Moveable and gentle – youngsters can cuddle it • Nice array of colours and painted by hand characters • Good content material assortment
Costly – not simply the primary speaker however extra tales • too • In case you lose a content material Tonie • the content material is misplaced for good • Whereas designed for youths as much as 7 • appeals to youthful youngsters extra
All the pieces in regards to the Toniebox seems interesting: it’s a screen-free, squeezable dice that is available in an array of colours and options tons of interesting characters the children will love. With every Tonie character retailing for $14.99 ($11.99 for Inventive-Tonies), including content material to the Toniebox can turn out to be an costly behavior.
This previous 12 months of pandemic residing has made almost everybody extra reliant on screens… and subsequently extra determined than ever for screen-free leisure. That is notably true of households, who could also be looking for non-screen toys for his or her youngest members (if they’ve an academic part, even higher).
Due to this confluence of circumstances, kid-specific are having a giant second. The German-made Toniebox, a durable-yet-squishy dice that performs a wide range of tales and songs for youths, noticed gross sales spike by 500% in Europe throughout the first month of the pandemic-related lockdown in 2020. These gadgets occupy little ones with tales and songs, are designed for use with no mum or dad current, and encourage aural studying and a love of studying.
Our co-testers have been having fun with their Toniebox for almost a 12 months; it’s a genius merchandise for any child’s bed room. The little ones are particularly enamored of the attractive, hand-painted collectible figurines which play the songs and tales. With little ears that work as knobs and a powerful number of tales and songs, the Toniebox guarantees hours of unbiased enjoyable for kids aged three to seven. Simply do not lose the Tonies, otherwise you’ll be in hassle.
Right here’s the whole lot it’s essential to know in regards to the Toniebox speaker, tales and extra.
What’s the Toniebox?
The Toniebox is the brainchild of Marcus Stahl and Patric Faßbender, and its low-tech really feel is intentional. Each founders are fathers who didn’t need one more child’s toy that lit up and flashed the entire time. The primary prototype for the speaker was created in 2014 earlier than the completed product launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2016. An English-speaking Toniebox made its debut in England and Eire in 2018 and within the USA in 2020. To this point, 10.5 million have been offered worldwide.
Designed for youths aged three to seven, the Toniebox is a cute, cube-shaped speaker with a sustainable, water-repellent material overlaying and two rubber “ears” on the prime. It begs to be performed with: Press and bend the “ears” to regulate the quantity (you may also set a quantity restrict through the app); faucet or whack the speaker on both aspect to maneuver between chapters, and tilt to quick ahead or return. Children may even cuddle their Toniebox in mattress – ours do recurrently.
The Toniebox requires an preliminary WiFi setup by the My Tonies app, and also you’ll have to register for a My Tonies account. That is additionally important for creating any bespoke Inventive-Tonies with your personal content material, that are made and saved within the app.
There are some things that set the Toniebox aside. Firstly, you received’t discover any flashing lights or glints. Secondly, there’s a personalization facet, from the number of colours on provide (select from gray, inexperienced, pink, gentle blue, pink, purple and pink) to Tonie characters you choose.
The Toniebox is all in regards to the characters: Each content material Tonies ($14.99 every) and Inventive-Tonies ($11.99 apiece) are pretty collectibles. You place every hand-painted figurine on the speaker, they usually symbolize the totally different tales and characters. One Inventive-Tonie is included in your starter pack in a alternative of three pores and skin colours: truthful, medium and darkish.
Within the US, there are at present 27 Tonies on sale, with extra coming this 12 months (there are over 65 within the UK). You’ll discover the whole lot from Julia Donaldson’s basic youngsters’ tales to Disney hits like Aladdin, Frozen and Discovering Nemo. There are additionally nature sounds and white noise albums to assist prepared little ones for mattress.
Whenever you place the Tonie on the speaker, the story will obtain onto the field; the LED turns inexperienced to sign that the audio content material has been downloaded utterly, at which level you’ll be able to play the story with no WiFi connection.
Don’t lose the toy, although: In case you misplace a content material Tonie, the story disappears with it. Tonies run from 16 to 50 minutes apiece, and if you wish to get extra worth for cash, select musical content material, which tends to run between 40 and 50 minutes. Disney albums common about 22 minutes.
Inventive-Tonies are one other method to devour a variety of content material and can be found as hand-painted characters like pirates and superheroes.
Inventive-Tonies provide extra recording time for the price, at 90 minutes. Additionally they permit mother and father, associates and relations to create a bespoke listening expertise for the kid. Household and associates can report songs, tales, meditation periods, conversations and extra. These are uploaded through the Tonie app or web site, and even for those who lose the character, the tales and recordings shall be saved onto the cloud.
Equipment like headphones and carry circumstances for the Tonie – which is simple to tote round – are resulting from be out there within the U.S. quickly, and there are additionally plans to broaden the vary of languages and tales on sale. Within the UK, it seems like new Tonie content material is skewing in the direction of older youngsters. We’ve been listening to How and Why: House Journey/The Moon, which incorporates info about how astronauts transfer in zero gravity, what they eat in area and why the moon has so many craters. The Toniebox would not assist bluetooth so you will want wired headphones for those who determine to make use of them. The shortage of bluetooth additionally means you’ll be able to’t use the machine as a transportable speaker, not like its competitor the Yoto Player.
What’s within the field?
Although the Toniebox and Tonies are costly, the excellent news is that the Toniebox Starter Pack ($99.99) comes with sufficient inside to maintain youngsters entertained for some time.
You obtain a speaker, a Inventive-Tonie you’ll be able to fill with 90 minutes of bespoke content material, and an everyday content material Tonie with songs or tales (there are six to select from, and you may hearken to all of them on the web site to see which one your little one will like).
In order for you extra Tonie tales, you will get a reduction by bundling: A starter pack with a Inventive-Tonie and three content material Tonies is $124.99, whereas a starter pack that features 5 content material Tonies is $139.99 (that’s a financial savings of round $35 from shopping for the Tonies individually).
You’ll additionally discover a charging station in your starter pack; it takes a little bit of time to get the preliminary Toniebox arrange correctly (and it’s essential to register for an account on-line), however as soon as it’s working you’ll be able to take it round with you wherever you go.
An account isn’t simply important to your preliminary set-up; you may also obtain free tales from Tonies utilizing it. We’ve had a number of totally different ones, together with a narrative explaining coronavirus to youngsters and an album of bedtime tales. To add tales onto the machine from the app, you press one of many ears till you hear a sound. Then the LED flashes blue because it updates; as soon as it turns inexperienced, you’ll be able to place your Inventive-Tonie onto the speaker and it’ll begin enjoying.
Family members and associates can use the Tonie app to speak with youngsters by being granted entry to the My Tonie account. As soon as authorized, they will report no matter they like for his or her family members to take pleasure in – a very fashionable characteristic throughout this pandemic.
Toniebox: Our youngsters’ verdict
Whether or not you buy it for your self or as a present, a Toniebox speaker is an actual asset to any family with younger youngsters. Our testers, together with those aged three and 5, use it utterly independently, and can fortunately play and swap round characters and tales, to entertain themselves within the day and to assist them go to sleep at night time.
The three-year-old loves the collectible figurines almost as a lot as she does listening to the machine itself, and recurrently makes up imaginary tales starring the characters.
Whereas the U.S. story choice continues to be slim, there are many tales that youngsters will need to hearken to on repeat, like Julia Donaldson classics (Zog, Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo). These are precisely the sorts of tales youngsters need to hear 10,000 occasions in a row – and oldsters don’t have the vitality to maintain reciting. With the Toniebox, everybody’s blissful.
The collaborative content material with manufacturers like Disney and Pixar, in addition to the fairy tales, can also be prime quality. Even our older youngsters (ages eight and 10) have been sneaking off to hear to those. The sound is improbable, the narrators are expressive and the Disney albums mix songs and tales for one of the best of each worlds. There’s plenty of nice content material for youthful listeners, like nursery songs and white noise for bedtime and we’re enthusiastic about a few of the extra factual content material making its means over to the U.S. Tonies retailer.
The Inventive-Tonies are one other plus, and 90 minutes is plenty of time to learn, sing, make a playlist, report a podcast or a number of. I could make a Inventive-Tonie for the children and fill it with about 15-20 tales.
The primary draw back with the Toniebox is the price – and we don’t simply imply the preliminary hundred bucks for the speaker. Spending $14.99 for 25 minutes of pre-loaded content material is dear for the content material Tonie, particularly contemplating that in case your little one loses one of many toys (extremely possible since they’re simply so tempting to play with), the content material is misplaced too. With older youngsters, that is much less of a problem, however for toddlers who recurrently play with the characters as a result of they just like the look of them, you may be shedding items, content material (and cash) recurrently. This detrimental additionally makes the Toniebox a less-appealing journey companion.
This setup additionally pushes mother and father in the direction of buying Inventive-Tonies moderately than ones with pre-loaded content material, since that content material shall be saved within the cloud. Whereas the personalization facet of those is beautiful, particularly for those who can have a relative or pal concerned in creating these, having to give you 90 minutes of content material to report would possibly simply really feel like one other stick for time-poor mother and father to beat themselves with. To make the Toniebox really wonderful, customers want to have the ability to save the content material Tonies to the app or speaker to allow them to hearken to them no matter whether or not they’ve managed to carry onto the characters.