I’ve been a fan of B. Toys for a while now. I like the construction, edutainment value, and vintage feel of their toys. I knew that B. Toys was one of the brands that I wanted to share with you as part of Tee’s fifth birthday celebration here on the blog, so I was really happy when they were kind enough to send us some toys to test, just in time for her big day.
What goes with birthdays? Music and dancing of course!
Symphony in B.
The Symphony in B. is one of the coolest toys I’ve ever seen. I wanted to play with this just as much as Tee and Kay did! It’s an orchestra pit with 13 instruments and 15 songs. You decide which instruments will play the song. Choose from clarinet, flute, tuba, trumpet, xylophone, drums, cymbals, piano, accordion, koto (a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, in case you were wondering), guitar, violin and sitar.
Choose your instruments and place them in the orchestra pit area to hear them play. Honestly, it was just as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids to swap the instruments in and out and hear how each switch changed the song. Hubs immediately created a polka version of Eensy Weensy Spider with just the tuba, trombone, and accordion.
Each instrument is colour coded, and the bases each come in a different shape. I love this detail – it’s great to help younger kids match up shapes and colour.
You control the tempo (or speed) of the song, and it has auto-off and a VOLUME CONTROL. Hallelujah! Yes, I am that mom always nattering on in my reviews about having a volume control. Thank you, B. Toys!
When kids press the labeled buttons, little lights show them which instruments are woodwinds, brass, percussion, keyboards, and strings so they can learn the different parts of the orchestra. Another pair of buttons helps them categorize instruments as melody-making (e.g., piano, guitar, flute) or accompaniment (e.g., drums, cymbals, clarinet).
These are the 15 classic children’s songs on the Symphony in B. song list:
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Eensy Weensy Spider
- Baby Bumblebee
- Brahm’s Lullaby
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- Pop! Goes the Weasel
- Entry of the Gladiators
- Alphabet Song
- Come Little Leaves
- Für Elise
There’s a little panel in the back that lifts up so you can store all the instruments inside the toy when you’re not playing. The designers at B. Toys have seriously thought of everything. There’s nothing more annoying than having to root through both toy boxes, under the couch, in the couch, and behind the couch, looking for missing pieces before we can play. Every toy with separate pieces should have built-in storage like this!
The Symphony in B. uses 6 AA batteries which come included, so Tee was able to start playing as soon as she opened it up. Of course Kay couldn’t wait to try it out too!
B. Toys also sent us their newest music toy, Rockestra, for us to test out. This version is for the rock star in all of us!
The Rockestra comes with 15 songs and six instruments plus vocals. Again you choose the instruments to put on the stage: lead guitar, bass guitar, rhythm and acoustic guitar, drums, strings, keyboard, and vocals. I wasn’t sure about vocals being one of the instruments, but like the Symphony in B., all the music is professionally recorded so it doesn’t sound cheap or annoying.
Like the Symphony in B., the Rockestra comes with auto-off and volume control. This one also comes with a headphone jack for when you need the kids to be really quiet. Lyrics for all the songs are included so everyone can sing along too. B. Toys has added a replay function that allows you to create your rock anthem masterpiece and play it back again.
I don’t recognize any of the songs, so I assume that they’re original songs recorded for the Rockestra:
- Beluga Whale
- Crunch Some Carrots
- Tag You’re It!
- Cloud Gazing
- B. Colorful
- Clap Clap Clap
- One Child
- They’re Puppies
- Playing in the Sanndbox
- I’ve Got a Secret
- I Gotta Jump!
- It’s Fun Taking Turns
- King of the Dinosaurs
- Wiggle Wiggle, Let’s Jiggle
The fun flashing lights make it feel like a miniature rock concert stage, and the music got the kids up and dancing. I do wish there were a few more instruments to play around with on this one, though I’m not really sure what more you could add for a rock and roll band. My only other gripe is the lack of onboard storage for the instruments on this toy. The Rockestra uses 6 AA batteries which come included.
Another thing I appreciate about B. Toys is their ongoing commitment to keeping their packaging minimal and recyclable. They only use soy-based inks, water-based varnishes, and recycled cardboard, and all the clear plastic packaging is recyclable (#1).
B. Toys also gives back. For every B. Toy you buy, they donate 10 cents to Free the Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children!
Subscribe to B. Toys on YouTube for fun play videos!
Win a Symphony in B. or Rockestra Toy!
One lucky winner will win their choice of a Symphony in B. or a Rockestra toy. Whether you’re a classical family or a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, either one is sure to be a hit at your house! Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US, 18+. All entries will be verified.
Check out my other open giveaways listed in the right sidebar!
Disclosure: I received sample items for review purposes. All opinions are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.