Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tomy Micro Pet-i

Big Tot, like many children, wants a pet, but what do you do if a dog or cat are not high on your list of desirable household accessories? Well, Tomy may have the answer in their MicroPet-i, which Big Tot has been trying out- was she satisfied with an electronic alternative.....?

Tomy are a trusted brand and many parents will remember playing with their toys as children. They have never been far behind in releasing toys which are up to the minute, and have joined in with the new range of tech based toys currently loved by kids of all ages.

 The MicroPet-i range are palm sized animals in brightly coloured durable plastic, with pleasing to children cartoon like features. They work via a sensor, in the shape of a ball in Big Tots version (a little yellow dog she immediately named Woof Woof), which when tapped makes the pet move, dance or wag its tail.

If you have a younger child in the house, like Little Tot, you may want to hide the ball when they are on the move, as it is small enough for inquisitive children to swallow, but the animal will still work if another object is tapped in front of it. Its also worth considering when buying the toy that it does have the option of being portable due to its small size, but we chose not to take the ball in case it was lost to curb tantrums.

That said, this is a great toy which will drive parents mad after a while but that children under 7 will absolutely love! Big Tot, who is just coming up to 3 years old, is still developing her knowledge pg cause and effect, but I feel this toy is a great way of promoting this skill, as the ball needed to be tapped a certain amount of times depending on what action she wanted it to perform. It wags it's tail, moves forwards and sings- not in a talking voice but in a robotic sounding bark with music. It lights up as well, and has an on and off function. You do have to remember to turn it off when not being played with elsewise it pines for the child in its own robotic way!

There is also a website to accompany the toy, which is great for slightly older children. It doesn't need any setting up when taken from the box, so no fiddly stickers or batteries and no need for parents to spend hours prior to hand over teaching it to do stuff!

I would say as a parent that it reminds me of a high tech Tamagotchi in 3D, but rather than buttons to press to make a 2D animal on screen move, this is more like the real thing for younger kids.

The toy has been played with for over a fortnight, and although the boredom threshold has kicked in, as she isn't constantly playing with it as she was for the first few days, it is still a toy she goes back to when she sees it. She also makes it talk to other toys- it's become her teddies pet dog now too!

A great toy which promotes some key skills in pre-schoolers, I'm sure that this will be a toy most parents of younger children will be bugged for.

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