Review: My Friend Cayla Interactive Doll

Back in the summer Emmy and I went into London to attend a private party at Hamleys to meet a very special doll.  We were introduced to My Friend Cayla who is set to be top of the Christmas lists this year.
So who is Cayla and why is she so special?
Well here she is:
My Friend Cayla, review,
As you can see from the off she isn’t you typical overly make up style doll, she looks just like you would expect a 7 year old to look, wearing leggings and a t-shirt fashioned with a denim jacket, skirt and trainers – she is wearing exactly the same style Emmy would choose herself to wear.  From a parents point of view it is refreshing to see a very casual attire and no make-up – after all these dolls are aimed at children afterall so why do the majority of them have to be super skinny with high heels and make-up?
My Friend Cayla is a doll with a difference, she is set to become your child’s friend.  She can understand almost anything you say by using speech-to-text technology.    Download the free app to an Android or iOS smart device and connect to Cayla via Bluetooth Wireless Technology.
She is 18 inches tall and comes complete with a hairbrush and mirror.  She retails at £59.99
You can get to know Cayla, ask her questions such as her name, about her family, her favourite foods, music, hobbies, pets and much more and she will answer you, you can tell her about yourself too and she will remember.  You can ask her questions such as ‘What is the Capital of France?’, questions about where animals live and even about famous people and she will answer you.
She will also play games with you too using your iPad or smartphone, she will read you a story, talk about the pictures in her photo albums.
My friend Cayla, Interactive doll review, talking doll, top toys christmas 2014
Emmy was rather taken with this doll and it was easy to see why, she liked chatting away to her and thought it was very funny when Cayla chatted back to her.
I on the other hand have a few niggles, and I have waited a while to share this post while we tried to iron out the kinks.
Firstly, I couldn’t get the Cayla app downloaded onto my Android phone as I didn’t have enough memory.  I removed all my photo’s, most of the games and reset some of the settings however I still didn’t have enough space.  We had to set this up with Paul’s phone initially to get around this problem.
Next we encountered connection issues, the signal kept dropping out and Cayla would unpair from the Bluetooth frequently which was rather frustrating.  I recently got a new phone so we tried again and had more luck this time.  Emmy was able to ask her questions, listen to the stories and to interact with Cayla better.
Sadly there is another slight problem, Emmy has a cold.  This is effecting her speech and when she asks Cayla a question she needs to repeat herself a few times before she is understood – meeting with ‘I’m afraid I don’t know that one’.  Thankfully Emmy finds this very funny so she just keeps asking over and over again.
My friend Cayla, story telling doll, interactive doll
Older children will probably have more luck in making themselves understood, Emmy is 4 and a half and can mutter or talk quietly – to make Cayla work effectively you need to be clear and louder.
You maybe slightly worried about Cayla being linked to the internet, however the software system checks for offensive or sensitive words against a pre-set blocked words list.  If the question or answer contains any words on the blocked word list Cayla will announce that ‘she cannot talk about those things’.    You are also able to add your own words and phrases to a blocked list (once added this can not be undone and the list can’t be viewed – just incase your child tries to change the settings. 
Overall we like this toy and we can see this being hugely popular this Christmas.  You can find out futher information about Cayla on the website
Disclaimer:  We received this doll for the purposes of this honest review, all thoughts and opinions are our own and unbiased.


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