Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo and BeatBelle
(Fisher-Price $35.00 each)
Pink BeatBelle (and yellow BeatBo, pictured above) are talking singing interactive characters designed to get your child up and moving. They have three buttons in their feet. The one with musical notes is for music and singing that tells kids to clap, wiggle, jump and hop as Belle/Bo wiggle from side to side and their light up chests change colors. Another button has 1-2-3 on it but the songs it plays include alphabet, numbers and colors, the latter is synchronized to the lights that change as colors are mentioned. The third button is a recording button. Belle/Bo tell the players to say or sing something when their lights turn red. There is a pause and then the child’s voice is recorded and played back. Technically this is a pretty bossy toy with an agenda that directs the play, something we generally try to avoid. That said, on a rainy day at home, it will at least get a child up and moving. The A-B-C’s and 1-2-3 songs are ridiculous for babies who are not even talking yet, but they will probably find it entertaining to make things happen as they push the buttons, at least for a while. This and other toys in the line are basically novelty toys that often do not hold baby’s attention for long. This is much better than the Interactive Dance Mat from the same collection, which has a mat that doesn't respond along the edges and has many activities that are way beyond the age group for which it’s being promoted. It’s marked for 9-36 months. Our guess is 14 months and up would be more like it.
Ages: Infants, Toddlers
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016