EDITED TO ADD... The musical version of Bello the Jelly Jamm soft toy (mentioned below in this review) is normally £15.99 but right now it’s now reduced to just £8.86 - click here to check it out at Amazon*
Until a few weeks ago, Jelly Jamm meant absolutely nothing to me, so the news that a range of Jelly Jamm plush toys was being launched in the UK kind of went over my head initially.
Then - purely for the purposes of research, you understand - I watched an episode online when Playpennies asked me to review the Jelly Jamm soft toys, and let's just say I was instantly hooked.
And yes, I'm going to admit it: I have occasionally been known to watch an episode of Jelly Jamm alone in my office when there aren't even any children at home. But c'mon, there are worse vices to have...
ANYWAY. Jelly Jamm is a new animated kids’ TV series for 4-7 year olds, and the Jelly Jamm soft toys are a brand new range to accompany the TV series. But if you haven’t yet watched an episode of Jelly Jamm then you won’t know that it’s one of *those* kind of animated children’s TV shows that little ones absolutely love. (And the theme tune is a serious ear worm, too.)
It’s fast-paced, high energy and full of bright colours, but it’s also the kind of programme that parents secretly love watching too. So since you're reading this review you probably ought to just quickly watch this episode too. It's my fave. The part where the brand new dodo hatches is seriously cute...
Aimed at pre-schoolers, Jelly Jamm follows the adventures of Bello, Rita, Goomo, Mina and Ongo - five wacky friends who learn to live in harmony on the magical planet Jammbo; from where all music in the universe originates. Stay with me here. It’s not actually as crazy as it sounds. You can catch it on Channel 5 Milkshake! in the UK.
Click the link below to read the rest of this review...
Toy company Bandai launched the new range of Jelly Jamm soft toys, including a mini collection of all seven of the main characters (priced at £7.99 and ranging from 15-17cm high), mini musical dodos, as well as 4 larger soft toys (Goomo, Rita, Bello and Mina, each priced at £12.99) and a musical Bello toy which plays music from the show when you squeeze his tummy, stands at 28cm high (so pretty difficult to lose) and is priced at £15.99. The Jelly Jamm soft toys are available from independent retailers and also from Amazon and The Entertainer.
We were sent two of the new Jelly Jamm plush toys to review; a mini Rita and a musical Bello.
You really need to see an episode of Jelly Jamm for these toys to have maximum appeal. Do I keep coming up with excuses as to why you should WATCH AN EPISODE? Ahem. My little testers were a little underwhelmed when I first presented them with these Jelly Jam soft toys to review, but once I showed them an episode of Jelly Jamm online they were suddenly instantly enamoured with the cuddly Jelly Jamm soft toy characters.
Rita is a pretty cool character. She’s pink, which is of course a big box ticker for little girls who love all things pink, and while her own favourite toy is a doll called Princess, she’s just as likely to be found using Princess to hammer a nail into a wall as she is to be cuddling her and dressing her up. I like Rita a lot. She adores the cute little Dodo characters too, as do I, so we have that in common.
The soft toy version of Rita is pretty lovable. She has a gigantic head compared to the size of her body but this means that even tiny hands can hold her body tight, and the little ones we gave Rita too seemed to love burying their faces in her giant head. That may be the strangest sentence I’ve ever written in a review, but I’m just trying to say that there’s something about Rita’s shape and proportions that little ones seem to love. She’s easy to hold and cuddle, and she’s made of especially soft plushy stuff. That’s not a technical term, by the way.
The musical Bello soft toy is significantly larger so probably better suited to children at the older end of the 4-7 yrs spectrum which Jelly Jamm is designed to appeal to. He plays two different tunes when you squeeze his tummy, one of which is the opening of the Jelly Jamm theme tune, which was a massive hit with our little testers. I’ve already explained that the theme tune is a seriously catchy 'ear worm' of a jingle which you just won’t be able to get out of your head. So while this toy might drive mums and dads bonkers, it has serious appeal for mini Jelly Jamm fans. They just never tire of squeezing his tummy and listening to that tune. I mean they literally NEVER TIRE of it. Which is why we had to hide this toy in the end.
And that's the one minor drawback I found about this Jelly Jamm soft toy - our little testers found the musical button a little bit tricky to press sometimes, but they soon figured it out with a bit of practice. So it would also be fab if it came with a secret off switch for parental sanity, and to avoid having to threaten to confiscate this at bedtime if little fingers don’t stop pressing the button when they’re actually supposed to be going to sleep.
The other characters in the range look fab too and I can imagine a little Jelly Jamm fan wanting to collect all of the Jelly Jamm plush toys. I think Ongo is especially cute and will really appeal to shy kids or those on the quieter side.
Pros The Jelly Jamm soft toys are cute, cuddly, reasonably affordable (and you can snaffle the musical Bello right now at a reduced price at Amazon using the link above) and were an instant hit with our little testers, particularly once we'd introduced them to an episode of Jelly Jamm. I can imagine these toys becoming really beloved favourites with little Jelly Jamm fans.
Cons I guess it would be nice if more than one of the Jelly Jamm soft toy characters was available as a musical version. What I really mean is that I totally want my own musical Rita. It would also be really cool if the Rita soft toy came with her doll, Princess. But that's hardly a con; just a little idea which you can have for free, if you're reading, Bandai!
Overall verdict Watch Jelly Jamm; I really think you'll love it. Then invest in the Jelly Jamm soft toys but plan a good hiding spot for when Bello really starts to drive you mad...