Willow has a favorite toy. It has been with her since she was 8 weeks old. He goes everywhere with us. He is not a teddy bear, or even a cute snuggle blanket. He is in fact, an Octopus. Sounds very girly and cuddly, right?
I am talking about Lamaze’s Captain Calamari. AKA Ollie, as he is known in our house. He is a crinkly, colourful, 8 legged, patch wearing, pirate octopus! And Willow adores him.
We bought Captain Calamari, as a present for Willow when out shopping at Bedford’s Toys R Us.
Very thoughtful of the designers, they gave him a big round hook attached to his head for us to hang him from where we like. We clipped him to Willow’s pram and straight away she laid there and stared lovingly at him. She seemed very amused to say the least. It was only when we got home that we realised he had a round shiny mirror on his underside, and she had been starting at it the whole time. What a fantastic idea to put a mirror there! I found that it really caught her eye and was something different for Willow to explore. As time went on, Willow learnt that she could reach up and bat at him (she first did this when we were eating in a restaurant in Brighton, and had half the visitors in hysterics!). Captain Calamari has a rattle attached to one of his tentacles, and this is fantastic for Willow to aim for when she plays. It stimulates her hand eye co-ordination and rewards her with a nice sound.
Calamari also has a lovely crinkly hat, that when grabbed, catches her attention straight away with its funny noise. Attached to another of his tentacles are two blue teething rings. Willow is currently teething and if she is having a bad day with it, Calamari is there to soothe her gums, with his textured, bumpy rings.
One aspect of Captain Calamari, that I do believe could be improved are his tentacles. I think the designers could have experimented with different textured materials a bit more. They are lovely and bright, with a cute little knot on the end, but they all feel the same. Maybe a nice bumpy material or a corduroy one may have made Calamari’s tentacles a little more interesting for Willow to play with.
Calamari has an eye-patch covering one eye (he is a pirate after all!) but I would like to have seen the eye patch made from a different material to the rest of his body, and maybe to have designed it so that it was a lifty type flap, where baby could lift it up to see Calamari’s other eye.
Overall, we absolutely love Captain Calamari in our house. With his eye catching big, err… eye, cute little hook on one of his tentacles, and not forgetting that mirror that took us all by surprise! He was definitely value for money, costing us just £10. We have since bought more Lamaze toys and each time we have been very happy with the quality and fun that they deliver.
I think Ollie will remain a much loved first toy for Willow and hopefully we shall enjoy his company in our house for a few more years to come!
What is your child’s favourite toy?