Pros: robust, educational
Cons: Difficult for little children, prices vary immensely
My boyfriend brought a Yano into the house just before Christmas. It was to be given to my son for Christmas! No, dont worry! No strange rules like 'Dont feed them after midnight!' although Yano was a creature I hadnt seen before!
Yano is approximately 32 cm tall and 20cm wide. He has blonde fur over his head and body. Pointy ears, a brown nose, brown eyes and wrinkly skin make up his face. His hands, eye, ears, nose and mouth are soft and rubbery and move as a real face! 'What! He isnt a real creature!', I hear you cry! No, Yano is an Interactive Storyteller. Let me explain.
Yano The Interactive Storyteller is an electronic animated talking pal! He frowns, he smiles, he gets scared and he waves goodbye! He is accompanied buy a cordless remote control , interactive story touchpad. The pad is 20cm long and 12 cm wide! There are five relevant buttons;- Blue Oblong - START, Orange Oval :- PAUSE, Yellow Hexagon :- WISH, Red Oval :- NO, Green Oblong:- YES.
The control pad works with an amulet which is attached to Yanos chest. It must be lined up to work, which is quite hard for young children.
With Yano, you receive one or two story packs, to use with him. We received Jana and the Magic Fish and The Search for the Golden Whale. Each pack contains a memory card, similar to those used in Playstations, and a pad for use in the remote touch pad.
To insert the cartridge into Yano, you un- velcro a flap of fur on his base. The cartridge can then be easily slid into the slot. The batteries are also placed in his base and a screw secures the catch. There is also an On and Off switch.
On the remote touchpad, when a cartridge is inserted, there are a variety of pictures which are used to press to determine how the story will go! Rather like Dungeons and Dragons books from the Eighties.
There are also stories called :- The Secret Singing Stone, Bunny or Not, Bernie the Computer Bug and the two I have named already. The packs cost around #10 each to buy separately and are available from their online site, or ToysRus. Yano himself costs anything from #19.99 to #54.99. I have seen all sorts of prices. We personally paid #40 .00 from Factory Outlet Tv on Sky, but if live anywhere near a Yorkshire Trading Company, they are less than #20.00!! This shop opened in our town a week after we bought ours!! Typical!!
Yano is suitable from 3 upwards but it may even be too hard to use then. It is frustrating for the child to have to listen to the story when he wants to change it. Yano just goes to 'sleep' if the remote touvchpad is confused. There is also a Yano character called Whittley. He is similar to Yano but is meant for younger children. He focuses on ABC and 123. He costs around the same. The remote touchpad is slighly larger and Whittley himself wears glasses.
To be begin a story, turn Yano on. His head will turn, eyes will open and ears wag. 'Hello, My name is Yano! Do you want to go on an adventure?' At this point the child has to press the green yes button or the red no button to answer the question. The story begins and you choose your route through the story, using the pictures on the touchpad.
If you want to leave the story, you can make a 'Wish' using the amulet. It will then flash and Yano will grant the wish and go to sleep!
Yano allows the child to participate in the adventure whilst telling the story. The child is prompted to choose which way he should go;
'Should Jana keep the fish or throw it back into the river?' The child then has to press either the picture to keep the fish or the picture to let it go! Each choice leads to a whole new road to the story. Some longer than others. Each path that is chosen teaches your child a positive value; eg/ ' Choose what you can see, rather than what could be!'
A bit too tricky for my two year old but great fun for us adults! Sshh!! Did i say that! With older children, because there are so many endings to the story, boredom would not creep us as fast!
Unfortunately Yano does not have a volume control and he is rather loud spoken! He has a properly spoken voice and is very polite. A delight to any household! AND he never answers back!! Yano is very sturdy but quite heavy so it would not be suitable to take to bed!! It is a robust toy which will give hours of pleasure.
The control touch pad takes 3 AAA batteries and Yano himself, takes 4 C size batteries suitable for high drainage devices.
Thanks for reading