Pros: Hmmmm . . . bright colors?
Cons: None of our children had any interest in playing with it.
We got this toy as a gift. I usually hold the manufacturer, Lamaze, in high regard, because they have made many of the toys our children have played with and enjoyed, particularly as infants. However, this one was a complete bust.
WHAT YOU GET
This toy is basically a stuffie shaped like an octopus. Ours has a bright blue body, some yellow stars for decoration and striped legs. The features of the octopus are stitched so there are no small parts that can break off and choke babies. The texture of the octopus is soft and fleece-like. Unlike a lot of other Lamaze toys, there is no variation in texture for babies to explore or enjoy. There are also no hard parts for babies to mouth.
Each leg of the octopus "bleeps" a different note. I say "bleeps" because it is not a computer generated sound but more like a child's plastic horn. The sound isn't unpleasant and not as grating for adults as some of the cheap, computer-generated musical toys. The sound is also not too loud which I really appreciate. However, the limited sound range did get annoying over time.
The bottom of each leg is a different color so you can tell which note you are playing. The tag comes with the notes for simple songs such as "twinkle, twinkle, little star." The problem is that the tag is connected by a little plastic tab, similar to price tags, so it was clipped off and lost in short order. The loss of the tag didn't really matter to us since the children had no interest in tapping out tunes.
The toy is supposed to smell like vanilla. I keep sniffing ours and don't smell any special scent. Maybe it wore off in the store before we bought it?
The toy is surface washable only and doesn't go in the washing machine. Since our baby's major interaction with this toy is to drool on it, I would prefer to be able to give it a good cleaning.
The manufacturer recommends this toy "for all ages." The results of our all ages trial are below.
We got this toy as a gift for our baby who is four months old. She had only a fleeting interest in it. The toy is almost the same size as the baby so she can't really pick it up or manipulate it. It is also heavier than a regular stuffie of the same size. Finally, there are no small or thin parts she can get her little hands around. Sometimes, she has a passing interest if I put it near her, but otherwise, she much prefers her other toys.
Since this toy was a failure with the baby, I passed it up to the five year old. He had less than a fleeting interest. My eight year old, who loves musical toys, played with it for about fifteen minutes. Now, it sits as a decoration with all of our other stuffies. I don't hold out a lot of hope for this toy, since there are many others in the arsenal that get much more play time.
The bottom line is that the kids didn't even really have a passing interest in this toy. The baby looked at it for a while. My eight year old tested out the sounds. Other than that, it got shipped off to the back shelf pretty quickly.