Talking Friends, the app in which three cats - Tom, Ginger and Angela - talk to you, has escaped out of your iPhone and Android smartphone and into a range of talking plush toys.
The new toys, starting with Tom, stand around 12 inches high and have three chatty modes to entertain your kids.
Powered by three AAA batteries and costing £35, Tom can sing, talk gibberish at you, or interact with the range of Talking Friends apps available, either making sneaky comments or adding to the story in the right place.
Your phone and the app you're using will dictate how much interaction is possible. Playing with the Talking Ginger app on the iPhone 5, Plush Talking Tom Superstar doesn't say much aside from "Oh Ginger" when Ginger does something silly. In I Want to Be Big storybook app, for the iPhone and Android, there is a little more banter as Tom helps add sound effects to the story, but not much.
Where Tom really gets interactive with an app is in Talking Friends Superstar, currently available only for Android, but promised for the iPhone and iPad. Here without worrying about pairing or connecting your phone to the toy, you can press a number of on-screen buttons that direct Tom to voice something - be it say happy birthday or a burp. It is simple and clever, and will no doubt have your kids pressing the buttons in the app over and over again.
If you haven't got a smartphone, don't panic, the three plush toys will talk to each other without you and the toys can be updated with new sound content as it becomes available online.
If your kids are besotted with the Talking Friends apps this is one way to get them away from the screen, but be warned, if you think that you'll be able to talk to the plush toy in the same way you can the app, you can't, and that's disappointing.
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