Pros: Sweet glowing face and gentle melodies, nice bedtime buddy for a child.
Cons: No OFF switch, heavy doll for small babies, hard to access batteries for replacement.
When we brought my son home from the hospital, we didn’t realize it, but he was developing jaundice. The hospital pediatrician missed diagnosing it, but the visiting nurse realized it immediately. For treatment, a wallaby light was prescribed. My tiny infant slept on a paddle shaped light for three days. We dressed him over the light in one of those footless sacks. In dim light, with his wallaby light glowing, he looked like a glowworm. My husband recorded our glowing child and managed to locate the original glowworm commercial to play in the background of the movie. Relatives found it amusing, so before long, my son was the proud owner of his very own Lullaby Gloworm by Hasbro/Playskool.
The Playskool Lullaby Gloworm is a nine inch long stuffed doll with a polyester body and a hard plastic face that glows when an internal button is pushed. It also plays six lullabies as well as glowing. It comes in a boy worm version and a girl worm version—one with a blue shirt, the other with a pink shirt. Besides the shirt, the bottom of this little worm is naked, with its green segmented body sticking out of the bottom of the shirt. This little worm is quite top heavy, as the mechanics that make him glow are internal and located in the top half of the toy. To work the “glo” and music there is a square inch embroidered patch with a picture of a moon and stars on the center of the doll’s shirt that when pressed, activates the toy. What is actually activating it is an internal button on a battery compartment that when located inside the body of the doll in the proper place, makes pushing on the shirt’s patch work to start the toy.
There are three modes of use for this toy. When purchased, the Gloworm arrives on demo mode, which plays snippets of the melodies and glows. There is a light-only mode and a play mode, which plays the melodies as well as lights up. The modes can be changed by accessing the battery box via an opening in the back of the doll that seals with Velcro. The mode switch is easily accessed by adults, as the Velcro strip is sturdy and difficult to manipulate by little fingers. The box is tied into the doll to hold it in place so that the doll is easy to use. This box holds the batteries, three AA alkaline, that come with the toy. At times the box shifts, making it more difficult to find the on button. Repositioning the battery box is relatively easy by an adult.
What I like about the Playskool Lullaby Gloworm is that the melodies are sweet, softly played, and not annoying. There are no voices, just music. The bottom half of the doll is very soft and there are two knots in the hood of the shirt on the top of the doll’s head that are good for teething babies or holding onto the doll. The batteries that came with this toy lasted a year for us, as I just changed them today. This was with occasional play. The face of the doll is very sweet with painted on eyes and a molded nose and mouth. When glowing, the face is illuminated and gradually dims off. The entire doll is machine washable. After the battery pack is removed, one can wash the doll in a pillow case on the gentle cycle. The washing instructions are on a tag sewn onto the doll.
I am not crazy about the weight of this doll, which is close to 10 ounces. When my son got the toy he was an infant and not playing with toys yet. When he did begin to show interest in toys, he still was unable to carry this doll around because of its weight. (I compared the weight of this doll to a comparable sized Raggedy Andy doll, which is not quite 3 ounces.) It also was difficult for him to push the button to activate the doll on his own until he was closer to eight months. Accessing the battery pack is easy, but removing it to replace the batteries is difficult. The ribbon ties that hold it in place are short and hard to re-tie. The pack had to be jammed back into the doll’s head in order for placement of the light bulbs and the activation button to be correct. It certainly wasn’t the hardest battery replacement, but it was a bit annoying. The toy does not have an OFF switch. The music can be turned off by switching to light only mode. This toy is manufactured in China. It really bothers me that so many toys sold by American companies are manufactured in China. Especially considering their inability to have quality control over their production and the materials used. I do not know if the light bulbs (2) are replaceable, but they do not appear to be.
Overall, this is a nice toy for children, as it is fun to watch the worm’s face glow and the melodies are soothing. I think that as my son, now 13 months old, grows a bit older, he will enjoy this toy even more, especially since he has mastered how to activate it and how to throw it. He likes to chew on it and taste it’s face and he likes listening to the melodies. He hasn’t slept with it yet, which I suppose is the point of the doll, but that is because I haven’t put it in his crib yet.
I did not have a Gloworm as a child, but I recall the commercials. This doll has been updated from the original, but the concept is the same. It is a nice bedtime pal for babies on up. I think it would be a great gift for a new parent or baby’s first holiday, as it is also inexpensive and readily available at toy stores.