By Laura Mason
Glancing across at Marley disciplining her baby doll and I have to chuckle. While she often pretends not to hear me or out right refuses to listen, I am reassured that it’s her ‘strong’ personality and not her hearing that is the issue when I am telling her off!
Baby Annabell was our first doll for Grace (now aged 7.5) and she is still going strong with Marley who just loves caring and imitating my own parent/child relationship with Annabell and her doll friends. We have actually amassed a good collection of babies, dolls and princesses of all races, shapes and sizes over the years, so with some brand new products from Baby Annabell for 2019, I was intrigued to see if there’s anything else that could possibly enhance our collection.
Glancing over the new products, for me, the new range has really branched in two directions. While Baby Annabell targets young children, there are now even more options for much younger babies, and also older children with more enhanced dolls.
There’s a beautiful new range for younger children – Baby Annabell Sweetie is more of a comforter toy made from all cuddly soft materials and machine washable, while Baby Annabell Little is perfect introduction for youngsters that are just starting to explore play.
Other newbies to the range largely feature some fantastic interactivity that makes these babies even more lifelike with heartbeats sounds, and to engage with more empathy, a poorly Milly doll that has flushed cheeks when she isn’t feeling well.
Sophia So Soft – Baby Annabell’s Big Sister
We went for the Baby Annabell Sophia So Soft, a more grown up doll with slightly older fashion sense (she is Baby Annabell’s big sister after all!), and the real highlight – long bouncy hair complete with a handful of accessories to help style it. Marley has really enjoyed playing with her. I think as she’s older with a more grown up pose and funkier outfit, she naturally lends herself to more dress up opportunities and we have been mixing and matching outfits A LOT! The hair is a nice element that has actually made it a bit easier for me to join in with play as I have found myself plaiting it then trying to show Marley how to do the same.
The body is soft, which is really good for cuddles and snuggling if your child is anything like mine and wants to sleep with their baby; however she’s also sturdy enough to hold her shape while playing. Sophia is fantastic quality as I have come to expect from Baby Annabell products, with absolutely no concerns over any safety elements of the dolls. My one tiny niggle would be that it would be nice if there’s the added choice of Sophia So Soft available in different skin and hair colours – maybe some cousins perhaps?!
We also managed to get our hands on one of the accessories that can be used with Sophia, the Baby Walker. At £42.99, it’s one of the pricier accessories, but having four doll prams, I think it was a good addition to the mix. The baby walker has been lots of fun, especially as the children review each others driving skills! Remote controlled, you can navigate your baby from afar forwards and backwards and turning it left and right. Our Baby Annabell dolls all fit, as do many of our other dolls and teddies as it’s quite a universal seat piece. The sturdy walker easily glides across our wooden floors (and even made it across our lounge carpet) and makes lots of great sound effects. Good for key motor skills and enhancing role-play, I am really pleased we got to test this bit of kit as it adds a whole new dynamic to play.
Baby Annabell Sophia So Soft is priced £34.99 and the Baby Annabell Baby Walker is priced £42.99 from all good toy stores, including Smyths Toys Superstore, The Entertainer, Argos, and Tesco. For more information, visit www.baby-annabell.com/en