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July 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 7
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Snuggly Monkey Stores Treasures But Needs Grooming

Plush TC Pet Invites Intrigue and Offers New Way to Organize


It’s “a new way of keeping my 6-year-old daughter organized.” Gail Richardson, mother
TDmonthly’s Girls’ Roundtable reviewers were intrigued with the secret compartment they found in Treasure Chest Pets, a combination of a treasure box and stuffed animal, but the innovative plush design received mixed feedback.

TC Monkey by TREASURE CHEST PETS
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Plush

What It Is: Treasure Chest Pets, also called TC Pets, are a new, patented line of plush organizers that look like stuffed animals. For both girls and boys, they have removable pillow heads and specially designed bodies with secret compartments to organize and store accessories on the inside and out. Other varieties include a Media Chest Pet and an Accessory Chest Pet.

What the Parents Thought:
Zuidema liked the soft fur, and although she did not care for the oversized head, found the face “cute.” Tong and Richardson appreciated the novelty of a stuffed animal with a secret compartment. It’s “a new way of keeping my 6-year-old daughter organized, and that is always a good thing,” commented Richardson.

Ledford said, “My children, no matter their age, have always found something they want to keep in a secret spot.” Jenkins liked that the “pillow was a perfect size for [a] child.” Kirby remarked, “We liked the concept of having a special place to store treasures.”

What the Kids Thought:
“It's huge!” said Alyssa (8), who “was eager to put a treasure in the hidden compartment,” reported Zuidema. Tong’s daughters, Alyssa (9) and Lexi (4), enjoyed “storing away ‘treasures.’”

Sarah (7) “thought it was weird that the head came off.” Although initially excited, Jessica (6) “had a hard time figuring out how to put the two pieces together and have them stay in such a way that it looked like a proper monkey,” Richardson said. [Editor’s Note: Treasure Chest Pets recently informed TDmonthly that the attachment of the head to the body has already been improved for production.]

CHANGES SINCE REVIEW

  • The monkey has been redesigned.
  • The head and body no longer connect via Velcro. Each TC Pet now has a magnet inside the head and body that create a "magic" attachment.
  • The monkey now has "secret pockets" accessible from the top of the head.
Tori (7) “loved the pillow” and prefers keeping the pillow/head on her bed by itself, Jenkins reported. Kirby’s daughters, Sarah (7) and Emma (5), did not use the secret compartment but enjoyed sleeping with the Treasure Chest Pet. “The kids were immediately attracted to the soft fur and snuggly nature of the toy,” Kirby said.

How to Improve It:
Alyssa (8) was disappointed to see that the huge head did not have another secret compartment. [Editor’s Note: The company has added a secret compartment to the head since this review and is in production on that feature as of mid-June 2008.]

Zuidema thought the monkey could have stand-on legs to facilitate storage of hair ties and other accessories, and Jenkins recommended increasing the size of the body to stabilize the head. Richardson and Kirby both suggested a one-piece design, but if the TC Pet remains two pieces, Kirby said, “the mechanics of how [the head and body] come together could be improved.” [see first Editor’s Note]

Would You Want Another Toy Like This? “I love the idea,” said Richardson, but “it did not work for my 6-year-old.” Jenkins commented that Tori (7), however, “really likes the monkey treasure box.”

Participants were office assistant Charlene Jenkins with Taylor (17), Tabitha (11) and Tori (7); stay-at-home sales executive Stephanie Kirby with Sarah (7) and Emma (5); freelance writer Susan Ledford with Victoria (13); World Bank policy advisor Gail Richardson with Jessica (6); stay-at-home mother Mildred Tong with Alyssa (9) and Lexi (4); and stay-at-home mother Jill Zuidema with Alyssa (8).



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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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