Tonies create innovative audio toys that encourage little one’s imagination and play away from screens. Tonies is an innovative audio system derived from the idea of two dads wanting to offer a child-friendly way to listen to audio content away from screens and scratched CD’s. Listen to stories and songs with the help from your favourite collectable characters, or even create your own fun audio! They were our top selling gift at Christmas, but we wanted to put them to the test with one of our trusted parent testers. Keep reading to see what our parent tester thought of the Toniebox.
Parent Tester - Laura Rawnsley
We were chosen to be NBS parent testers and review the Tonies Toniebox. Delivery was really fast from confirmation email to arrival, the product arrives in secure packaging and well supported in the outer box!
We chose the red Tonie which the babies and I absolutely love and its a good size for little hands, not too small so my youngest can play (13 months) and not too heavy for my oldest (3 years).
The main box is well made, very durable (thoroughly tested by small hands) it can withstand being carried about and dropped which is ideal. The design is lovely for having out pm display in the house or the children’s bedrooms. The main set up is fairly straight forward, but if you have excited children I would recommend doing this before giving the box to them. It only takes a few minutes to set up, the initial set up simply runs through your home wifi, I also downloaded the app on my phone which was super easy to navigate. Even charging has been thoughtfully considered and designed, it is a really simple white charging base which the box then sits on top of, this means my son can pop it on charge himself without going near the wires or touching and electrical parts.
The Tonie characters are great as well. You get one with your Toniebox which comes with the main box and matches in colour called a “creative Tonie”, you can fill this with up to 90 mins of audio, whatever you want, personal messages, stories, songs etc. This is great fun to do together, my son loved recording his own messages and playing them back. All of this is controlled through a simple app download which is really easy to use. You can easily amend what is on this Tonie, delete and add more through the app.
For the additional Tonie we chose Stick Man. The Tonies themselves are also incredibly durable, the design is well thought out for young children to use as ours has gone missing twice and occasionally flung around, it would be difficult to break. The story is first on playback but there are also songs at the end which both of my children enjoyed.
The controls of the box are really simple to use and understand, my little boy can already use the box without my help. The box has really easy volume controls, you simply pinch the little ears to go up and down, and then to fast forward or rewind you just tilt the box in the direction you want to go.
Easy to use (adults and Children)
Fun to use
My son really likes following the story with pictures however for the most part we have books that we recorded so we encouraged him to follow the story himself in there.
Both my kids love this, my oldest loves the fact that he can use it without mummy’s help and my youngest enjoys putting the Tonies on the box which stay put by clever magnets. I wouldn’t say it is an essential for Children but it is good fun and also opens the door for great birthday and Christmas gifts as there are loads of story characters to choose from and they are easy to store so great little gifts that offer open ended play away from screens.
Parent tester – Jade Barakat
We were delighted to be chosen to parent test the Toniebox for Natural Baby Shower. Anything that harnesses kid’s imagination and develops their listening skills is a winner in my eyes and I couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to the hype.
The Toniebox arrived very quickly and was packed carefully for protection. The product itself has an attractive box, with images that depict it being used by children. My daughter was excited from the outset!
It was immediately evident how well made the Toniebox is. Everything has been thought through carefully - from the padded casing to the button free operation. Robust enough to withstand being handled (and dropped several times by my toddler!) the box is surprisingly light and is just the right size for small hands.
I confess, I’m not very good with technology and was relieved to find that setting up the Toniebox was relatively straightforward. It didn’t take too long, but bear in mind it does need to be connected to a WiFi network for this part. It’s definitely best to do this in advance, as children aren’t known for their patience!
Using the Toniebox couldn’t be easier. All the characters are magnetic and the box can even be moved around and held whilst a story is playing. I loved that my toddler could operate it independently and she quickly worked out how to adjust the volume and skip a chapter or track by tapping the box... this was quite a novelty at first!
There’s a good range of Tonies available and we bought a few extra to compliment the characters it came with. I was curious to see if the storytelling was animated enough to keep little ones engaged. I didn’t have to worry, the audio was excellent quality and the inclusion of songs and games at the end of some are a lovely touch.
My daughter’s favourites were The Gruffalo and Zog Tonies. She wasn’t as keen on The Snowman, probably because it was a story only. I’m sure she’ll appreciate this one more as she gets older, or I could get her the book so she can flick through the pictures as she listens.
If there was one change I could make, it would be for the Toniebox volume to go slightly louder. At times it was difficult to hear the songs over my daughter’s enthusiastic singing! It would also be good to have some Tonies suitable for very young children with toddler classics like Dear Zoo and the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The Toniebox is portable and has it’s own charging dock. During the day it made a lovely addition to her book area and we took it upstairs in the evening for bedtime. It would be fab for a themed story table too, I’m looking forward to trying this next!
Overall the Toniebox doesn’t disappoint and is a little gem of a toy. In a short space of time it has firmly established itself as a favourite with my daughter and we definitely see its potential as a toy that can grow with her.
Easy to operate
High quality audio
Range of Tonies (particularly for toddlers)