Tag Archives: kids toys

Meet Bogey, the green cow

BONNIE has a new friend. It’s an inflatable green bull. The boys call it Bogey. She calls it “My Cow.”

This is a Happy Hopper. A new take on the 1970s classic orange space-hopper, Happy Hopperz are taking over thanks to Rob and Victoria Morris.

On a family holiday in 2009, their fidgeting toddler Charlie was given an inflatable elephant to sit on at a beachside restaurant. They set about bringing these cheeky bouncers to a UK market.

There are lots of designs: pink cows, blue cows, black and white cows, bulls, dogs and horses of many colours, plus pandas, reindeer and rabbits. They take up less room than a space hopper and are far easier to sit on.

Pre-walkers will love to bounce on them, thanks to their ‘handle’ ears, while three-year-olds like to race them.

We had to take Bogey to our picnic in the park earlier this week and it was like a magnet for all toddlers within a 500 metre radius. Bonnie has ‘rolled’ her cow a couple of times but dusts herself off and jumps back on.

And when she’s gone to bed it doubles up as a foot-stool . . .

The white cow and blue bull Happy Hopperz are stocked in Argos and Homebase for £19.99, or you can buy the other animals direct via www.happyhopperz.co.uk (for a rather more expensive £21.99 with an extra £5.99 p&p!)

I can see it now, the Happy Hopperz Grand National, held this summer on Northampton Racecourse. . .

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Meet Baby Ron and Baby Vanessa

Baby Ron, Baby Annabel and Baby Vanessa

OUR two-year-old daughter is freaking me out a little. Or rather, her plastic pals are. Meet Ron, Annabel and Vanessa.

They sleep at the end of Bonnie’s bed, topping and tailing like we did as kids, in the days before ready-beds and futons.

Often when I go into check on the kids on my way up to bed, the terrifying triplets make me jump. By doing nothing more than lying there, staring vacantly, plastic eyes glinting.

Baby Ron and Baby Vanessa are twin dolls given when Bonn was just a few months old and not even vaguely interested in anything except eating and sleeping. They were recently pulled out of one of far-too-many toy-boxes and adopted by Bonnie. “My babies. My sisters,” she burbles away to herself, dragging them around, upside down, by their ankles.

They aren’t exactly cuddly dolls, being of the cheap plastic variety with stiff movement at the hips and shoulders. Baby Annabel is a little posher, arriving a couple of Christmases ago, but she weighs too much for a two-year-old to carry easily. She makes weird noises but thankfully can be ‘put down for a nap’ by flicking a switch hidden in her battery pack.

Baby Annabel’s name is a given – she arrived with it – but what about Vanessa and Ron? Not exactly ‘child-like’ names.

Seven-year-old Billy thinks he came up with Ron’s name. Why Ron? “Cos it’s a boy’s name,” he explained, as if I were a little dim.

And Vanessa? We don’t know any Vanessas. It’s not even an easy name for a two-year-old to say. I’m baffled.

Still, her favoured toy pals have more easily explained names, and are soft enough to be allowed to sleep at her end of the bed. There’s Pom the ragdoll (her dress has apples on it, French for apple is pomme, (how middle class)), Arthur the Rabbit (‘R-for-Rabbit, geddit?) and One-Eye, the bear with, er, one eye. Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. . .

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