GREAT: This toy has been around for forever and there is a good reason for that – it is simple, educational and babies/toddlers freaking LOVE IT! Seriously both of my boys think this is one of the most amazing things ever. Thomas is absolutely mesmerized by it right now and even though Christian is a little old for it, now that Thomas loves it Christian is back to being enthralled by it. The boys both became interested in this toy around 7 months (the manufacturer recommends 9 months and up) and their love and interest continued to grow every day since. In the beginning, all the boys really could do was shut the doors, but this was enough for them. The smile on their face after they closed each door never got old. Thomas is so proud of himself after he shuts every single door and just looks at me with wide eyes and a big grin. You can feel his sense of accomplishment and it makes me beam with pride. Christian was the exact same way. As Christian got older he slowly started figuring out the buttons that would allow him to open the doors. The twist button and slide button were the hardest for him to figure out and took him the longest to master, but I would say he was a pro with opening every door by about 14 months. Now at 2, he still finds joy and entertainment in this toy. I think a big part of it is him seeing how much fun Thomas has playing with it. He laughs along with brother helping him shut and open the doors. Christian will also use his imagination when playing with this toy and pretend that it is his briefcase when he is going to ‘work.’ The built-in carry handle is great for mom/dad to bring the toy around the house and great for the toddler to use his imagination. I love that there is no sound or music associated with this toy. It is simple and works by the boys interacting with it – it is a refreshing change to most toys they find interesting.
GOOD: While the toy is amazing because it gets the stamp of approval from the kids, it also gets the stamp of approval for mom & dad because it helps build on the boy’s fine motor skills, numbers, shapes, animals and colors. I love a good educational toy especially when my boys love it just as much. The pop-up activity of the animals introduces them to cause and effect play and rewards their discoveries with the colorful animals. This toy is incredibly durable, it has held up to all the beatings that come with surviving two baby stages and a toddler stage. Some of the stickers are beginning to fade, but that is expected considering how much this has been played with. I’m impressed that all the knobs and doors still work perfectly. Seeing how the boys have played with it I was expecting to need to buy another one by now, but thankfully this is still in very good condition.
BAD: This has been one of the most favorite toys in our house so it is hard to think of something ‘bad’ to say. Prior to purchasing this toy I would say the price is the biggest bad. It is a much higher price than I would have thought this toy would cost and had my boys not become as obsessed with it as they are I would have been a little disappointed to have spent so much. I don’t know if this toy is now discontinued or what, because you can find it for a much cheaper price ($12) at Walmart, but you can’t buy it from Walmart anymore. There are quite a few on eBay, but besides that the only place I could find it currently for sale was Amazon for $20.50. For me, this toy is worth way more than $20.50 considering how much play we have gotten out of it as a family, but just by looking at it I can see how one would be a little skeptical to pay this.
UGLY: I personally have nothing ugly to say about this toy. When we find a toy that both boys love that is a winner in my book!
3.5 x 13.5 x 8 inches
Manufacturer suggested age 9 month – 15 years; however, both my boys started playing with this at 7 months with no issues.
Purchase from Amazon for $20.50
To purchase CLICK HERE