Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bandai: Up, Down And All Around Monkey from Tinga Tinga Tales

Lexi absolutely loves Tinga Tinga Tales on CBeebies so when we were sent Up, Down And All Around Monkey by Bandai she was delighted!

For those of you in the minority who don't know what Tinga Tinga Tales is:-

"You may think you know why Elephant has a long trunk, why Tortoise has a broken shell, why Giraffe has a long neck, or why Leopard has spots, but actually, the reason for each is a whole other story!

Tinga Tinga Tales brings to life tall tales of how your favourite animals came to be the way they are today.

Based upon animal creation stories from all over the African continent, Tinga Tinga Tales brings to life fantastical tales, through stories and music, of how your child's favourite animals came to be the way they are today. Ever wonder why Flamingo stands on one leg, or why Lion roars? Tinga Tinga Tales may just have the answer.

Our hero Monkey and his friends Elephant, Tortoise, Tickbird, Hippo and Lion will take your child on a unique safari of adventure and story-telling.

The animation in Tinga Tinga Tales was made in Kenya, based on Tingatinga art from Tanzania, and draws upon the inspiring talent of East African artists and musicians."

You can watch a video here.

Up, Down And All Around Monkey looks exactly like Monkey does on TV. He has the same gorgeous bright red colour, same striking African style markings, same cheeky Monkey grin and sounds exactly like Monkey from Tinga Tinga Tales.

We had a small wrestle with the packaging to set him free; but once we had set him free there were so many features and so much fun to be had by Lexi that she didn't know where to start!

Up, Down And All Around Monkey talks corresponding to what you are doing and how you are holding him. When he is lying on his front he says "Pick me up and make it snappy" and "I'm over here", when upright he says "Can you turn me upside down" and "I'm swinging, look at me", when you lie him on his back he retorts with "Are you going to pick me up straight away now or straight away next year?" and the sayings that Lexi enjoyed most of all were said when she was swinging him by his tail and he laughed saying "Whoosh I'm upside down" and "Ssssh I'm hiding from crocodile". He also laughs whilst you are playing with him which Lexi found highly amusing. All his sayings are said in his African accented cheeky voice which Lexi instantly recognised from being from her TV programme.

Monkey can hang from his tail or his arm because both have, what I can only describe as, a joint in the middle of them which twists and bends so he can tell when he is swinging or hanging or being carried which is a really fun and unique feature to any character based toys Lexi has ever owned.

Lexi loves monkeys anyway and Up, Down And All Around Monkey fast became her favourite:-

Mission One: Dancing
Lexi knew that Monkey would love dancing and he proved it when she was swinging him around wildly by laughing and giggling as she did it.

Because of the innovative way that he can tell exactly how you are holding and what you are doing with him, he was saying exactly the right things at the right time which Lexi was delighted about.

Mission Two: Sliding
Lexi instinctively knew that Monkey would love to go down the slide too. Not only because he matched the slide in colour but also because she was carrying him around the garden by his tail which meant he was already 'excited' and laughing so she just knew that he would like to "weeeeee" down the slide - which he did! No other toy has ever invoked quite such excitement in Lexi purely by going down her slide and laughing as they did it.

Lexi spent a good hour putting Monkey down the slide again and again and again!

Mission Three: Riding Pillion
After seeing how much Monkey 'enjoyed' their fun on the slide, Lexi thought that Monkey would like to go for a ride in her trike. She started off with him in the seat and her riding along behind but soon realised that it was Mummy pushing as oppose to Monkey peddling so she changed her tactics and decided she would ride and Monkey could ride pillion.

Apparently, according to Lexi, Monkey absolutely loves going round and round and round the patio hundreds of times as he was making so much noise and saying "Are you going to pick me up now...." etc which she thought was so much fun! I'm not sure who looked like they were enjoying themselves more; Lexi or Monkey! ;)

Mission Four: Swinging
Lexi decided she wanted to see just how fast she could spin round whilst swinging Monkey. It almost ended in tears as she was getting very dizzy but wouldn't give up trying because she was getting so much enjoyment from Monkey speaking to her and enjoying the swinging from his tail. She spun him around so many times I'm surprised Monkey didn't get dizzy!

As you can see, Lexi absolutely loved having fun with Monkey and is still discovering more and more of his fun features.

Up, Down And All Around Monkey is just one of the fantastic products in Bandai's Tinga Tinga Tales range. All of them look fantastic! You can view Bandai's full range of Tinga Tinga Tales toys on their website here and can even pop over and say hi on their Facebook page here too.

Up, Down And All Around Monkey is on sale on Bandai's website for £25.00 which I think is a bargain price for such a fantastic toy which provides hours and hours of fun for little ones. Suitable from 18 months.


Not only do Bandai make amazing Tinga Tinga Tales products, but, to make the products even more desirable, Tinga Tinga Tales brand works with a charity called We Give Books, where for every Tinga book bought, a child in Africa gets a book.

I think this is an amazing thing to do and, having read some information about the charity, I think it is a very worthy and worthwhile cause. So well done Bandai, it's so refreshing for a large, well-known company to give back in such a selfless, generous way!

If you'd like more information about the Charity visit the Tinga Tinga Tales website : here or you can take a look at the Charity's website direct here:
We Give Books

As you can tell from all I've said; not only do I love Bandai for their Charity work and great quality products, but Up, Down And All Around Monkey is absolutely adored and genuinely Loved By Lexi.