The Hank a Dino comes in a small box that is easy to open. Once open you can pull the stuffed figure from the box. There is a zipper along the top of the stuffed figure and inside is the small box that is used for sending and receiving messages. You will need a smart device with the Toymail app downloaded and 4 AA batteries.
The Playtime Experience
The Toymail app is essential to playtime with the Toymail Talkie. The application does a great job of walking you through the set up. Simply put, the application asks you to sync the device and your phone after you create a log in and password. Once everything is synced you can create your child’s profile and invite friends to your trusted circle. Only members in your trusted circle can send and receive messages to the Toymail Talkie.
There are three buttons on the main unit, that can be interacted with through the stuffed toy. There is a message button, cloud button and play button which is located separately on the front of the device. These buttons are used for playing and checking for new messages as well as recording and sending messages of your own.
Things I Liked
I like that even though this toy is using via Wi-Fi it is secured to only those that are invited to your trusted circle through the application. As a mom I like that my child can have the freedom and the closeness of speaking to people that he loves.
Things I Didn't Like
The preprogrammed voice that says things like “checking for messages” is actually a little annoying. However the application does allow you to control the volume level so that does help.
Even though Hank a Dino is recommended for players over 3, I don’t think that it is impossible for younger children to enjoy this toy. He is soft and there is no concern for choking hazards or anything like that. I think that the recommended age is largely due to the messaging feature. I think younger kids will only be able to enjoy receiving messages, not sending them. However, the age range on this toy is well into later childhood so that is a great bonus.
I really liked the Toymail Talkie: Hank a Dino toy. I think it is a great idea and I really like that it allows kids to interact with family and friends that have been preapproved by mom or dad and doesn’t involve using my laptop or smartphone. Once the application is downloaded and synced the app is unnecessary for the play time and messaging features and that is great. I think the play life on this extends from the very young to pre-teen easily since they will then be able to message school friends during those years that they may still be too young for their own smart device. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase this again!