* Prices may differ from that shown
THE OCTONAUTS ----------------------- The octonauts is a children's TV programme on cebeebies about a group of 6 animals who explore the ocean, rescue injured sea creatures or any who are in need of help and protect them. Hence the review title and their catch phrase. The main characters are captain barnacles (a polar bear), kwazi ( a orange cat) and peso (a penguin). Along with the rest of the team they are The Octonauts. It is an extremely popular show that all kids seem to love, I know mine sure do!! THE TOY ------------- The Octonauts travel around in the octopod which is where they live in the sea. The octopod is what the toy basically is. The toy shows the octopod just how it is on television so is immediately a huge hit with my children, especially my 3 year old daughter who is a massive fan. It has the main circular bit and then the four separate pods. It has lots of little accessories like a little anchor and some swinging bits but I'm not sure these are shown in the TV show. It also includes 2 of the main characters; captain barnacles and kwazi. IS IT ANY GOOD? ----------------------- I'm a bit undecided on this one as in one way its great as my children love it. They think it looks great and realistic to the programme. My daughter puts on the funny accents of the characters and moves the figures around creating her own story lines for them. It really brings out her immagination and she always really enjoys playing with it. On the other hand I don't think it's so great. To me, the plastic feels slightly flimsy and doesn't feel like it will last half as long as most of my kid's other toys. The little accessories that come with it are small and all loose so they all come off and are easily lost. We've had the octopod for quite a while now and I'm sure we haven't got all the bits that we started with. Also you only get 2 figures with it, when I'm sure there are atleast 6 octonauts. If you want any more you have to buy them in separate packs. HOW MUCH? ------------------ This for me is the worst bit, this bit of plastic sells for around the £30 mark! To me that is a ridiculous price. Luckily for my children they have an uncle who loves to spoil them because if it was down to me I would have never paid that price for it. My brother seems to think its not so bad so maybe it's just me being a bit tight?! CONCLUSION ------------------- So I'm not sure about this toy really. I love how my children love it but I also think it's expensive and over rated. When you actually look at what you get for your money, it's not great value. But the kids love it, and that's all that matters I guess?! 3/5 for me. Thank you for reading, I hope it was helpful xx Mrs K xx
My son is a huge Octonauts fan and asked for the octopod for his Birthday earlier this year. We have all the gups (along with several Barnacles and Kwazii figures!) so got him the pod to go with. In terms of play value it has been fantastic and used everday since May this year. It comes with 2 figures from the show which was a little dissapointing as there are actually 7 in the show, 3 main ones, but guess if came with too many mattel would not make as much money! The octoalert on the top is a nice feature with realistic voices and good that it can be removed and carried around. The pod itself seems like it has been cut in half which does make putting the characters i easier but still seems a bit badly made. Mattel have however recently released mini on the go pods which fit onto the pod itself and are actually complete and make it look much better, just a shame you are having to pay out again.
As my little boy is a huge octonauts fan I just had to buy this for him. It was very simple to put together which is a huge bonus when someone is very eager to play with his new toy. The octoalert sounds just like in the television show, I have noticed that sometimes they will use different voices for toys which is a disapointment. This doesnt have that issue though and has several phrases which make this much more realistic. The mini pod is lots of fun when you put it down the slide which is hidden by a trap door inside the octopod. The pods are a bit too simple and you can barely stand an octonaut in them, this can be sorted by buying pod playsets which will attach on to the arms. This is an excellent idea but is making an already expensive toy even more expensive. It comes with 2 figures, captain barnacles and kwazi of which we now have several of both as they seem to be the most popular characters. Overall ir is a nice solid toy and is well loved in our house.
====Just what actually is "Octonauts"? ==== For those that have never seen Octonauts, you just don't know what you are missing. It is an educational programme on Cbeebies and involves a team of 8 explorers whose missions involve them either "exploring, rescuing or protecting" their undersea world. The Octopod is their ship which looks like a giant octopus and inside is where they all sleep and store their other mini-ships or GUPs. Who knew there was so much to learn? ==== Can it be played with straight from the box? ==== I wish! When you take it out of the box it seems like there are a million pieces. There is the main large centre part of the octopod and then small packets containing the explorers, orange mini pods and the accessories. It is simple to push on the orange pods on the sides. When being played with however, these do occassionally come off and my son has now worked out how to get them back on himself. I do have to watch this though as with not very much force the blue slides that these are attached to do start to bend. I am worried that with moreplay this could become a problem and start to weaken them but we shall see. This was bought by an auntie and it was her task to attach all the stickers to the various parts around the Octopod. The stickers are very detailed and feature things like the kitchen utensils, dials and graphs. I was very impressed with this and I've even heard my son say about them when he is making up stories with it. They have stayed stuck to the plastic really well and show no signs of peeling off as of yet after nearly a months play. I have abandoned the box to the loft and let him keep it out fully made up. He carries it about for fear that someone else may play with it or just because he loves it so much. (Told you he was bizarre) ===== What play pieces are included? ==== There are many play pieces included with this set. You get your own little Captain Barnacles, which is the white polar bear wearing a blue suit if you aren't quite up on your Octonauts knowledge yet. You also get a Kwazii who is an orange pirate kitten. (Who dreamt up with these things I ask you?) Each piece is jointed so that you can move each individual arm and swivel the heads side to side. The legs move together which was a disappointment to my son when he said he needed them to hop. He's a bizarre child at times though so i'm sure you won't ever encounter that problem. There are some little creatures accessories included too. A hard-plastic blue turtle, a purple squishy whale, a green eel and a rather odd-looking red octopus. These are all well detailed and all have a smiling face which is a lovely touch. The anchor, basket and plank have fine-woven cord attached to them so they can hang from the smaller pods. This is very clever as your child can place one of the animals in the basket for example and then pull the other end of the cord to raise it up. There is also a little slot so that it can be secured at the top. My son was amazed by this and has not stopped raising and lowered objects. ====== I'm intrigued! Where can I get one from?======== It can be bought from a variety of places like John Lewis, Asdao, Wilkinsons and even Hamleys. Prices range from around the £23 mark right up to £40 so definitely make sure you research the best place if you decide to purchase it. I personally feel that anything around £25 is value for money but no more than that. You wouldn't be able to miss it on a shelf as it comes in a wide yet thin box featuring a huge picture of the Octopod sitting on the sea bed. When it is fully made up it measures about 45 cm wide,20 cm deep and 32 cm tall. ===== Is it just for children? ===== Yes, yes it is. No normal 28 year old woman should be pretending they are part of the octonauts team and making up missions. (That never happened *cough cough*) It states it is for children of 3 years plus which I agree with. Some of the parts are small and the cords on some of the items could be dangerous for children any younger. ==== Where can i get more information from about Octonauts? ==== The official websites for Octonauts can be found here www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/shows/octonauts and here www.octonauts.com . I really do suggest you take a peek if you get chance and learn as much as you can as there is nothing worse than being out-smarted by a 3 year old. I hope my review has been of some help to you but,before i finish, I have just one last piece of advice. There is a "try me" hole when you buy this which you can press to hear the "octo-alert"button. Make sure you try it as that noise will be what you will hear constantly each and everytime your child plays with it. It's fantastic the first few times as it's clear and loud and just like the one on the TV series. After the hundreth time though, well, you just want to bury it in a very, very, deep hole. If you can stand it, you are a better person than me. I have confiscated it for a while because that's the type of horrible parent I can be but you could just take out the 3 x 1.5V included if you wanted and "pretend" it's sleeping. I have only knocked off 1 star due to the price, the flimsy plastic on the tunnel slides and that annoying noise. (can now be found over on my ciao account under my username novagirl2911)
My kids have always enjoyed the cbeebies series, 'The Octonauts' about a group of animals who have adventures and help other creatures at the bottom of the sea. I have encouraged this as I feel the programme is very educational looking at a particular species in each episode, as well as covering some quite complex ideas like symbiosis in a very simple manner which even a 3 year old can get some understanding of. As well as satisfying my need to be educational, it also has a lot of emphasis on helping and sharing, so I asked my Mother-in-law if she would buy it for my youngest at Christmas time. I knew he would like it as they had got a small set of 4 of the characters free with a cbeebies magazine in the summer while we were on holiday and they played non stop with them even though they were a bit small and plasticky. We had a go at making our own model playset in a creative session, but as it was made out of yoghurt pots, cardboard tubes and cellotape, it didn't stand up to their play that well. I'm pleased to say this version is much sturdier and a lot more fun to play with. The set looks really good, bright and colourful just like the Octopod ship that the characters use as a base on the show. It came in quite a large box, so initially I had to slot the set together. The main body of the Octopod was in one piece, but then there were 2 bits to slot in to each side of the set to have the seperate sections of the base. These can then slotted back out, but it is not that easy as they 'catch' in place, and you need to release them. We have not bothered taking it apart again to be honest. It is easier to leave it assembled. There was a sheet of stickers which needed applying quite carefully to the areas in correct order. Thankfully my sister-in-law has much steadier hands than me and she took over this awful task as I struggle myself to get stickers lined up where they are meant to be in this type of toy. The kids were itching to get started as she was doing it. The main part of the ship shows the main deck where the Captain sits looking at the computer display. There is also a lower level which has the area where the boats are in the show. The GUP vehicles are what the characters use to travel out into the ocean. There is a place to stick a sticker showing a set of monitors around the ship, and then the plastic is moulded with portholes, pipework and vents. The bottom of this level has the hatch that they go out of. This has a door that you can slide away by twisting a lever at the side of the set. There is a small blue vehicle which can sit here and when you press the lever it slides down and out the door on the front of the playset. This is a small niggle for me as this does not really look that much like the GUPs on the show, but if it looked more accurate it would then not fit through the hole, so I guess you have to compromise a bit on the design. The kids haven't commented negatively about it. They like it and the seat in it is big enough to put the characters so they are happy with it. The arms then have rooms meant to be the kitchen, the medical room, and 2 bedrooms. These do look like rooms in the show thanks to the nice stickers so they look nice but really are a little small to put more than one character into. The set comes with plenty of play pieces. Firstly there is a rope with something attached to it to go on each of the smaller pod rooms. These work on a pulley system, and they can be interchanged between the different pods if you choose to. There is an anchor, a stretcher, a barrel, and a net. These are easy to manipulate and chunky enough for smaller children my son's age (3) and perhaps a bit younger to use easily. The best bit is that you get 3 animals which we have seen in the show. There is an eel, a snapper crab which has one smaller claw than the other, and then a turtle. Because each of these animals are featured in episodes we have seen on the telly, the kids know a few facts about them and it really helps the role play as they can recreate the ailments from the show, or come up with a whole new adventure for them. The 2 characters that come with the set are the 2 most popular - Captain Barnacles the Polar Bear, and Quasi the Cat. I think really I would have preferred it if there was a Peso the Penguin with it too, seems though he is the medic and he is the one who treats the animals. It would have added a new dimension to the play. We have been ok as we have our own Peso and Dashi characters from our magazine freebie, and they sort of go with it. The characters again are quite chunky and solid for small hands to play with. None of the bits are likely to fall off mid play, and they don't move, but the kids have had a lot of fun with this set, and I can't help but be impressed overall with the good quality of it. The last feature is there is a part to the set that the child can clip onto the set or onto their clothes. This is the octo-alert button from the show, that the Captain asks to be sounded whenever they are about to set off on a mission. This is quite a large item so I am not worried that they will lose it, and it says a few phrases from the show to engage the kids. I think this bit really makes it the most exciting for them. The phrases are: Quasi - do you read me? (Said by Barnacles.) Aye Aye Captain. (Said by Quasi.) Yow! (said by Quasi.) Shiver Me Whiskers! (said by Quasi.) Explore! Rescue! protect! (Said by both characters and with a jingle from the show.) Sound the Octo-alert! (Said by Barnacles.) Octonauts to the launch bay (said by Barnacles) and against the sound of the siren of the octo-alert. We need to use the net to save the creature. (said by Barnacles.) Ready for action, Captain. (said by Quasi.) Last one to the GUP is a rotton fish egg! (said by Quasi.) Overall, the set is a little pricey at between £28-35 pounds, but it is a good playset because it is high quality in its build and has a lot there to engage the children. It is not a cheaply flung together and ill thought out set. I do feel it is better for kids who have seen the show as they will get more out of it, and I would say it exceeded my expectations of how good it was.
My 5 year old daughter is a massive Octonauts fans and the one thing she really wanted for Christmas was the Octopod playset. ***Octonauts*** For any of you that don't know, Octonauts is a children's cartoon, broadcast on Cbeebies, aimed at preschool and young children. The Octonauts are a group of 8 different creatures who explore the ocean. They have a base called the 'Octopod' and this is from where they conduct most of their underwater adventures and missions. The main characters are Captain Barnacles (a polar bear), Kwazii (a cat), and Peso (a penguin); also in the crew are a dog, otter, bunny and an octopus, you will also find a funny creature called a 'Vegimal' which I believe is part animal, part vegetable - these critters help out around the Octopod. ***The Octopod*** When I searched for the Octopod playset I was shocked to discover it was £35, which I thought was quite expensive, and then found it was sold out almost everywhere - so I knew it was a desirable toy and £35 was obviously a price many parents were willing to pay! Luckily I managed to locate one from Boots, and it was in the 3 for 2 offer, so I perhaps didn't end up paying the full £35 for it which I was quite pleased about. It came in a huge box so I presumed the toy was going to be massive, but once opened we realised the toy is a relatively small compared to the size of the box. I seem to remember a certain amount of assembly was required when we got it out of the box, but my husband deals with this side of things so I can't remember whether this was easy or not, but I'm guessing it was just a matter of snapping a few parts into position. ***What You Get For Your Money*** In the set you received the main 'Octopod' which is made from plastic and has a central zone (or launch bay) which has 2 levels and also a hatch at the bottom (the Octo-hatch) for the animals to be released into the ocean. And branching off from the central zone are 4 arms on the end of which are separate workstations or pods for the different animals, and these are connected via a slide so once the animal has finished their work they can slide into the launch bay with ease. Also suspended by string from each of these 4 pods are various rescue aids (net, barrel, stretcher and anchor) to help them rescue wounded or distressed creatures from the ocean which can be raised up just by pulling on the string. You also receive Barnacles and Kwazii and 3 sea creatures with the set (eel, crab and turtle), and a Mini Gup-A sub which Barnacles and Kwazii can sit in and be dispensed through the octo-hatch into the ocean. On the top of the launch bay is a large red button, and pressing this activates various sounds and phrases from the programme such as 'Octonauts to the launch bay!' (my daughter's favourite one). ***Octonauts To The Launch Bay!*** To say my daughter was pleased with this on Christmas Day is a bit of an understatement, she played with it most of the day and for most of the Christmas period. She doesn't play with it as much now because obviously the novelty has worn off and she is back at school so doesn't have that much time to play, but she still enjoys getting it out every now and then, and also my 3 year gets some use out of it during the day when her sister is at school. I think you have to be a fan of the show and understand the nature of the show to get real enjoyment from this toy because when my kids play with it, they play like they are acting out parts of the show. They understand that generally the Octonauts go exploring in the ocean and often find a creature that's in distress and have to rescue it or make it better. They will sit shouting at each other that they 'need to rescue the creature' and Barnacles and Kwazii are bounced around the Octopod in and out of the different pods, creatures are lowered and raised on the various rescue aids and the Gup-A is used frequently for launching Barnacles or Kwazii from the launch bay. They get full use out of all aspects of the toy, and I suppose they use the toy to its full potential (and more now because my daughter received 2 of the 'Gups' for her recent birthday, along with another Barnacles and Kwazii so the play possibilities have now been extended, although a different character would have been nice). My children, especially my 5 year old, find the programme really interesting, so I do believe this is why she gains so much enjoyment from the toy, because she can just imagine herself in the ocean, inside the Ocotpod and spends hours imagining various scenarios. What is disappointing however, is the lack of the character Peso, he is the penguin and the 'doctor' who makes the creatures better and tends to their wounds. He is quite a major part of the show, so it's quite disappointing to not have this character, and he is not even available separately (just more Barnacles and Kwazii!!) ***Final Thoughts*** After reading many bad reviews on Amazon I am surprised at how they can be so downgrading of this toy because I think it is great, and my kids have been really pleased with it. I think it really resembles the Octopod from the show, and although they could have perhaps made the 4 pods a bit bigger, and added Peso, I think it has been mainly well designed and my children really know how the work the toy to its full potential. I would definitely recommend the Octopod to other young fans of the show, it is something they would really enjoy and I do think it is worth the £35 price tag, not only because it is well made but also because you get quite a few accessories with it and I do think it replicates really well the adventures that the Ocotpals get up to on the Octonauts programme, that is if your child has enough imagination. ***Availability*** You will probably have more success trying to locate this online, but I have seen it in Mothercare, Argos and Tesco, but often they sell out very quickly. Amazon is probably your best bet, and you can expect to pay around £35.