Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Bamba Toys is the charming new roleplaying app from the developers at Mezmebia, a company that has a very nice collection of Bamba apps that aid children in their creative play. Whether it is pretending to prepare and serve ice cream, pizza, burgers, or playing post office, these apps are uniformly colorful, intuitive, and a lot of fun. Here, children now have the opportunity to create their very own action figure-type toy, complete with the ability to make their character talk as well as designing the box - a nice touch.
Children will be guided through different choices of features as one can scroll through basic head and face shapes, including both boy and girl characters who also have a varied range of skin tones, as well as being able to choose different features such as facial hair, hats, glasses, large wigs of hair, facial scars, and an astronaut's bowl-like helmet; all nice choices that can be used to create their very own character. A collection of torso and arm choices are included to choose from, creating a base to work from, with different themes such as prince, princess, and cowboy - it is nice that a few selections are less specific such as armored options that could be parlayed into an astronaut, super hero, or other character of children's imaginations.
A variety of tools and props can be chosen, including musical instruments and a microphone, adding finishing touches to the body styled as a rock musician and fairy wings to a Batman-type cape as well as a few food choices. It is worth noting that a sword, cap gun, and rifle are also available - not an issue really for our family but worth mentioning for those who are not comfortable with the idea of toy weapons. Legs are included as well, and I appreciate how these limbs look specifically doll-like; being jointed and including only the marginal details in the toe area that I am used to seeing in our baby dolls. Do select from a series of options here as well, adding more touches to one’s figure. I appreciate how blueprint backgrounds are used throughout these sections, adopting different colors such as pink or green for a nice effect. The use of blueprints helps this app stand out from others like it as an app about toy construction instead of a simple character-builder app - details that make this app a more specific roleplaying experience that I enjoy. It would be nice, however, if players could go back and make changes to their character as they see fit.
Next, players can add a voice to their figure in a scene taking place in a recording studio as children speak into the microphone of their device - a unique detail that makes me smile. To complete this toy-making process, once must assemble the action figure with the aid of a joystick that controls a claw used to connect the character pieces together - another nice touch. I also enjoy how the voice of the figure, narrated by the user, is added as a heart to the toy reminiscent of the heart added to stuffed animals at Build A Bear Workshops - a charming detail, to be sure. Now that the figure is complete, choose from a selection of bright and colorful boxes decorated with such themes as a pretty horse stable motif, pirate, alien, or salon designs including letters and numbers to further personalize the packaging.
Children will appreciate a great deal the ability to take their toy out of the box and tap on the button seen center chest to activate the included narration, but it would be nice if they could articulate their character as well - an idea for a future update. I enjoy how these figures are saved within this app, added to a store shelf where they are available to be played with in the future, but it would be nice if one could go back and make changes to their characters as well.
All in all, this is a very nice and creative app that children will enjoy. I would like to see, however, the ability to have access only to Bamba Toys within this app because for now, one can scroll to different Bamba buildings that house other apps such as the Bamba Ice Cream Shop or the Bamba Post Office. This feature may be desirable for those with access to these other titles, but for families who have only one of these apps the easy ability to come across other apps for download can seem as unpleasant advertising.