Monday, September 8, 2014

PRODUCT REVIEW: Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile

Baby Girl LOVES Doc McStuffins, actually she loves everything medical/human body related.  When I first saw the episode of the Doc McStuffins TV show where Doc and her dad make the "Doc Mobile" I remember thinking to myself  "I really hope they make that into a toy, Baby Girl would LOVE it!  It would be an amazing Christmas present for her!", needless to say when I saw this sitting on the self at the local store I got super excited.  Then I walked out of the store without it because Baby Girl was with me and I almost never buy things without first looking at the reviews. I had questions!  I wanted to know how compatible it would be with the other Doc McStuffins toys we already had (the Doctors Bag, and the Make Me Better Stuffy and Lambie sets), how annoying the sounds were, how long the telescoping handle was, and how big the drawer the box mentioned was. Well, I got home only to find out that it had JUST come out and there weren't many reviews on it yet (other than ones from toy shows), and the fact that it was SUPER hard to find on-line already!  (That has since changed, thankfully).  So in the spirit of good 'ol St. Nick, I got a jump on my Christmas shopping and bought one before it became a "hot" item for the holidays.  AND since we always wrap our gifts for Christmas morning so that they are ready to play with (less "I got up too early" cranky child burn out that way), I figured I'd  just open this baby up and answer all the lovely questions I had about this product for all of you out there!

First thing first, I went to open the box.  This is a task that is almost always daunting so when I turned the box over and saw the little black tiwsty tab thingies I just about had a party!  Seriously the person who invented these things is a genius, they had to be a mom!

I twisted the tabs and cut a few pieces of tape along the edges of the box and it was free, so easy!  Then I open up the back... there is some assembly required....  I took a deep breath and told myself "okay I can do this!"

 First thing I did was pull out the thingy that looks like instructions, and it was.  In the plastic bag with the instructions was also two decals that I needed to put on. One was for the side panel and the other for the inside of the front of the Mobile as part of the heart monitor. The decals were nice quality, thick, and really easy to apply!  Just watch the one for the side panel, it curled back on me and I worried it might get stuck to itself if I wasn't careful.

Then I pulled out the rest of the stuff that was all snuggled up with that cardboard inside the Mobile.  Once it was out it wasn't intimidating at all!

Honestly, I glanced at the directions and "put it together" while feeding my 3 week old, it was THAT easy!  Just pop the seat on and the two hooks for the otoscope and thermometer onto the side of the Mobile.  Here comes my first criticism.  The included otoscope and thermometer are much smaller than the ones included with the Doctor's Bag, so they aren't interchangeable; but really overall, that isn't a big deal.

Another tip, when you go to remove the rubber band that holds the CB radio on, open up the front of the Mobile, inside you'll find this little piece of cardboard.  I wish I had known this before I spent 5 mins trying to stretch the non-stretchy rubber band!  Just bend the cardboard and it will come out without an issue.

The inside was surprisingly detailed.  The floor has a cute puzzle pattern it and the back and side are raised to look like shelves with equipment and toys on them.

Another neat feature is the pull out ramp for the gurney to go up and down on!

But how was the storage space?  I was really hoping that I'd be able to store the Doctor's Bag inside the Mobile when Baby Girl wasn't playing with it.  At first I was really disappointed, it didn't go right in.  

Then I looked more carefully and if I tilted the bag I could get it to fit inside right next to the gurney!  I'm even fairly confident that if I show Baby Girl how to do it, she will be able to put it away like that all by herself.  SCORE!!!

So more on compatibility, I grabbed the Lambie and Stuffy dolls that came with the Make Me Better sets to see how well they could ride inside the Mobile on the stretcher, after all, the Doc Mobile is essentially an ambulance after all.  The conclusion, Lambie is a great fit, but Stuffy's tail gets in the way.  I was able to get him in if he was on his belly though!

What it really comes down to is the well for the ladder takes up valuable inside space that might make it hard for some toys to fit inside the Mobile while on the gurney.  Next I closed the doors back up.  They were a little off centered, but overall they close easily and tightly enough.

And with a little fanegaling I was able to get them straight.

Next I wanted to know how Lambie and Stuffy fit in the little side seat.  I really had no hope for Stuffy since his tail can't move out of the way, but I tried him anyway....

Yeah... not so much.  Oh well, he'll have to be the patient and have tail injury or something.  But now that I'm looking at the picture I kind of wonder if he would of it better if I opened the adjustable seat belt up a little bit, I think there was still a notch or two, I'll have to try Christmas morning.  Lambie on the other hand fit perfectly and was adorable sitting on the side of the Doc Mobile!

Looking at the front you see two sticker dispensers.  Unfortunately, only one of these is functional but it does come with a roll of band-aid stickers.  (Sorry I didn't get a head on picture of the front of the Mobile before I put it away!)  I will mention that when you close up the front of the Mobile you'll want to make sure the cord for the heart monitor is tucked away, otherwise it interferes with a tight close.  You need to make sure  you hear a click when you close it or the front (which is rather solid)  will pop right back open.  I'm hoping this doesn't cause frustration for Baby Girl.

Inside the pink front compartment is a little exam table and heart monitor.  Its cute!  You even get to see a heartbeat when you use it though the decal.  It says a few different phrases when you press it against your patient (or your finger) and the heart beat moves across the screen just like you would see on a heart monitor.

I was kind of disappointed in the drawer.  Its there, but its not really functional.  I was hoping to store some of the overflow of tools in our Doctor's Bag since we purchased both of the Make Me Better sets its just a little tight in there; but its barely big enough to hold the cast that came with Stuffy, but I guess they didn't want to take away any more space from the inside of the Mobile.  Overall, that was probably the better design choice anyway, unless they made the whole thing a few inches longer.

Finally I flipped the whole thing over, hoping to find a volume control.  No such luck, but I DID find an on/off switch that will also take you from demo to play mode.

The bottom is also where the telescoping pull handle is stored.

That feature will be pretty neat when it comes to clean up and storage.  It was easy to pull out and extend too.  The fully extended height should be sufficient for most kids under the age of about 6 without them needing to bend awkwardly to pull the Mobile.

Lets discuss the ladder next.  It is a feature I really wish they would redesign.  Its pretty much a useless space eater.  It pulls up only about 3" and that's it.  I initially thought it was a little collapsible ladder that Baby Girl would be able to take out and have her toys use in rescue missions, but nope... its really just there so it looks like the Doc Mobile on the show.

There are three ways to make the toy talk; pushing the button the CB radio, using the heart monitor, and pulling the Mobile along (or turning the wheel closest to the battery compartment).  Each way has its own unique set of sounds, which is nice.  My favorite (which I'm sure won't be for long) was when you pull the Doc Mobile along it eventually triggers the Doc Mobile song from the show!  Along with the sounds pressing the CB radio and pulling the Doc Mobile will also cause the siren light to light up too.

Overall, I love this toy and can't wait to give it to Baby Girl!  I know she is going to have hours of fun with it.   It does have potential to be one of those annoying toys though, but thankfully it does have that wonderful off button!  This is going to be a favorite toy for Baby Girl for years to come!
Review by Danielle

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