My son Monkey Man loves animals. If he's not pretending to be an animal, watching a show about animals, or asking a thousand questions about animals, it's not a regular day. Don't even ask me about the two months that he pretended to be Baby Buffalo. Really.
Parent Bloggers Network asked me if I was interested in reviewing Noah's Pals and I hesitated. We're not religious people. It's not like we don't believe in God and the Bible and all that stuff, we just don't attend church except on special occasions. So I kind of wondered how Noah's Pals was going to be received in our house. We've read the story of Noah before (we might be worshippers at the Almighty House of the Waffle on Sundays but we do read to him out of a children's Bible) so I knew it wouldn't be a total unknown to him - but what exactly was this going to be like?
The night that the package arrived, Joey and I had a business dinner so Monkey Man's former teacher was going to babysit. Marie usually brings her son Austin with her - he is four years old and when he and Monkey Man get together, they have a total blast playing. So I let the boys tear into the boxes (praying all the while that they wouldn't lose anything before I had a chance to check things over).
It was like magic. They carefully opened the boxes, identified the animals, asked for their names (each pair of animals is given a set of names), and then played with them. And played with them. And played with them.
Noah's Pals, developed by Caboodle! Toys LLC, are designed to not only be realistic but also educational. The Noah's Ark set comes with an ark, Noah, and 40 sets of animals. The animals are divided into three categories - Common, Endangered, and Vulnerable. Caboodle! has made only 10,000 editions of the endangered animal pairs, and 20,000 editions of the vulnerable animal pairs.
Each pair comes with a laminated identification card, which describes the animal, its scientific name, the average stats (height, weight, length), their habitat, and where they are usually found. Each pair also comes with a unique identification number that can be logged onto the Noah's Pals website in order for you to create a virtual "boarding list" and track what you have purchased.
Personally, I was impressed with the quality of the animals. Each pair is individually hand-painted and created from sturdy PVC, and managed to withstand some pretty rough play from two boys. The detail is really amazing - one set that we received was the snow leopard, and they are just incredibly well done. Some of the animals are very small, like the doves that we received in our shipment; however, the toys are aimed for ages 4 and up so people with younger children should keep that in mind and perhaps save the smaller figures for when the kids get a little older.
Although it's called Noah's Pals, that is the only religious connotation associated with these toys. They are really an extensive collection of animals from all seven continents that any kids that love animals would enjoy playing with. They have barely gotten a rest at our house since the day they arrived, and have happily taken up residence along with the Power Rangers and Transformers. And Caboodle! Toys donates 5% of the net profits from the sales of Noah's Pals to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which just makes it a win-win for everyone. There's also a blog all about Noah's Pets too!
If you're looking for a great gift for the little animal lovers in your house, scoot on over to Amazon and pick up Noah's Pets for only$269 - that's a $30 savings over the regular price. Not to mention that once you collect all 40 sets of animals, you get a special reward called a "Caboodle" from the manufacturer which is a box of special, exclusive rewards. The animals, the ark, and Noah are also available for purchase separately. And if you want to read more reviews on Noah's Pets, stop by Parent Bloggers and check out what everyone else had to say!