Thursday, September 7th, 2006
Review: Zoolio and Zoolio Rainforest Activity Travel Cases
Zoolio is a nifty compact fabric travel case filled with six dexterity-taxing activities.
The flexible case measures 6" x 8" when folded and snapped closed with a Velcro strap. A handle allows your child to carry it like a mini briefcase.
Inside, six clear pockets hold 4" x 5" fabric panels adorned with zoo animal themes: a zipper crocodile, pocket kangaroo, button turtle, Velcro elephant, hippopotamus snaps and a snake that weaves through strips of felt grass.
The panels have a slightly puffy texture to them and generate that classic baby toy crinkle noise when you squeeze or bend the fabric. They have a high quality, well-stitched feel to them.
To help prevent your child from losing components, the moving pieces are tethered to, or partially sewn onto, the panels.
My daughter loves Zoolio. It’s aimed at the 18-month crowd, but she still enjoys it at 27-months even though she now slices through the activities like butter. When she snaps the jumbo button over the buttonhole in her turtle’s shell, she still shouts, "I did it!"
Bad news: Some retailers list Zoolio as having been discontinued. As of this writing, you can still find a few for sale.
Good news: Zoolio’s manufacturer, Manhattan Toys, has released Zoolio: Rain Forest. It appears to be similar to the original product, but with rainforest-themed animals. Product photos indicate it has a zipper frog, button snail, snap butterfly, weaving leopard, Velcro snake and rotating-beak toucan.
Interestingly, the original Zoolio joey-in-a-kangaroo’s-pouch pocket activity has been replaced with the rotating-beak toucan in the Rainforest edition. It’s probably because kids already get enough put-in take-out pocket experience just removing and re-inserting the six activity panels into the travel case. My Little Miss seems to obtain the most enjoyment from that activity.