Exploring new toys: Pop on pals

looks like the boxes are cooler than the toy...

Spin Master’s new Pop On Pals toy is a wonderful concept: dolls with parts that pop on and off so you can change their outfits, but without the choking hazard components of similar toys already on the market. We received the amusement park playset to review via Team Mom. The one doll that came with it was an instant hit with Emma, although she only liked one of the sets of arms that came with it. I don’t blame her; the second set of arms looked pretty masculine for the female doll. We also had problems with the doll’s pop-on pants falling off, although it may have been a defect with our particular toy.

The playset was a bit of a flop. As you can tell in the above picture, my kids found the boxes much more interesting. Lily did like the sound effects of the playset entertaining, but at 11 months she is outside of the target market (the recommended age range is 2-4 years), and the toy never held her attention for longer than a few minutes. The sound effects are pleasant enough, but there isn’t an off switch – a must in my opinion for any electronic toy. I was a bit frustrated that the playset came with only one doll; it makes cooperative play impossible unless you buy more toys, making this an unattractive purchase in my mind – particularly given the $34.99 price tag. You can purchase dolls individually, and I’m curious to see how this new toy develops over time.

Correction: The toy DOES have an “off” switch – I just didn’t think to look on the bottom! I actually like this location, now that I’ve found it!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

5 thoughts on “Exploring new toys: Pop on pals”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    I think the pop-on pants falling off would keep my kids amused for a while… :)
    .-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..begin again =-.

  2. I like honest reviews – the toys do look interesting on the website though. I absolutely agree with you – an “off” switch is an absolute must for me on any “talking” toys.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Drive =-.

  3. @Elisa – good point =)

    @Natalie – Maybe my hopes were too high for this toy, because I was definitely disappointed. I still think it’s a fun idea, and I would consider getting more of the dolls if they aren’t too expensive.

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