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My poor toddler (two this last February) is subjected to living in
a house without cable. While she does get her fair share of movie time, she has
never really seen any of the popular children's shows that currently exist
today. She has no idea who the Bubbles Guppies are, and honestly, neither did
I before we received the Fisher-Price Bubble Guppies Check-Up Center toy. If the packaging hadn't made it clear it was
based on a hit kids show —with buttons that produced quotes right form the
show—I would have remained pretty clueless as to what the inspiration for
this one was.
It took about 5 minutes for us to get the check-up center out of
the box and put together, while my little girl stood anxiously nearby pleading,
"Toy? Toy? Toy?" She didn't seem to care that she had no idea what this toy was
from. She just wanted to play!
As the mom of a toddler, I love toys that promote dexterity and
imagination. This toy has a spinning "shell-evator" that had my little girl
working to manipulate the twisty up and down function, and she was also using
her fine motor skills to place the included puppy into and out of a rolling
cart. I liked watching her explore everything the toy had to offer, and trying
to figure out how the pieces and parts all worked together.
For her part, she loved that there was a puppy at all—we're in a
very big animal stage right now. She also loved being able to push the buttons
and produce sounds and talking. She really did light up as soon as I put it
in front of her, and got a solid 15 minutes of playtime in before becoming
bored and moving on, which is HUGE in toddler time.
That Could Be Improved
The toy itself is a little flimsily constructed and only offers so
much in the way of interaction. My little girl tends to enjoy having characters
talk to each other, and with only one character included, the puppy seemed to
lose its appeal pretty quickly. She had fun with the toy at first, but after
she initially lost interest, she only went back to it a few more times, for
very brief periods of play, over the next week. It just didn't hold her
interest, and probably got no more than 25 minutes of play total from the time
we received it. I think including even just one more character would have
helped, and perhaps expanding upon the features and play area to give kids a
little more to explore.
There really isn't anything I hate about this toy. It's not my
favorite, and it could certainly be constructed better, but there are no pieces
to be concerned about or attachments that repeatedly fell apart. Some of the
included pieces seemed a little random, and my little girl wasn't always sure
what to do with them (neither was I, to be honest) but there was nothing that
would have me tossing this toy immediately into the trash. And even though it
did make noises, the volume was low enough so as to not ever become annoying.
Would I Buy
This Toy For a Friend's Child?
Unless my friend's child was a big Bubble Guppies fan, I wouldn't
likely buy this toy for them. It feels like it is probably better used as an
extension of the show, for kids who are already a fan of the characters
involved. Otherwise, it is fairly cheaply made and doesn't offer a whole lot in
terms of actual play or interactivity. Once the puppy has gone down the ramp a
few times, and up and down the shell-evator, there isn't much more to do. And I
can easily see the included pieces (a wheelchair, hospital bed and cart)
getting lost and even further limiting the play features for this toy.