My Pal Violet Talking Baby Toy

Baby toys, even talking ones, are a dime a dozen. But there are some that stand out from the pack. One of these better-than-average toys is My Pal Violet, from LeapFrog (item #19157).

My Pal Violet is a stuffed animal that talks to your child and can help to develop learning skills. Violet is a purple and white plush dog, designed for a baby girl. (LeapFrog also makes My Pal Scout, item #19156, for boys.) Violet can say your child’s name, ask her questions, and play simple games with her (such as “guess the animal noise that I’m making”).

My Pal Violet comes with a detachable USB cable, which allows you to hook it up to your computer. You’ll need an Internet connection – not necessary to use the toy – so that you can download and install the LeapFrog application on your computer (a simple process but takes a few minutes). You can use the LeapFrog program to input your child’s name for Violet to say. You can also tell Violet (through the application) what your child’s favorite food and favorite color is, and you can pick up to 10 different music tracks (five daytime tracks and five nighttime tracks) for Violet to be able to play. Any time you want to change any of this information, just connect Violet to your computer and run the LeapFrog application.

Connecting the toy to your computer is easy. There is a power pack/sound box/controller board contained within a plastic box on Violet’s back, and the USB cord connects directly into that box. When Violet is not connected to a computer, you can hide the box in Violet’s back and close up the opening with Velcro. The toy is surprisingly lightweight for everything that is contained inside. Violet requires three AA batteries to run. According to the website, batteries are not included, but our toy came with batteries already installed.

My Pal Violet is recommended for children six months old up to 36 months old. If your daughter is able to recognize her name and understand basic sentences, My Pal Violet can be a fun playtime companion. For children that haven’t gotten to that point yet, My Pal Violet may be interesting to them simply because it’s a talking stuffed animal. My Pal Violet (or My Pal Scout) can be purchased online from LeapFrog.com for $21.99. My Pal Violet was chosen as one of Baby Talk Magazine’s 2009 Toys of the Year.