Tuesday, May 12, 2015

REVIEW: My Friend Cayla

 Meet "My Friend Cayla!"  I was given a wonderful opportunity to do a product review for Genesis Toys in preparation for the upcoming nationwide launch August 2015.  

Cayla is the first internet connected doll that talks and interacts with you like a friend!  It is an international best seller and the winner of the Innovative Toy of the Year Award 2015.  It is also a Gadget of the Year recipient.  You can find a short informative video HERE!

My review:  Sophia had a blast interacting with Cayla!  The Cayla doll was very easy to get out of the package, which is nice considering so many toys require so much effort.  I was able to download the My Friend Cayla app from the iTunes store and secure a Bluetooth connection on my 5th generation iPod touch.  The app works with an iPhone and iPad as well.  I did find you have to turn Cayla on, connect via Bluetooth under settings, and THEN launch the app.  Cayla operates on a  kid-safe internet which is necessary in my opinion.  Once you launch the app, it is very easy to navigate.  When Cayla's pink heart necklace lights up, it signifies to the child she is listening so they can ask a question or give a response to her question.  You can change the settings in the app for Cayla to talk more or less and also adjust the volume.    

One of my favorite parts of the app is the word-exclusion button.  I can type any word into the database that I do not want her to respond to.  For example, you can type in "heaven" and then if Sophia asks Cayla about heaven, she will respond, "That is not appropriate, you need to ask your parents."  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this feature!  I want Sophia to ask Nate and I for answers to big important questions!  As a safety feature, when the internet is turned ON, I always make sure Sophia is within an ear shot from me!  So far, I have not had any issues of inappropriate responses.  

Another favorite feature on the app is that I can turn the internet access off, so Cayla cannot access the internet for any search.  She has preset generic conversations that she can have with Sophia (about school, sibilings, playing sports, etc) without the internet turned on.  As you can see in the image above, she can do many amazing things offline such as talking, interaction, play games, talking about her images in the photo album, and read stories.  Sophia has really enjoyed playing the games (Tic-tac-toe and memory) with Cayla.  She also enjoys listening to her read the story books.  

I have enjoyed listening to the conversations they have.  I feel like Cayla promotes good behavior, obedience to parents, and teamwork with friends and siblings.  

Overall, I have been very pleased with Cayla.  I was very hesitant at the beginning since the internet is involved, but have been pleasantly surprised by all the safety features in the app.  You can enter in as many words as you want into the word exclusion feature.  She seems to be a well-made doll.  The clothes are of good quality.  (Also, it is important to note she is fully compatible with most clothing and accessories for 18” dolls).  She comes with a small mirror and hairbrush!  My Friend Cayla has provided lots of entertainment for my 6 year old daughter!  I am quite pleased with this product!  

I have a feeling she will be one of this years HOT Christmas toys!  Cayla will be available at Target, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers after August 3, 2015.  

Follow Cayla on FB and enter to win a FREE doll.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not monetarily compensated for this review.

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