Product provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A little over a month ago I blogged about the fact that I was considering getting the Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy. Well, it arrived a few weeks ago on one of those rare afternoons while the girls were both sound asleep. I waited approximately ZERO seconds before I tore that box open and started reading the instructions so that I could have the fairy charged and ready to go by the time they woke up.
The Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy has a bit of a learning curve when you are first getting started with it. It isn’t something that a young child could intuitively use on their own, which is a bit of a minus, in my opinion. To get the fairy ready for flight you have to first put batteries in the charging base (they aren’t included, so head’s up!). Then you have to place the fairy on her stand.
Then you have to attach the fairy to the base an additional way, via a small cord. The connection occurs at a bit of a strange angle; it took me a minute or two just to figure that part out.
Then you need to make sure your base is switched on. Your base will then show a red light, which lets you know that it is charging and not yet ready. After about 10 minutes you will get a green light. At this point, you need to unplug the fairy from the base, and then find a rather tiny and hard-to-spot switch on the fairy’s skirt.
You can see how this process would be tricky for most 5-year-olds to remember in order, right? This process alone makes this toy, in my opinion, one that an adult, or at least an older child, needs to be around to assist with.
It just so happened that our flutterbye fairy was ready to launch before the girls woke up from their naps. And I’ll admit that I couldn’t resist, and I decided to try it out by myself. The very first flight of this fairy was absolutely AWESOME. When you launch the fairy, she quickly floats up into the air 4 or 5 feet, and then she delicately starts to make he way back down, unless you place your hand underneath her feet. There are sensors there, and when they sense your hand (no need to touch, just be near), she floats back up again. That first flight was so cool because it felt like having a little flying fairy. She was absolutely beautiful to watch and so fun to play with. I couldn’t wait for the girls to wake up so I could show them!
So when the girls woke up, I took them both outside to play with the fairy more. That’s when I realized that the Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy actually won’t work outside. It was a pitiful flight, but if I had fully read the instructions I would have realized that the top of the fairy also has a sensor to help her know where the ceiling is. If she can’t detect a ceiling, she just won’t work.
Once I realized my mistake, we headed back inside to play. Both girls were actually a bit alarmed by how quickly the fairy took off. She is very fast, even creating a bit of a breeze around her! But this flight didn’t go a magically as my first time playing with her. After a few moments of hovering around the middle part of the room, she zoomed right up to the ceiling and hung out there. It was quite strange, and the only way we got her down was by pressing on her launch button to get her to come back down and end the flight (tip: press the launch button once to get her to come down slowly, and twice for her to stop very quickly).
She fell to the ground very quickly, and I immediately worried that she was hurt. She wasn’t, and that’s one thing I will say that is a positive for this toy: it can take some serious licks and keep right on working. Good thing, too, because as her charge wears out she becomes a bit more erratic, and has a tendency to run into walls and crash. We usually get 5 flights out of her before we need to plug her back in. I wish she could last a bit longer before needing to return to her charging station, but he charge is good for quite a few take offs.
The Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy is truly a lot of fun, but this is not a perfect toy. I’ve been reading reviews online and it is a very normal problem to encounter to have your fairy get stuck up on the ceiling. As we have played with her more, we have learned that if you give her a minute, she often will drift back down for you. The company that makes the fairy even has detailed instructions for how to re-set the fairy if it is a consistent problem and you find that your fairy just hangs out on the ceiling all the time. Ours doesn’t do it all the time, but it does happen, which is a bit of a bummer, and isn’t as fun for the kids.
So after my experience playing with the toy, I’d still say it is a really cool toy, unlike anything else we own, but it isn’t without its flaws. Amazon is currently selling the doll for just under $30, and if you have a serious fairy fan in your house, I really do think it’s a good toy to get, flaws and all. I think it’s a fair price for the technology, though I’m hopeful that the brand will make some improvements with the technology and with the process of getting the fairy charged and ready if and when they put out a new line. I like the price point, but I’d rather spend a bit more and get more consistent results, personally.