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Toy Review: Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube

We tried out the Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube with my youngest daughter, who is 8 and a half months old. The Mozart Cube is basically a color-blocked cube with different instrument panels on each side—the baby presses the panel down and it lights up to the beat while playing a short sound from that particular instrument. There's also an "orchestra" button that plays short songs featuring all of the featured. (Because it's an orchestra, get it?)

Features I Love

I was really looking forward to receiving this toy for my daughter because she is the first of my children who genuinely seems to have some kind of ear for music. (I admit that I'm completely hopeless at anything remotely resembling the musical world, so I've had secret dreams that one of my children would turn into an expert pianist.)

Every time there's music playing and even if you happen to speak in a sing-song cadence to my daughter, she starts dancing. So I thought this toy would be absolutely perfect for her. And it was definitely a lot of fun—she was fascinated by the flashing lights and the "orchestra" button, which played a full song that she could dance along to.

At eight months old, my daughter also loved the simple aspect of being able to smack the large-sized buttons to play the music herself. She's big into the cause-and-effect right now and hitting those panels was great fun to her.

Features That Could Be Improved

I really wish there was a volume button, just so I could turn down the level of the music. I love the idea of having a musical toy for my baby, but something about the particular sounds of this toy just got to me. It would have been nice to have the option to at least turn down the music, or to turn off the music, but still have the panels light up for her when she pressed them.

Currently, the toy has an "off" switch, but it shuts off both the music and the light option and I found myself wishing for an option that would have allowed her to play with the panels and have them light up without the constant music.

This toy is also really heavy and at the age my daughter is, all she wanted to do was pick it up and chew it on it. She couldn't accomplish either very successfully and when she did pick it up, she would drop it on herself. She didn't actually suffer any injury, but I was constantly worried she was going to drop it on herself somehow and get hurt. Or, I definitely pictured my older kids dropping it on a toe because you know it will happen eventually.

Features I Hate

I have to be honest, as much as I was looking forward to the musical component of this toy and dreaming it would spur on my children's unlocked and hidden musical potential, I could only take about five minutes of the thing playing before I wanted to throw it out of the window. Something about the pitch and tone of the music was just downright annoying and in the middle of an already crazy day, I just couldn't take it one more second. It's pretty loud and it's just a lot of stimulation, especially with my daughter constantly smacking it or dropping it on the floor.

Would I Buy This Toy for a Friend's Child?

I don't think I would. It's not a toy that can be played with for very long as a child grows, it doesn't really hold a baby's attention for very long, and unless my friend happened to be a fan of loud, flashing toys, I don't think they would appreciate the gesture either. Unless they were a really musical family or happened to have some conductors in the midst, I'd probably skip buying this toy for someone.

Images via Chaunie Brusie

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