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NOW CLOSED: Chicco Baby and Toddler Toy feedback thread (now with final feedback questions added)

(61 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Nov-12 11:25:28

This feedback thread is for the 21 Mumsnetters who are trying out a Chicco toy with their baby or toddler.

The toys on test are:
~ Rainbow Cube projector
~ Bubble Gym Play mat
~ Quattro Sit 'n' Ride
~ Talking Kitchen
~ Talking Carpenter
~ Talking School Bus
~ Jimmy Thunder

Everyone who takes part and adds feedback as required would be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get £100 of Chicco products they would be sent a catalogue and can choose the products they would like.

So first of all we want your first impressions: please share with us

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
~ what did your baby/ child think?

Later we will add more questions to this thread.

In addition you were sent a booklet about the Chicco "happy moments" collection they are offering to buyers this Christmas: please let us know what you thought about that.
(Anyone buying just £29 of Chicco toys between 15 October and 31 December will receive a booklet featuring four great experiences, something for everyone in the family - visit www.chiccohappymoments.co.uk for more information)

Thanks
MNHQ

HorridHeffalumpsWickedWoozles Mon 05-Nov-12 12:36:19

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
We have got the Bubble Gym, my baby is 5 weeks old.

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
It's bright and cheerful, we like the wipe clean feel of the mat although it does feel a bit cold to touch so have been laying a blanket down before putting her on it. Easy to assemble and a good overall size so as not to take up half the living room. We thought the detachable toys were a little cheap looking and some don't seem to have much of a purpose but overall first impressions positive.

Slightly over packaged in terms of the hundreds of plastic tags and cable ties that needed cutting off. Otherwise good and almost all recyclable.

~ what did your baby/ child think?
She's a bit young to notice the sounds (although our 2yo loves them!) but is often mesmerised by the changing lights, that seems to be a really good feature. The toy hanging in the middle is a bit long and gets in her face so we have to take that off but when she's old enough to grab things we'll put it back for her to pull about.

NikkiCrick Mon 05-Nov-12 12:46:07

~ what toy did you try?
Chicco Bubble Gym

~ how old is your baby/ toddler?
21 weeks

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging?
Looks bright and fun, also like that the 'pillow' is separate and not inbuilt. Packing quite difficult to undo. Toys not on Velcro strips, i.e. red / green plastic rings, were very fiddly and difficult to hang.
~ what did your baby/ child think?
She loves looking at the colours and grabs quite happily for toy from middle. Didn't like the lights, but enjoyed the music aspect.

Sparkles23 Mon 05-Nov-12 13:37:12

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
Jimmy Thunder, DS is 2.2

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
Good, I thought it was a fantastic product, v easy to use and not over-complicated, it also wasn't over-pacakged with plastic covering the car, I liked the fact you could touch the car while in it's packaging, though the plastic ties were a complete pita - really can't bear the things and a couple were a bit awkward to untie

~ what did your baby/ child think?
He loved it, he was amazed and got v excited using the controls to move it, and I think the fact that the controls looked like a steering wheel really appealed to him.

We are playing with Jimmy Thunder. DD is 2.7

My first impression was how chunky and friendly it looked, and no bits to break off. The packaging ties were extremely annoying, I had to find the scissors.
I like that it is green not gendered one way or another.

DD was so excited when she saw it, she said ' a real racing caarrr' about 1000 times while I put the batteries in. She pushed it up and down while we were reading the instructions, and listened hard while I explained how to work it. She is still pressing both buttons at the same time though, and as they don't know their left from right at this age, it would be useful if the buttons were different colours so you could guide them by saying press red for forward, blue for back, or whatever.

DH seems fairly impressed too.

SchrodingersUndeadMew Mon 05-Nov-12 15:05:03

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler

We are trying the Quattro Sit 'n' Ride, my DS is 13 months.

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging

The box was really massive, so big in fact, that DS has taken to using it as a den type thing hmm. The toy looked great, nice and big so I thought it was more suitable for his age than other ride ons we have tried until I noticed that the straps to hold him in are not adjustable and do not fit over his shoulders, I have had to put them under his arms just to get them on! I also don't think it would work as a push along as I had to walk hunched to try and push it as the handle doesn't come up high enough, I was really disappointed at this as I was looking forward to taking him for walks in it, also surprised as I am very short at only 5'1".

~ what did your baby/ child think?

He loves using the horn and using the accelerator noise button so the sound is on constantly, he has pushed himself along in it but hasn't yet figured out how to turn properly, he does like the steering wheel though.
He seems to love it and drags us up to it but he doesn't seem to like sitting on it too much. We haven't used the rocker part yet and haven't had too much time to test it so far. I will add more to this when we have.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Nov-12 16:49:56

Hi schrodingers...Chicco say there should be a separate parents handle in the box...can you have a look?

SuiGeneris Mon 05-Nov-12 17:57:20

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
We got Jimmy Thunder and have a nearly 3-year-old boy.

~ your overall first impression of the toy and its packaging
Packaging: lots of cable ties that were a bit fiddly, which made me a bit sad to think there must be enough dishonest people who try to steal toys to make this overpackaging necessary. However, I managed to get them off without resorting to scissors. I liked the fact that inserting the batteries required a screwdriver.

The car is nice and chunky, with rounded corners (it looks a bit like a VW Beetle) and no protrusions that could get easily broken or get stuck into eyes etc... Various adults that have seen the car in operation over the weekend (we had two lots of house guests) remarked that it seemed sturdy and well-built given it was not damaged despite the amount of bashing it received.

DH, who is a perfectionist, thinks it is too big and goes too fast to be easily handled by a toddler. I understand where he is coming from, but it seems fine to me. I agree with DH that it might make it easier to operate for toddlers if there was a switch to reduce the top speed,

Like the poster above I like the fact that it is a lovely bright green with no gender-specific prints/etc and no tie-ins with films etc. Having a small baby around I also like the fact that there seem to be no small bits that can easily be broken off and swallowed.

~ what did your baby/ child think?

DS loves it, both the going backwards (with warning sound) and forward (with headlights on) and the working horn. It has taken a while for him to learn to avoid most obstacles, but TBH I am not sure he is particularly bothered about not crashing into things. Visiting children (3 and 6 year old boys) both liked it a lot: so much we had to take it away to avoid squabbles.

Booklet
I probably sound ungrateful here, but I found this an annoying gimmick. If I had bought the car itself and found it in the packaging, it would have really annoyed me because this sort of thing always makes me think that the price of the toy has had to be artificially increased to pay for offers I am not interested in and will not use. I also found the bit about having some fun while the kids play with the toys patronising and was annoyed by the fairly stereotyped activities (beauty salons and extreme experiences). But I know I am quite grumpy in this and it might be that others would enjoy them.

Mibby Mon 05-Nov-12 18:11:29

what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler

We have the talking Kitchen. DD is nearly 2

your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging

Packaging was ok, nice bright colours and mostly recyclable but too many of those wire tie things.
Utensils are good but not impressed with the blue plastic fried eggs. Saucepan would be better, or spoon.
Shape sorter seems to 'young' for the rest of the toy, possibly better as a microwave with ping noise or just cupboard with door. Cupboard would provide storage for utensils

what did your baby/ child think?

She loves it smile The lights/ sounds are good and its light enough for her to pick up and carry around. Not really interested in the shape sorter part but uses the 'shapes' as part of pretend cooking

Mibby Mon 05-Nov-12 19:02:50

booklet

Not sure we'll use this, I tend to agree with Sui, it makes me think the price has been bumped up to pay for them

HorridHeffalumpsWickedWoozles Mon 05-Nov-12 19:05:24

I thought the leaflet looked like good value at first glance, although my concern whenever I see these things is that the item price is inflated to absorb the promotion cost.

I did think the activities were quite gender stereotypical, however the choice is actually quite good and tbh I love a spa treatment so more of an observation than a complaint!

SchrodingersUndeadMew Mon 05-Nov-12 19:20:46

Hi Ann, it was the seperate handle I was talking about. sad

I will measure it later, it's really very short which is a shame as I have had a similar push along before but it was a trike and was not sturdy at all, this feels really quite sturdy but it's too tiring to push it hunched over. sad Shame, it would have been brilliant with this particular toy.

GollyGoshGreat Mon 05-Nov-12 20:11:53

what toy did you try and how old is your baby?
18 mo DD testing the talking kitchen.

your overall first impression of the toy and packaging?
Packing was ok but had to wrestle with it. Toy itself looks cheap and I wouldn't have picked it up off the shelf.

We like the bright colours and fact it isn't pink. The shape sorter isn't really right for this age group. The bilingual feature is good but would've preferred Spanish over French. The songs are good and aren't too irritating yet!
We like the pan/egg slice/milk carton and other items but aren't sure about the blue eggs. We don't see the point of the letter on top of the oven. Why not put dials for the oven?

what did your baby/ child think of it?
DD likes it. We put it on the kitchen table whilst I prepare dinner and she like to pretend she's cooking too. She keeps trying to put things in the sink but they don't fit so she has been a little frustrated with it. She can also pick it up and move it around herself which is handy.

GollyGoshGreat Mon 05-Nov-12 20:13:58

Booklet - hmmm. I doubt that we'll use it but will have a look on the site

GetKnitted Mon 05-Nov-12 20:41:20

First impressions of the talking carpenter, ds 14 mo (and ds 4.5 years)

Although the packaging was a little tricky to get off (particularly with two impatient boys wanting to play), I liked the fact that I didn't need to search for scissors and I can't see any otherway to secure the parts while allowing touching of the toy, so thumbs up really. The packaging was bright and explained the toy well.

Both DSs are really enjoying the toy (I know it's for the little one, but the big one is enjoying trying to learn the songs and repeat the french tunes as well). I've got some great video of little ds spinning round and round to the alphabet song. Oh and, as someone else noted, the songs are nice and not annoying! (yet?)

cleanandclothed Mon 05-Nov-12 20:46:27

We have the rainbow cube projector. DS is 4 months.
I am not sure this needed any packaging at all. I found the box a bit over the top, and the cable ties an awful faff. Then realised I had to get a screwdriver to put the batteries in. I realise this is for safety reasons but if I was a new mum with my first baby I would have given up rather than spend around 20 mins getting the thing out of the box and set up.

Will be back soon to give more first impressions.

peglet Mon 05-Nov-12 21:47:26

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
We are trying the Talking School Bus, my son is 2 and a quarter
~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
The toy looked interesting and my son was eager to get it out of its box. It took ages to undo all the ties which he found quite annoying.
~ what did your baby/ child think?
Initially he was impressed, he like the noises it made and the shapes. He quickly became frustrated with the shapes (they don't fit in the holes properly and are hard to put in). The voice kept repeating the same thing, then didn't respond when he did what it asked. The instructions that were spoken by the voice were too complicated (and my son has a very good understanding of English) - for example, why use the word "insert" instead of "put"? Why have a hexagon instead of a triangle?
So eventually he took all the shapes out and pushed the bus up and down the hallway instead.

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
We tried the Bubble Gym play mat and my baby is 17 weeks old.

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
The Play mat looked bright and colourful and it was also quite sturdy. The mat was quite cold and not so padded so I put a blanket down first, before i put baby down. The play mat was packaged well, but was quite hard and time consuming trying to cut all the little bits of plastic.

~ what did your baby/ child think?
my baby really liked it, as soon as i switched it on she was staring at the different colours and really started to kick her legs. She also grabbed the dangling toy which made the lights on the toy change quicker.

BuffyFairy Tue 06-Nov-12 02:26:28

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler

We are trying the Talking Kitchen. Dd is 13m old.

~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging

I like the colouring and the fact it isn't pink. I wasn't impressed with the blue eggs. Why blue? It does look quite cheap and is so light it keeps falling over when dd puts things in the oven although she doesn't seem bothered by that. I'm not sure dd would get 'make a smoothie'. The bilingual function appeals to me.

I think it could be marketed as 9m+ as it is very much a sit and play toy. If she was nearer toy I would go for a stand and play kitchen. As we have a small flat this is a good size for us.

~ what did your baby/ child think?

Dd is enjoying the toy. She ignores the shape sorter but likes putting the shapes into the oven. She got frustrated that none of the objects apart from the eggs fit into the sink. She quickly got the hang of the toaster (one of her favourite features) the hob button and the tap. The 'cook' setting holds her attention the most, the 'music' one the least.

The booklet wouldn't convince me to buy a Chicco product over something else as I'm rubbish at remembering to use these things.

cleanandclothed Tue 06-Nov-12 09:17:54

So, more first impressions of the rainbow cube. I like the sturdiness - it feels robust. I like the fact that although it is 'blue' (and the other choice is pink) it is actually white with a few blue stripes and blue clothes on the soft bit - not too bad, although green or yellow would also be nice.

Other impressions: I am really, really disappointed that the lights don't move - all that happens is that you choose one static display (star, heart, shapes or just light) and it can stay one colour or change colours. Babies like to watch moving things - moving lights would have really made it for me.

There is too much choice of pointless things and not enough choice in others. Who really cares whether the baby looks at stars, hearts or triangles? Just have stars and plain light, and that would free up two sides of the cube. Who really minds whether the light is red, blue, green, yellow etc? Have one light and one changing colour option. But things that would be useful aren't there. There isn't a volume control. A 'fade' option for the music would be good, as would a 'music for 20 minutes and then off, but light all night' option.

I like the music and find it soothing, and it does seem to amuse by baby and my four year old in a calm way, but neither have actually fallen asleep to it yet. A loud white noise option (like a hoover, not some wishy washy wave noise) is what would do it for my children!

Booklet - I am another actively put off by this. I really can't see myself using it and would resent that some of the money I had paid had gone to setting it up. However, here are alternatives that could be done another year that I would find good:

Free swim sessions (like British Gas does)
Vouchers for money off shoes ('with you from the first step')
Money donated to charity, perhaps with the purchaser having a choice of charity (rather like the green tokens in Waitrose) - say 'bikes for midwives' 'wintsons wish' or plan 'international'

jollster Tue 06-Nov-12 12:02:43

~ what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
we have the rainbow cube (blue) - DS2 is 7 weeks
~ your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
tbh it's the sort of thing that pre-parenthood I'd have cringed at as it's overwhelmingly plastic and cheesy. However I've relented over the years, and it doesn't offend me quite so much - having said that, you wouldn't CHOOSE it for its looks.
Overpackaged in terms of the ties - actually I nearly gave up getting it out of the box on first go, as it was so fiddly.
Not sure "Rainbow Cube" really describes it that well though "entertains the baby with coloured projection and melodies" sums it up ok. Also there is a typo on one panel on the box "Projector paneel" - not panel.
~ what did your baby/ child think?
Baby has not shown massive interest in it at all, though he loves sparkly lights already, so its not because it's too early for him IYSWIM.
I would say a lack of volume control is an issue for me as parent.
I also agree with previous poster that the lights are a bit dull - if they moved in some way, that would be interesting. It's a bit meh.
(Though I confess I am hankering after a Ewan sheep so maybe this would never compete?)

The booklet? Have to say would not attract me to purchase, and after looking at it in detail it actively put me off too - I did look at the "free pamper session" and the fact that there are limited local options (and I live in a city) and they are all what look like sole traders rather than local salons would put me off. It looks all flash but when you investigate the details, the offers are very narrow appeal.

BuffyFairy Tue 06-Nov-12 14:08:47

Just spotted a typo in mine blush meant to put if she was nearer 2 not toy!

Forgot to mention the packaging. I don't mind those twisty ties, much easier than ones you have to cut. There was no plastic on the outside packaging which is great.

GetKnitted Tue 06-Nov-12 21:20:48

I forgot to mention that I rather assumed that the stuff in the booklet was paid for by the companies offering the services rather than chicco, as these are the kind of deals where you are expected to (but not forced to) pay for something extra not just taking advantage of the freebie. I didn't see the point of bundling it with the toy though, if chicco thought experiences are more important than toys, wouldn't they be selling experiences?

what toy did you try and how old is your baby/ toddler
The Quattro Sit 'n' Ride. Baby is 9 months old

your overall first impression of the toy and it's packaging
Agree with Schrodingers, the box was absolutely massive. We almost had to use it as a dining table. It doesn't need to be that big. So, judging by the size I assumed that the toy was assembled inside. It wasn't. That's generally no big deal, I am a flat pack expert. However, 10 minutes of trying to decipher the booklet and I was nearly in tears! Suddenly the penny dropped and it was straightforward after that. So the booklet needs rethinking IMO.

The toy itself looks good, but big for an indoor toy. I love the colours and the lack of pink smile At the moment I've put the rockers on it (they don't rock very much though, assume I've done it correctly?). My 4 year old came home from school and tried to climb into it so she liked the look of it!

what did your baby/ child think?
Baby not too sure. Absolutely loves the sounds and buttons, not too keen on being on it yet. But then she's a bit of a free spirit anyway. I think she'll be happier when it moves so I'll give it a day or two and if she's still not keen I'll take the rockers off so she can push it along. She's nearly walking so might enjoy that more.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Nov-12 19:22:28

Just to confirm for those of you who wondered if the prices were higher to pay for the Happy Moments booklet Chicco say "We can definitely say that our retail prices have not been “pushed up” for the Happy Moments campaign"

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