This Lamaze My Friend Emily Doll cost only £4.99 which is a great price for something my daughter loved to play with when she was smaller, she had it from about age 6 months and while at first she did not pay it a lot of attention as she got a bit older she tended to play with it a bit more. It is ideal for attaching to either a cot or pram as it has a white plastic link at the top from which it can hang.
What did attract my daughter to this doll eventually are the bright colours that she wears, pretty pastel pinks and oranges with purple and lime green as well, she has a lovely smiling face which has a warm pink blush to it and the doll just looks really nice. My daughter also liked to explore the different textures of Emily, there area a variety of textures, some parts of her body crackle to the touch while others are rough and then there are the very soft smooth areas, you could see her fingers exploring as she played. Around her neck is a necklace which my daughter would also explore and this also rattles when the doll is shaken.
What I liked about this toy is the quality of the build, it is a soft fabric doll that is very well made with quality stitching throughout and I never had any concerns about it not being able to handle any robust play that might come its way, in fact for me the weakest part of the construction is probably the plastic hoop. The doll is flexible, especially the legs, but also retains some rigidity so she maintains her shape, my daugter soon disciovered the teething rings on her right hand
Whilst this toy does have its limitations that can be said about most toys of this type, now that she is older I do not ever really see her playing with it at all but for a few months it was somehing that she would interact with although it did not hold her attention for long periods of time, just a few minutes every so often. On the plus side it is well made and the colours are very attractive to young babies and for the price it was a good purchase.
When my granddaughter was five months old I bought her a Lamaze Play & Grow My Friend Emily Doll from Amazon.co.uk. This was two years ago and I paid £10.99 and had it sent to UK to avoid heavy postage charges to Poland. Now, you can have free postage to Poland if you buy £25 worth of goods. I also see the price has dropped to £4.65 if ordered directly from Amazon and you can buy the doll new from other sellers for as little as £3.99.
Reasons for purchasing
Not wishing to stereotype, I thought my granddaughter would like this pretty doll and the colourful dress and shoes would attract her eye. The plastic circular link was a useful addition as I knew this could be attached to her cot, pram or the playmat that she had at the time.
A little more about Emily
Emily is a well made doll; her dress, hat, arms, legs and shoes are well stitched to the main body of the doll. Her face is round and pretty in a sort of 'country way,' with rosy cheeks and big bold eyes. The face is made from a thin stocking like material but is securely sewn underneath her hat. This same material is used for Emily's hands and legs. Her hat and dress are made up from different materials and textures. Some textures make a crackling sound - others make a brushing sort of sound. The main dominant colours on her clothes are orange, lime green, purple and red. Her legs, although made from the same stocking material as her face have an extra layer of coloured stripes - these resemble tights. Each foot has a boot made from a furry material in pink tied with a crinkly golden ribbon. A similar ribbon curls just underneath her hat - probably represents a baby curl.
Bend me shake me......
Emily is quite solid. Her arms only move slightly and attached to her right hand is a set of two teething rings. These are threaded through a loop made from material which is sewn into the hand. The main part of her body and head doesn't move at all. The parts you can bend and shake and twiddle about with are her legs. These are very soft and bendy. Attached to the collar of Emily's dress is a circular beaded necklace made from plastic. It's shaped like a flower so a child can feel the different indentations and inside the covered flower shape are coloured beads which rattle when the necklace is moved or when the doll is picked up.
How did my granddaughter play with Emily?
When the doll arrived from UK by our family courier, my mother-in-law, I couldn't wait to take the doll out of the plastic bag it was packaged in. It was a lot bigger than I thought (26.8cms x 18 x 9.8cms) to be precise.
At first I placed the doll at the side of my granddaughter's cot so she could look at it. She was totally disinterested at first and didn't seem bothered by it at all. Later, I attached the doll with the link so it dangled above her cot. She took a bit more notice of it but wasn't that bothered. Seeing that she was disinterested I left the doll alone for a few days and then one day as she was lying on her play mat I picked the doll up and started touching the hat and dress which made this scrunching noise. I remember her face well - she disliked the noise and I think it scared her. What I am trying to say here - as far as my granddaughter was concerned this doll was a bad purchase. Even weeks later we tried allsorts of ways to try to get her to interact with the doll but the only thing she liked doing with it after at least two months was holding the teething rings. She didn't even put the rings in her mouth.
What about my grandson's reaction?
Now, my grandson is just over five months old. He is a different kettle of fish altogether. From a very early age I bought him a Lamaze Firefly and he was fascinated by it. Seeing that he loved the firefly my daughter-in-law gave him the doll to play with. She hung it above the cot and he loved watching the legs of the doll swing around. He was mesmerised. When the doll was placed at the side of the cot he tried to reach out for it and just recently has been playing with the teething rings - trying to fit his hand through the rings and also putting each of them in his mouth.
It shows you how children can be so different in their attitudes toward toys and how thy like and dislike different things. Now that my granddaughter is older and has seen her brother play with the doll she has taken more interest in it and sometimes brings Emily with her when she comes to stay.
I think Emily is a good toy for the right child. If a child is interested in the colours and textures and noises made from the doll then this doll will help with the child's development. It's well made and after two years the doll is in good shape. There has only been one small repair and that was on the loop that holds the teething rings. The stitching came undone. It's very useful in the way it can be attached to various things like the cot, play mat and even the car seat. The materials used to make up the doll's dress, hat and body are strong and durable. There is nothing that can come loose and easily find a way into a child's mouth. However, we have noticed that my grandson tried to put his whole hand through the circular link and my daughter-in-law was a bit worried that his hand was going to get stuck so perhaps a good idea not to leave a baby/child unsupervised in this situation. To keep the doll looking good I suggest hand washing rather than machine washing.
Even though my granddaughter wasn't impressed with Emily and didn't play with her very much at all I still recommend this doll. I think most babies and small children will appreciate what Emily has to offer and the multiple features will keep them entertained. Pricewise - I think it's worth £10.99. It is a toy that if it is looked after will last forever.
Mum's, Dad's, Gran's and Grandad's will be pleased to know that this toy doesn't need batteries.
The product number is LC27026
My Friend Emily is a soft velour doll with a sweet cherubic face and multiple developmental features. She has a rattle necklace, clinky rings, different textures and sounds to engage baby in exploratory play. Emily rattles, has a squeaker in her body and crinkle in her feet and dress. Can be linked to activity gyms, strollers, carriers and more. Suitable from birth and up