Playskool Magical Talking Grill Reviews

Playskool Magical Talking Grill

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Back Yard Fun With Bobby Q! - Playskool Magic Talking Grill

Jun 28, 2003 (Updated Jun 19, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Durability:

Pros:"Smart" electronics for interaction, cute, no assembly required

Cons:Lid will not stay on, no volume control

The Bottom Line: Despite the idiosyncrasies of the lid falling off, this has been a really great toy for my child -- promoting hours of imagination and pretending!


I read all the reviews on the Playskool Magic Talking Grill, and no one seemed to like this toy. Being the hard-head I am, I wanted to get it anyway – it just seemed to cool of an idea to pass up. Yes, it does have it idiosyncrasies, but overall it has been a safe and enjoyable toy for our kids.

OK, I’m trying something a little different with the description. . .

Measurements: Approximately 14l X 16w X 8d

Assembly: None required

Materials: High-grade, durable molded plastic

Small Parts: None

Batteries: Requires 3 “AA” batteries (not included) for the grill unit only. The utensils, condiments, and food do not require any. The battery compartment is located on the grill bottom, and is accessible using a small phillip’s head screwdriver.

Activation: There are four ways to activate the Playskool Magic Talking Grill:
* Lift the lid
* Press down on the grill top
* Press the red “ignition” button
* Turn the “temperature” dial

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION & FEATURES

Lid: the lid is yellow-orange in color and has button hinges – button tabs on lid snap into indentations on the grill piece. There is also a molded handle to lift lid and a working round slide vent on top which clicks when turned, and resembles a real grill.

Grill: The outside of the grill is dark green in color. The grill top is molded to resemble the real thing with a raised gray grade and glowing red embers between. When activated, the lights inside flash on ad off, and the sizzling sounds begin. On the front, we see Bobby Q’s animated face. When he speaks, the eyebrows wiggle, the eyes move side to side, and the mouth moves up and down (the teeth, actually). There is also a blue “temperature” dial that turns, and a red “ignition” button on the front. On the right side of the grill is a gray “propane bottle” molded in (nothing removable). There are two white hands on each side for holding the utensils and condiment bottles. There are special electronic sensors inside the hands, and when they make contact with the sensors on the utensils/condiments, it recognizes each on individually – put the spatula in the hand and it says, “Hey, Spatula!” – and so forth. On the left side of the grill are condiment/utensil holders that do not have sensors. Bobby Q also has two working wheels and a small handle for ease of moving around. The Playskool Magic Talking Grill really is set up like a real grill!

Automatic Shut-Off: The Playskool Magic Talking Grill has an automatic shut-off feature after 30 seconds of inactivity. It may be manually shut off by pressing and holding the red “ignition” button for approximately 3 seconds. This must be done when the grill is not talking, only sizzling, or it will not shut off.

Accessories: The Playskool Magic Talking Grill comes with food, condiments and utensil accessories. Each are kid-sized (approximately scale), and are made of hard, molded plastic. There are no small or removable parts, nor can they be chewed into pieces. These accessories include:

* 1 ear of corn
* 1 burger patty with cheese
* 1 complete bun (separate top and bottom)
* 1 hot dog
* 1 hot dog bun
* 1 each ketchup and mustard bottles, each with happy faces and electronic sensors for interaction with the grill
* 1 each fork and spatula, which also have the happy faces and electronic sensors

The food is not interactive.

Sounds and Phrases: The Playskool Magic Talking Grill says over 50 sounds and phrases, including the electronic sensor interaction with the condiments/utensils. The volume isn’t too terribly loud to me, but it can get annoying, and there is no volume control. Bobby Q has his own distinct voice, as do the condiments and utensils. Some of these phrases include:

* Mmm. . . something smells good!
* Hey Ketchup (Mustard/Fork/Spatula)
* More ketchup comin’ up!
* Come & get it!
* Time to flip those burgers yet?
* Hey, let’s fire up the grill!
* (sniff sniff) I think something’s done!
* It’s not done till there’s ketchup on the bun!
* Hey, fire me up!
* Do we have enough gas?
* Who ordered a burger!?
* Put the corn on the grill!
* One corn, coming up. . .
* Who’s hungry!?
* You want your buns toasted (laugh, laugh) – I thought that was funny. . .

SAFETY CONCERNS

I bought this for my son at age 16 months, and I have no concerns for his safety during play. As with any toy, supervision is required. There are no small or removable parts that could pose a choking hazard, the moving face parts do not pose a pinching hazard, and the pieces are not chewable to the point of getting some off and in the mouth. As long as he doesn’t climb on it, everything is A-OK! By the way, he hasn’t tried climbing on it. Playskool’s age recommendation is 3 years and up, but I feel this is very conservative. I see no reason a younger child could not play and benefit from this toy.

HOW THE KIDS LIKE IT & MY THOUGHTS

Tyler has been playing with his Playskool Magic Talking Grill for about a month now, and still shows great interest in it. He even includes my tupperware in his play. It’s really fun to watch him pretend to cook and eat. I’d almost forgotten how amazing it is to watch kids pretend like that at such a young age. We take the grill outside and put on the other side of the patio from the real grill, and he cooks and imitates his Dad working the real one (it also keeps him away from the real one, too). His 6 and 7 year old brothers really enjoyed playing with it, too. It was really cool to watch them have their pretend cookout and include their baby brother in on the fun. Tyler learned a lot from the experience. He’s always “feeding” us his handiwork (plastic burgers & dogs)!

Yes, that lid is quite annoying. When open, it an make the grill tip over, and when it tips, the lid comes off. But I believe Playskool made it that way on purpose – to keep the look and feel of a real grill. They knew it would easily come off and/or tip the grill, so they made it easy to snap back on. When it does come off, we just pick it up and put it away. Tyler rarely notices.

I could not find this toy at WalMart. We had to take a trip to Toys R Us for this one, and it was a stifling $35! I still grit my teeth at that price, but I think it's quite durable, and the kids have gotten enough enjoyment from it to be worth it.

The interaction is really a neat feature that enhances the play experience and promotes imagination and pretending, as well as holding the child’s interest and attention longer. So despite the annoying lid, this really is a fine toy that I do recommend.

Thanks for reading, and happy grilling!

2003-2004 Donna Standridge


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 35
Type of Toy: Other
Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years

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