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August 5th, 2010 by Stinkhead

We had a blast with the all new Imaginext Big Foot from Fisher Price, check out the video above and my review with a bunch of more pics below.

bigfoot_01I fell in love with the Imaginext Big Foot at Toy Fair this past year and had to check it out. My son and I would have to go by the Imaginext Spike the Dinosaur display every time we went to the toy aisle. My son would stretch to press the demo button and then growl and stomp along with the Spike in the plastic case. We never got Spike, but now we’re playing with Big Foot every evening.
The packaging has a lift flap so you can see the actual Big Foot inside and get a feel for how big he is, and that’s definitely the first thing you notice is the size, he’s got some heft. He’s just about 14″ tall and weighs several pounds. Its funny, my son has figured out the best way to lift him up (under the armpits) to move him around. You can tell in the video that my son loves Big Foot, but he does approach cautiously at first when he goes to tickle him or give him his leaf to eat.
bigfoot_12The Battery
Big Foot comes with his own proprietary battery. I recommend that you remove and charge the battery before giving this to a child. I had thought that he would take regular cell batteries so I handed the box over to be opened and, I didn’t know we’d need to wait four hours before we could play with him. The nice thing is that the included AC adapter has a small light that turns green when the battery is charged. We’ve gotten about 2 straight hours of play off of one charge, but your mileage may vary as my son made him do back flips for about 45 minutes straight. Right now my son will play with him for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes at a time, so if you keep an eye on it, you can charge the battery between play sessions. I’m assuming he’s a power hog, and replacing D cell batteries would have gotten prohibitive. I do like that the battery compartment screws shut, but an adult could manage it open with a strong fingernail. I would say my biggest complaint is the battery charge to play time ratio.

bigfoot_10After he’s charged he’s immediately ready to play. He will stand there and “breathe” and encourage the child to play with him. Sometimes he’ll burp or fart when you’re not pressing any buttons, but usually my son is pounding buttons and cracking up the whole time. I recommend giving Big Foot some wide open space, when he rolls over or sleeps he moves around quite a bit, I recommend maybe 3-4 feet away from furniture. My wife did get a little anxious with the amount of banging going on near the dining room table. He seems to work just fine on short carpet or hardwood.
The main thing to grasp here is that he’s more of a “puppet”, and less of an RC monster that you’d make walk around the room. You can make him go forward and backwards, and do flips, but he doesn’t really turn, so the play is more about getting him to do funny things in one basic spot, not prowl your house.
bigfoot_08The engineers have really perfected the “toy that rights itself” function with Big Foot. He can stand up on his own pretty quickly and gracefully. My friends and I would stand around in a circle, huddled around The TMX Elmo, cash clenched in our fists, betting if he’d actually stand up again. And we love Elmo Live, but he couldn’t stand up on his own at all. But Big Foot takes the falls and tumbles in stride and is upright again in moments. He can easily offset his balance and fall over (intentionally). Sometimes when he rights himself up, he’s facing a new direction, and there is no action on the remote that rotates him or changes his direction, so that’s a minor complaint.
bigfoot_04I really like his personality… it’s a mix between caveman naivete, and anxious puppy dog. My son has taken to him too, we used to say goodbye to just our cats each morning as we left the house, but now he says goodbye to Big Foot too. The clumsiness goes with his robotic limitations, and really does come off as a “buddy” for the kid. Even though the personality is a big part of the presentation, we like that we can control what he does with the remote. We do love Elmo Live, but sometimes all we wanted to do was dance with Elmo and we had to keep hitting his belly to try and get the right random action. We also have talks with our son about exercising right, having dreams (good and bad) and saying “excuse me” after being gassy, it’s cool having someone that our son can relate to  when we bring up these concepts. I also have to mention the small tuft of furry hair on top helps make him seem a little more cuddly than if he was just solid plastic. The only thing I’d like like for them to add is have his eyes close when he’s off and his battery is recharging.
bigfoot_06The Remote
The remote control is very easy to hold and understand. I pointed out once what each button did, and after that he was going to town on his own. The layout is thoughtful and the kids have an easy time holding it. I like how the pictograms are easy enough for kids to follow, they don’t need to be able to read to play. There is a cardboard card that explains each button that you can hang onto when you first start playing (rather than need to flip through their road-map sized directions sheet) to figure out what each one does, but we just started mashing buttons and having fun. And kudos to the toy designers here, the remote resembles a plaster cast of a Big Foot foot print that so many Big Foot hunters seem to have and display. The remote takes 2 AA batteries.
bigfoot_05Press the button on the remote and he does one action, but if you hold it down for a few seconds, it does something else. Press the Sleep button once and he yawns, hold it in for a second and he’ll lay down and go to sleep. Now hit the Happy button and he’ll have a pleasant dream. Hit the Angry button and he’ll have a nightmare. We found out that you could tickle his belly while he sleeps to make him purr.
So we like the cause-and-effect functionality, but there is also some randomness mixed in to keep it fresh. I think younger kids will absolutely take to Big Foot right away, but older kids will get a kick out of him too.
Aside from tickling and feeding him his leaf you can also play ball. His right hand can grip the included red ball. Hit the Ball button on the remote and he’ll quickly toss it, but if you hold the button down, he’ll wind up to throw as long as you’re holding the button. When you let go, so does he, and its accompanied by a bowling ball crash sound effect. It took us some frustrated time to figure out, but he’ll only grab the ball when his elbow straight. The first time, my son inched up to him and tried handing him the ball as if he could take it on his own.

bigfoot_02There’s tons of stuff that Big Foot does and it’s all very amusing (as evidenced in the video above) to young children. Besides the battery charging time I mentioned, the only other big drawback is the price. I’ve seen him in stores now between $100 and $110. (Spike was in the $120-160 range). I think Big Foot is a lot of fun and worth it, but I can see droves picking him up if he ever hit the $75-80 range. I’m thinking he may be a favorite deal on Black Friday. I should disclose that this Big Foot was provided to us to review, but if I knew what I know now, I’d fork over the $100. But, if  you know what an accomplished consumer I am, you’d know that I’d also scope it out for awhile, see how long he’s sticking around on shelves and maybe wait for that first price dip to snatch him up.

When I first saw Big Foot, I knew that he’d be a lot of fun. Now that he’s in our house, it’s crazy to see how much my son befriended him and how much he laughs while playing with him. He’s a little expensive and takes long “naps” while his battery is charging, but he is a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend buying it. You can grab the iPhone app for free and see more demo video from the official Imaginext page.
New! now there’s a new video of a HUGE Big Foot spotted out in the wild.

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Posted in 3&up, baby, Boys, gadgets, Girls, kids, podcast, Remote Control, review, robots, toddler, toys, video | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Fisher-Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Batcave « Says:

    […] NonToxicReviews » Blog Archive » Podcast + Review: Imaginext Big Foot […]

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