You must have heard of Luvabella.
She’s been all over TV and the internet and is something of a celebrity. Everyone has an opinion on Luvabella although not many people have actually met her. But we have.
Yes, we got to review the Luvabella interactive doll. Made by Spinmaster who are the toy company behind last year’s runaway Christmas success the Hatchimal, Luvabella (and her brother Luvabeau) are tipped to be the must-have children’s Christmas present this year.
However shes doesn’t come cheap, and I was keen to see whether Luvabella was worth her £99.99 price tag.
The big one was SO EXCITED to meet her.
She arrived whilst we were playing in the garden. There was nowhere to hide; the big one knew what was in the box and so out she came.
I’ll be brutally honest here, I wasn’t over-enamoured with her looks, but it was love at first sight for my daughter.
I tried to video this, but you know the saying never work with children and animals? They’re right. Here is my unboxing…
Note to the wise: Luvabella takes 4 ‘C’ batteries, and typically we did not have these in the house so Doug popped to the shops to get some which is why she looks so grumpy in the above video. I would recommend you get them in long before this, it’s a painful 20 minute wait.
Out of the box she was bigger and heavier than I had imagined.
She didn’t have the pink lips and cheeks which had put me off when I’d seen pictures online.
Although her body is much like any other doll, albeit with sensors, speakers and a button on the back, her face is rubbery, a bit like the dolls that you practice CPR on in first aid class. It emerges that this is because there are a lot of ‘robotics’ inside the head which make it move and create various expressions. You can hear it working away; it’s surprisingly loud. It’s an almost scary amount of technology for a children’s toy.
The rubber does mean that she can become grubby quickly, although muck easily comes off with a damp cloth or wipe.
Luvabella is truly interactive and my daughter is delighted at the number of things she can do, and how lifelike she is.
Luvabella will babble, chat and laugh, and gradually she learns words and phrases (we have a lot of ‘me love you’ at the moment which pleases the big one no end).
She comes with four accessories which she interacts with. It took a little bit of practise to work out how to get them to work; holding the tip of the toy above her lip seems to work best.
She’ll open her mouth and interact with the bottle by sucking and making sucking sounds,
If you can get her to open her mouth and say ‘aaaaaaah’, put the spoon in her mouth and she’ll eat and even tell you what she’s eating (so far we have strawberries and spinach…). Yummy yummy in my tummy, apparently.
She interacts with her lambie toy by blowing a kiss and at first, making a baaaaa-ing sound. Now she will make other animal sounds too and name the animals! It works nose-to-nose, but points for effort.
She also sucks on her dummy and it can be used to soothe her when she’s unhappy.
You don’t need the accessories to play with her though.
Once awake, she’ll happily chat and giggle to herself for a while, and you can play ‘peekaboo’ with her by covering her eyes (took a while but we got the knack) tickle her feet and hands, hear her heartbeat by touching her chest while she’s asleep. If you lay her down, she goes to sleep (without two hours of screaming preceding it, so not that lifelike really).
This is how the big one put her down for a nap… Just a little concerning, then.
How long do the batteries on a Luvabella doll last?
Currently we are still on our first set of batteries, but when they go I’ll update. You should make sure to switch her off at the back for better battery life.
Whatever your opinion on Luvabella, the children have spoken and they love her.
Here is a video of me showing you how to use the accessories with Luvabella.
We received the doll for free for the purposes of this review but all the words and pictures are mine.
If you want to buy a Luvabella, she is expected to sell out fast so make sure you sign up to alerts for online stockists!