About Storytime Pets
Storytime Pets says it’s a stuffed animal that will read to your child when connected to an iPhone, iPad, or any Android Device. They claim it comes with both a USB cable and audio plug, has an interior speaker, and an app with 12 stories and 20 sing-alongs; they say when it is connected and your child chooses a story, the stuffed animal’s mouth will move in sync to the recorded voice.
Storytime Pets is sold by Emerson, Inc (also known as E. Misham and Sons) a direct marketing company based on swanky 5th Avenue in New York City. They are not accredited by the BBB, yet they have an A+ rating, in spite of the 80+ complaints they have received about product problems in the last 3 years.
How Storytime Pets Works
There is very little information available as to how Storytime Pets works, either on their website or by calling customer service. Essentially, it is a plush toy of unknown size that comes in 7 different characters: Unicorn, Dragon, Monster, Puppy, Lamb, Boy Bear, or Girl Bear. Customer service said it came with both a USB cable and an audio cable, but in the infomercial, it appears to only show an audio cable.
To use Storytime Pets, they say to plug the USB cable into an iPad or a device that uses the Android operating system (such as a tablet) or use the audio plug with your iPhone or smartphone; according to customer service, it does not work with Windows computers.
Then, you or your child choose a story or song from the list which comes with the app. They claim the stuffed animal’s mouth will move in sync to the story, and the voice from the app will emanate from the hidden interior speaker, making it appear as though it is talking or singing.
Storytime Pets Stories and Songs
Storytime Pets seems to include a lot of classic stories and songs that most parents (and their children) are probably familiar with, including Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs (a total of 12). Some of the songs listed are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy and You Know It, and Old MacDonald (20 total).
However, there is no way to sample the quality of these stories and songs. After all, as many parents know, not all children’s products are created equally. How long are they? Who is reading and/or singing? (A search in both the iTunes store and Google turned up no results for the app.)
Storytime Pets includes:
- Storytime Pet (animal of choice listed above)
- App with 12 stories and 20 sing-alongs
Storytime Pets Pricing, Shipping, and Returns
Storytime Pets sells for $29.99 plus $6.95 S&H for a total of $36.94. They claim you have 30 days to try Storytime Pets and you can return for a refund (minus S&H and what it costs to send back). But a closer look at the website reveals when you click Process Order, you are also signing a binding arbitration agreement which prevents you from joining any class action lawsuits or suing for damages; you can only get out of this if you return Storytime Pets within 15 days.
Bottom Line: Is Storytime Pets a Scam?
This product is relatively new, so there is very little information about its actual dimensions or how and if it indeed works as they claim. The infomercial seems to indicate it is reasonably big and will animate in such a way that it looks like it is alive. However, we were unable to find out its true dimensions and customer service stated that just the mouth of the toy opens and closes. It was unclear as to whether it needed a battery to function. (If it is indeed powered by USB, it wouldn’t but if there is only an audio cable, it would probably need some kind of battery to work.)
We do like that it comes with a number of different stories and songs (many similar products only seem to interact with one book), but will your child love it as much as the kids do in the infomercial? If you do order it, you essentially have 15 days to find out.