Rainbow - Talking Zippy
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- Favourite characters brought to life in these lovely bean toys
- Zippy Bean Toy - 12cm
- George Bean Toy - 14cm
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Introduce a new generation to Zippy and George, the two loveable characters from the vintage children's show Rainbow.
Resembling their on-screen counterparts from the 70s almost perfectly, the two measure roughly 25cm (10 inches) from head to toe. They are well stuffed, and make a lovely cot companion (both are suitable for children from 12 months old). For older children, the fun is undoubtedly in the talking--press George's tummy and he will say "Oh dear, you are naughty", whereas Zippy confidently announces, "You know, I'm really very, very clever", even if his mouth is zipped up.
Both toys are sponge-clean only, but light stains are soon removed. Eyes for both are stitched, as is George's mouth. Zippy, of course, has his trademark zip which opens and closes easily. Both also carry the Rainbow button logo on the soles of their left feet. --Lucie Naylor
These two adorable cuddly characters, George and Zippy, appear to be marketed at parents who remember Rainbow from their own childhood. And yet considering my son has never seen the programme he became attached to them very quickly. He knew both their names within the hour and refused to go to bed without them. So what makes them so appealing? The Plush fabric is, as the name suggests, very soft. It almost feels like an old, worn out teddy. It makes a pleasant change from the furry toys we see so much of these days. They are also a lovely size for a child to cuddle. And of course you can zip up Zippy's mouth making for a fun feature for children. If you are buying the toys specifically because they talk then you may be disappointed. Each toy only says one sentence. Also, the manufacturer states that the battery is non-replaceable once it has run out and the average life of the battery is only six months and less if in constant use. At two years old my own son finds it quite difficult to activate the voice by pressing the toy's tummy. At first glance they seem a little expensive for what is essentially a small soft toy, but one can't help falling in love with these two little characters. They would make a lovely gift and could become a favourite in many a toy box. --Adele Webb
Many will think back to the Rainbow TV series with nostalgia, and a revival is probably on the way to our screens soon. In the meantime, George and Zippy will bring back happy memories. These are well-made toys, with just the right amount of softness and cuddle-appeal. When you push George's tummy he says, "Oh dear, you are naughty". Naturally, you can zip up Zippy's mouth although it doesn't stop him from cheekily saying, "You know, I'm really very, very clever" when squeezed. The eyes are stitched making the toys suitable for children aged 12 months upwards. Even teenagers--in fact, probably especially teenagers--will find them "totally cool". --Giskin Day
A bit of a blast from the past for all you parents, Zippy and the gang are back! These are lovely soft talking toys based on the characters from the popular children's series Rainbow, and are part of an extensive range of programme tie-in products. About 11 inches in length, George and Zippy are a nice-sized toy for little hands. Zippy even features a working zip up mouth. Both feature familiar catch phrases from the original programme, Zippy's being: "You know I'm really very, very clever" and George's "Oh dear you are naughty". Both voices are recognisable as the original characters. Each toy appears suitable for even the very young, very soft and no bits likely to break and be swallowed! Unfortunately they only have the one catch phrase each which does get tiresome eventually. On the bright side the battery is internal and not replaceable--accompanying literature says it should last approximately six months, so there is an end in sight! Lovely toys with a general appeal to most kids, Zippy was adopted by my five-year-old and George is well loved by my two-and-a-half-year-old. They will only have the same appeal as most soft toys though, as, apart from saying their one and only catch phrase, they don't do anything else at all. Nice toys, they certainly would make a popular gift but they're just a bit on the boring side. --Tracy Jackson
What sort of creature is Zippy, anyhow? That question may keep parents wondering, but for toddlers, this talking toy version of the popular pre-school TV star is simply cuddly fun. He's irresistibly silky soft and squeezable, and when a child squeezes his tummy, he loudly announces, "You know, I'm really very, very clever!" Fortunately for the youngest cuddlers, Zippy's tummy is surprisingly easy to trigger, even with a gentle or off-centre squeeze. His zippered mouth is made from a soft nylon zipper, which is easy to close and open again, with a big round zipper pull. Just as baby-friendly are his embroidered eyes, making him soft all over against baby skin. Sweet-faced George the Hippo, one of Zippy's pals from the TV programme Rainbow, is just as wonderfully soft and inviting, and he says, "Oh dear, you are naughty!" (one wonders how a small child may feel about hearing "you are naughty" over and over.) Parents could use these toys to advantage however--for instance, when a child needs to be quiet, Zippy's mouth can be zipped shut as a reminder, and when a little one's behaviour isn't the best, George can provide a light-hearted warning before any discipline is needed. They're just the right size for taking along in a car or buggy, and small and squishy enough to fit into a backpack or handbag for trips out. Their floppy arms and legs with big hands and feet make them very easy for tiny hands to grab and hang onto. There are, however, a few drawbacks: thanks to the voice box, they're "sponge clean only", not always an easy thing to accomplish, considering the amazing range of stains that only toddlers can create. There's no on/off button, so taking them to bed could result in a sudden outburst in the middle of the night. Also, the sound device inside is not replaceable once the battery dies--and the maker, Golden Bear Toys, estimates the battery life at six months or less. For a child who becomes attached to a toy and his voice, that could be disastrous, unless you're prepared to find a replacement. --Susan Carleton
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