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Zingzillas is a popular children's TV show - and yes, they don't half have some of the strangest names going for these kids TV shows. Maybe some of the creators are on drugs, who knows ;).
The show features four monkeys who live on a monkey-shaped island. The toy I will be reviewing is the 'Zak' character. Music guru 'DJ Loose' teaches the Zingzillas on the island and perform daily, called the 'Big Zing'. A coconut clock counts down the time to the Big Zing. Each episode see's a different style of music being introduced through other performers from Bollywood, rock'n' roll and jazz - to name but a few.
These characters follow along the same lines as other kids TV shows like 'The Tweenies' with the same boy to girl ratio (two boys/two girls) and with lots of interaction and audience participation - or at least my son thinks so. My son started getting into this show when he was about 18 months, for the first 22 months of his life we didn't actually own a TV so caught some children's shows on BBC's iPlayer service online. He wasn't really bothered with the TV shows and still isn't, but he does have a few favourites, with this being on the list.
That being the case when I saw these toys on a special sale I knew I had to get the full set of the Zingzillas for my son at Christmas time. There is no age specification on the labels to let you know what age the toys are suitable from but when I looked on Amazon I saw that it reccomends them from 18 months. Sounds about right to me as the little fibres on the hair of the toy could cause irritation and possibly present as a choking hazard to little ones who love to gobble on their toys! Although the eyes seem suitably fixed into place if you're worried I wouldn't go giving it to a child who is keen on pulling things ;).
I was very impressed that this toy actually looked like the TV character - as so many toys look weird or very unlike their characters. Zak comes complete with his trademark T-shirt, yellow long sleeve under neath and army fatigue style trousers - and of course with the purple fur spilling out out of his sleeves and trousers legs ;). The clothes aren't removable, but that's ideal for me as my son would probably lose the clothes!
My son recognizes Zak and every time the Zingzilla's TV show comes on gathers up all his soft toys and dances around with them - or throws them at me ;). I'd give this item 5/5 because I haven't had any problems with bits falling off, no loose threads and it actually looks like the real thing.
We always tend to watch the Zingzillas every day on Cbeebies and started recording them on our Sky box as our daughter loves it very much and wants to watch them over and over. I think it's the "Big Zing" which interests most children into watching Zingzillas which is where they sing a song and play instruments. The Zingzillas is a children's programme about a music band made up of 4 monkeys, Zak, Tang, Panzie and Drum. The Zingzillas programme is on for around 15 minutes and there are lots of other characters too, so if you have children and they haven't watched this before, you definitely should try it out!.
ABOUT THIS TOY:
This Zak soft toy is around 8-9 inches tall. Zak is the main character of the Zingzillas and is the lead singer and our daughters favourite. He is wearing his usual outfit which he wears in the programme which is a pair if blue combat trousers and a red and yellow t-shirt with a photo of himself in the middle. They don't come off and the trousers are just printed onto the toy rather than an extra part. His hair is fluffy and fun for children to play with and have a cuddle. He is stuffed with wadding so no beans or filling can be choked on or pulled out. This toy is very safe for children of any age. The eyes are sewn in well as my daughter used to munch on him all the time, and we haven't had any incidents with them coming out.
My daughter Hollie loves her Zak toy, she has Panzie also and a Talking Drum and wrapped up for Christmas is Tang also. We didn't want to get her talking ones when she was small, we just wanted something she could cuddle and play with in bed. She got Zak at the beginning of 2010, so she was 1.
At this age, I really think she enjoyed them that much more than if we had gotten them when she was much younger. As she was 1, she knew who Zak was and she gets him our when Zingzillas is on the TV.
I love these toys very much and now she is 2 and a half, her imagination is wonderful and plays with them and makes them sing and dance. We paid £4.50 for Zak around a year and a half ago, and you can purchase them from Amazon for £5.75. I think Tesco still sell them for under £5, so if you are wanting to buy one, it way be worth looking in Tesco first. I would recommend this to anyone with children over the age of 3 months.
Review also on Ciao
My little boy is quite the avid Zingzillas fan which is a programme that features on Cbeebies and he's always enjoyed watching the characters dance about the screen. The characters are Gorillas Zak, Panzee, Drum & Tang who form a music band that are the Zingzillas! Every episode features many catchy musical songs all of which my little boy enjoys.
This soft toy is of the charcater Zak and it is wearing the exact same clothes as Zak wears on the programme and to be fair it looks very much like the real Zak himself, so it gets full marks for looking like the real thing. I had wanted to buy the more expensive collection of Zingzillas characters for my son which are about £20 or so and they move as well as make noise. But I saw this cheaper soft toy version when I was in Smyths toy store and they were on sale for £5.99 each (normally priced £9.99) and seeing that the characters looked the same and still made noise and spoke different phrases, I decided to buy Zak for my son.
Rather naively I expected my son to recognise who the toy was straight away and enjoy cuddling and pressing Zak's tummy to get him to speak. But my son was only 6 months old and clearly hadn't yet developed good enough character recognition to be able to know who the toy was, so he showed very little interest in it. He also wasn't able to press Zak's tummy himself yet to hear the phrases so I would press it for him again expecting him to recognise Zak's voice but still to no avail. But to be honest this toy actually says and does very little, it only has a handful of short phrases such as "Hi I'm Zak!", "I'm a big brave Gorilla!", "I'm the best Zilla singer on the whole planet!" & "Top Banana!" in fact if I remember correctly, these are the only phrases he says ... so not that exciting really, hence the reason it was only £5.99.
I'm hanging onto our Zak soft toy for when my little boy is a bit older and can perhaps recognise who he is a bit more, but if I'm really honest I wish I'd held out and bought the more expensive Zak that is available and says a lot more and also moves.