Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gift Ideas: Let's Rock! Elmo {Review}

Playskool logoWhether you had children or not, it was impossible to miss the Tickle Me Elmo craze that swept the nation in the late 1990s. Kids and adults alike just couldn't get enough of the cute, lovable red character that giggled and laughed and made interacting with him an entertaining experience every time.

This hot, must-have Christmas gift caused fighting, stampedes, price hikes and more... and now, 15 years later, has been recreated in an updated, even more fun way: Let's Rock! Elmo from Playskool.

Let's Rock Elmo reviewDressed in a concert style t-shirt, Let's Rock! Elmo comes ready to take the stage singing and making music right along with his young fans. Whether he is playing the drums or jamming with his microphone and tambourine, Elmo magically recognizes which instruments he is given (they're the right size for little hands to play as well) and can sing six rockin' songs while dancing and grooving right along.

To really get in on the action, however, there is a line of Let's Rock! instruments (each sold separately) that allows for all of his young friends to join in and be a part of their own little rock band. There's just no way for kids to not be excited when they see how much fun they can have with Elmo!

Designed for ages 18 months - 4 years, Big Sister E and Little Sister B were beyond thrilled when they had the chance to be introduced to Let's Rock! Elmo and the accompanying instruments. Knowing that I wouldn't have to spend a minute convincing them to rock out with Elmo, we removed him, as well as the guitar, keyboard, and microphone, from the packaging and dove right in to playing along.

As expected, Elmo rocks! Even I was amazed that he knew when he was holding his mic or tambourine (and I got a laugh when he nicely pointed out that he wasn't able to play the drums at the same time as holding his instruments) and it was easy to get caught up in the catchy music and fun songs.

Whether the classic "Elmo's World," a cute version of "It Takes Two" or any of the six songs that Elmo sings, we had a great time interacting with Let's Rock! Elmo and getting in on the action. I appreciated that Elmo remembers his manners (saying please, thank you, and excuse me) and the girls pointed out that he really did shake his tambourine, sing into the microphone, and beat on the drums with one or both hands.

This is much more than a toy that just reacts to one or two stimuli, Elmo really does seem to know what's going on in his environment!

Along with Elmo himself, the Let's Rock! Cookie Monster Keyboard, Let's Rock! Elmo Guitar, and Let's Rock! Grover Microphone extend the fun of playing even further. Along with just singing and dancing with Elmo, these three instruments let kids join right in on the fun.

The Keyboard includes three tunes, three modes of play (Free play Let's Rock Keyboardfor your choice, Play-along song to play along to the songs as the keys light up, and Band mode to play the "Rock 'n Roll Alphabet Song" along with Elmo) and bright, colorful keys.

By itself, this keyboard is cute to play with, as kids will easily recognize the "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Hickory Dickory Dock" and the "Alphabet Song," but when used as part of a band with the Let's Rock! Elmo, it is a lot of fun! He joins right in with singing the ABCs and compliments you on what a great job you do playing, something that Big Sister E found incredibly humorous.

Let's Rock GuitarIf strumming the guitar is more your thing, the Let's Rock! Elmo Guitar can also be used alone or as a part of the group. Its three included tunes are "This Old Man," "Row, Row, Row your Boat," and "Elmo's World" and also gives kids the three play modes to choose from.

So whether they are strumming along on their own or hitting the whammy bar right along with Let's Rock! Elmo (who makes sure to point out that he loves your guitar-playing skills), the magical fun of being a rock star continues.

Finally, the Let's Rock! Microphone brings in the much-loved Grover, Let's Rock Microphonewhich showed me that my kids aren't the only ones that have warmed up to this accident-prone funny blue character. Working like a real microphone, with the push of a button kids' voices are amplified so that they can truly feel like they are the star.

Song options included with this mic are "Old MacDonald," "Wheels on the Bus," and "If You're Happy and You Know It," the latter being the one that Let's Rock! Elmo will sing and dance along with as well. This was one of my favorites, as seeing Elmo dance and wave his arms in the air just brought a smile to my face each time.

Alone, each of these instruments would provide musical playtime that any young child would enjoy, but together with Let's Rock! Elmo, there's just no way to not feel like a rock star!

The combination of the fun and funky singing and dancing from Elmo and his ability to truly recognize and react to the instruments really does make this collection of toys incredibly unique and fun. My kids have always loved music and performing, so being able to do it right along with Elmo has been a big treat for them - and I love that they can play with him individually or as a group and still have fun.

If you have Elmo-lovers in your house (or even if this is a first introduction), I think that Let's Rock! Elmo and the additional instruments are going to be a big hit this upcoming holiday season. Whether adding to a collection or just looking for a great gift, these interactive toys are going to show up on quite a few wish lists this season!

Coming complete with AA batteries included and installed, the line of Let's Rock! products will be available Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at most major toy retailers nationwide and on Let's Rock! Elmo, the essential of the group, will retail for $69.99, the Let's Rock Guitar and Keyboard for $19.99, and the Let's Rock Microphone for $14.99.

(Other than the Let's Rock! Elmo, Keyboard, Guitar and Microphone that I was provided by Hasbro, I was not compensated or enticed or to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of these toys.)


Liz Mays said...

I'm pretty partial to Elmo, but there's a lot of appeal to a microphone too!

Lolo @ Crazy About My Baybah said...

I fell in love with Rockin Elmo at BlogHer! I have a feeling it will definitely be under the tree for Baybah this Christmas.

Thanks for sharing the video and showing us everything he does!