Disclaimer: I received two figurines and the digital planner from the PR company for Littlest Pet Shop in exchange for a review.
I am one reluctant mother when it comes to trendy toys. I see a cute, big-eyed creature and walk the other direction. I tend toward toys that will last and last and last, say blocks and bikes. I resisted getting my children Littlest Pet Shop figures for the longest time, but I've written about this before.
We have a pretty nice collection of the figurines. I photographed seven of them above. One of the new ones we received is the monkey. Know what I liked about the monkey? The boy decided he could have it. He hangs it by the tail on the jungle hut that came with it. My middle kid termed the other figurine we got a penguin, but I'm convinced it's a puffin. No matter. She plays with it and puts it in its ice blue igloo for bedtime.
The most interesting item we received went to my nearly seven-year-old. She got the Digital Planner. (Video here.) This is a virtual pet with a closet, grooming and feeding needs, as well as a play park. Included is a calculator, which has given my child endless moments of pleasure as she adds large numbers to get other large numbers. How we don't have a calculator in the house amazes me. Of course, now we do. She can also record names, phone numbers and birthdates in the address book function. We've done a little of that, but she likes to put items in her calendar. Apparently, we have something to do each day next week. She checked the calendar last night to remind me that she has a half day at school today and none tomorrow. She says my paper calendar is outdated. HA!
The planner uses a stylus as a mouse, and that took us a few times to get the movement right. My kid figured it out faster than I. When she inputs data such as letters and numbers on the touch keyboard, she has to push pretty hard. I think she wants it to be like the touch screens she sees me use at ATMs and at pay machines at stores. After the first few tries, she hasn't complained about it.
For a power source, the planner uses three triple A batteries. The factory included ones ran out of juice pretty quickly, even with the auto-off function after 2 minutes of non-use. Of course, the day we got the planner, my daughter rarely put it down. Be forearmed. Have some batteries on hand to change. For this toy, I can see us using the rechargeable kind if only to make her put the thing down while the batteries charge.
Both of my other kids have picked it up, but it is just a bit out of their ability at the ages of 5 and 3. They can manipulate the pet, but the recommended age of 6+ on this product is spot on.