Flappy the Elephant by GUND Review
Editor's rating:
9.5
Nela Cvetanovska
Reviewed by Nela Cvetanovska
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We like

Incredibly soft and gentle textile

Child friendly and high quality materials

Adorable squeezable design

Baby toy that sings lullabies and plays Peekaboo

Animated durable electronic components

Fluid movement and jolly personality

Batteries are included

We don’t like

No volume control for the sound

How it works

Elephants are known for their glorious size and amazing strength however they are also famous for their gentle and nurturing personality. Many cultures and religions around the world have been captivated by these enchanting creatures and have celebrated their humbling nature by embodying them as symbols of wisdom and divine knowledge. They are known as the sacred guardians of the planet Earth and their presence manifests by bringing good luck and positive energy.  

Their stamina, loyalty and longevity has inspired many artists over the years including the contemporary visionaries such as Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and Banksy. They have been celebrated in multiple art pieces, movies, animation and music. You probably remember the legendary Disney animated feature Dumbo and its adorable main character, the baby elephant who manages to glide in the air with its big floppy ears to look for its mother.

Similar to the cartoon, in real life, baby elephants are known to be extremely attached to their mommies so if they are separated at an early age, they weep and weep for days. It is undeniably a very emotional and sensitive animal with a childlike personality.

It comes as no surprise that one of the greatest plush toy manufacturers, Gund, would implement this character to one of their latest plush designs as Flappy The Elephant. This soft charming toy is the ultimate baby buddy since it offers adorable play time activity and a potential for an unbreakable bond.

Origin

Origin

Adolph Gund is the acclaimed founder of the Gund Manufacturing Company, in Norwalk Connecticut, creating toys and novelties for the New York based market. In addition to the many patents for innovative mechanical designs that bring toys to life, the Gund Company is known for creating the first ever teddy bear in the world. Over the course of their 120-year success, children all around the globe have been introduced to barking toy dogs, best-selling bunnies and exotic plush animals. In fact, the first exotic animal they recreated as a toy was the panda, as a tribute to Nixon’s visit in China.

In 1991, Rita Swedlin Raiffe, Gund’s Director of Design had become famously known for putting the soft in soft toys. She changed the whole game of the toy industry with her huggable designs, reduced stuffing, gentler patterns and incredibly soft textiles. By launching the KinderGund which later became babyGUND, children all over the world were introduced to a whole new generation of softer and gentler plush companions specially crafted for infants and toddlers.

The GUND Company is more than a toy manufacturer. They are the origin of high quality plush toys and their legacy has comforted and entertained millions of children over the years. Their most recent involvement with charity through the HowDoYouHug social media campaign in 2017 has raised and donated money to multiple charities for unprivileged children. Or as they like to call it: Bringing huggable joy to children in need.
Design

Design

It is almost impossible not to fall in love with Gund’s Flappy Elephant Plush toy. From the moment you unpack it and hold it in your arms, you are in for a squeezable treat. It is undeniably soft and velvety smooth. This animated animal stays true to the original looks of a baby elephant by coming in a pastel grey color with wide moving ears.

It has cute tiny eyes embodied on the head and there are no glass or plastic buttons to avoid any potential choking hazards which could harm the well-being of your child. It also has small black signs on the feet which indicate the electronic components. It says Sing! on the left foot followed by a musical note emoji and Play! on the right one, decorated with a swirl sign.

In order for Flappy to interact with your child, there is an electronic mechanism on the bottom protected with a soft material attached by a Velcro tape. Even though there are lithium batteries included, it is very reassuring that the process of battery replacement is simple and effortless.

It is an animated toy so it is designed to sing a song and play Peekaboo! by flapping its ears and hiding its eyes. The movement is silent and fluid so it doesn’t intimidate the young audience, as instead Flappy wants to keep the children entertained and comforted for hours and hours of bonding.

All in all, the design is very simple yet tasteful since the toy is targeted for the youngest audience. It doesn’t have any complicated components that would distract or confuse the baby during theplaytime adventure. It really focuses on emotional attachment and the friendship forming experience which makes it perfect for the tiniest members of the family.
Entertainment Value

Entertainment Value

It is undeniably adorable watching toddlers giggle while you play the Peekaboo! game with them. It’s quite fascinating how they never seem to get bored of it and it immediately switches their mood from cranky to curious and amazed.

Now you can have a cuddly companion who will entertain you baby by effortlessly flapping its ears and make lovable noises for a more joyful playtime experience. All you need to do is visit click the ON button on the power component, secure the Velcro tape and place Flappy in front of your child.

If you decide to press the Sing! button, the baby elephant will greet your child by saying: Hello Baby let’s sing together! Followed by an immediate Do Your Ears Hang Low song performance. Flappy has a child-like voice that is always excited and happy to play with you.

This baby elephant has a very curious personality and is constantly asking questions: Do your ears flip flop? Where are you? Peekaboo! I see you! The bonding activity is more realistic when there are electronic components involved since the toy seems equally invested in the playtime activity. Also smaller children are naturally enchanted by peculiar animals and will invest a lot of their attention in figuring out their new friend.
Calming

Calming

Even if this toy doesn’t hold the attention of your toddler, it will ultimately become his best friend. Babies feel comforted and nurtured by plush companions and even if they don’t necessarily interact with them, they want to sleep near one and cuddle while resting.

You shouldn’t hesitate to get this baby elephant if you are looking for a lullaby singing friend that would calm and entertain your child. It would be better if it had a volume control for the sound option however it isn’t ear-splitting and it won’t scare or disturb your child. The voices that Flappy makes are jolly and gentle so it’s very convenient and pleasing for babies to discover the musical world.

It is also a very adequate gift for children who face autism, ADHD or difficulties in communicating and socializing with other peers. Interactive plush companions create a safe space for them to express themselves and form a friendship even if it’s only a with a pretend pet toy. They will feel calm and secure around an adorable baby elephant who greets them with excitement and plays with them when they feel lonely.
Maintenance

Maintenance

The Flappy elephant plush toy is meant to be near babies, and we all know what that mean. Messy and clumsy adventures that might leave Flappy stained and dirty. Since the toy is a certified Gund product it is made of premium materials for unparalleled softness and polyester fibers for surface washable cleaning.

Since it has electronic components, it is not recommended to put it in the washing machine or give it baths. However, the synthetic fibers are more resilient than natural ones, so they are more convenient and easily cleaned when it comes to removing dirt or baby food stains. The materials even allow faster drying since artificial fibers absorb less moisture than cotton ones. There are instructions on the hand tag which would thoroughly explain the process of surface washing but basically it means that you can easily clean it with a wet wipe or a wet cloth.

Besides regular cleaning like any other plush toy, this baby elephant does not need any special maintenance except for replacing the battery supply when it runs out of power. Once you put the batteries, Flappy will immediately be brought back to life. It is also important to be gentle with the toys since forcing the ears up and down when its turned off might damage the mechanism and reduce its longevity.
Age Range

Age Range

This toy will most definitely delight your baby and younger toddlers. It is specifically made with simple option to be easily comprehended and understood by smaller children. Infants will enjoy the sounds it makes and won’t take their eyes of the flapping ear buddy. Once they develop basic moving skills, they will be able to hold the pretend pet toy and interact with it.

It might not be the first choice for older children since they’ve probably played with more complex toys and will expect to be entertained in more visual and skillful ways. They are most likely going to find it adorable and charming however their attention spans are more developed so they might easily get bored with its limited possibilities.

Babies on the other hand, love playing over and over with this elephant, since they need time to connect with a toy and appreciate things that are easily recognizable. They feel comforted and safe around plush toys so they attach to them almost effortlessly.

The toy is 12-inch-high so it seems pretty realistic to babies and it’s not too big to scare them off. Younger toddlers can easily pick it up and hold it in their hands or cuddle when they need nurturing activities. The softness and the size makes it very adequate to place it in their bed since children are intimidated by the thought of sleeping alone. It is safe to say that they will become inseparable in no time.
Price Range

Price Range

You might find this plush toy as overpriced since it only does one song and plays one game which is the classic Peekaboo, however the design is adorable and the materials are so soft. It’s a baby toy therefore it really is quality over quantity at this point. The textile has to be gentle so it won’t irritate the sensitive skin of your baby and soft enough so a toddler can press the buttons without further assistance.

It seems that no one has shown the consistency and dedication in creating adequate toys for the youngest members of society quite as the Gund toymakers. Their effort and creativity rarely disappoint the customers so it would be rather unlikely that you will regret this investment.

It would be a great gift for a baby shower, a toddler’s birthday or during the holiday season. The Flappy elephant will be a great addition to any plushy collection and it even comes with included batteries so you can use it right away and feel instantly trapped by its cuteness.

Conclusion

It is quite mesmerizing to witness your child being fascinated with a plush toy and eager to spend time with a new gentle buddy. Interactive toys are very important for early development since they are the first imaginary friends that babies get to socialize with.

Your child might be too young to understand the symbolism that elephants treasure but the emotional bond they will form will leave them with undivided love for this animal. There is an ancient proverb that says: There where the elephant passes in the forest, one knows. And seeing all the animated fun that comes with this toy, one might say that: There where the plush Flappy passes, baby knows.

This adorable mess is one of the most genuine elephant plush toys on the market. It is huggable, lovable and unforgettable. It will easily become your child’s favorite plush friend and they will make a lot of clumsy and cute childhood memories together.
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