Sharing Our Obsession: An Octonauts Giveaway

GeekMom Toys
Image: Sarah Pinault
Image: Sarah Pinault

For almost a year now, my three, soon to be four, year old and I have been obsessing over The Octonauts. At this point we are talking about a multimedia empire, dominating the world of pre-school marine biology. We came to the TV show first, and then to the books, which predate the show, before swiftly moving on to the toys. We are slowly bringing his younger brother into the fold, with the acquisition this week of a more age appropriate set of plush toys from the UK.

Cute, entertaining, and informative, the show retains the high quality that we found in the books. To prepare for the beginning of season two, which began airing on Disney Junior in April, a partial line of Octonauts toys hit US markets this spring. The full line of toys remains a benefit of living on the other side of the Atlantic. Thank goodness for British grandparents!

The toys that are not available in the US are also hard to find elsewhere in the world, much harder than I would expect for such a relatively new show. Toys that have a retail value of $25 can go for upwards of $100, and bring to mind the Tickle Me Elmo frenzy of the late nineties. We had barely left Christmas behind this year, when I found myself on The Octonauts Facebook page, joining in conversations about the scarcity of certain figures. I was shocked.

I had experienced similar things over the years, as my dad is in the toy business and regularly laments the under packed box. A box of Star Wars figures would always yield multiples of one figure, a few less of another, and then a lone figure to be ever after sought for. The worst I ever experienced was the uproar surrounding the elusive Black-eyed Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Barely even one in a box. I expected that from geek toys, from toys that both adults and children pursue voraciously. But I was not expecting the same thing from a show aimed at pre-schoolers.

Scarcity aside, the toys are a great value. They are well made, accurate to the show, and virtually indestructible, having been extensively tested by the destruction brothers that reside in my house. While I would never pay $100 for a Gup, the vehicles by which the Octonauts explore the ocean, they are certainly well worth the retail price. Both of my boys love playing with these toys, both in and out of the bath.

After a harrowing search across the internet, several UK toy stores both on- and offline, after speaking with security guards at my parents’ local toy store, we have obtained the most elusive of all Gups: the Gup D. Unbeknownst to my son, who continued to pray nightly for his missing Gup, the vehicle had been obtained, at retail value, and squirreled away for the next visit from the grandparents. He was greeted at Boston airport, by a happy nanny, and his missing Gup. It’s hard to say what he was more excited about!

Image: Fisher Price
Image: Fisher Price

So here’s your chance to get in on the fun. Thanks to Child’s Play Communications we are giving away one Octopod Playset to get your young Octonaut started on deep sea adventuring. Just leave a comment on this post telling us what you are currently co-obsessing over with your geekling. Comments will be closed on Wednesday June 5th at midnight and a winner selected at random.

The giveaway is open to US residents only. Only entrants with a valid email address will be considered.

Here is a list of toys currently available in the US, if you are just starting your collection:

Octonauts Octopod Playset: The Octopod includes over 10 play pieces including Barnacles, Kwazii, a miniature GUP-A, three creatures, four rescue tools, and a clip-on Octo-Alert featuring phrases and sounds from the show. It retails at $34.99, and is the only toy that isn’t bath time friendly. It has stickers that attach to each pod, and the Octo-Alert contains batteries.

Octonauts Vehicle Assortment: Gups A-D are currently available in the US. This is sad matter, as it is the elusive Gup-E, Peso’s Gup, that is short on both sides of the Atlantic. All vehicles work in the bath and include a character, creature and rescue tool.

Images: Fisher Price
Images: Fisher Price

Octonauts Figure and Creature Pack Assortment: Only four pack assortments are currently available, each coming with an Octonauts figure and a color-changing creature. At the moment US viewers can only choose from Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Shellington, or Peso. These are variations of the figures that automatically come with the Gups, so if you need Tweak, Inkling, Tunip, and Dashi, you will need to use an international vendor on Amazon, or wage war on Ebay.

Rescue Kits: You can choose from Barnacles with Tunip & Clam or Kwazii & the Slime Eel. The former comes with Tunip, one of the missing figures, while the latter includes a treasure chest which will be a big hit if your young Octonaut enjoys the “Monster Map” episode.

The Octo-Compass: For your cosplayer in training, there is the Octo-Compass. Containing phrases from Barnacles, Kwazii, and Peso, the compass comes complete with creature sounds and the Octo-Alert signal. It will be the perfect pairing to go with my son’s face masks, he is insisting on a costume party for his birthday this year, so we’re all about the accessories right now.

Portions of this post were originally covered on Wired.com/GeekMom.

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23 thoughts on “Sharing Our Obsession: An Octonauts Giveaway

  1. With my son we are currently obsessed with Bubble Guppies & Mickey Mouse Club House. With my daughter we are obsessed wi Batman & My Little Pony. It makes for an interesting mix of t.v. Viewing on the weekends sometimes, when they are allowed to watch t.v.

  2. My twins are almost 3, and they each have their own obsession, plus a couple shared ones. Twin A is obsessed with Octonauts, and is deliriously happy when 4:30 rolls around. She has even made up her own Octonauts dance for Creature report time! Twin B’s obsession is Signing Time, and is always using a ST video as leverage when we ask her to do something (“I clean, then watch Signing Time, yes?”) When we ask them to agree on something to watch, it is typically either classic Disney videos (particularly Goofy and Donald) or Super Why.

  3. My 4 year old loves the Octonauts, Super Why, and Sesame Street. She is a true water baby and adores anything to do with the ocean. Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. My two girls are obsessed with Lalaloopsies and My Little Ponies. My husband is obsessed with the girls collecting all the mini blind bag ponies. We can’t go to the store without the ‘pony cheat sheet’ so we can only buy the ones we need…

  5. My son is in love with trains. He and my husband spend hours playing Lego trains, wooden trains, train computer games…you name it.

  6. My 5-year-old daughter is currently obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as are we, the parents, hehe), and my 2-year-old son loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. They both like to watch The Octonauts too.

  7. My daughter’s room is decorated with all sorts of fish and sea creatures (though her terrestrial love is dogs!).

  8. My boys are obsessed with Octonauts and Super Heros gladly mixing the two together!

  9. I’ve been loving watching Phineas and Ferb with my kids. Oh, and Batman The Brave and the Bold, too!

  10. My 3 year old and I love the PBS show Curious George. We don’t like the Curious George books or toys. Instead, following my son’s lead, we’ve put together Curious George-inspired adventures like watching the “All Animal Recycled Band,” playing Toca Band on the iPad and making instruments from empty boxes and pots and pans. I will shamelessly plug my blog about all the geeky stuff my son is interested in with a direct link to the Music post: http://preschoolengineer.blogspot.com/2013/05/music.html.

  11. My three boys and I are Octonauts and Lego Ninjago-obsessed! Sometimes, Kai from Ninjago ends up in the Gup-B. No one seems to mind! 🙂

  12. Continually obsessed with Diego here, my nearly 3 year old blows him kisses during the theme song and there is frequently an “animal in trouble” here! Next up are She-Ra, Tinkerbell, and Wild Kratts, not always in that order! She always loves learning about animals, bring on the marine bio Octonauts, we’re ready!!!

  13. My 4-year-old son is now obsessed with outer space. He loves the Lego space shuttle he received for his birthday.

  14. My almost 4-year-old is obsessed with Scooby Doo and all things monsters-related. I’ve been stockpiling Scooby and Monsters Inc/University toys for his birthday later this month. He sure would love an Octonauts toy, too, though!

  15. My older and middle cosplayed Charlie & Lola and Mario & Luigi at GenCon last year. Everyone in the family loves these characters, Mythbusters, and Kipper the Dog.

    Daniel Tiger and the Dinosaur Train are the current favorites of my youngest (but we all like them- despite the fact that my husband and I joke about the dinosaur train being time bandits of fossil fuel).

  16. My sons love Octonauts, Mickey Mouse, and Transformers Rescue Bots all the way!

  17. my boys LOVE the octonauts! my youngest (who is not yet very verbal) walks around with either peso or tunip in his hands and makes the octo-alert sound! my oldest loves to pretend to be kwazii (yow!) or captain barnacles! (octonauts, let’s do this!) 🙂 when the new episodes of season 2 aired on Disney jr. the whole family would watch while having a living room picnic dinner! 🙂

  18. My daughter (3) is way into Lego’s. She loves to make stories up with the mini-figs. And the recently arrived Lego catalog is read in the car each morning on the way to day care.

  19. My little one is currently obsessed with the Octonauts! We made a life sized Captain Barnacles and ordered a plush Capt. Barnacles from Europe. We are having fun checking the mail every day for it.

  20. I love this article and my now 10 month old son is really into Octonauts! Every time he hears the Octoalert when the show is starting, he turns all bright and excited, dancing with joy. He loves seeing all the sea creatures and the characters, especially the Vegimals 🙂 Most of all, me and my hubby are throwing him an Octonauts 1st birthday party in mid July.

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