Babblin' Boo with Magical Mikey
Type: vinyl doll with electronic features
The surprise star of Monsters, Inc is making big bucks for toy stores. The Boo in Monster outfit plush and this, the talking/crying/babbling Boo doll are selling out faster than most of the boy-oriented items in the line, like the top scarer assortment of figures. With the "awwww, she's so sweet" portrayal of Boo in the film it isn't a wonder this item's on the want list of girls, collectors and any softie-at-heart this Christmas!
Boo resembles the generic girl's big big vinyl doll that conventionally has some kind of play or interactive feature, something which in recent years seems to have degenerated into "Watch me, I can Pee and Poo!" Urgh, what happened to the good old days where they'd just sing or cry? Disgusting buggers.
Thankfully Boo is done in the old school tasteful manner, with many thanks to her Disney heritage.
I'm sure most will by now be familiar with what she does, but for those who aren't, a button on her tummy will make her gurgle, giggle, babble nonsensical goo-goos, and sing strange undecipherable songs like she does in the film. She has about 5 sayings (Unworthy of that price range!), and as an added feature will giggle when you bring Magical Mikey (That one eyed, 4-legged "teddy bear" she comes with) close to her chest, and will squeal when you take it from her.
The talking feature works fine, with the phrases (Or more specifically, babblings) circulating in the same pattern over and over. The sound quality is only satisfactory, though. It's tinny and very soft. I tried changing the batteries to new ones, thinking perhaps that she had been overused at the store, but the volume remained the same. In a large room it's barely audible unless you're very close to her, which takes some of the fun away from making her giggle or squeal.
The Magical Mikey feature wasn't what I had initially expected. You have to bring Mikey's face all the way to touch her chest in order for it to work. The sensor, one half of which is located in Mikey's pupil, isn't the most sensitive of objects, and even the instructions tell you to bring him up close and personal. It's not quite as fun that way. I would much rather have a stronger sensor located in her arm or something that has a reaction range of maybe 4-5cm. That way she would react more naturally to it, so to speak, without needing you to rub Mikey's face on her chest trying to get a giggle out of her. It's weird doing that.
Another point I'm not too happy with is her face. Judging from the prototype picture found on the small catalog sheet that came with the doll, the original sculpt was much closer to the CG model used on the show, with semi-circular eyes. Compare this with the picture of the actual doll above and you'll see the difference. The doll now has larger, rounder eyes. While still adorable, from some angles it can look incredibly freaky. Looking directly into her glassy soulless eyes can be quite an experience....
Despite the rather negative overall review, this doll is still very much loved. There are places to improve on, something that's true for Hasbro's usage of the newly acquired Disney license in general *coughcoughPRICEcough*, but you just can't help liking Boo so much that the money's worth it. For me anyway, your mileage may vary.
special mention for anyone who can make out what the heck she sings.
"Baby comes along, volunteers his thong, waddle wum mankind"
is the best I can do.