Cute?! Cute can't even begin to describe this little monkey! I completely understand why baby E hugs it for 3 minutes straight and doesn't want to let go! You should have seen my daughter's face when she opened the round Apple Park box that came in the mail - oh, wait, I've captured it with photos! Squeals, hugs, and kisses... Click on the photos to the right to see them larger.
Design: The thought out design starts with the box, it isn't something you would throw away. It's like a classic hat box. A perfect home for the little monkey when in storage or for organizing the nursery. The inside of the box is printed with a whimsical image of the Apple Park Picnic Pals at the park on a sunny day (sort of makes me want to hang it on the wall like artwork). The little Picnic Pal monkey is a real darling! With an over-sized head, large eyes, silky heart nose, and a sweet smile, it will win any little baby's heart. My daughter loves the long tail, sometimes she chooses that as the most convenient place to hold the monkey! The rattle is sweet for smaller babies, but since baby E is 20 months old, we chose to keep it attached so it doesn't get lost. It also has a 'beaded' bum, so it stays put when it sits. My daughter is a huge Curious George fan, but I think this monkey is even cuter! Perhaps a little more sweet and a little less mischievous!
Quality & Value: This is a great heirloom toy, not something that will get torn apart and tossed before a baby is two years old (unless you give it to a dog of course). It reminds me a lot of a toy I had that was passed on to me from my sister, it was a little puppy with big ears and eyes. We would play with it for years and I still remember seeing it at my grandma's as a teenager. The large Picnic Pals are priced at about $45 to $48. They also have hand puppets in the $30 range, wrist rattles at $16, and finger puppets at $9. All of them have the same faces of the monkey, lamby, cubby, bunny, and ducky. Don't let the Made in China part fool you, these toys are made in China's first G.O.T.S. (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic toy factory. Perhaps not as great as hand made in America, but the next best thing.
How is this green: Not only is it high quality, but it is made of the finest and safest materials. The fur is 100% organic cotton and the filling is sustainable corn fiber, 100% organic cotton fiber & non-toxic plastic pellets. The eyes are non-toxic plastic safety eyes (suitable for small babies), the nose and ears are a natural silk and hemp blend. Even the packaging is green with 100% recycled paper printed with soy ink and finished with a natural silk and hemp blend leaf & grosgrain ribbon handle. Apple Park is a member of the Organic Trade Association and if you really want to know all the ways their products are safe and certified, please visit their website.
About the Company: Once again, this is another company created by a parent, Angie Ting, who had her two children in mind when starting this brand. The vision of Apple Park is to create environmentally responsible and luxurious products for babies and children. Apple Park's Picnic Pals were inspired by classic children's toys, reinvented with the finest eco-friendly materials available. As of now they have 10 various products in their range, from plush toys to soft rattles and baby cloth sets.
Who Would You Recommend this to? This is great for babies of any age, but I'll admit it was especially exciting to get for my 20 month old because her reaction was priceless! If you're looking for a plush toy but want to avoid pesticides or synthetic materials, this is what you want. Great to sleep and cuddle with, good for your baby and good for the earth.
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