Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
PopATot: the Portable Baby Activity Center
Have you noticed that Exersaucers and similar products bill themselves as portable and compact? How often do you haul those big hunks of plastic with you in a car, train or plane?
Enter the PopATot by Kiddy Creations. It’s a PVC-free activity center supported by a folding steel tubing frame, much like a camp or beach quad chair.
The PopATot’s size is 27"x27"x24" and collapses into a shoulder bag 5 inches wide and 36 inches long.
The company claims it "opens and closes in seconds with one hand â€” while you hold your child with the other."
Once open, stick your 6- to 18-month-old (up to 33lbs) in the center seat and attach toys to five loops on the top using standard plastic baby rings. There are also two sippy cup holders.
There doesn’t appear to be a height adjuster, so either it’s not much of an issue, or you simply use it as long as your kid fits.
As of this writing, a free pack of Sassy Lively Links (plastic toy rings) are included with the PopATot. You provide your own toys.
The floor of the PopATot is removable and machine washable with line drying, but the top is not washable except with a traditional sponge.
Unlike a swiveling Exersaucer, the center seat appears to be stationary, except to whatever degree a toddler can twist his body while standing. To that end, there are no toy loops on the side of the PopATot that faces your child’s back.
If you don’t own an activity center, understand that it essentially serves the same chief purpose as a play pen, providing a safe temporary environment for a toddler when you have tasks to accomplish around the home (while remaining within supervisory view). But in PopATot’s case, it can be also used outside in lieu of a baby being confined to a parked stroller.
I could seriously see my almost-6-month-old in this thing during my 4-year-old’s soccer games, and especially on a camping trip when you pretty much never want to put a baby on the ground.
I like the idea of supplying your own toys. We had to remove two of my son’s Exersaucer toys (one he can yank halfway out himself and the other induces blind rage because it won’t budge).
So, toys of my choosing tethered at a distance of my choosing would be great. There’s no mention of how well toys fit in the carrying bag.
PopATot goes on sale September 10th. It costs $60 with
shipping a little steep at $19, although you might obtain a "free" one if you are accepted into the company’s home testing program where you submit a weekly journal and photos or video.
Correction: Shipping is as cheap as $12.50 and $19 at its most expensive. And, the testing program is now full a week later. What can I say? It pays to read Thingamababy early.
International orders are also accepted with shipping costs to be determined.
As of this writing, the product warranty states, "If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with PopATot, simply return it to us undamaged for a replacement product, credit towards a future purchase, or full refund. Shipping is paid by us if returned within 30 days…"