Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Genisus Toys for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it
One of the top ten hottest Christmas toys last year in Europe,. will be making its US appearance this Summer at Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls, BJ's, Kmart and more. We were lucky enough to get a chance to check her out, meet:
Cayla is nor your traditional 18 Inch doll ! Cayla has a Bluetooth powered, secured search engine for a brain, that allows her to INTERACT with your child! She is literally the smartest friend (doll) you r child will have.
Cayla comes in 3 choices,as you can see from the pictures above. We were sent blond Cayla for review:
As you can see, she comes with instructions, and not 1, but 2, hairbrushes! I have to say she was VERY easy to get out of the package, with ties behind the cardboard that just clicked into place.We literally had her off the box in about 1 minute flat. But there was one little issue:
The tied that keep her tied to the box on her hair are actually KNOTTED around her hair. This actually pulls the hair from an already thin back of the head and creates more stress on it, so I would suggest explaining to your child to be careful brushing too much on the back of the head. Even Miss Grace instantly picked up that their was less hair on Cayla's head, than on her 18" dolls she already has. So she might not last too well with typical doll hair brushing. It's a small issue,and one we hope they rectify with later editions.
As you see Cayla has a battery compartment well set into her back, to not intrude on typical child's play and dress up. The battery compartment does require a screw driver to open and 3 AA batteries. Miss Grace's 18" doll clothes fit Cayla perfectly fine, in case you were wondering. Located BELOW the battery compartment is the ON/OFF button. Which is great, as that means you can conservce battery power,when the doll is not being talked to!
Also shown is Cayla's speaker, which is her front tummy, We were actually surprised at how LOUD her voice was,even under her t-shirt and jacket! To activate Cayla, you can download her app on Google Play or iTunes, turn Cayla ON, and then connect Cayla via bluetooth to your smart device (make sure your device is supported for the app- most newer models (after 2013) are- the list is available on the website). THEN START THE APP. It is important to keep to that sequence the first time you start her up, as otherwise, she may not connect (I speak from experience). When she connects, you hear a string of beeps, so you know she's connected.
If you're giving Cayla as a gift I would suggest activating her, and then going into the app and answering all the user profile questions, like your child's name, favorite ice cream, etc. this allows Cayla to have info on your child, and to interact better with her, otherwise you child might get very generic responses back.
Cayla operates on a kid-safe network,so as parent you can be assured that anyone with wi-fi isn't getting your child's info! When Cayla is active, and listening, her pendant, which acts as her speech sensor, will light up. It isn't really as super bright as the picture below shows,I just put Cayla in the dark, so I could take a better picture of it lighting up!
In fact, we were both very impressed with Cayla's manner of speaking- it was very much how 6-10 year olds talk-both in manner and grammar, creating a very endearing and immediate response from your child. Here are some sample questions that Cayla can answer, in case your child is like Miss Grace and not sure what to ask her at first:
I was trying to taking review pictures and Miss Grace up and walked off with Cayla, so they "could talk without Mom being in the way".I had to laugh, as I knew this meant she was enchanted with Cayla, and not being mean! LOL Here is a brief video of SOME of their chat (what she would let me video), so you can see how Cayla responds when stumped with a Southern accent (I know, I know) and what her voice sounds like:
And yes, I'm not sure why she kept playing with Cayla's foot, except that she was just so enchanted with her! I love that is she doesn't have an answer, she tells her, just like in real life.
And before you say, "hmmm what about off-topics?". There's the app for that! Seriously! Among the parental controls, is a word-exclusion button. So you can type in any words you do NOT want Cayla discussing and she will then respond to the word with "that is not appropriate, you need to ask your parents." Isn't that just too cool?
There are also a couple of games to play with Cayla on the app, that Miss Grace gave a thumbs up to, but then walked off with Cayla again. She much preferred one-on-one communication and pretend play with Cayla. And honestly I liked that she was comfortable with some of the hi-tech, but didn't NEED all of it! And they had quite a time for 2 hours before I made her let Cayla have a break from 'talking before she lost her voice'. The batteries were holding up, but ti was bed time! The next day, Cayla got to meet Miss Grace's 18" dolls, aka 'the Twins', and have a breakfast tea with them! It was hysterical (and no I didn't catch any pictures, as I was trying to finish packing and load the car for vacation!).
The app also allows Cayla to read a story to your child, and to go through a photo album and explain about the photos, providing a back story for Cayla!
I love the fact that Cayla is aimed at kids and is appropriate-she doesn't look like a 21 yr old masquerading as a kids doll. Even her hands are those of a CHILD. Yes, she is interactive and hi-tech, but her body design is old fashioned, she just comes with modern clothing and speech, Which means both parents and kids will love her! your child will be BEGGING you for Cayla soon,so be prepared to say "YES to the this doll!"
You can enter to WIN your own Cayla doll over on the My Friend Cayla Facebook page! They are doing an exclusive countdown giveaway where they'll be giving away a Cayla ONCE A WEEK, until she is available in stores in early August. To enter, like Cayla's Facebook page and post a brief hello during the contest time period. Easy peasy!
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/
myfriendcayla, Instagram: https://instagram.com/ myfriendcaylausa and Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ myfriendcayla, for more release info and specials!
About Genesis Toys:
Funded in 2013 under the mission: To entertain children around the world and become a memorable part of their childhood, Genesis has connected with like-minded individuals to establish itself as a leading designer, developer and marketer of innovative hi-tech children’s entertainment products. With it’s wildly successful international launch of its award-winning doll, MY FRIEND CAYLA, in 2014; Genesis is now focused on introducing its cutting-edge technologies to U.S. consumers later this year.