“ Brand: Character Options Ltd / Age: 18 months „
My little girl turned 2 in May of this year and one of the items on her Birthday "list" was a Barney toy, now I've always really disliked Barney and tried to dissuade my relatives from buying anything related to him but my daughters big blue eyes and pleading expression can make even the coldest of hearts melt and so she ended up with a Sing With Me Barney from my Aunt.
Sing With Me Barney is mechanical interactive toy, coming with a separate "microphone" for your budding karaoke star which actually controls Barneys function by the simple press on the musical note shaped button. Covered in soft purple fabric our favourite dinosaur friend looks as he would on one of his television episodes, complete with microphone in hand and has the original Barney voice too. Barney requires 4aa in order to get him to work, these are kept within the screw down compartments in the base of each of his feet, the same area where you will find his on/off switch.
Once switched on Barney will sing and dance encouraging your little one to sing a long, any regular Barney watcher will recognise the songs which include "Boom boom ain't it great to be silly" and "The more we get together" but notably missing from his small selection of songs is the famous "I love you" theme song. Barney will sway and wiggle in a slightly robotic fashion slightly reminiscent of those dancing, singing Santa Clauses that were released a few years ago and his song choice can be changed by your little one by pressing the button on the separate microphone. As well as singing the songs Barney has a few random phrases to introduce and conclude songs, these will often come out if the toy hasn't been played with for a while just to remind you the toy is switched on, this can be quite disturbing as you sit watching your evening programmes, your toddler tucked up in bed and from across the room a voice says "well hello friend!"
When Elsa received her Barney she was delighted, it was the first toy she wanted to play with out of all her gifts and, after the usual fight to remove the ties and get him from the box, she set to pressing the microphone like a maniac making Barney sing song after song. It was lovely watching her dance along and it wasn't long before she had picked up the lyrics and was singing along. After several hours of singing and dancing, her 4 year old brother at her side, and driving me well and truly nuts she eventually shut Barney off and found something new to play with, phew! The two of them have regularly returned to Barney for another sing a long so he definitely has a degree of entertainment value.
Barney cost my Aunt £19.99 from Argos and I have to say I'm glad I didn't buy it for Elsa, while she loves Barney and happily sings and dances along to the songs I just can't see the value in the toy, it has very few songs and doesn't seem to be the best quality, his features aren't very defined and he isn't highly detailed. He is missing the auto shut off function which most interactive toys have and the batteries in the control microphone wore out after 2 months meaning she couldn't control Barneys functions, granted I can replace those but it could work out quite pricey to be replacing batteries so frequently. I feel that you're paying for the brand name with this toy but not getting the quality you would expect. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the toy though is that they haven't included the "I love you" song, this is a firm favourite with all Barney fans, no least Elsa and Christopher, so it's a real shame that they chose to leave out such a signature tune.
Overall I don't think I'd recommend the toy, your kids may get some enjoyment from it but I just don't think it's worth the £20, you could spend the money elsewhere and receive a much better quality item that would keep them just as entertained as this one. Sorry Barney but I don't love you, even if you do love me.
Sing and dance along with Barney to three fun songs. Children get their very own microphone that looks just like the one that Barney is holding. By pressing the top musical note Barney comes to life and starts to sing one of three songs. With practice you can become a singing sensation just like Barney!