emits a phew! sound and turns away from the obstacle. The more you do this the more he learns to get around without bumping into things.
Althoug Gupi's carrot is primarily a source of food, comfort (and charging) it can also be used to play a game. If you press the button on the carrot and point it between Gupi's eyes he will follow the carrot. You do have to keep it fairly close to him if you want him to chase it round corners or to change direction.
Gupi can be woken up and put to sleep by you by holding him to your chest and pressing between his eyes for a second. However, if he is not played with for a while after walking around a bit, he automatically puts himself into sleep mode and starts snoring for several seconds intermittently before going into stand by mode.
There are only two occasions when Gupi might refuse to walk. If he becomes very hungry he will stop and shake his head and not move again until he is recharged by his carrot. If he requires a full charge with the transformer and carrot this will take about an hour and a half. Gupi is also initally afraid of the dark and will need to be comforted several times if you put him in a dark place before he gets used to it but once he is he will giggle happily to let you know he is no longer afraid.
One important thing to remember is that if you turn Gupi off by the power switch hidden beneath the fur on his belly, his memory will be erased and everything he has learnt about getting around his new home and the confidence he has obtained through lots of reassurance will have gone and you will have to start from scratch getting him used to his new environment again. However, in the event that Gupi goes wrong, this is recommended (as a hard reset) and if there are still problems there is a Gupi doctor that you can consult on line to see if he can help further!
Gupi is quite a sophisticated toy and so therefore could easily be broken if not handled in the correct way or dropped from a height or is left to fall down stairs etc. so I think that even though the age range starts from 4+ I think good supervision of the handling of the toy would be advisable if bought for a child below the age of 6.
So far, my son is enamoured with Gupi and hopefully he will remain a favoured toy. If its appeal does wane you do have the option (perhaps as a present for a sibling) to buy another Gupi as they will interact together by singng and dancing and giggling together although this quite an expensive way to keep a toy's appeal going!
Also be aware that although this toy comes with a charger the carrot itself does require 3 LR44 batteries once the included ones are used up. I bought mine on line from I Want One Of Those for £40.00.
I was given this for Christmas by my parents as a joke because I am not allowed pets in my flat.
The initial charge is quite long at 12 hours so if you are giving it to a child I would recommend charging it first as even as an adult it is very frustrating to have a new toy and not be able to play with it until the next day! I think future charges are supposed to take around 90 minutes but I've never timed it.
It took me a while to figure out what I was supposed to do with it and to start with it can get a bit boring following it round making sure it doesn't crash. Plus it makes some very strange noises (not like any guinea pig I have ever heard). When you first take it off charge you have to stroke Gupi until he makes a happy giggling noise, then put it down and it will start to wonder about the room. As Gupi gets close to an object/wall you have to stroke its back before it crashes. This helps train it not to crash into things.
It will also respond if you call it and apparently if you make loud noises or sudden movements it will run away but my Gupi hasn't done that yet. I think it may be concussed from all the walls it has walked into while I haven't been paying attention.
If you put Gupi in the dark it gets scared until you comfort it then he will wonder around quite happily again making its funny little noises. Then you push a button on its head to make it go to sleep and it snores! When it needs charging Gupi stops and shakes its head while making yet more odd noises.
Gupi comes with a small plastic carrot which you can use to guide him around with. You can also put it in his mouth when you are trying to comfort him. The manual says that when two Gupis meet they will giggle and play, a bit like a Furbi, so I may have to buy another one so I can find out!
I think Gupi is quite cute and even as an adult I find it quite entertaining to play with especially as it can be left to just walk around on its own, so you can just play with it when you want. Although don't ignore it for too long as Gupi can become lonely. When this happens he will stop walking or go and hide in a dark place and make sad noises until you go and comfort him.
The manufacturers say it has 30 different noises although I have only counted about 10. However if I am honest it will probably spend most of the time in its box once the novelty has worn off as after you have trained it not to crash I can't see a huge deal you can do with it! Plus it scares mum's dog who just stands and barks at it for the first 20 minutes, then forgets about it as he is a Spaniel and not the sharpest tool in the box!
Not too sure about the claims that it can be a good indicator if you child would care for a real pet properly as you can never simulate the love you feel for an animal, and after all, that's what makes you care for it properly.
I can't really comment on how durable/strong Gupi is as I don't have children who i'm sure will be rougher with it then I am! It feels fairly solid and the fur it is covered with is soft. Also there are no small parts for little people to swallow. On the box it gives the age range as 4+
Gupi - 24 x 12 x 10cm
Carrot - 7.5 x 3cm (diameter)
Still, Gupi is cute and a bit of a giggle for both kids and adults as long as you don't expect too much from it. The more you play with it the more 'affectionate' it will become. Plus at about £30-40 its not too expensive.
The box contains Gupi , Carrot 'food' , A UK adaptor for recharging , and an Instruction booklet.