Sunday, 2 November 2014

Chatsters Gabby - Your interactive BFF review

Now that she's 9, Juliette has pretty much grown out of playing with dolls. She still likes Monster High but is more likely to have them sitting on her shelf looking pretty than actually getting down to some imaginative role play with them. Chatsters may have just turned that around though !

Gabby, who promises to be your interactive BFF, is a cute, geek-chic doll with bright pink hair and glasses, a funky polka dot dress and disproportionately huge feet and head. She comes with a whole range of accessories that you can use with her (and she'll tell you exactly what she wants) - an ice cream (actually Juliette tells me it's a milkshake because it gives her brain freeze !), a hair brush, a cupcake, a lipstick, yellow bows for her hair, make up and Sprinkles, her dog, who also wears glasses !

She needs  4xAA batteries (not included) to come to life and when she does, get ready for playtime to begin !  Her eyes light up and she starts dancing and chatting away to you. You can tap the yellow hearts on either side of her glasses to let her know what you're thinking and the little accessories unlock special mini games, silly jokes and make-overs. 

It's the first time for a long time that I've seen Juliette actually playing with a doll, but the fact that she's holding a mobile phone and using make-up makes her appeal to older girls without them feeling babyish.

I left Juliette to get on with it and discover what would happen all by herself - I kept hearing giggles and "wows" and even Pierre wanted to get in on the action and play along. (Umm yeah OK, I might have had a quick play too !) There are over 25 activities and games and they seem to come around in a random order which keeps the element of surprise.

The official video gives you an idea of how it works and the kind of interaction you can expect. She actually has her own youtube channel with a whole series of tutorials, showing you how to play the mini games or give her a makeover or use the different accessories. I love the first video of the dad playing, complete with pink tutu and tiara - glad to see it's not just me who had a play !

There's also an aspect that we haven't tried yet - a free app that allows you to receive calls and texts from Gabby. As Juliette hasn't got a phone, we haven't explored this avenue yet but I might relent and let her use mine when she's got bored of playing with Gabby and her accessories (if that ever happens !).

If you're looking for a present with real wow-factor to put under the Christmas tree, look no further ! Gabby is suitable for children aged 5+ and I'd say girls up to the age of about 10 would enjoy playing with her (not counting the sneaky playing by big sisters and parents when the recipient is in bed !).

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £59.99

for more information :

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

#VHC45 - Very Hungry Caterpillar or Very Happy Children ? (review)

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