The award winning Sing-A-Ma-Jigs series by Fisher Price might just be the coolest new line of toys on the market today. Why, you might ask. Because the concept is so delightfully simple and yet so exceptional at the same time. Yes, we’ve seen the talking and even singing stuffed animals; puppets have a long and solid history, but combine the two and apparently, you’ve got a trendy new plaything that fascinates kids and parents alike. The Sing-A-Ma-Jigs received the “Toy of the Year 2011” title and was awarded Innovative Toy of the Year and Preschool Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association this year. Watch out, though. Apparently, this toy does not appeal to every kid, and some even find it downright scary. Not all parents are impressed either, citing the annoyance factor as the primary reason for rejecting this quirky toy.
Really Cool Features
By far, the coolest aspect of this toy is that you can control its every tune, making it highly interactive. It’s not just interactive in that you push a button and it plays a song—oh no, it’s so much better than that. The toy responds immediately each and every time you squeeze it, but at the same time, it “remembers” the song it’s singing, so you can hear the semblance of a song, but at the same time you’re controlling its rhythm and pace. Kinda makes you feel important—or the kids, I mean. It makes the kids feel important (wink).
In a good way, that is. I don’t know if it’s the quasi-human voice or the mouth that looks just like a fuzzy hair band, but there’s something about these little guys that make them really kooky, which in my opinion, is a nice alternative to some of the less imaginative toys on the market these days.
The Sing-A-Ma-Jig would make a great gift for any occasion, and Fisher Price has expanded its versatility by customizing it to different holidays. For example, they are currently offering a Valentine’s Day Sing-A-Ma-Jig which is red with a heart-patterned shirt and sings “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”—very cute!
It’s fun for all ages.
Although the manufacturer recommends the product for ages 3-7, I would have to respectfully disagree and recommend the toy for all ages from 0-111. I’m way over 7, and my husband and I both got a kick out of the toy (he’s even older). I could also see a mom or dad using the toy to play with an infant; of course, babies wouldn’t be able to manipulate it themselves, but they would definitely be attracted to the bright colors and unusual sounds.
Unlike so many toys out there today, this one is very simple and straightforward. You press the belly to activate the sound, and squeeze the hand to change play modes from “sing,” to “chatter,” to “harmonize.” There’s really no need for instructions. It just takes a few minutes and some experimenting to figure out all the features of the toy. Despite the simplicity, it’s still fun and hilarious!
Ok, so this is clearly a marketing ploy to get you to buy every Sing-A-Ma-Jig you lay your eyes on, but it’s still pretty cool. In harmony mode, the Sing-A-Ma-Jigs can synch together and sing in tune with one another. How, when they all sing different songs? You’ll just have to hear it to believe it. According to the manufacturer, the more you collect, the better the harmony. But, of course!
Some parents have complained that this series is geared primarily toward girls because of their color schemes, but I disagree. The one I bought was yellow and red and it was indeed a gift for my daughter but would have been a perfectly acceptable gift for a boy as well. Plus, who says boys can’t play with pastel-colored toys? Are there really “boy” colors and “girl” colors anyway?
I will agree with the many parents out there who opine that this toy, like any other toy that makes noise, can get annoying if left in the wrong hands for a long period of time. I do have to say that the high-pitched nature of the “singing” as well as the “chatter” ups the annoyance factor just a bit. I’d say buy the toy and let the kiddos experiment with it in another room if it starts to make your blood pressure rise.
As I already mentioned, this toy is super weird. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on yours and your kid’s personality. Some parents have reported that it invoked nightmares and screaming fits. I personally did not have that experience but feel for those who did, so consider your child’s temperament before making the purchase. Also, not all kids are into the freak aspect, and as one parent reported, they just toss the toy aside “in favor of something that makes more sense.”
The Sing-A-Ma-Jig is very affordable. The average price on Amazon is currently $12.99, but I got mine for half that at my local grocery store during the holiday season and you can find the same deals online as well. Even at $12.99, though, the imaginative features and endless play potential (not to mention the fact that the batteries are included) makes the Sing-A-Ma-Jig well worth the price. In fact, I would recommend buying at least two to increase the interactive factor.
What Others Are Saying
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what others are saying about the “Sing-A-Ma-Jigs”:
- “LOVE THIS TOY!”
- “Very cute and very fun”
- “Too much FUN”
- “Funniest Toy Ever”
- “Hilarious and addictive”
- “Really really cute and fun but can get annoying”
And last, but not least…
- “Totally freaked out my kid!” (and not in a good way, apparently)
Overall, I think the award winning Sing-a-Ma-Jigs is one of the great and best toy for babies and kids. It was one of the bestsellers for the 2010 Christmas season and seems to be one of the hottest toy for 2011 too. They have the retro feel of a classic toy and the downplayed technology that allows interactive play. Of course, if your little one is prone to terror at the sight or sound of anything unfamiliar, then you may be well-advised to stay away from this particular toy. Then again, if it scares him, you could always play with it after he goes to bed!