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, and we got to do a Luvabella review!
Made by Spinmaster who are the toy company behind last year’s runaway Christmas success Hatchimals, 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.
My four year old was SO EXCITED to meet her.
She arrived whilst we were playing in the garden. There was nowhere to hide; my daughter knew what was in the box and so out she came.
I’ll be brutally honest here, I wasn’t over-enamoured with Luvabella’s 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…
What batteries does Luvabella take?
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.
What is Luvabella like?
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.
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’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?
The batteries on our Luvabella doll started to go flat after approximately 2-3 months of fairly regular use and gave up altogether after 3 months.
You can tell that Luvabella’s batteries need to be replaced because the doll goes sleepy all of a sudden, her eyes close and she ‘reboots’ and starts chatting again. This does not mean that the doll is broken! Change the batteries and see whether this makes a difference first before worrying.
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.
The day after we first had Luvabella, my daughter woke up at 6am (this is a good deal earlier than she usually wakes) and said ‘I love my new dolly that talks, mummy’. She refused a soft play adventure when she was told that Luvabella couldn’t come. We’re several weeks in now and Luvabella has been by her side the entire time.
Edited to add (27th December 2017):
Luvabella is still a firm favourite in this house and is played with for short period most days; very impressive given the number of toys we have in the house! I did worry she would be a one-week wonder but this is clearly not the case!
Her batteries are also still going strong two and a half months later after regular play.
Here is a video of me showing you how to use the accessories with Luvabella.
I thought this might be more useful than a half hour of my daughter talking rubbish at her. (Apologies for the rubbish sound and light quality, did I mention I’ve lost my phone? Yea. That.)
We received the doll for free for the purposes of this review but all the words and pictures are mine.
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