Baby Boredom-Ball? [VIDEO]

I purchased the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Basketball toy for my son when he was almost 6 months old.  I liked the toy because I thought it would grow with him well through his first year and, hopefully beyond.  I have to say, once we set it up and gave it to my son to play with, I was a little disappointed.  I was hoping the toy would have kept his attention a little longer than it does.

Also, what’s with the name of this toy, “Learn Learning?”  Is this really the best someone could come up with?

The “learning” aspect of the toy is as follows: the buttons on the backboard light up, and it describes the shapes, colors, and numbers. The hands on the face of the toy really do nothing except move back and forth as you pull the basket down.  I was hoping that they would prompt a song or a noise at least.  It also counts and plays music each time a ball is put through the hoop.   The main joy our son got out of the toy was listening to the voice count as he would drop a ball into the net.  Provided you keep this up at a regular pace the voice and music gets more excited.  For whatever reason our son has always loved counting and this toy delivered on that.

My son only uses the toy occasionally now and quickly gets bored with it.  Perhaps as he gets older and plays differently, it will hold his attention a little better, but by then I might as well have a bigger basketball net for him.

My biggest complaint is that the design is very top heavy.  I would say this is my son’s biggest complaint as well!  He gets pretty frustrated with the toy when it falls over, which is basically every time he touches the darn thing (see video).  In fact, I gave him the toy to play with this evening to see if he would be more attracted to it (at 13 months old,) but all he did was stand in front of it and tip it over backwards.  He put the ball through the hoop once after I showed him, and pushed a couple buttons, but moved on from it very quickly.  He is more attracted to the balls than the toy itself.  I should have just bought him small basketballs to play with!

The batteries die pretty quickly if the toy is left on. Sensors in the basketball hoop detect when the ball  is dropped through.  These are always on, so when you are not playing the sensors are still draining the batteries.  We learned this one night when my husband was up late and catching up on work  He kept hearing this low buzzing and clicking noise.  Thinking he was going insane he eventually found himself crawling around the room trying to pinpoint the sound.  It was the dying batteries in the basketball net.  Turning this off between uses fixed that problem; an automatic sleep mode would be a great addition.

All in all, I give the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Basketball toy a 3 out of 5 stars. Users on Amazon give this toy positive reviews, so perhaps it’s just not right for us.