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May 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 5
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Preschool Reviewers Give 3-in-1 Stuffed Animals Three Cheers

Versatile Zoobie Pets are Fun and Functional All Around


“The features … are quite welcoming and sweet, the texture is incredibly soft, and the color is perfect.” Gail Richardson, mother of two
With Zoobie™ Pets, what seems to be a simple stuffed animal opens to a pillow and detachable blanket. Did the moms and kids in TDmonthly Magazine’s Preschool/Early School Roundtable fall for Zoobies patented three-in-one concept? Read on for their reviews.

TDmonthly rating:


Zoobie™ Pets - Kojo the Croc and Hada the Hippo by ZOOBIES
Age: 3 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Plush
MSRP: $30.00

What It Is: This three-in-one toy transforms from a stuffed animal into a pillow and holds a detachable blanket. A variety of animals from the Zoo and Safari collections are available, including Kojo the Crocodile and Hada the Hippo. Creative in design and pleasing in appearance and texture, each Zoobie is machine washable and child safe so it’s practical for everyday play.

What the Parents Thought
“The toy is beautiful,” Lilova raved. Richardson agreed: “The features of the hippo are quite welcoming and sweet, the texture is incredibly soft, and the color is perfect for a little girl.”

Heinrich, Richardson and Kirby all liked the product’s versatility. “This looks like a great toy for a car ride or trip,” Kirby said.

Jones liked the “soft, durable fabric” and “ingenious design,” pointing out that most stuffed animals for young children are familiar animals, such as dogs, cats and bunnies.

“I really like that the zippers and fasteners are all easy to use,” Chambers said. “That’s a big deal right now because [Nigel (3)] wants to do everything by himself.”

What the Kids Thought
“Mommy! It’s a pillow and a blanket!” Nigel (3) yelled. Collin (3) uses his Zoobie as a pillow, a blanket, and at times, a bag to carry other things. Jessica (5) was amazed at the multiple uses.

“Collin (3) . . . was very excited to see a crocodile,” commented Heinrich. The Kirby children “were immediately attracted to the color and the blanket.” Although they enjoyed transitioning it from pillow to blanket and back, they really only “used Kojo as another stuffed animal.”

Lilova said her children especially liked “the animal shape and the softness of the fabric.” Victor (4) said he loves Kojo, whom he takes to daycare. Richardson reported that Jessica (5) now prefers the Zoobies blanket (unattached from the hippo) to all other blankets.

What the Kids Learned from this Toy
“Collin (3) is learning how to use a zipper and how it fits together,” pointed out his mom. Kirby said her children “enjoyed it strictly as a stuffed animal and for dramatic storytelling that featured Kojo along with their other stuffed animals.”

“These toys can also be an introduction into the animal kingdom for the small kids,” Lilova commented.

How to Improve It
Heinrich pointed out Collin’s difficulty with putting the blanket back into the pillow. “This is one of those ‘great idea in theory’ toys but doesn't have much staying power for Collin (3),” she lamented.

Lilova worried that shocks from the static cling would deter children from sleeping with a Zoobie. “It retains a lot of static electricity and I find this as a big issue,” she said, suggesting the addition of natural materials such as cotton.

Kirby questioned how long the zipper will last, and Richardson wondered if buttons rather than a zipper would increase playability by younger children. Chambers thought the price was prohibitive for a manufactured item.

Jones suggested marketing it primarily to babies and toddlers. “At 4 to 8 years of age, my children already have ‘blankies’ to which they’re attached and don’t need an additional pillow/blanket,” she explained.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?

“I think it would make a great gift for a 2-year-old,” Kirby raved. Richardson agreed: “This is a fabulous toy that we will be giving to many friends as presents.”


Participants were World Bank policy advisor Gail Richardson with Alexander (7) and Jessica (5); stay-at-home mother Heather Jones with Reece (7), Cameron (6) and Meg (4); sales executive Stephanie Kirby with Sarah (6) and Emma (5); research scientist Kostadinka Lilova with Victor (4) and Radina (11); stay-at-home mother Rebecca Heinrich with Collin (3); and artist Christy Chambers with Nigel (3).



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Susan LedfordWriter's Bio: Susan Ledford is the writer, editor and publisher of the "Homeschool Resources Directory for S.C."  She has been evaluating toys and games for TDmonthly's Roundtable reviews since 2005. She also is a homeschool veteran of seven years. Read more articles by this author

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