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My son received Fisher Price's Tappy The Turtle as a Christmas present and we recently decided to let him have this to play with despite the age recommendation on the toy being 18 months and the fact that he is just shy of his first birthday. The toy is by Fisher Price (a brand I know and trust) and there were no small parts so it seemed safe for him to have this to play with at his age.
Tappy the Turtle is a green plastic turtle about 30cm in length. It comes contained in a cardboard sleeve that states 'exclusively available in Tesco' (coincidently it prices at £10.97 here). The turtle has a dark green shell with five coloured shapes jutting out -a yellow star, orange triangle, blue square, red circle and purple pentagon. It also has four light green legs, a light green tail and head and a yellow underside. It also wears a red baseball cap on top of it's head. There is a red hammer, which is lightweight and made of a thin hollow plastic, hooked on to the tail.
The idea of the toy is that the five shapes on the turtle's back are hit with the hammer to knock them into the shell and, once all five are knocked in, the turtles head pops out from it's shell - accompanied by a 'boing' sound. The toy can then be reset by pushing the turtle's head back into it's shell and this pushes the shapes back up.
TAP TAP TAPPING
My son is a little too young to gain the full benefits from this toy - he lacks the co-ordination and understanding to use the hammer yet - but he is 6 months younger than the recommended age. He does, however, enjoy hitting the shapes into the shell and laughs as the turtle's head pops out from the shell. I have to the reset the toy for him as, again, he is too young to understand how the toy works.
The toy is basic and there is not much to it so I don't find that this holds his attention for very long. The bright colours are stimulating to him and attract his attention initially but, after hitting the shapes a few times, he grows bored of the toy relatively quickly. There is nothing further to capture his attention - for example the lights and sounds that captivate him on his other toys.
As my son gets older and is able to understand the use of the hammer, I think that this toy will help develop and improve his hand-eye co-ordination. However, I don't expect that this will hold his attention for too long even then - hence we have let him have the toy early to try and extend it's lifespan. The hammer itself is lightweight which is good as it prevents my son from hurting himself (or others). The idea of a hook on the tail to hold this in place when stored is good but, in practice, it doesn't work very well. We find that this doesn't hold in place well at all and we always find that this has been detached in the toy box and have to locate it.
The toy is well made with smooth edges and is also brightly coloured. It is also refreshingly simple and easy for baby to understand and see what needs to be done. It is also good for helping them to understand actions and consequences (if I push the shapes in, the turtle's head will pop out). The colours and shapes will also be a good learning tool as my son gets older and can learn to identify them and follow instructions e.g. 'hit the yellow star'.
However, I do feel that it could be made a bit more interesting to hold baby's interest a little better. Aside from the 'boing' noise as the turtle's head pops out the toy is quiet and perhaps a few noises as the shapes are popped in and out would add to the toy - even a voice identifying the colour/shape as it is hit as this would further enhance the learning aspect. I do appreciate, however, that a lot of children's toys are incredibly noisy and that this toy could be a refreshing change to that (and a welcome break for parents/carers).
Overall, I would say for just over £10 this is a decent child's toy with some educational value. It can help to develop key skills like hand-eye co-ordination and ability to understand. However, it has limited playability and is not overly engaging - do not expect it to hold your child's interest for very long.
Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Tappy the Turtle
This toy is not one of my granddaughter's but belongs to my Homestart family who have twin girls exactly the same age as my granddaughter. They have had this toy since their first birthday which is about six months back now.
This is a Fisher Price toy so it is very well built and is made of quality plastic with no nasty sharp corners. It is actually very heavy so is not easily carried around by a young child and because of its round shape there are no obvious bits for the child to grab in order to carry it. It weighs nearly 1kg or to be accurate 860g so you can see this is quite a weighty beast, nearly as heavy as a real one of that size would be.
Tappy stands about 15cm tall and is about 30cm long and 20 cm wide to give you an idea of size.He is mainly a darkish green colour but the shapes on its back are all different colours and from memory there are four of five different coloured shapes, a triangle, square, circle and star I believe.
What do Tappy do?
The idea is that you push the turtle's head into his shell and then using a small hammer (or your hands once the hammer had got lost) you bang or press on the shapes. Once all the shapes have been pressed down the turtles head will pop out again.
Sounds quite simple but not very exciting!
Indeed that's what the girls think too. They really are not that fussed with this toy at all even when I play with it their interest is only fleeting. The reasons for this are:
Firstly the turtle's head is actually quite hard to push back into the body. Too hard for either of the girls to do and indeed I have to hold the turtle with one hand and push his head back in with the other.
Secondly the pushing down of the shapes not only requires quite some effort but also if you push them down and it doesn't quite go to the right point then nothing happens.
Thirdly you have to push down all the shapes before the head pops out. One shape does nothing, second shape nothing, and so on until you have pressed all the shapes to just the right point then you get the head to pop out.
Even when you do press all the shapes down and the head does pop out it is hardly very exciting for a child. The action is not accompanied with any sound and is a very unexciting action in my view.
The speal on the Tesco site says:
"Fisher Price Bright Beginnings range is a brightly colourful turtle who's hiding away in his shell. Tap the shapes on his back into his shell to make Tappy pop out and say hello! Just press his head back into his shell to reset the shapes and start the fun all over again."
The toy is aimed at 18months and older. Unfortunately the child would have to be that old in order to be able to make it do anything but by this age they are mobile and really want something with a bit more excitement than just pushing a few shapes to make a head pop up somewhat lethargically. On the website I notice it says minimum age 18 months ! Not sure why, as there is nothing dangerous it must just be because it is impossible for a younger child to get it to pop out.
The idea is to teach children their shapes and colours. Frankly I think there are many other more interesting ways including just lots of different colours and shapes in plastic that you could use for this.
I notice it also says batteries are not included. I was not aware that it needed batteries as I have never seen it do anything that might require them. The Tesco website says he lights up but the one my family have has never shown any signs of lighting up and as I have played with this many, many times I can't see what part would light up and I haven't noticed a battery compartment either so maybe my family have an older model and the lighting up one is the updated version.
According to the Tesco website this toy sells for around £10 but in my view I think you could find better and more exciting toys for this price if you look around. It is very safe but rather dull if you ask my opinion. The twins think the same as I do and really are not that interested in the toy even when I 'play' with it to show them what it does.
So sorry Tappy Turtle I will not be buying you at any time in the future for any of my grandchildren or friend's babies as I think you are overpriced and very boring.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.