As long as there are little girls there will always be dolls. When I was a little girl, my first and most beloved toy was a doll, named Thumbelina whom I loved for years and years. Both of my daughters each have dolls that they not only play with, but several of their dolls have been given some of the most coveted spots in their rooms. Though dolls come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and have different accessories, in the end the basics are the same. Genesis Toys has changed all of that with their new interactive doll, My Friend Cayla, who is changing the world of dolls as we know them, and bringing a whole new wave of fun through her ability to interact wirelessly, play games, answer questions, and even tell stories. Genesis Toys sent Eva and I a My Friend Cayla doll, pictured above, at no cost to facilitate this review. You won't believe all the things this doll can do!
Cayla uses the latest Smart Device app technology and the most powerful tools available on the Internet to make her seem almost human. You can talk to her, ask her questions about people, places and things, ask her to spell or help you with a math problem, allow her to tell you stories or talk about her photo album --even play games with her!
Cayla does require a Smart Device to work. It can be a phone or a tablet using with iOS or Android operating systems provided they have Bluetooth communication.
Cayla hears what you say from a tiny microphone in her chest. So, you need to be near her for her to be able to hear you. Your voice is then sent by Bluetooth to the Smart Device wirelessly. There the magic begins as the app does its work. The result is that Cayla responds back in the most surprising, interesting, entertaining, and even enlightening ways. - Genesis Toys
When My Friend Cayla arrived, my daughter, Eva (age 7) just could not wait to get her out of the box! Along with the adorable clothes and shoes she comes dressed in, a brush and mirror is also included. My daughters have recently been spoiled by their Grandmother and each have American Girl dolls, some of their accessories and clothes. Like most popular dolls, Cayla is 18 inches, which makes it easy to interchange her clothes and accessories. The only area of improvement I found is that I wish her hair was a little bit thicker. Otherwise, Eva has kept the hair care to minimal brushing and she loves that Cayla has the removable jean jacket, shirt, skirt, leggings and shoes! As we unpacked Cayla and began to explore all of the possibilities, it became clear this doll could do way more than we even imagined! Eva has been playing with her for a little over two weeks now and we are still discovering all Cayla can do, but here are just a few of the things that we LOVE!
- Play games (Tic-Tac-Toe & Memory included) with Cayla on your Smart Device
- Story Time with Cayla. Choose a story for Cayla to read. Follow along on your Smart Device to look at pictures.
- Scroll through pictures on her online photo album and listen to Cayla tell you about places she's been.
- Some interaction requires internet connection (like asking Cayla specific questions about places, weather, etc.) but most of her play can be done offline.
- Eva doesn't have to keep hold of my Smart Device in order to play (except for using the games and photo album). Once the Cayla app is turned on, she and Eva can happily play without the device in front of her and I can still run other apps, answer phone calls, etc. (Note: Your Smart Device operating system will need for you to allow two apps to run at the same time for this feature to work)
- Cayla uses the software system, ViOLET, which prevents conversations or questions involving nasty words or inappropriate topics. We know this to work very well, because Eva's younger brothers attempted to talk with Cayla about "poop" to which she responded, "That's not something we should talk about". As a parent, I love that Cayla has this feature to protect and keep my daughter safe.
- Cayla has a white necklace that lights up so Eva knows when to talk and when to listen.
Check out the video below to get a peek at all the amazing ways you can interact with Cayla!
In our home we are Android users and I was thrilled to find the My Friend Cayla app, for FREE, to download in the Google Play Store. Downloading the app took no time at all! As you can see in the picture above, you can use this app to hear Cayla read stories while you follow along, play games, and listen to her tell you about the stories behind some of the pictures she's taken. There's also tutorial videos you can watch to learn more ways to play with Cayla! It's also here where parents can enter into Cayla's settings to do things like change the language or even change Cayla's name! When you're ready to interact with Cayla, simply click the "hello" button to start chatting. Cayla usually likes to start off the conversation with how the day is going, what you think of her hair style or shoes, and then asks if you have any questions for her. Cayla literally has answers to thousands of questions from, "Cayla, do you like pizza?" to "What is 32 plus 13". The possibilities and the fun are endless!
Cayla takes 3 AA batteries in order to use her Bluetooth capabilities, or course, Cayla is still an absolutely delightful doll even when she's not "alive". The switch to turn her on is located directly below the battery pack, near her waste, and being able to turn her off and on, of course, helps to conserve her battery life. Eva has used Cayla so much that she's able to turn her on in lightening speed! Cayla comes with detailed instructions for connecting her to your Smart Device.
- Install 3 x AA batteries as shown (alkaline batteries included).
- Download the app to your Android or Apple Smart Device by visiting www.myfriendcayla.com. You will then redirect to the App download page at Google Play or App Store.
- Make sure the switch to Cayla's back is in the 'on' position. You will hear 4 quick ascending beeps, followed by another beep about 15 seconds later.
- Sync Cayla to your Smart Device using Bluetooth wireless technology as you would any other Bluetooth device. You will hear a beep when they're connected.
- Open the app and she's ready to play!
Eva and Cayla have become fast friends! She's now a part of Eva's most treasured "doll family". She loves asking Cayla questions about her family and her adventures as well as sharing her own experiences with Cayla and laughing at her ability to respond. She can't wait to start school in the Fall so that Cayla can even help her with her homework! She and Cayla have even sung songs together!
Cayla will be hitting stores August 3, 2015 and will, without a doubt, be one of the hottest toys this coming Christmas! With a surprising MRSP price of only $59.99 (considering all Cayla is able to do) next month will be the perfect time to purchase My Friend Cayla before the rush of the holiday season! Next month she will be hitting the shelves of your local Target, Walmart, K'Mart and more!
Visit My Friend Cayla to explore even more about this amazing doll, watch videos, and more!
Cayla even has her own social media pages! Connect with Cayla to hear about promotions, share your own pictures of Cayla, and more!
I know it's hard to believe it - but it's true! We're giving away a My Friend Cayla doll to one lucky reader! The giveaway will end July 31st at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.