#AD We were sent this doll for purposes of review
Readers know how much Izzy loves dolls so can imagine how delighted she was when we were asked to review the Elli Smiles Doll from Zapf Creations. Read on to find out what we thought:
Elli Smiles Doll
The Elli Smiles Doll’s recommended retail price is £79.99 so it’s a big birthday or Christmas present toy rather than a pocket money purchase. Well cared for dolls like this last all childhood (and can be passed on to the next generation to play with too). Izzy couldn’t wait to open the box!
Setting Up the Elli Smiles Doll
We quickly unpacked the Elli Smiles doll, it comes with a CR2032 battery but also requires three AA batteries so if you’re buying this for Christmas make sure you have AA batteries and a Phillips screwdriver ready to set the doll up on the day.
What’s Inside the Elli Smiles Doll Box
- A 43cm function doll wearing a dress, leggings, a hat and a pair of fabric shoes
- a potty
- one nappy
- a bottle
- a dummy
- identifying necklace (and CR2032 battery and instruction leaflet)
Playing with the Elli Smiles Doll
Izzy put on the recognition necklace and there was a lovely touching moment as Elli recognised her “Mama” and responded with a smile. It reminded me of the moment my babies smiled for the first time- it’s just such a special milestone. Izzy immediately loved her and her expressions, gurgling and giggling make her a very enchanting baby doll.
As well as being able to smile, Elli Smiles can also drink real water from her bottle (supplied) and move her mouth. This takes a bit of time (as it does when learning to feed a real baby too).
Make sure the bottle is inserted enough and squeeze the water into her mouth firmly.
After a feed, Elli can be burped (Izzy laughed when she first did this!) and then cuddled. Elli has a soft cuddly body, perfect for young children. The Elli Smiles Doll is suitable from ages 3 years and upwards. I asked Izzy to review her as she’s seven years old. Her older sister is eleven and really wanted an Elli Smiles Doll of her own too.
Elli Smiles Doll also comes with a soothing dummy. I’m not keen on dolls coming with dummies as I never used them with my own babies but they do create a learning opportunity and a chance to discuss our views on them.
After a full feed, press the red heart on her torso firmly and Elli can wee either in her nappy or in the potty provided. We did this into the potty so we can keep the nappy dry. You can buy more but I feel it’s unnecessary waste for a doll. Perhaps we could make her a reusable fabric nappy.
We genuinely loved this doll- so much so that I’ve bought one for Caitlyn for Christmas. I can’t wait for her to open it on the day and for the girls to play with them together.
We do feel that the doll is quite pricey but looking around there are always special offers available so you should be able to get a bargain We’re also a great believer in gender neutral toys and Izzy was sad that Elli only said “Mama”, rather than saying “Dada” too. I know if it was Danny’s doll, he would have laughed at this when he was younger but some boys could be more sensitive and like to be called Dad by their baby dolls.
If you’re looking for a lovely doll that your child will really bond with as it smiles, says “Mama” and gurgles in baby chatter with them, then this is the one. It really is endearing!
Elli Smiles Doll is suitable from children from ages 3 years and over. It’s available from all good toy shops. It is currently priced for under £20 at The Entertainer, John Lewis, Smyths Toys and Amazon.
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