Pooh Bears have changed considerably over the years. When I heard that Worlds Apart were sending Gibby and I a Winnie the Pooh Interactive Friend to review, my husband’s reaction was thus:
“She’s already got a Pooh Bear.”
“Yes that old one of mine. The one I had when I was a kid.”
He tootles off and returns – beaming with pride – having dug out from the loft, the following manky old thing . . .
“Aw, that is lovely darling but there’s nothing wrong with having two Pooh Bears is there? This new one talks and stuff?”
I get a despondent shrug and he and old Pooh mooch off together, unimpressed.
Luckily for Grace and me, the following arrived in the post a few days later:
Now that’s more like the Pooh we all know and love. The idea behind it is that Pooh becomes your little one’s friend and gently prompts them throughout the day. You programme him to fit your child’s daily routine. He will happily announce that he is hungry at lunch time, sleepy at bed time, and will “wait here, while you have a wash.” He will also encourage his little pals to brush their teeth, and has a great hide-and-seek game. All in all, he has over 50 phrases, beautifully put, and in the familiar voice from the Disney cartoons. See him in action here – it’s very cute!
Normally, any toy arriving in the WaterBirthPlease house hold with the word “interactive” on the box gets immediately passed to Daddy to set up. I have no patience for that kind of thing. However, I felt it my duty to do the job properly and take one for the team (the team being toy technophobes the world over.)
Guess what? It was really easy! Honestly. There’s no internet link up or anything like that, it’s just a case of pressing a few buttons. I took me less than ten minutes to programme the whole day’s routine, and ten more minutes to smuggly stress the point to my other half that I programmed something by myself.
We’ve had Pooh for a few weeks now to give him a proper try out. Here’s the verdict so far:
Firstly:one or two minor things I feel I should mention on the negative side – wouldn’t be a fair review if I didn’t now, would it?
- If he is activated in the night, Pooh has a few set sleepy phrases that encourage little one to go back to sleep. I just wish they could have programmed them to be at a lower volume than the day time phrases, as during the night, they felt a little too loud.
- A reset button to press and hold would be easier than having to take the batteries out and start from scratch when you want to reset the times. You cannot change the time of one event in the day without re-doing the lot.
Not really major issues, just little personal niggles. Now here’s why we think that – aside from the above, Pooh bear is a brilliant toy:
- He’s beautifully made, feels very plush and Grace loves cuddling him.
- The wording of the phrases, are just lovely and utterly Winnie the Pooh in every way. “Think, think, think . . .”
- The hide and seek game has proved a big hit with Grace. Her excitement in following the voice and finally finding him is hilarious! “POOH BEEAAAAAAAAR! MWAH!” (Kisses)
- For any parent with a toddler regularly objecting to meal times/bath times/teeth being cleaned/ bed time, this toy is definitely worth a try.
- If your child wakes in the night pooh will encourage them to go back to sleep and to stay in bed until it is time to get up.
- Can be re-programmed to grow and change with your child’s routine as they get older.
Now for an admission on my part: Gina Ford – if you are reading this by any chance than please log off immediately. Supernanny, read no further. I am about to reveal our households shameful secret. .
We don’t really have a very strict routine . . . SSssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
So although Pooh may pipe up on a Sunday morning and announce that he is up and ready for breakfast, Grace is often oblivious and snores on. She is perhaps, at 22 months, a little bit young to understand all the phrases, but I feel confident that this is a toy with longevity. Should we struggle in the future, or need a bit of help with prompting our wee angel with her routine, then Pooh will be invaluable I’m sure. As it is, he is still a very popular and lovely toy to have around.
For parents of toddlers keen to encourage and stick to a set routine, this would be perfect. Particularly lovely for a Christmas present idea if you’re stuck (and no – they didn’t pay me to say that!)
SO that’s the verdict. A big thumbs up from me and the Giblet (and even Daddy has conceded that’s it’s a pretty good toy.) Now, as Pooh himself would say:
“Good night, friend”
The Winnie The Pooh interactive Friend is available at Tesco, Argos, and Amazon at an RRP of around £39.99. Click here for links to purchase and a closer look.