This is Mombabbles’ first toy review and to get you familiar with the process going forward I thought I’d run through our ratings before we get stuck into the first toy on our list, which is the Little Tikes Lights & Sound Stacker.
Mombabbles is going to review toys a little differently. It will rate toys on the following scales:
Toddler Torture Rating (TTR) – This is all about how well a toy can last under pressure. You know how toddlers are. They will throw, bash, hit, press (hard), bang, squash, jam, kick and punch toys just for the sheer hell of it. No respect I tell you. That’s why toys on Mombabbles will get a TTR. If you’re looking for a toy that will last – buy one with a good TTR!
Cats in a tumble dryer (CTD) – Imagine a cat in a tumble dryer that’s been switched on. OK, we’d never actually put a cat in a tumble dryer – but humor us here and imagine what kind of a sound it would make and if it would be one that you’d be prepared to listen to day in and day out. Not a nice sound, right? Well, there are some toys out there that sound just like that. This is a scale dedicated to how irritating the constant and repeated use of a toy is for the parents (not the children). So if you’re looking for toys that aren’t going to grate your carrot, pay attention to our CTD!
Make mom a pauper (MMP) – Is the toy so affordable that you don’t even cringe when you whip out your credit card? Or is this the kind of toy that would even make David and Victoria Beckham cry as they hand over their black or platinum cards.
Toddler Engagement Rating (TER): How enthralled was your little darling with this toy? Was it a hit or was your child more interested in the box?
We’ll probably add more ratings to the mix as we get more momentum going. But in the meantime see how our ratings apply to the Little Tikes Lights & Sound Stacker:
The Little Tikes Lights & Sound Stacker is a simple enough toy aimed at toddlers aged 18+months. It does what it says on the tin: the baby/toddler needs to stack items (rings in particular) on a wobbly base with a lighthouse type protrusion that comes out the middle of it.
It’s meant to keep babies and toddlers entertained by challenging their dexterity, fine motor skills and if your baby likes to chew and feel things then it will love the fact that each ring has a different texture which is meant to light up his or her tactile senses.
Functionalities: The little ball which is stacked on last also serves as a rattle. Press down on the sphere and one of three songs, including ‘London Bridge is falling down’, will play. There’s an on off switch at the stacker base so if the music is making you feel on edge, simply switch off the device. The item requires 2 “AA” alkaline batteries, which unfortunately are not included in the packaging.
It’s the first toy we were given for review so of course I was dismayed when my one year old took off the rings and threw the stacker as hard as he could on our tiled floors. Thankfully the toy is built to take some abuse. Although I’m not sure how long it would last given this kind of abuse. But it’s been about three days since we got the toy from Prima Toys and it’s still playing music whenever we press the sphere.
It plays the same three songs over and over again, but at least it rotates them. Plus, the toy isn’t loud. I’d rate this toy as issuing a pleasant amount of volume. It’s not loud enough to make moms and dads check in to the mental asylum on day five of play (read: abuse) and the bonus is that if it does get too much there is an ‘off’ switch.
The Stacker is currently on special on Takealot* for R295. It usually sells for R349 on the site. So I’d rate this toy as an affordable item. It’s not the cheapest, but I doubt I would cry if I had to part with this sum of cash.
So far my one-year-old has been quite enthralled with this device. It gives him enough of a challenge. It does irritate him to a degree when the stacker wobbles a bit and he can’t get the rings on as quickly as he’d like. Otherwise it seems like a worthwhile, simple purchase. The parts are big enough that they can easily be found if scattered around the toy room and each part has enough functionality to keep this age group of toddler amused.
All in all, I’d rate this as a good buy. Would also make a good birthday gift for your child’s friend.
Note: Mombabbles will always admit if a toy/service has sponsored an article or has been given an item for free to review. If an item is given to Mombabbles for review it will in no way influence the way that Mombabbles reviews an item, but for transparency purposes Mombabbles will either state in the article or in a footnote how it has come across the item/service being reviewed and who’s paid for it.
*Correct as at 18 February, 2017