Flashlight Friends Review: Plush Toy Illuminates Story Time

Elijah and his Flashlight FriendBedtime reading can be a chore, and it has nothing to do with those bland stories written by people not named Seuss or Sendak.

The ceiling fan in my boys’ bedroom doesn’t offer enough light, so when I read “Where the Wild Things Are” for the 86th time I strain to see the words.

Enter Flashlight Friends.

The plush toy comes with a flashlight built into its tummy, letting me see every syllable in my sons’ favorite books. The toy’s manufacturer may not have had my reading troubles in mind, but it’s been very helpful in our home. The Black Penguin model is soft and agreeable looking with sad, soulful eyes staring back at us.

My kids generally love all kinds of light sources, big or small. They fought over a key chain light I brought home from a work trip as well as our Maglite as long as their forearms.

The Flashlight Friend delivers a soft but powerful LED beam that makes bedtime reading a breeze, and it’s also ideal for kids who love to explore in the dark or might be afraid of sleeping alone. Tap it twice to turn it on and once to shut it off. It takes a few tries to get the feel of it, but it’s not so hard that a two-year-old can’t figure it out in short order.

Our boys are notoriously fickle when it comes to new toys. Our two year old fell in love with the Flashlight Friend at first, and a day later insisted he couldn’t sleep without it. The following morning it was out of sight, out of mind. But the toy is sturdily built, offers a 10-minute silent timer that shuts the light off if left unattended and will likely re-ignite my sons’ interest in the days and weeks to come.

The toy doesn’t have any loose parts that might be dangerous to young children and is cool to the touch, but based on my two sons it’s probably best for the 2-4 year age bracket. Elijah, who turns 5 in two months, seemed less interested in the fluffy penguin than Benjamin, who is two and a half.

Flashlight Friends come in six shapes (black penguin, green turtle, pink unicorn, green dragon, blue puppy and purple panda) and cost $19.95 on the official web site.

Note: The makers of Flashlight Friends provided me with a product sample for review purposes under the agreement my comments would be my own and reflect my honest assessment of the toy.

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