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I came onlineto write a review about this toy having spent a lot of time watching my children (1 and 3) playing with this endlessly for the last few months. I was surprised to see the only other review of this product is one which scores it just one star. In my opinion this toy is great and my children love it and so it's getting 5 stars from both myself and them.
Vtech have so many great toys for children, the majority of them are like this; all singing all dancing which I used to hate but now actually quite like as they do seem to keep my children very entertained! We have various products from Vtech including a laptop, phone, a plane and many more, when we saw this Pop and Play Elephant in Tesco we couldn't resist it. It retails at £25 but it was on offer for £15 so we really couldn't say no to it! One great thing about it; it comes with batteries in it thank goodness!
=== Setting it up ===
Now this toy came in a rather large box but it wasn't actually excessive compared to the size of the toy but it did take a while to get it out... scissors were required for cutting out plastic tags keeping it in place and the box seemed to have plenty of sellotape on it which meant it did take about 10 minutes to free it from packaging but then it was really straight forward. You just have to snap on a piece of plastic to the top of the water shoot and then away you go it's ready to be played with! So compared to many other toys we have had this was relatively easy to set up which is good, I hate it when it takes a long time and the children grow bored before it's even out the box!
=== What it does ===
The main point of this toy is to pop out balls which creates fun! It comes with 4 different coloured balls and once you turn it on you can put these balls inside the elephant, you can do this by dropping them down the spout or by having them roll around the spot, down a hole and down into the trunk... but be warned! There is a hole and if this hole isn't closed up the balls will fall out onto the plastic keys below! If you move the red bird along it will close the hole up so the balls can go straight into the elephant's trunk. When the balls go into the elephant the music plays and it announces... "One... two... Three...go!" and the balls begin to pop up out of the top of the toy. This results in my little one laughing and cheering and my slightly older one frantically putting them back in again! This is the point in which some people have reviewed it negatively, they say that a child can peer into the trunk and end up with a ball hitting them... yes they can! My daughter has been but she didn't get hurt, they are only very light and she just found it amusing and had a giggle and anyway since this happened she has kept her face away from the hole!
As well as popping out balls it also does more. As I mentioned the balls can fall through a hole and onto keys. These keys are different colours and have different animals on them. The keys are the same colours as the balls and the balls fit perfectly on top of each key. If you press one it will either play music (depending upon what setting you have on) or will read out the name of the animal and make that animal's sound. These get pretty much ignored by my little ones though, they just love playing with the balls and watching them pop! The elephant also shouts out directions such as 'twist my ear!' which doesn't actually cause anything to happen but it does give your child something else to do.
=== Education ===
There are lots of educational elements to this toy. When we bought it we chose it because it looked fun and then once the children started playing with it I kept seeing more and more ways in which it would help them both learn things. They can learn basic coordination skills as they press buttons, put balls in the hole, turn the ears and push the bird along. They can also learn much more complex coordination skills as the slightly older child tries to catch the balls when they come out. Hope is 3.5 and she loves trying to do this so even though we originally bought this toy for our one year old she still gets lots of enjoyment out of it too. Other education elements is that the keys have different numbers, animals and colours on so that children can learn about these things. The balls are the same colours as the keys so children can learn to match up the balls with the keys. They can also learn about things such as how if you open the hole by moving the bird along, the ball can fall through but if you close the hole it will roll down into the elephant's mouth. The various songs it plays can help children learn too as they sing about numbers and so forth. This is a good way to teach children without them realising it! I had no idea it would have so many benefits and every time they play with it I do think what a good toy it is!
=== Entertainment ===
This is very entertaining! We bought it for our baby's 1st birthday and it has to be said that Hope's friends (3 years old) love playing with it too so it's given lots of fun for two different ages so far. They love putting the balls in, trying to catch them, guessing when they will pop out and then frantically putting them back in so they can keep popping out again! It has caused lots of laughter and great fun. I haven't seen a toy be such a huge success before, we have five children crowded round it for a good twenty minutes! It is noisy, children love noisy toys so it seems! They love it! It does do different things with the keys and twisting the ear, moving the bird to cover up the hole and so forth but really it's the balls and the popping action which creates the fun.
=== Conclusion ===
We bought this from Tesco for £15 and I think that that is a fantastic price to pay for a toy which has been so well loved already. It is fantastic quality, very robust plastic which is easy to clean and sturdy enough to be played with by heavy handed toddlers. It is suitable for young children as there are no small parts. It has been very entertaining for my children and also taught them some things too about colours, animals and trying to catch! I think the only negative I can really think up is that it is rather noisy and there isn't any volume control which would be better. It is quite big so does take up quite a bit of space but was very easy to put together when we first bought it. I really recommend it as it has provided lots of fun and laughter so far.
At a Glance VTech baby pop & play elephant Features and benefits for VTech Baby Pop and Play Elephant Requires 4 x AA batteries