My Friend Cayla Doll Reviews
My Friend Cayla marks a new trend in dolls – not only does Cayla talk, but she can understand what you say, and she even answers questions. Suitable for age 4 and up, My Friend Cayla can tell a story, and even play noughts and crosses.
It’s not surprising she’s on thousands of little girls’ Christmas lists! However, parents are not always so happy, and there are some things you need to know before you buy. Read on to see what they are.
Cayla Doll Videos
We’ve found two videos for you, one where Cayla answers questions pretty well, and one where she doesn’t. In the first, the child seems a little older and is in a quiet environment, speaking clearly, directly at the doll. The second child moves around more, jostling the doll.
My Friend Cayla Doll Features
* Cayla talks, tells stories
* When connected to the internet, she can play a game
* Ask questions via an iPhone/iPad app and she will reply
* Requires 3 AA batteries (not supplied)
* Age range: 5+
My Friend Cayla Review
My Friend Cayla is a chubby-cheeked doll with long blonde hair who will appeal to many little girls right out of the box, just for her looks. She’s interactive, like so many toys these days – she doesn’t just talk, but she listens and answers your questions, too – as long as you ask the right questions, say them clearly, and have the right connecting equipment.
Your My Friend Cayla doll can tell a story (just one, currently) and play the game of noughts and crosses. She’s pretty smart and you child (and you) might have trouble beating her at the game!
But there is a downside. The app is supposed to work on any Android 4.0 or later smart device as well as Apple, but to access some of the interactive features, parents have found you (or preferably, your child) needs an iPhone or iPad. The specification says “Users of the iOS app can ask up to 3,000 questions…” iOS is Apple’s operating system for iPhones and similar devices.
In other words, if you have an Android phone, Cayla can talk to you, but she won’t understand and reply to your questions unless you have an Apple device. On the other hand, the Android app is completely free, while the iOS app will ask you to pay for certain features.
A lot of little girls desperately want the Cayla doll, and she even made the number one slot on Hamley’s list of top 10 Christmas toys for 2014. But be warned that the phone needs to be on and connected to the internet via Bluetooth and WiFi for the Cayla doll to interact with you at all. If not, she can say some things like an ordinary talking doll, but she won’t play or respond.
Cayla is excellent for a little girl who has her own smartphone or iPad. Otherwise, be prepared to either donate your phone/tablet to your child pretty much full time, or put up with a nagging, disappointed child.
Another issue is that the doll has trouble understanding what kids are saying, especially with younger children or those with an unusual voice. Kids have to speak clearly to be understood. This could be a problem for younger children who will forget to be clear and patient. For this reason, unless your child naturally speaks clearly, My Friend Cayla might be better suited to kids age 6 or 7 and over. In that age group, they’re more likely to have their own smartphone, too.
She currently only comes in one (white, blonde) ethnicity, which we think is a pity. Maybe if her popularity lasts, they’ll bring her out in different colours.
On the plus side, My Friend Cayla isn’t one of those super-slim model type dolls, but has the shape of a normal chunky child. So, we like the Cayla doll’s looks, and if your child has an iPhone of her (or his) own, this could be a gift she will absolutely love. With an Android phone, the doll is pretty good too, but make sure your child understands that some features may not be available.
Published 22 November 2014