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I picked this up at our local science museum for a bargain price at £3.50. it's cute, lightweight and just the right size for a very small child. This umbrella measures 22" in length when folded and 30" across when opened up. I thought it would do very nicely for my 2 year old to use when splashing in puddles. as you can see by the picture the main selling point on this item is it's cheerful frog shape. Since this was made for children it does feature a plastic safety clip, which means little fingers will not be nipped when opening and closing this.
I do really like the design and thought it would be a big hit with my youngest, who had been wanting his own umbrella, and also really likes the wide mouthed frog story. Unfortunately it was not quite as big a hit as I anticipated. Both sons ( ages 2 & 5) found this far more difficult to hold in moderate wind then my older sons old umbrella from mother care. Both also preferred the mother care style which has clear windows you can look through. This does get used some, but it is always second choice. My oldest is often kind enough to allow his brother to use his umbrella and will settle for this, but it does come in a very poor second. Still i do think this would be much more popular with other children, especially without a lovely Lightening Mc Queen umbrella to compete. The company also make a lady bird design and a duck as well.
The umbrella does have a few other faults in my opinion. The major fault is the way the eyes are constructed. It would have been better for a solid support to have been stitched into these, but instead there is a loop of wire that folds down when the umbrella is closed. The problem is, it never hits the hole just right when you open the umbrella and requires some fiddling to line it up and get it right. At the stitching is not the tightest this is already becoming frayed, and I expect would wear through very quickly with a child doing the opening and closing. Other niggles are a number of loos threads hanging about, it seems to have been a very quick and untidy job of stitching this up, but so far there have been no actual tears or split seams. That said I did open two in the shop that did have split seams before choosing this one so I do think that this would be something to watch for.
I am happy enough with the umbrella for the price I paid. It was bucketing on the day I bought it and did save my sons a drenching on the way to the car. But the price at Amazon is currently £8.95 including shipping.
This is a nice novelty item, cute for a day out at a zoo etc... so if you happen to spot one with a fair price on a rainy day, I would still say, pick it up. But as to ordering full price, well I would really expect better quality in that price range. We will continue to use this as a second umbrella, the boys can even have some fun pretending to be a frog while hopping through puddles. It hasn't been too bad to scrub mud spots off of, and I still think it is quite cute. If you buy a new umbrella every year, this will probably last a season with regular use. It gets quite limited use here. Still I keep combing ebay hoping for another clear plastic Lightening Mc Queen Umbrella, or anything else suitable for boys as Mothercare seems to have discontinued the line after we bought the first. Once I find one, I imagine this will end up in the back of the cupboard or left in the boot for caravan for anyone to use.
My oldest sons opinion " It's OK", My youngest " I want Lightening McQueen". I think I'll go with the oldest's statement, it's OK, but not brilliant, middle of the road and 3 stars from me.